Holiday Wild Rice Dressing

$8.20 recipe / $1.37 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
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Last year for Thanksgiving I made an apple walnut stuffing that was *out of this world* good, despite using a boxed mix. I was so happy with that recipe that I really didn’t plan on making something new… until I started seeing recipes for wild rice dressing.

It started when I saw this recipe on the Bitten Word, then I did a search and found this one, this one and this one. They all look fantastic so check them out. But, as always, I took the best from each and made my own that fit my budget and supplies. The result was every bit as delicious as last years plus it has tons of fiber and nutrition. That’s my kinda deal.

Holiday Wild Rice Dressing

Holiday Wild Rice Dressing in bowl


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Holiday Wild Rice Dressing

This Holiday Wild Rice Dressing combines a flavorful wild rice mix, sweet cranberries, and savory herbs.
Servings 6 to 8
Prep 30 mins
Cook 1 hr
Total 1 hr 30 mins

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. butternut squash ($2.35)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil ($0.20)
  • 1 tsp dried sage, divided ($0.10)
  • 2 Tbsp butter ($0.08)
  • 12 oz. seasoning mix (frozen chopped onion, bell pepper, celery) ($1.25)
  • 1 1/2 cups wild rice mix ($2.05)
  • 1 cup long grain white rice ($0.30)
  • 5 cups water, divided ($0.00)
  • 1 Tbsp chicken base/bouillon ($0.30)
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme ($0.48)
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries ($0.40)
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts ($0.59)
  • salt and pepper to taste ($0.10)

Instructions 

  • Peel, dice and roast the butternut squash with olive oil, salt, pepper and sage. The squash can roast while the rice cooks (next steps) or you can do it a day ahead of time and keep it in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  • In a large pot, melt 2 Tbsp of butter and add 1.5 cups (or 12 oz.) onion/celery/bell pepper mix. If you do not want to use a frozen mix, substitute one medium yellow onion, one bell pepper and 3 stalks of celery. Cook down until soft and most of the liquid has evaporated (about 5 minutes).
  • Stir the wild rice mix into the vegetables and butter. Continue to cook and stir for about one minute more to toast the rice. You should be able to smell the toasty aroma.
  • Add 3 cups of water, 1 Tbsp chicken base, leaves from 3 sprigs of thyme and 1/2 tsp of dried sage. Add a lid to the pot and bring it up to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for 50 minutes then turn off the heat and let sit for 10 more minutes. Check your rice package for the cooking instructions, they may vary slightly.
  • After you get the wild rice mix going, cook the white rice. The white rice cooks much faster so you want to do it separately to avoid over cooking and turning it to mush. Place the dry white rice in a smaller pot and add 2 cups of water. Place a lid on top, bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and let simmer for 20 minutes or until all of the liquid is absorbed. Turn the heat off and let sit with the lid in place until ready to use.
  • When the wild rice mix is finished cooking, fluff it up with a fork. Gently stir in the white rice, butternut squash cubes, dried cranberries and chopped walnuts. Give the mix a taste to see if you want to add any additional salt or pepper. Serve garnished with fresh parsley or thyme.

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Nutrition

Serving: 1ServingCalories: 485.73kcalCarbohydrates: 84.2gProtein: 11.68gFat: 13.9gSodium: 422mgFiber: 8.33g
Read our full nutrition disclaimer here.
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Top view of Holiday wild rice dressing in bowl

Step By Step Photos

seasoning blend in bag
I had this seasoning blend left over in my freezer from making jambalaya but feel free to use fresh onion, bell pepper and celery if you wish.

seasoning blend in pot being cooked with wooden spoon
Cook the seasoning blend in butter until softened and the liquid has evaporated.

wild rice mix in packaging
This is the wild rice mix that I bought. It’s a combination of at least four types of wild and/or brown rices… no spices or herbs, just different kinds of rice.

wild rice added to seasoning mix in pan to toast
Add the wild rice mix and cook it for about a minute more while stirring. This will toast the rice and give it a nice deep flavor. If a lot of moisture is still in the bottom of the pot from the vegetables, it will not toast.

broth and spices added to pot of wild rive and seasoning blend in pot
Add the water, chicken base, thyme leaves and sage. Give it a good stir. Put a lid on, bring it up to a boil then reduce the heat to low and let simmer for 50 minute. Cook the white rice (no pics, sorry) in a separate pot.

fluffed rice mix in pot
After the wild rice mix is finished cooking, fluff it up with a fork or spoon.

sweet potatoes and and cranberries added to wild rice mix in pot
Stir in the cooked white rice, roasted butternut squash, dried cranberries and chopped walnuts. You can have the squash roasting while the rice is cooking and they should be done at about the same time.

finished wild rice mix in pot
Oh, it’s delicious and the aroma is amazing.

wild rice mix
This is the wild rice mix that I used… a little expensive but it was the only one at the store (found near the regular rices). I added the plain white rice to bulk it up and spread out the higher cost of this specialty rice. At least it tastes as good as it looks!

