Let’s talk about wild rice. It’s nutty and earthy, irresistibly chewy-tender, and I can’t get enough of it. What is it, exactly? Wild rice is an aquatic grass native to the Great Lakes region of North America.
Don’t save your wild rice for your Thanksgiving stuffing—it’s great year-round, but perhaps especially wonderful during the cooler months. Wild rice offers a warm, hearty component that turns fresh greens into a proper meal, and adds texture and heft to soups.
Wild rice is nutritious, too. It offers about fifty percent more fiber and protein than its cousin brown rice, which puts it on par with quinoa. It’s a suitable gluten-free substitute for farro, since the two are similar in texture.
Wild rice has one less-than-fortunate quality: It’s more expensive than many other whole grains. Wild rice is quite labor-intensive to harvest, which is why it’s pricy. Shop around and store your rice in a cool, dry location. Read on to learn how to cook your wild rice, plus find ideas to use up every bit of it!
How to Cook Wild Rice on the Stovetop
Unlike most recipes, I prefer to cook my wild rice uncovered, in an abundant amount of water. This way, it’s easy to keep an eye on, it cooks a little faster (sometimes it’s done in just 40 minutes), and most importantly: it turns out perfectly every time.
Scroll down for the printable recipe!
How to Cook Wild Rice in the Instant Pot
Wild rice cooks up beautifully in an Instant Pot and saves you about 10 to 15 minutes cooking time, realistically. The main advantage to cooking wild rice in the Instant Pot is that you don’t need to “babysit” it in any fashion. This method is courtesy of The Fresh & Healthy Instant Pot Cookbook by Megan Gilmore.
- Combine 1 cup well-rinsed wild rice and 1 ¼ cups water in the bowl of your Instant Pot.
- Secure the lid and move the steam release valve to Sealing. Select the Manual/Pressure Cook option and cook on high pressure for 22 minutes.
- When the cooking cycle is complete, let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes, then move the steam release valve to Venting to release any remaining pressure.
- When the floating valve drops, remove the lid and give the rice a stir. Season as desired.
Wild Rice Goes Well With…
Want to improvise a meal with wild rice? Add any of the following:
- Alliums: Chives, garlic, green onion, red onion or shallot
- Beans: Especially chickpeas or other white beans
- Fresh or dried fruit: Fresh apple, dried cherries or cranberries or raisins
- Greens or herbs: Arugula, collard greens, dill, kale, parsley, sage, spinach, tarragon, or thyme
- Nuts or seeds: Almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, pepitas, pine nuts or walnuts
- Seasonings: Black pepper, cinnamon, Dijon mustard, ginger, lemon or orange juice/zest, or vinegar (apple cider or red wine or white wine vinegar)
- Soft cheese: Feta or goat cheese
- Vegetables: Asparagus, beets, bell peppers, cabbage, carrots, celery, mushrooms, pumpkin, squash (acorn, butternut, or kabocha)
Watch How to Make Perfect Wild Rice
Perfect Wild Rice
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Total Time: 50 minutes
- Yield: 3 cups 1x
- Category: Whole grain
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: North American
Learn how to cook perfect wild rice in this simple recipe! Wild rice is a nutritious and delicious whole grain. It’s a great addition to salads and sides. Scale this recipe as needed (just be sure to use plenty of water). One cup uncooked wild rice yields just over 3 cups cooked.
- 1 cup wild rice
- At least 6 cups water
- Optional seasonings: salt (to taste), 1 to 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, maybe 1 minced clove of garlic or 1 thinly sliced green onion
- Bring a large pot of water to boil, using at least 6 cups water per 1 cup rice (or see Instant Pot option provided in notes). Thoroughly rinse the rice in a fine mesh colander under running water.
- Add the rinsed rice and continue cooking, reducing heat as necessary to maintain an active simmer, for 40 minutes to 55 minutes. It’s done when the rice is pleasantly tender but still offers a light resistance to the bite. If you see any grains bursting open down the center seam (like a hot dog bun), it’s likely done.
- Drain the rice and return the rice to the pot (off the heat). Stir in any seasonings you’d like to add. If you have the time, place a tea towel over the pot, cover, and let it rest for 10 minutes (this absorbs any excess moisture). Use as desired.
Instant Pot option: Add 1 cup well-rinsed wild rice and 1 ¼ cups water to the Instant Pot. Secure the lid and move the steam release valve to Sealing. Select the Manual/Pressure Cook option and cook on high pressure for 22 minutes. When the cooking cycle is complete, let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes, then move the steam release valve to Venting to release any remaining pressure. When the floating valve drops, remove the lid and give the rice a stir. Season as desired. This method is courtesy of The Fresh & Healthy Instant Pot Cookbook by Megan Gilmore.
Storage suggestions: Wild rice will keep well in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 5 days. Or, freeze it for several months. Gently defrost in the microwave before serving.
▸ Nutrition Information
5 Recipes Featuring Wild Rice
This irresistible and hearty salad includes wild rice, arugula, dried cherries, toasted almonds and feta, tossed in a zippy lemon dressing!
This vibrant vegetarian dish will be a hit at your holiday table or Sunday dinner. This recipe features wild rice tossed in a gingery dressing, with roasted butternut squash, fresh pomegranate, goat cheese, and pepitas (green pumpkin seeds).
This hearty salad features nutritious wild rice, kale, goat cheese and colorful vegetables. Serve it as a light dinner and pack it for tomorrow’s lunch. The recipe comes from Megan Gilmore’s cookbook, The Fresh & Healthy Instant Pot Cookbook.
This delicious salad recipe features roasted sweet potato, wild rice and arugula tossed in a gingery dressing. Enjoy this holiday-worthy salad all week long.
Ok, you’ll see brown rice in the photo, but wild rice would be just as good, if not better. This super versatile kale salad features an amazing tahini dressing. Just add massaged kale and veggies from your crisper drawer.
More resources you might appreciate: 23 make-ahead breakfast recipes, 45 recipes that pack well for lunch and 20 simple weeknight dinners. You can shop my essential kitchen equipment here. Don’t forget to follow us on Pinterest for a steady stream of recipe inspiration!