This holiday season, add Cranberry Apple Pecan Wild Rice Pilaf to your menu for a savory side dish with a hint of sweet, tart, and crunchy that will have everyone coming back for seconds!
As this week of holiday side dishes winds up, I had to share with you one of my very favorite types of sides. Rice with cranberries. Granted, that is an over-simplified description, but really…I love rice dishes that include cranberries. This particular dish just so happens to be Cranberry Apple Pecan Wild Rice Pilaf, which is a savory rice dish with sweet and tart cranberries and apples, crunchy pecans, and a tart dressing that should be a part of every holiday meal!
A few other dishes I’ve made over the years are Butternut Squash & Cranberry Pilaf, Autumn Orzo Salad, and Farro Salad with Cranberries, Spinach & Feta. Each one of these dishes is delicious in its own right, with varying ingredients that are perfect for a holiday side dish, but the one ingredient they all have in common? Cranberries. Glorious, delicious, dried cranberries. Can you tell I maybe like them just a little bit?
And while some of my other holiday sides have butternut squashor some other veggie, this Cranberry Apple Pecan Wild Rice Pilaf is more of a fruit and grain salad. I just love how the hearty wild rice mixes with the sweet and tart fruit and the crunchy pecans. It’s a nice contrast of flavors and textures, and it’s just as pretty to look at as it is delicious!
I’m starting to think more that the side dishes on a holiday table are far more fun and interesting than the main dish. At least in the traditional sense. Good ol’ turkey and ham are like the trusty go-to traditional holiday meats, that most of us know and love and can depend on finding on the menu. We can usually count on those being there and tasting good, but the side dishes can be hit or miss, right? Well, it doesn’t have to be that way! The side dishes can steal the show. Or at least complement the main dish and keep the holiday menu exciting!
Add this Cranberry Apple Pecan Wild Rice Pilaf to your holiday menu, and bring a little excitement to the table!
Cranberry Apple Pecan Wild Rice Pilaf
- 1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 1/2 cups apple juice
- 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- 3 Tbsp butter, divided
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp dried parsley
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/4 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tps dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup wild rice blend, rinsed and drained
- 1 Fuji apple, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar (or more, to taste)
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- Fresh thyme and/or parsley, for garnish (optional)
- Bring broth, apple juice Dijon, 1 tablespoon butter, salt, pepper, dried thyme, oregano, parsley and bay leaf to a boil in a large nonstick skillet.
- Add rice, cover and reduce heat to low (dial should be just above lowest LOW setting). Simmer 45 minutes, or until rice is tender and almost all of the liquid has been absorbed, stirring occasionally and replacing lid. Add additional water if needed if rice has absorbed all the liquid and is still not done cooking. Check for doneness at 45 minutes. Once cooked, drain rice and leave in fine hole strainer.
- To the now empty pan, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Increase heat to medium high and add apples; saute for 3-4 minutes, or until apples are tender. Add garlic and saute for 30 more seconds.
- Return rice to skillet along with cranberries and pecans. Add apple cider vinegar 1 teaspoon at a time, to taste . If you like it a little more tangy, 2 teaspoons will probably do the trick. Stir to evenly combine. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with fresh thyme and/or parsley if desired.
Make sure to check out all the awesome Holiday Side Dishes:
5 Ingredient Corn Casserole from Cheese Curd in Paradise
Apple Cranberry Pecan Salad from Blogghetti
Bacon Wrapped String Beans from Family Around the Table
Cranberry, Apple, & Pecan Wild Rice Pilaf from Sweet Beginnings
Creamy Potato and Apple Gratin from Palatable Pastime
Disney’s Pumpkin Soup from Simply Inspired Meals
Dudhi Kofta (Bottle Gourd Fritters) from Cook with Renu
Orange Cranberry Sauce from Karen’s Kitchen Stories
Pancetta Brussels Sprouts from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
Porcini Pancetta Dressing from The Complete Savorist
Pumpkin Rolls with Herbs and Sea Salt from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Apples, and Onions from A Day in the Life on the Farm
Roasted Carrots with Fresh Herbs from Our Good Life
Skillet Sausage Stuffing from Dutch Oven Daddy