This Wild Rice Pilaf is vegan, gluten-free, & the perfect side dish for any celebration! With a chewy wild rice blend, roasted delicata squash, crunchy brussels sprouts, sweet dried cranberries, and a simple dijon dressing- this side dish is truly delicious!
It's made with so many Fall favorites for a side dish that is easy to prep ahead of time and a must this Holiday season.
Ingredient & substitution notes:
- Wild Rice Blend: I always prefer using a wild rice blend as I find the difference in rice textures to be delicious. This is the Lundberg wild rice blend I used.
- I highly recommend soaking this blend for 10-15 minutes before cooking! It cuts down on cooking time and leads to a better consistency in the rice (less starchy and more chewy).
- If using just wild rice, you will likely need to adjust the cooking time and amount of veggie broth you use, so follow the package instructions here!
- Not pictured: Veggie broth. I HIGHLY suggest cooking your wild rice in veggie broth vs. water to give this dish the best flavor!
- Delicata Squash: This can be substituted 1:1 for any squash, however, baking time will vary depending on the squash!
- Shallots: Can be substituted for ½ red onion.
- Olive oil: This can be substituted 1:1 with any neutral oil such as avocado oil or vegetable oil.
- Shaved brussel sprouts: I prefer them raw so that they add a nice crunchy texture to this wild rice pilaf. However, you can saute them or roast them if you prefer them cooked.
- There isn't a great substitute here with the same flavor or texture, but if you want more of a salad feel you could try swapping for arugula or kale.
- Apple cider vinegar: Can be substituted 1:1 for lemon juice, but apple cider vinegar gives it more of a Fall flavor.
- Dried cranberries: Add the perfect sweet and chewy bite to this pilaf!
- You can substitute for fresh pomegranate seeds, dried apricots, or dried figs.
- Sliced almonds: Add a nice crunch to this dish! Replace with toasted pecans or pepitas if desired.
How to make wild rice pilaf:
Soak & cook the wild rice
I used this Lundberg wild rice blend and highly suggest soaking it in water for about 10-20 minutes before cooking. This helps speed up the cooking process and leads to much chewier wild rice.
Add the vegetable broth and wild rice blend to a pot and bring to a boil. Then, reduce to a simmer and cook the wild rice according to the package instructions or until the rice is chewy and has absorbed all the liquid.
Roast the delicata squash & shallots
Discard the ends from the squash and remove the seeds and inner stringy flesh. Then, cut the delicata squash into slices. Remove the skin from the shallots and then dice into 2-inch chunks.
Add the sliced squash and shallots to a tray and coat with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Then, roast the veggies at 400F for 20-22 minutes.
Make the garlic dijon dressing
While the veggies are roasting, make the dressing. Add the minced garlic, dijon mustard, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, and salt to a jar and mix to combine.
Assemble the pilaf
Add the cooked wild rice, roasted delicata squash & shallots, shaved brussels sprouts, dried cranberries, slivered almonds, and dressing to a serving platter or large bowl.
Then, mix together until coated. Serve as is or top with fresh herbs!
FAQ & Tips:
How should I serve this wild rice pilaf?
You can also enjoy it on its own as a hearty vegan & gluten-free dinner option.
Can I prep this recipe ahead of time?
Definitely! In fact, one way to cut down on prep time is to make the wild rice a day ahead of time and just reheat it when you are ready to mix and serve with the other ingredients.
You can also prep the dressing in advance and store in the fridge for 3-4 days before using.
I do recommend making the roasted veggies the day you are ready to serve the dish as they do taste best freshly roasted.
How do I store leftover pilaf?
Once mixed, leftovers can be stored in a closed container in the fridge for 2-4 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month. This dish can be served cold or reheated to enjoy warm.
I can't wait for you to try this chewy and flavorful Wild Rice Pilaf! It is truly the perfect vegan & gluten-free side dish for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Hannukah. Enjoy!
More vegan rice recipes you will love:
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Wild Rice Pilaf
- 1 medium delicata squash seeds & inner flesh discarded and sliced into 1-inch thick pieces
- 2 medium shallots cut into 2-inch chunks
- 1 ½ Tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- Start by soaking your wild rice blend in cold water for 10-15 minutes. This helps to decrease cooking time and leads to a more chewy & less starchy rice.
- While the rice is soaking, prep your veggies by shredding the brussels sprouts, deseeding and slicing the delicata squash, and chopping the shallots. Set aside and preheat the oven to 400F.
Cook the wild rice:
- Add the soaked wild rice blend and vegetable broth to a pot and stir together. Cover with a lid and bring to a boil. Once boiling, stir once, then replace the lid and turn the heat to a low simmer.
- Continue cooking the wild rice at a low simmer for about 40 minutes or until the rice is cooked through, chewy, and all of the vegetable broth has been absorbed. (If you skip the soaking step, this could take around 50 minutes, but always test the rice for doneness)
- Once the rice is done cooking, remove from the stove, fluff with a fork, and let sit for about 10 minutes before mixing with the other ingredients.
Roast the veggies:
- While the wild rice is cooking, roast the veggies. Add the sliced delicata squash, shallots, olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder to a baking tray.
- Mix together until all the veggies are coated. Then, add to the oven and bake at 400F for 20-22 minutes. For extra crispy veggies, broil them for 2-3 minutes at the end of roasting.
Make the dressing:
- While the rice is cooking and veggies are roasting, make the dressing.
- Add the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, minced/grated garlic, dijon mustard, salt, and pepper to a container. Add a lid and shake the jar until the dressing is combined. Set aside.
Assemble the pilaf:
- Add the wild rice blend, roasted delicata squash & shallots, shaved brussels sprouts, sliced almonds, and dried cranberries to a large tray or mixing bowl. Top with the garlic dijon dressing and mix everything together.
- Serve warm and enjoy!
- Please see the blog post for more recipe tips & substitution ideas.
- The dressing on this pilaf is very light, so feel free to double it if you prefer more dressing.
- The dressing can be prepped in advance and stored in a closed container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
- The wild rice can be cooked a day ahead of time and reheated before mixing with the other ingredients to cut down on day of prep time.
- I do not recommend prepping the roasted veggies ahead of time as they truly taste best when freshly out of the oven.
- Once mixed, leftovers can be stored in a closed container in the fridge for 2-4 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month. This dish can be served cold or reheated to enjoy warm.