Talk about a ridiculously cozy side dish recipe that’s easy to make, ready in just 30 minutes, and loaded with veggies and warm herbs. It’s also hearty enough to be enjoyed as a vegetarian main dish served alongside perfect pan-roasted broccolini and our family’s favorite buttery thyme biscuits. YES, PLEASE!
This recipe was initially inspired by my childhood love of the box of Uncle Ben’s wild rice. This version is even more herb-flavored, with a wholesome addition of fresh veggies. You’ll be WOW’d and won’t ever need a box-mix again.
You’re also gonna love that this rice pilaf is so versatile. Enjoy it on busy weeknights or on the Thanksgiving table. This recipe knows no bounds!
This recipe is naturally gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan if you use alternative butter!
A Note about Wild Rice
Similar to that box of Uncle Ben’s, this recipe uses a wild rice blend – not long-grain wild rice alone. Quite frankly, using only long-grain wild rice takes much longer to cook. Using a blend of wild rice that’s usually composed of brown and red rice is the perfect option.
It not only speeds up the cook time, but it adds a nice variety of textures to this pilaf. Do note that if you plan to use 100% long-grain wild rice, you will need to adjust the cook time.
This wild rice blend is my go-to! It’s versatile and bold in flavor.
- Vegetable Stock: the rice cooks in the stock, giving it even more flavor!
- Dried Herbs: bay leaves, parsley, and thyme all add flavor to this dish. You can use fresh parsley and thyme if you have them, too, just double the amount.
- Yellow Onion & Garlic: the aromatics! Yellow onion gives a nice subtle onion flavor without being overpowering.
- Carrots: color, texture, and full of nutrients! Diced throughout the rice, this added veggie really balances it out.
- Mushrooms: adding a boost of umami flavor to the rice dish, they add awesome texture, too!
How to Make Herbed Wild Rice
The first step is to boil the rice blend in the vegetable stock along with the bay leaves. This makes sure the rice is cooked perfectly al dente and gives you time to prep the other veggies.
It does differ from a traditional pilaf since we’re cooking the veggies separately. It’s a little more involved, but lucky for us, not by much.
Meanwhile, saute the onion and carrot in butter with a pinch of salt to begin layering in the flavor. Add in the garlic and additional dry herbs, along with the mushrooms.
The mushrooms will release a bit of liquid as they cook. Continue sauteeing until tender and most of the liquid has evaporated. Then, add the rice to the veggies and stir to combine.
Continue simmering until the excess liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender. The mixture should be moist, but not wet. Be sure to taste test for salt levels, and remove the bay leaves before serving. A garnish of fresh parsley goes a long way, too!
What to Serve Wild Rice With
If I’m being honest, I eat this as a meal 9 times out of 10. Just because I love it…and maybe because I’m a little lazy. Cooking for one I can get away with it.
For a more wholesome meal pairing, serve it with rosemary salmon (wild rice is so good with salmon) or pan-fried fish. If you’re a meat eater it goes well with chicken, pork, or a slice of rich dark meat. Or, you know, turkey on the holidays!
More Wild Rice Recipes to Try
- Gnocchi & Wild Rice Soup
- Green Bean & Wild Rice Casserole
- Wild Rice and Arugula Salad with Butternut Squash
Did you make this recipe? Please leave a star rating and review in the form below. I appreciate your feedback, and it helps others, too!
Get the Recipe Vegetarian Wild Rice Pilaf with Mushrooms
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 1 ¼ cups quick-cook wild rice blend
- Pinch of sea salt
- 2-3 bay leaves
- 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, olive oil for vegan
- 1 cup yellow onion, diced
- ¾ cup carrot, diced (~4 carrots)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ¾ teaspoon dried parsley
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 9 button mushrooms, sliced (approximately 2 cups sliced)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a medium or large saucepan, combine stock, rice, salt, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil and simmer, uncovered, for 10-12 minutes until al dente (more depending on your wild rice blend). Rice will have absorbed most of the liquid, but should still be semi-liquidy.2 cups vegetable stock, 1 ¼ cups quick-cook wild rice blend, 2-3 bay leaves, Pinch of sea salt
- While rice simmers, melt butter or heat olive oil into a large skillet, add onion and carrot, with a pinch of salt. Saute for approximately 3 minutes and add garlic. Add in dried herbs (rub between hands before adding to release flavors) and mushrooms. Saute for an additional 7 minutes, until mushrooms have cooked through, adding salt to taste.3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, 1 cup yellow onion, ¾ cup carrot, 2 cloves garlic, ¾ teaspoon dried parsley, ½ teaspoon dried thyme, 9 button mushrooms, Salt and pepper to taste
- Add rice (with extra liquid) to vegetable mixture and stir to combine. Continue simmering for approximately 3-5 minutes, until rice is cooked through and remains moist, but not wet.
- Add salt and pepper to taste and remove bay leaves. Top with additional freshly chopped parsley if desired.