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Comments

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  1. Should the butternut squash roast at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes on a baking sheet, as in the Autumn Harvest Salad recipe? Getting ready to make this for a work potluck and have never prepared butternut squash before! I’m excited.

    1. Wow, this recipe is so old and I can’t believe I didn’t include that information!! Yes, roast at 400 degrees, but depending on the size of your butternut squash pieces you may not need to roast for quite so long. :) Looks like I desperately need to redo this recipe!

  2. Could I use Jasmine with this, or does it have to be regular white? And, if I could, would anything change with cooking, such as cook with wild rice combo instead of separately?

    1. You could use jasmine and I’d cook it just like you would the white rice. Wild usually takes longer, so I wouldn’t cook them together. :)

  3. Just wanted to let you know I made this for a Thanksgiving potluck and everyone loved it! I used Rice-A-Roni’s long grain and wild rice mix instead of the herbs and rice mix you suggested (just because it seemed simpler) and I’ll definitely be making it again. I loved the mix of walnuts, cranberries, and squash!

  4. This was great!

    I decided to do a nice Sunday dinner style meal yesterday for my birthday. Also a celebratory dinner since it has been 28days since eating/cooking exclusively form your website. (I will post properly on the other page for that)

    I have missed stuffing since having to go gluten free! This was such a neat idea, I just had to try it.

    I was rewarded with a very unique and totally new tasting stuffing style that I don’t think I would have come up with on my own lol

    Husband also enjoyed it. We have always added extra things to any stuffing, homemade or boxed, so this was not an adjustment to have it filled with little gems of colour and flavour.

    Paired it with the pork Loin, and made your mushroom gravy (minus the mushrooms…I really do hate fungus :-( BUT its a versatile recipe so it worked.

  5. Just getting ready to make this for thanksgiving today and am really excited! Normally, I don’t come anywhere near the stuffing (I don’t care for it), let alone take the reigns to bring it as one of the sides… but after seeing this recipe, this is what we’re making! :-) Looks deelish! On a side note, I was a little confused about the “seasoned mix”. It was my bad for not reading the instructions before hitting the grocery store, but I thought you meant “seasoning packets”… oopsy! So I picked up some seasoning packets that seeemed inline with what you were asking for in the ingredients. So close, yet so far away! :-) Anyhoo, off to the grocery store to get the *right* ingredients! Thanks for the recipe and have a great thanksgiving!

  6. Sorry for going on and on, but I had a couple more thoughts on this recipe. My fiancee thought it needed something but didn’t know what. He tried some Louisiana hot sauce on it but didn’t think that is what it needed. I have added salt to mine each time and I like it. But…before I added the white rice, I tasted the wild rice, and the flavor was so nice and concentrated. Also, when you add the white rice, it makes enough for an army. I think I would skip the white rice next time. I know you were doing that for cost purposes though.

  7. This is really good. I did make the mistake of making it with your glazed pork chops. This vegetarian dish is really a meal on its own. Plus, wild rice takes a long time to make. So I was sweating, thinking we might have to have this tomorrow and grab take out. The pork chops also have to be at a different temp than the squash in this dish. You have the right idea suggesting roasting the squash the day before. Anyway, I am looking forward to having this for lunch again today by itself. I think I’d make green beans or a salad to go with the chops again.
    One more thing on this dish. It is not only tasty, but filling on its own and I feel like it is very healthy. Makes me want to start eating a Mediterranean diet.

  8. The bouillon paste is usually near the soups and other bouillon mixes (non-refrigerated) but it needs to be refrigerated once opened. The wild rice mix was near all the rest of the rices :)

  9. I use the paste type that comes in a little jar… I think the brand is Better than Bouillon. It dissolves really quickly so I just added them both to the pot, gave it a quick stir and then moved on. If you are using a cube, I’d dissolve it in the water before adding them to the pot.

  10. Making this tonight and I have a question on the chicken base. Did you dissolve a bouillon cube in a cup of water and then add 1 Tbsp to the dish, or did you use 1 tbsp of that powdered chicken base? Thanks!