Friends. It’s time to think outside the (stuffing) box. Say goodbye to stale boxed bread with its mile long ingredient list and hello to tender wild rice tossed with all the fixins including bacon, mushrooms, herbs, almonds, dried cranberries, and a secret ingredient you do not want to miss. Best Ever Wild Rice Stuffing is currently rocking my entire world, and I wouldn’t blame you if you went home and made this easy side dish to serve with dinner tonight versus waiting another week until Thanksgiving – if for no other reason than to be able to enjoy the leftovers for lunch over the next 3-4 days because they are legiiiiiit!
I think you’re either a stuffing person or you’re not. As I mentioned a couple years ago, my family is a stuffing family in that we serve it at Thanksgiving because, I don’t know, we feel as though the pilgrims of yesteryear would frown upon our holiday gathering if we didn’t have a giant bowl of wet stale carbs on the table that everybody begrudgingly takes a spoonful of because it’s there.
Well enough is enough – this year I’m bringing a stuffing recipe to Thanksgiving that people are going to be totally jacked to eat. What started as a simple and scrumptious wild rice stuffing studded with mushrooms and bacon, exploded into an ALL THE FALL FLAVORS stuffing (but not in a bad way like Rachel Green’s Traditional English Trifle #namethatTVshow) because I have no self control. At any rate, I’d be thrilled if you made it for your holiday next week!
This recipe and post is sponsored by Fisher Nuts who I’m thrilled to be partnering with for yet another year developing recipes using their delicious almonds, pecans, and walnuts which are not only gluten-free, but contain zero preservatives and come in resealable pouches so they stay fresher, longer. For this stuffing recipe I chose Fisher’s Whole Almonds to chop then add to the stuffing to give it a nutty flavor and satisfying crunch. The chopped almonds in this dish are absolutely delicious and provide a welcome texture.
Since we’re talking Thanksgiving, know that the components in this dish can be prepped a day ahead of time. Chop the vegetables and bacon the night before then saute and assemble up to several hours before your holiday dinner. You can warm the stuffing up in the oven if need be, or honestly just pop the baking dish or serving bowl in the microwave for a couple minutes! So easy, so, so, SO, so scrumptious. I will be making this stuffing side dish for many many meals to come!
Start by adding 1-1/2 cups wild rice blend to a 1-1/2 or 2 quart saucepan with 2-1/4 cups chicken broth, 1 bay leaf, and a dash of salt. Bring to a boil then turn the heat down to low, cover, and simmer until the rice is al dente, 40-45 minutes. Take the pan off the heat the let it sit with the lid on for 5 minutes before fluffing with a fork. I love this Lundberg Wild Blend rice but use whatever you like!
Meanwhile, brown 4 strips bacon in a large, 12″ skillet over medium heat then scoop the bacon into a bowl and set aside, reserving the bacon fat in the skillet.
Turn the heat up to medium-high then melt 2 Tablespoons butter in the skillet and add 1 jumbo shallot or 1 small onion that’s been chopped, 8oz sliced mushrooms, and 2 stalks celery that have been finely chopped. Saute until the mushrooms have released their liquid and are starting to brown then season with 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, salt, and pepper. Once the vegetables are tender add 1 Tablespoon freshly chopped sage and 3 cloves minced garlic then saute until the garlic is very fragrant and golden brown, 1-2 minutes.
Last step is to add the cooked wild rice and bacon back into the skillet along with 1/4 cup each chopped Fisher whole almonds, freshly grated parmesan cheese, and dried cranberries. The parmesan cheese is the “secret” ingredient I mentioned, by the way! It gives the recipe a totally unique flavor so if you are craving a super classic stuffing flavor, leave it out, but if you’re up for something a little bit out of the ordinary, definitely include.
Stir well to combine, adding a splash of chicken broth if need be to loosen the stuffing up a bit.
That’s all she wrote, folks – told you it was easy! Garnish with a couple whole fresh sage leaves and more chopped almonds for a beautiful presentation, then scoop and serve next to your Thanksgiving favorites. As I mentioned, leftovers reheat wonderfully so you can scoop the stuffing alongside your leftover turkey and pumpkin pie days after the holiday. Enjoy, everyone!
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Best Ever Wild Rice Stuffing
Best Ever Wild Rice Stuffing is full of fall flavors like herbs, bacon, mushrooms, parmesan, dried cranberries, almonds, and garlic. A delicious side for the holidays!
- 1-1/2 cups wild rice blend (I like Lundberg Wild Blend)
- 2-1/4 cups gluten-free chicken broth
- 1 dried bay leaf
- salt and pepper
- 4 slices bacon, chopped
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 1 jumbo shallot or 1 small onion, chopped
- 8oz mushrooms, sliced
- 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh sage
- 1/4 cup Fisher whole almonds, chopped
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, optional
- Add wild rice, chicken broth, bay leaf, and a pinch of salt to a 1-1/2 - 2 quart saucepan then bring to a boil. Place a lid on top then turn heat down to low and simmer for 40-45 minutes or until rice is al dente. Let pan sit off the heat with the lid on for 5 minutes then remove bay leaf, fluff rice with a fork, and set aside.
- Meanwhile, brown bacon in a large, 12" skillet over medium heat then transfer to a bowl, reserving bacon fat in skillet. Turn heat up to medium-high then melt butter in skillet and add shallots, mushrooms, and celery. Once mushrooms have released their liquid and begin to brown, add dried thyme then season with salt and pepper. Saute until mushrooms are golden brown and vegetables are tender, 8-10 minutes. Add garlic and fresh sage then saute until garlic is very fragrant and golden brown, 1-2 minutes.
- Remove skillet from heat then add cooked wild rice, cooked bacon, chopped almonds, dried cranberries, and parmesan cheese to skillet then stir well to combine. Add a splash of chicken broth if you need to loosen the stuffing up a bit. Taste then add salt and pepper if necessary, and then serve.
This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Fisher nuts. The opinions and text are all mine.