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3.6 from 59 votes

Wild Rice Pilaf

A wonderful side dish, this Wild Rice Pilaf is loaded with long grain white rice and wild rice, sautéed onion, carrot, dried fruit and toasted pecans. Adapted from Cooks Illustrated.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Western
Keyword: colorful rice recipe, rice side dish, Wild Rice Pilaf
Servings: 8
Calories: 348kcal


  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 8 sprigs fresh thyme (See Note 1)
  • 1 cup wild rice rinsed, (See Note 2)
  • 1 1/2 cups long grain white rice
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 medium onion chopped fine (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • 1 large carrot chopped fine (about 1 cup)
  • salt
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 3/4 cup pecans (See Note 3)
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley leaves minced


  • Bring chicken broth, bay leaves, and 1 bundle thyme to boil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the rinsed wild rice, cover, and reduce heat to low. Simmer until rice is plump and tender and has absorbed most liquid, 40 minutes (See Note 4). Keep covered to keep warm and set aside.
  • Rinse white rice in mesh strainer until water runs clear to remove excess starch and drain completely.
  • Heat butter in medium saucepan over medium-high heat, about 2 minutes. Add onion, carrot, and 1 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring frequently, until softened but not browned, about 4 minutes.
  • Add rinsed white rice and stir to coat grains with butter. Cook, stirring frequently, until grains begin to turn translucent, about 3 minutes. Add 2 1/4 cups boiling water and second thyme bundle to rice and return to boil. Reduce heat to low, sprinkle cranberries evenly over rice, and cover. Simmer until all liquid is absorbed, 18 minutes. Fluff rice with fork off heat.
  • Combine wild rice, white rice mixture, pecans, and parsley in large bowl. Toss with large spoon or rubber spatula and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper if needed. Serve immediately.


  1. Divide fresh thyme into 2 bundles, each tied together with kitchen twine.
  2. The wild rice packet I use had a blend of long grain brown rice, sweet brown rice, wild rice bits, wehani, black japonica.
  3. Toast pecans in small dry skillet over medium heat until fragrant and lightly browned, about 6 minutes, then rough chop.
  4. If wild rice still has a little liquid on bottom of pan: Drain rice in mesh strainer to remove excess liquid. Return rice to now-empty saucepan. Cover to keep warm and set aside.


Calories: 348kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 262mg | Potassium: 270mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 1535IU | Vitamin C: 8.4mg | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 1.4mg