Cranberry Leek Wild Rice is a savory side dish perfect for the holidays or any day, with a touch of sweetness from dried cranberries.
Fall is in full swing and that means it’s time to think about the holidays and all the deliciousness that entails. It’s been a few years now, but I love the addition of wild rice to my holiday table.
What is Wild Rice
If you’re like me, I simply thought wild rice was, well, wild. Like quinoa, that it was an ancient or heirloom rice grain(s) brought back because they’re so good for us.
Yeah, not so much. Turns out wild rice isn’t actually rice, but grass…from several different areas of the world, tossed together, and put in a nice bag you pick up at the grocery store.
It gets the moniker because it resembles rice grains both in seed form and cultivated and is grown in similar conditions/ways as grain rice.
How to Make Wild Rice
Cook the wild rice according to package directions. I cooked mine in a rice cooker. The stove or a multi-pot appliance’s rice setting all work perfectly.
I use broth as my liquid instead of just water to enhance the flavor. Water is fine. Or even a combination of the two. I usually toss in a bay leaf when I make flavored rice (vs just plain white), but I totally forgot this time.
Heat a large skillet over medium high heat, pour in some olive oil and toss in a nob of butter once hot.
Sauté the leeks and mushrooms together for about 3-4 minutes, then add the cranberries, herbs, and seasonings.
Cook together for another 3-5 minutes or until the mushrooms and leeks have softened.
Once the mixture has reached its desired tenderness, add in the now-cooked wild rice with the remaining butter and stir to combine.
Side Dish Recipes for the Holidays
Now this Cranberry Leek Wild Rice is perfect for your holiday table, but by no means will complete it. If you’re like me, we have at least a half dozen (if not more) side dishes.
I collaborated with some blogger friends to bring you many ideas to complete your holiday table.Don’t forget to check out the other awesome Holiday Side Dishes posted today:
- Balsamic Mustard Brussels Sprouts from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Broccoli Cheese Casserole from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- Cheddar Green Bean Casserole from Kate’s Recipe Box
- Easy Southern Succatash from Blogghetti
- Herbed Hasselback Potatoes from Family Around the Table
- Honey Glazed Carrots from Dutch Oven Daddy
- Honey Roasted Carrots with Thyme from Sweet Beginnings
- Hot Honey Skillet Corn from Our Good Life
- Okra Casserole from The Spiffy Cookie
- Par-Baked Dinner Rolls from Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Pepper Bacon Mac N Cheese from Simply Inspired Meals
- Roasted Garlic and Herb Mushrooms from Cook with Renu
- Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon from Renee’s Kitchen Adventures
- Sauteed Chayote Squash with Onions and Bacon from A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese from Palatable Pastime
Cranberry Leek Wild Rice
Hearty wild rice sautéed with herbs, seasonings, mushrooms, leeks, and cranberries. A tasty side dish all year long or for the holidays.
- 2 cups wild rice
- 3½ cups chicken broth water or other broths work too
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 tbsp butter divided
- 3 cups leeks diced
- 8 oz mushrooms finely diced
- ⅓ tsp rubbed sage dried
- ⅓ tsp thyme dried
- ½ tsp salt to taste
- ¼ tsp black pepper to taste
- 1½ cups dried cranberries sweetened or not
Cook the rice according to package directions via desired method and liquid.
While rice cooks, dice the leeks and clean them. (see notes)
Once the rice is done, or nearly done, heat a large skillet over medium high heat.
Once hot, add the olive oil and 1 tbsp of butter.
Sauté the leeks and mushrooms for 3-5 minutes.
Add the herbs and seasonings, mix well.
Add the cranberries, stir until combined and continue to cook for another 3-5 minutes, or until the vegetables have reached their desired softness.
Stir in the cooked rice and the remainging butter.
Reduce heat to medium and cook until the ingredients have combined and melded together.
Serve and enjoy.
Leeks LOVE to hide dirt between their fine layers, so I dice them up first then soak them. After a quick soaking, I rinse and drain and leave them in the strainer to get as much water off them before sautéing.