One of my favorite things about Thanksgiving dinner is the side dishes. I absolutely love the stuffing, but not everyone in my family is a fan (what is wrong with these people?). So I always try to have a variety of side dishes to make everyone happy.
I test drove this Cherry Pecan Wild Rice Pilaf with our dinner recently and it was a big hit. It will definitely be making an appearance on my Thanksgiving menu!
This recipe uses a part wild rice, part white rice blend for this recipe. Although you could certainly make it with all white or all wild or brown rice too! Personally, I really love the blend, and my family does too. But feel free to change things up to suit your tastes. You could even adapt the recipe to use cous cous or quinoa.
I really loved the dried cherries in this side. They are a delicious, sweet and tangy contrast to the rest of the savory ingredients. My husband thought there were a few too many cherries though, so keep that in mind and add less if you prefer. Dried cranberries would also work!
No only is this wild rice pilaf tasty, it makes for a beautiful and festive presentation. I just know it’s going to look great on my Thanksgiving table. I also think I’m going to double the recipe next time. After all, the best thing about Thanksgiving is the leftovers! I reheated this for lunch the next day, and it was just as good.
One last thing I love about this recipe. It’s made on the stove top, which means more room in your oven for all those other Thanksgiving favorites! I think this colorful rice pilaf is going to become a holiday tradition at our house. I hope you enjoy it as much as my family and I did.
Cherry Pecan Wild Rice Pilaf
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 small leek, chopped
- 1 cup wild rice blend
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 (5 oz.) package dried cherries
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 teaspoon pepper
- 1-2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
- In a 10-inch skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add leaks and cook until tender, 3-5 minutes.
- Add rice, garlic and pecans and cook until rice is toasted, 2-3 minutes.
- Add chicken broth, cherries, thyme, salt and pepper. Cover and cook for about 20 minutes, or until rice is tender.
- Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 5 more minutes. Fluff rice with a fork and garnish with fresh chopped parsley, if desired.
Be sure to save this flavorful rice side dish recipe to your favorite Pinterest board for later.
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Who Dished It Up First: Adapted from Taste of the South