This post was sponsored by Better Than Bouillon as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
Cranberry and walnut wild rice pilaf is such a flavor packed side dish that pairs perfectly with oven-roasted chicken or pork, Thanksgiving turkey and a well-loved addition to a special Christmas meal. This rice pilaf is packed with so many delicious seasonal flavors, such as cranberries, sautéed apples and topped with walnuts for a wonderful crunch.
One of my favorite things about the holiday season is enjoying all the delicious foods and dishes that we look forward to all year. There’s just something for comforting and drool worthy about the rich and deep flavors of fall and winter foods. Savory roasted vegetables, caramelized fruits and veggies and roasted nuts seem to continuously make an appearance at our dinner table. One of our favorite side dishes for this time of year is cranberry and walnut wild rice pilaf!
This wild rice pilaf combines all the wonderful fall flavors for the most out of this world combination of flavors! I absolutely love the dynamic of savory and sweet with the addition of dried cranberries and sautéed apples. While it looks like a time-consuming dish, it’s actually incredibly easy to make and can even be made ahead of time which is perfect for entertaining or potluck gatherings. The colors of this dish are beautiful and it’s the perfect hearty addition to many fall and winter dinners.
I love using a mixture of wild rice and long grain brown rice for this recipe, however you can use whichever rice that you prefer. I typically make my own blend with half wild rice and half long grain brown rice, but you easily find wild rice blends in most grocery stores. I find that the wild rice has a slightly nutty flavor that complements the savory and sweet flavors in this recipe very well. When preparing my rice, I love using Roasted Chicken Better Than Bouillon base to cook my rice instead of traditional water. If you’re vegetarian or cooking for others that are, you can substitute with Better Than Bouillon Vegetarian No Chicken Base for chicken flavor instead.
Better Than Bouillon has been a staple in my kitchen for years (and has been featured in past recipes like this Rustic Sausage, Potato & Kale Soup). Better Than Bouillon bases lends so much delicious and rich cooked-all-day flavors to dishes and the easy to use paste concentrate makes it easy to tailor the strength of the flavor to each and every meal unlike other boxed broths or cubes. I love the easy 1 tsp Better Than Bouillon to 1 cup water conversion to make cooking simpler and fool-proof as well.
With so many flavors and varieties, including organic, vegan/vegetarian, and low sodium options, there is a base to take your cooking to the next level no matter what type of dish or meal you are creating. I keep a few stocked in my fridge at all times. My favorites are the roasted chicken, roasted beef and seasoned vegetable base to complement all my favorite dishes.
While the wild rice mixture is cooking, I prepare the rest of the ingredients to add to the rice. Simply sauté onions, diced apple and garlic until slightly softened and fragrant (usually 4-5 minutes). Granny Smith or Honeycrisp are great varieties as they maintain their texture when sautéed and have a crisp, bright flavor that complements this meal well.
Once the rice is done cooking, simply add in the sautéed onions and apples, add dried cranberries and walnuts and you’re all set! For my Instant Pot fans, you can cook your rice and Better Than Bouillon & water mixture in the pot and simply add the rest of ingredients after you’ve released pressure.
What is your favorite holiday dish that you look forward to every year?