Looking for a truly unique side dish for your Thanksgiving feast? Look no further than this wild rice stuffing, It is full of rich, contrasting flavors and textures and so easy to prepare. Earthy wild rice is combined with crisp apples and celery, pungent red onion, toasted walnuts, fresh parsley and sage, and buttery sourdough bread cubes. Although we love this mix of ingredients, the beauty of this wild rice stuffing is that you can easily swap them out for other ingredients if you wish. Instead of Honeycrisp or Fuji apples, try Granny Smith or Macintosh. Use toasted pecans instead of walnuts. Or toss in some fresh thyme instead of sage. The tender bread and toothsome wild rice create an interesting textural contrast that works well with so many flavors. One ingredient that that you must include is the lemon juice, which adds a much-needed splash of acidity to brighten the entire dish. Unlike the traditional bread or cornbread-based Thanksgiving dressing, this dish tastes more a warm grain salad. It's delicious with roasted turkey, but you'll want to add it to your side dish rotation well beyond November. It's equally good served alongside chicken, pork, or even by itself as a light vegetarian main dish.


Credit: Iain Bagwell

Recipe Summary

40 mins
15 mins
Serves 10 (serving size: 1 cup)


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Toss bread cubes with melted butter in a medium bowl. Spread on a baking sheet, and bake until crispy and lightly browned, 5 to 8 minutes.

  • Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high. Add celery and onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 8 minutes. Add apples; cook, stirring occasionally, until apples are tender-crisp and browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in toasted bread cubes, rice, walnuts, chopped parsley, chopped sage, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Cook until heated through, about 3 minutes. Spoon onto a serving platter. Top with parsley leaves.