Wild Rice Pilaf with Mushrooms and Pecans

This hearty wild rice pilaf is perfect for every occasion, from holiday dinners to weeknight meals! A savory mix of wild and brown rices is infused with herbs and studded with mushrooms and pecans to make this irresistible side dish.

A Bowl of Wild Rice Pilaf with Mushrooms and Pecans with Serving Spoon

I love wild rice, but I’ve always found wild rice pilafs to be disappointing.

How is that possible? I mean, wild rice is the star of the dish, and it’s always awesome in other dishes like soups and stews.

I think the problem is that in a pilaf, wild rice can be too much. Too much chewiness, too much intense earthy flavor. It’s kind of heavy. And mouthful after mouthful of almost all wild rice can get boring.

I found the solution: for my pilaf, I mix my wild rice with brown rice. A fifty-fifty blend seems to be the magic ratio, and when you pair it up with a mix of flavors and textures from ingredients like sautéed mushrooms, peas and crunchy pecans, wild rice pilaf is good enough to make a meal of.

How to Make Wild Rice Pilaf

A Pot of Wild Rice Pilaf with Mushrooms and Pecans with Napkin and a Bunch of Fresh Parsley

Start by melting some vegan butter in a large pot. When the butter just starts to bubble, add an onion and cook it for about 5 minutes, until it softens up. Now add some garlic and cook that for about a minute.

Next, add some broth, herbs, and your wild rice. We’re not adding the brown rice just yet, since wild rice takes a bit longer to cook than brown.

After about 10 minutes of simmering you can add the brown rice. Cover the pot and let everything simmer for 45 minutes or so.

Collage Showing Step 1-4 for Making Wild Rice Pilaf: Sweat Onions, Add Broth, Herbs and Wild Rice, Add Brown Rice, and Cover

While the rice cooks, toast your pecans and sauté your mushrooms.

Melt some more vegan butter in a skillet and add your pecans. Cook them for about 2 minutes, flipping them occasionally. Be careful! Pecans burn quickly.

Remove the pecans from the skillet and melt a bit more butter. Add the mushrooms in an even layer and cook them for about 5 minutes on each side, until they’re nicely browned and tender. Now pour some wine over the mushrooms and cook them for a few minutes more, until the wine cooks off.

Collage Showing Steps 5-8 For Making Wild Rice Pilaf: Toast Pecans, Sauteé Mushrooms, Add Wine to Mushrooms, and Cook To Reduce the Wine

Season your mushrooms with some salt and pepper.

Check on the rice after 45 minutes. When it’s done, you may have some excess water in the pot. If you do, quickly drain the rice using a mesh strainer, and then return it to the pot. Replace the lid and let the rice sit for about 5 minutes. It’ll continue to steam during this time, even though it’s off of the heat.

Stir the mushrooms and pecans into the rice, along with some peas and parsley. Give it a taste test and add as much salt and pepper as you like.

Bowl of Wild Rice Pilaf with Napkin and Spoon in the Background

FAQ & Tips For Making Perfect Wild Rice Pilaf

  • Rice cooking tip: don’t peek! Keep your rice covered until the very end, when it’s time to check whether it’s done. The steam that develops in the pot will help your rice cook, so you don’t want to let it escape.
  • A few pointers on cooking mushrooms:
    • Don’t rinse them with water to clean them. They’ll suck it up like crazy, which will prevent browning and give you slimy mushrooms. Instead, wipe them clean with a damp cloth.
    • Resist the temptation to stir them around while cooking. They need to sit in the skillet, undisturbed for a few minutes on each side in order to brown.
    • Don’t crowd them in the skillet. Again, this will prevent browning. Keep them in a relatively even layer and cook them in batches if needed.
  • Is there a substitution for the wine? Feel free to leave it out if you don’t cook with alcohol.
  • If you do use the wine, check with Barnivore to ensure you choose a vegan brand.
  • How do the leftovers keep? Pretty darn well! Store them in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days. I reheated mine in the microwave, but I’m sure you could also use the stove top and maybe add a splash of water.
  • What is vegan butter and where can I find it? It’s basically margarine that’s Dairy-Free. Look for brands like Miyoko’s, Earth Balance, or Melt. Most regular supermarkets carry vegan butter, but if yours doesn’t try a place like Whole Foods.
  • Is this dish gluten-free? Yes, it is!

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A Bowl of Wild Rice Pilaf with Mushrooms and Pecans with Serving Spoon

Wild Rice Pilaf with Mushrooms & Pecans

This hearty wild rice pilaf is perfect for every occasion, from holiday dinners to weeknight meals! A savory mix of wild and brown rices is infused with herbs and studded with mushrooms and pecans to make this irresistible side dish.

Prep Time 15 minutes

Cook Time 1 hour

Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes

Servings 8

Calories 261 kcal

Author Alissa Saenz

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons vegan butter, divided
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 3/4 cup wild rice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves (or 2 teaspoons dried)
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary (or 3/4 teaspoon dried)
  • 3/4 cup brown rice
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 10 ounces sliced cremini mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Instructions

  1. Melt 1 tablespoon of vegan butter in a medium pot over medium heat.

  2. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, until soft and translucent.

  3. Add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute more, until very fragrant.

  4. Stir in the broth, wild rice, thyme and rosemary.

  5. Raise the heat and bring the liquid to a boil.

  6. Lower the heat and allow the rice to cook at a low simmer for 10 minutes.

  7. Stir in the brown rice and bring the liquid back up to a simmer.

  8. Lower the heat and cover the pot. Allow the mixture to simmer for 45 minutes.

  9. While the rice simmers, melt 1 tablespoon of vegan butter in a large skillet over medium heat.

  10. Add the pecans and cook them for about 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until they darken slightly, being careful not to burn them.

  11. Remove the pecans from the skillet and transfer them to a plate.

  12. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in the skillet, then add the mushrooms in an even layer. Cook the mushrooms in batches if needed to avoid crowding the skillet.

  13. Cook the mushrooms for about 5 minutes on each side, until tender and lightly browned.

  14. Pour the wine over the mushrooms and continue to cook them until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes.

  15. Season the mushrooms with salt and pepper to taste, and remove them from the skillet.

  16. After the rice has simmered for 45 minutes, peek inside the pot to check for doneness. The brown rice should be tender and the wild rice should be slightly chewy.

  17. When the rice has finished cooking, remove the pot from heat.

  18. If there’s any excess liquid in the pot, very quickly transfer the rice mixture to a mesh strainer to drain, then return it to the pot. Replace the lid on the pot.

  19. Allow the pot to sit with the lid on for 5 minutes.

  20. Remove the lid, then stir in the pecans, mushrooms, peas, and parsley.

  21. Season the pilaf with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

Nutrition Facts

Wild Rice Pilaf with Mushrooms & Pecans

Amount Per Serving (1 cup)

Calories 261 Calories from Fat 100

% Daily Value*

Fat 11.1g17%

Saturated Fat 2.4g12%

Sodium 414mg17%

Potassium 403mg12%

Carbohydrates 32g11%

Fiber 3.9g16%

Sugar 3.1g3%

Protein 8.7g17%

Calcium 2mg0%

Iron 14mg78%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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https://www.connoisseurusveg.com/wild-rice-pilaf/

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