Wild Rice Stuffing with Cranberries, Apples and Pecans

Wild Rice Stuffing is the perfect addition to your dinner or weeknight meal.  It’s super simple and full of fall flavors!  It’s gluten free and vegetarian!

Wild Rice Stuffing is the perfect addition to your dinner or weeknight meal.

November is just flying by.  I’m already trying to figure out what I want to make for Thanksgiving this year.  We have a fun Friendsgiving the weekend before Thanksgiving and I’d love to bring a stellar dish or two.  Not to mention cooking for Thanksgiving. This wild rice stuffing is making me give the typical stuffing a serious side eye.

Wild Rice Stuffing a great side dish

Fresh food made with love and some extra special touches really makes it feel like the holidays for me.  Every year I try so hard to love stuffing. But in all honesty, its usually dry, bland, too mushy, or overly complicated. Am I alone? Well short of making Stove Top Stuffing (which is not going to happen – have you seen the ingredient list?) I decided to try out a whole new approach to stuffing; wild rice! It’s pretty genius – no oven, can be made ahead of time, and really versatile! My step dad, Dave and I all are pretty sensitive to gluten so using wild rice is an added bonus – it’s gluten free! Want more gluten free and whole foods recipes Thanksgiving recipes? Make sure to check out the Orange Ginger Cranberry Sauce with no added sugar, it’s so good!

Wild Rice Stuffing with cranberries

As I was making this recipe, I asked Dave what he would like to have in stuffing this year. He replied “I don’t know but I want it to be CRUNCHY”!  Apparently mushy stuffing is his pet peeve.  I like the contrast of apples and cranberries, the sweetness from the apples and the tart bite from the cranberries perfectly balances out the dish for me. To make sure there was enough “crunch” in this dish, I added chopped pecans as well.  This was a last minute addition but it makes the dish if you ask me and I wouldn’t leave them out unless you really don’t like them.  Who doesn’t like pecans??

Wild Rice Stuffing in a bowl
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Wild Rice Stuffing is the perfect side dish.

Wild Rice Stuffing with Cranberries, Apples and Pecans

Wild Rice Stuffing is the perfect addition to your dinner or weeknight meal. It’s super simple and full of fall flavors! It’s gluten free and vegetarian!
5 from 1 vote
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Course: dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: stuffing
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4 people

Guided Recipe Video


  • 1 1/4 cup wild rice - rinced and drained
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cup organic vegetable stock
  • 4 sage leaves - finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp fresh rosemary - finely chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 stalks celery - diced
  • 1 large granny smith apple - peeled and cubed
  • 4-6 leaves of sage - finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh cranberries - rough chopped
  • 1 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt


  • In a large pot, combine the wild rice, water, vegetable stock, 4 sage leaves, rosemary and dried bay leaf in a pot.  Bring the water to a boil and turn the heat down to medium low. Cover and cook 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Prepare the onion, celery, apple and cranberries as the rice is cooking.
  • With 10 minutes left, spray the pan with non-stick spray and saute’ over medium heat.  Add onions, celery and salt and cook 2-3 minutes.  
  • Add apples and cranberries to the onion and celery mixture.  Cook 3-4 minutes and then add maple syrup and cook an additional 1-2 minutes over medium heat.  Note: If you notice the onions and celery starting to stick to the pan, you can add a little vegetable stock.
  • Once the rice is done, transfer it to a large bowl.  Add the vegetable mixture and stir to combine. Add 1/4 cup chopped pecans.

Nutrition Information

Nutrition Facts
Amount per Serving
Where does nutrition info come from? Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy, sourced from the USDA Food Database.
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Wild Rice Stuffing is gluten free

For presentation I highly recommend adding a few whole cranberries, some sage leaves, and whole pecans.  It really makes the dish pop!  Just make sure the sage leaves don’t get eaten whole (bleh!).

If you’re looking to add an easy turkey recipe to go along side this stuffing make sure to check out this slow cooker turkey breast!

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  1. i add walnuts celery pecans almonds cranberries green apple wild rice (uncle bens)
    turkey ground meat, also giblet.

  2. 5 stars
    Your Video is great and the Wild Rice Stuffing looks fantastic! Thanks so much for sharing with us at Full Plate Thursday. Come to next weeks Thanksgiving party on Tuesday at 8:00 am, CST, see you then!
    Miz Helen

  3. all your photos of this dish actually look as tho you used a rice blend (wild and brown maybe?)…please let me know as the recipe looks delish!

    1. Yes, it is a wild rice blend. It’s wild rice and brown rice. I apologize – I should have been more specific in the ingredient list. Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting :) Have a wonderful day and let me know if you try this out :)

  4. Looks delish!
    I’ve actually never had fresh cranberries! Do they taste like the dried ones or is their taste less sweet/more mild?

    {Teffy’s Perks} X

  5. The only stuffing I will eat is my Mom/Grandma’s :) I guess it’s what I’m used to! Haha. I like the idea of a rice stuffing – and anything with cranberries, pecans and apples has to be good. Is it weird that I look forward to my jellied cranberry sauce that comes out of the can? .. It’s so bad yet so good ;D

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