Created by: Julia Mueller, The Roasted Root
During the holidays, it's easy to fall into the habit of eating a lot of high-carb side dishes and high-sugar desserts. Since I eat a gluten-free diet, I try to stick to dishes that are healthful, easy to prepare and feed plenty of guests.
For this reason, skipping the bread-based stuffing recipes and sticking to wild rice stuffing that’s full of flavorful, healthful ingredients has been my go-to over the last few years.
Generally, I find wild rice side dishes are great for entertaining guests. Most people I know adore rice in any form, and it can be made in bulk for optimal sharing. From a health standpoint, wild rice is a marvelous slow-burning carbohydrate, which helps complete your meal in a filling, comforting, yet nutritious way.
When it comes to holiday stuffing (or “dressing” as some folks call it), I love adding diced butternut squash (or sweet potato or beets), pecans (or walnuts), pears (or apple), dried cranberries, dried and fresh herbs, and just a touch of orange zest and cinnamon. All of these flavors together turn out warm, rich and inviting — you’d never know the recipe is filled with only healthy ingredients.
Personally, when I prepare Thanksgiving turkey, I rarely stuff the turkey and leave the “stuffing” or “dressing” on the side. You can definitely use this recipe as turkey stuffing or do as I do and leave it as a side dish. Whatever you choose, your guests will surely love the fall flavors and will be delighted to consume a dish that’s equal-parts delicious and nutritious.
While the preparation is simple, this recipe does take awhile, so be prepared to set aside a chunk of time to complete it. All you need to do is sauté the vegetables in a large oven-safe pot that has a lid (I used my cast-iron Dutch oven), add the rice and remaining ingredients, allow it to simmer on the stovetop, then finish it off in the oven to get a crispy top and flavor-infused dish.
When all is said and done, this crowd-pleasing dish feeds 6-10 people (depending on portion size) and can easily be a staple in your house throughout the fall and winter. Enjoy this wild rice stuffing for any of your holiday gatherings.
- 3 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
- 4 cups butternut squash, peeled and chopped
- 1 Bosc pear, peeled, cored and chopped
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 cups Private Selection™ wild rice
- 1 tsp. sea salt, or to taste
- 1 tsp. Kroger Dried Oregano
- ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 2 tsp. orange zest
- 4 cups water (or broth)
- 1 cup Kroger Raw Pecan Pieces
- 1 cup fresh parsley
- Place dry wild rice in a bowl and fill with water. Soak for 10 minutes.
- Add the oil, onion and butternut squash to a large oven-safe pot or Dutch oven. Sauté over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the chopped pear, garlic, rice, sea salt, oregano and cinnamon and stir, then sauté 3 minutes.
- Add the dried cranberries, water and orange zest, and bring to a full boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, cook 40-50 minutes, until much of the water has been absorbed.
- Preheat the oven to 350° F. Uncover the pot, place on the center rack of the oven and bake 10-20 minutes, until all of the water has been absorbed and top is crispy.
- Remove from pot from the oven and stir in chopped pecans and fresh parsley. Taste the stuffing and add salt to taste.
- Serve alongside your holiday entree or use as turkey stuffing.