Check out these delicious and healthy wild rice recipes!
When was the last time you made wild rice? Can’t remember or think it’s only for holidays? This versatile ingredient deserves more attention and a place in your meal rotation.
Not yet wild about wild rice? Get to know this healthy, versatile, and delicious ingredient and you will be! A 1-cup serving has only about 160 calories and more than 6 grams of protein, twice as much as in most rice. It also has a decent amount of fiber, magnesium, and potassium, things most of us fall short on. It’s gluten-free and technically not a grain but the seed of a marsh grass, so those avoiding grains can enjoy it as well.
There are so many ways to use this wonderful ingredient. Plain, it’s a tasty simple side dish for chicken or fish. Throw some of your leftovers in broth with some veggies for a delicious and easy soup. Then use more leftovers for a tasty salad (recipe below).
It takes awhile to cook, so I like to make a large batch of wild rice when I make something like salmon, and serve it as a simple side with a vegetable like roasted asparagus.
The leftovers can then be transformed into numerous other dishes: A couple nights later, I toss it with vegetables and spices and maybe some of the leftover fish for a filling and easy salad. Another night kids mix it into chicken broth. I freeze some for nights when I need a quick side for the sometimes fussy little diners in my house.
I like to soak wild rice ahead to reduce cooking time. It’s pretty straightforward to cook on the stovetop and doesn’t require much attention. (If you want more info on cooking wild rice, here’s a post from the Kitchn with the deets.) If you’re a fan of crock pot cooking, cook with Sara has instructions for making wild rice without needing to tend the stove at all.
Below is a flavorful recipe for a wild rice bowl based on what happened to need using up in my fridge. It came together so beautifully, it’s now a staple in our rotation. It’s very adaptable to whatever you find in yours; the rice and a flavorful dressing pretty much ensures your success.
Don’t have wild rice or the veggies it calls for? You could really use any grain (brown rice, farro, or teff for example) and vegetables you have on hand. The wild rice and veggies in this recipe give you a great boost of fiber as well as minerals and antioxidants. It holds up well, and would work nicely for lunch at work or for a picnic or potluck.
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Wild Rice Recipes: Wild Rice Bowl with Red Peppers and Feta
1 cup cooked wild rice (or quinoa, buckwheat, or whatever you have in the fridge)
1 diced red pepper
1/2 cup cooked cauliflower
2 tbl+ crumbled feta cheese
Optional: leftover cooked salmon, cut into chunks (omit for vegetarian)
Generous splash balsamic vinegar (I used raspberry; check out these flavored organic vinegars) or use a favorite salad dressing
Ground Himalayan salt to taste
Combine in a bowl and toss to coat. Add more veggies and wild rice if you prefer. Enjoy!
This bowl would also work beautifully with sauteed snap peas, asparagus, and/or broccoli. You could give it an Asian flavor with a sesame dressing or sesame oil and rice vinegar (omit the feta). Small bits of leftover chicken or beef would also work well.
Other Delicious Wild Rice Recipes
Since this site’s all about practical, and the rice itself takes awhile to cook, I did some careful snooping to find a few wild rice recipes that wouldn’t take too much time or effort. I don’t know about you, but when the ingredient list takes up most of the page, I move on. You’re on board with easy, right? Here are some tempting-looking wild rice recipes.
Several of these call for a wild rice blend, but there’s no reason you couldn’t go 100 % wild rice.
♦ Wild rice is native to my now-home state of Minnesota, where they call casseroles “hotdish.” So I had to include a hotdish recipe here. One of the few that didn’t call for the traditional canned soup (no thanks — here’s one of many reasons to avoid canned food) was a chicken and wild rice casserole from Well Plated. Wild rice goes wonderfully with sweet autumn veggies like butternut squash.
♦ Mushrooms and wild rice are a natural pairing, and this slow cooker mushroom wild rice soup from Amuse Your Bouche looks just perfect for a cold winter night. I will definitely be trying this when the weather cools again.
♦ Pinch of Yum has a tempting recipe for something called Thanksgiving salad that I definitely would not save for holidays. It features mangos and looks like a wonderful anytime lunch.
Mmmm… What’s your favorite way to use wild rice? Share your favorite wild rice recipes in the comments!
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Other photo credits: Meal Makeover Moms, Whitney via flickr