Skip the plain ol’ white rice and learn How to Cook Wild Rice– a nutritious powerhouse! There’s more than meets the eye with this simple, healthy grain, including a ton of beneficial nutrients and a chewy, tender texture. Everyone will be clamoring for more of this fluffy rice (and its extra hit of protein), whether in grain bowls or as a simple side dish!

A spoon scoops up cooked wild rice for a healthy side dish.

What is Wild Rice?

Wild rice is a grain that comes from the seed of an aquatic grass. Though it is often mistaken for being the same as white or brown rice, it’s not. It comes from a different genus of plants entirely.

Wild rice has a completely unique profile, as well. It’s usually a darker color and has a nuttier flavor and chewier texture than other types of rice.

Beyond taste, it has more health benefits, too! It’s chock full of fiber, minerals, antioxidants, and even protein. It’s also gluten-free. Wild rice is considered a superfood because it has SO many beneficial nutrients! 

Wild rice grows in North America and China. Indigenous peoples of these continents have been harvesting this grain for a long time.

This fluffy, naturally gluten-free grain makes a great addition to just about any meal, and you can feel good about eating it. Use it as a base for you Harvest Bowl and Instant Pot Chicken Wild Rice Soup, or as a weeknight side with a simple Chicken Piccata. (Pressed for time? Try this Instant Pot Wild Rice!)

Wild rice is a superfood, serve this grain up as a healthy and flavorful side dish.

Best Way to Cook Wild Rice

The best way to cook wild rice is either on the stovetop or in a pressure cooker. Because of its texture, it take a little longer to cook than other types of rice to get that perfect chewy tenderness. (Check out this Instant Pot Wild Rice recipe to save some time on this hearty side dish.)

This recipe is specifically for 100% wild rice. If you have a blend, the cooking instructions will be different, and it’s best to follow the instructions that it came with.

You only need wild rice, salt, butter, and broth for this dish.

Ingredients

The simple ingredients you need to make this Wild Rice recipe include:

  • Wild rice. Ensure you have 100% wild rice and NOT a wild rice blend. Basic wild rice has a different cook time than blends with other grains. You should be able to find it easily at the grocery store.
  • Liquid. You can use broth or water, depending on your personal preference and what you have on hand. Both vegetable and chicken broth work.
  • Butter or oil. Olive oil, avocado oil, or butter are all great options for this recipe.

How to Cook Wild Rice?

Below you will find the easy steps to make nutritious wild rice at home:

Strain the Rice

As with other rice dishes, you want to rinse the rice, first. This removes any excess starch that will make the finished product clumpy.

Add the rice to a fine mesh strainer. Run it under cool water for 1 to 2 minutes, until the water is clear.

Combine and Simmer

Place the rice in a medium saucepan along with the broth or water, whatever you’re using. Bring it to a boil over medium or medium-high heat on the stove top.

Cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and reduce the heat to low. Allow the rice to simmer for 50 to 60 minutes. It is done when the rice is cooked through and tender.

If there is any excess liquid, you can use the fine mesh strainer to remove it.

Add the liquid, butter, and rice to the saucepan.

Finish and Serve

Remove the pot from the heat. Use a fork or wooden spoon to fluff the rice and stir in the desired amount of salt.

A spoon scoops some wild rice out of a saucepan on the stove.

Meal Prep and Storage

  • How to prep ahead of time: Rice is best enjoyed immediately, but you can make it up to 24 hours early if needed.
  • How to store: Keep any leftover wild rice in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 to 4 days.
  • How to freeze: You can freeze wild rice in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 to 4 months.
  • How to reheat: The best way to reheat any type of rice is in a skillet over medium heat. Add a little water or oil as needed and stir frequently until heated through.

Is wild rice healthy? Gluten-free? Keto?

Yes! Wild rice is considered incredibly healthy and gluten-free, though it is not technically keto-friendly. It is high in protein and vitamins like vitamin B. Compared to other types of rice, it is lower in carbohydrates, despite not being keto.

Wild rice is a superfood, serve this grain up as a healthy and flavorful side dish.

Is wild rice a grain?

Wild rice IS a type of grain. It has all the required components of a whole grain: the germ, the endosperm, and the bran.

How to season wild rice?

You can season wild rice in so many ways! Keep it simple with just some salt, or add your favorite herbs and spices in. You can draw inspiration from this Mexican Rice recipe or Easy Cajun Dirty Rice recipe, or add herbal notes with your own Homemade Italian Seasoning mix.

Expert Tips and Tricks

  • Rinse first. Be sure to run the rice under water in a fine mesh strainer to reduce clumping.
  • 100%, please. This recipe is for wild rice only, not a blend.
  • Fluff it up. Use a fork to stir the rice after cooking.
  • Save time. Make this delicious whole grain in an Instant Pot for a quick side.
  • Make it work. Try cooking wild rice with some fresh herbs at the end for extra flavor.
An overhead view of wild rice in a white bowl.

How to Use Wild Rice?

Wild rice is a nutritious and delicious side dish. In many instances, you can serve it in place of brown or white rice for an extra hit of both flavor AND nutrition.

Be sure to check out these favorite wild rice recipes—Harvest Bowl and Chicken Wild Rice Soup!

Or, serve it alongside a protein, like Chicken PiccataAir Fryer Boneless Chicken Thighs, or Miso Glazed Salmon.

More Simple Grain Recipes

Grains are the perfect way to round out a healthy meal, and it pays to know how to make them quickly. Try any of these recipes next.

Instant Pot Basmati Rice and Instant Pot White Rice make this side a breeze.

Instant Pot Quinoa is another nutrient-dense grain that works in place of rice.

Mediterranean Rice goes great with kebabs. If you have tacos on the menu, then Mexican Rice is a must. Or, whip up this Sushi Rice at home.

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5 from 2 votes

How to Cook Wild Rice

Skip the plain ol' white rice and learn How to Cook Wild Rice. There's more than meets the eye with this simple, healthy grain, including a ton of beneficial nutrients and a chewy, tender texture.
Yield 6 servings
Prep 5 minutes
Cook 50 minutes
Total 55 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup wild rice not a blend
  • 3 cups vegetable broth or water
  • 1 Tbsp. butter or oil
  • Salt to taste

Instructions 

  • Add the rice to a fine mesh strainer and rinse under cool running water for 1-2 minutes.
  • Combine the rice and the broth or water in a medium-sized pot over high heat. Bring it to a boil and then reduce heat to low. Cover the pot with a lid and simmer for 50-60 minutes, or until cooked through.
  • If excess liquid remains, add it back to the fine mesh strainer to drain.

Tap stars to rate!

5 from 2 votes

Notes

Meal Prep and Storage

  • How to prep ahead of time: Rice is best enjoyed immediately, but you can make it up to 24 hours early if needed.
  • How to store: Keep any leftover wild rice in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 to 4 days.
  • How to freeze: You can freeze wild rice in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 to 4 months.
  • How to reheat: The best way to reheat any type of rice is in a skillet over medium heat. Add a little water or oil as needed and stir frequently until heated through.

Nutrition

Calories: 119kcal, Carbohydrates: 21g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 2g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Trans Fat: 0.1g, Cholesterol: 5mg, Sodium: 488mg, Potassium: 114mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 317IU, Calcium: 6mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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