Toasted Pecan and Cranberry Wild Rice Pilaf

I've been meaning to post this since Christmas! It's been sitting in my fridge that long. No, of course not. It's just been sitting in my queue, calling my name. I'm sure you know how that goes. Just leave one little thing undone. Maybe it's a security thing. Always knowing it's there. Well, it's not there any more. It's out in the world now to be free. So silly. 

Anyway wild rice, if you haven't had before, is a nice change from brown or white rice. I wouldn't really call it an alternative because it is so much different. So much chewier, and heartier. There's really nothing light and fluffy about wild rice, it's definitely filling and savory. That said, this pilaf with wild rice, pecans, and cranberries can stand alone as a meal all it's own, or serve it as a side with your holiday bird. I'm sure you're super organized and already planning your next holiday in the middle of January. ;)

I modified this recipe pretty heavily from one I found on Epicurious, it's been there since '93. I'm pretty impressed. What was I doing in '93? Probably listening to New Kids on the Block. 

Here's what you'll need:

  • 2 1/2 cups of wild rice - rinced
  • 5 cups of chicken broth
  • 1 cup pecans - coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup of dried cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon of thyme
  • 1/2 a large white onion - minced
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
rice pilaf 3.jpg


  • Pre heat oven to 325°
  • Place chicken broth in a large stovetop pan and bring to a soft boil. Add in wild rice and put a tight fitting lid on to cover and reduce the heat to medium. It cooks in about 40 minutes, stir 2-3 times while cooking. 
  • Melt butter with thyme. 
  • Spread pecans on a baking sheet and coat with butter thyme mixture, bake for 5-7 minutes. Toss them in a bowl while still warm with the dried cranberries. 
  • In a small skillet sauté onions in olive oil. Sauté your onions until they are translucent.
  • Once the rice is done cooking mix all ingredients together and serve warm.