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Thanksgiving Side Dish: Cranberry Herb Wild Rice Pilaf

Move over mashed potatoes. This delicious side dish screams Thanksgiving. It’s big on taste but incredibly easy to make. The flavors of sweet and tangy cranberries, fresh rosemary and toasted walnuts with butter, onion, garlic and thyme will make this dish an instant holiday favorite. Because the rice is cooked in chicken broth, it’s the perfect accompaniment for turkey or any type of poultry.

For best results, we suggest using a rice cooker. It easily takes on the task of cooking the combination of wild and brown rice to perfection. And it frees you up to prepare more labor-intensive dishes (not to mention it frees up using an all-important burner on your stovetop). When the rice is done, just stir in the nuts and cranberries and serve along side the turkey. Not only will this wild rice pilaf taste amazing, its deep fall colors will look festive on your Thanksgiving table, too.

Cranberry Herb Wild Rice Pilaf

Yield: Serves 8
Author: Hamilton Beach Test Kitchen


  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1⁄4 cups (8 oz.) wild rice
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1 package (32 oz.) chicken stock (about 4 cups)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1⁄2 cup toasted coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme


  1. In a medium skillet, over medium-high heat, melt butter. Add onion and garlic. Cook until onions are translucent, about 4 minutes.
  2. Transfer onion mixture to rice cooker cooking pot. Add wild rice, brown rice, chicken stock, water, salt and pepper. Stir well.
  3. Select rice cooker WHOLE GRAIN setting. Press START.
  4. When rice is done, stir in cranberries, walnuts, parsley, rosemary and thyme.

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UPDATED MAY 21, 2020: A rice cooker is a foolproof way to get perfectly cooked rice with minimal effort. It eliminates that undercooked crunch or even worse, the overcooked mush that can happen on the stovetop. Plus, it has the same set-and-forget...


  1. I added shaved brussel sprouts sauteed with the herbs and toasted almonds to make it go farther for a larger crowd. Tasted great!

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