Easy Wild Rice

4 Servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes

Wild Rice is an easy side dish ready in under an hour. A healthier, tasty alternative to white rice, it’s perfect filling side to your meal. 

While we have featured other delicious and healthy sides before, such as Baked Brown Rice and Classic Easy Quinoa, Wild Rice stands out. But what even is it, and how do you cook the stuff?

Easy Wild RiceWILD RICE

Wild Rice is actually a blend of different grains (Northern wild rice, Texas wild rice, and Manchurian wild rice to name a few) and isn’t rice at all, therefore it cooks slightly differently.

Wild Rice is a versatile side dish that goes with a variety of different main courses. From Ribeyes to tofu, this Wild Rice recipe compliments savory dishes and is a healthier alternative to white rice.


  • Cook Wild Rice in water and salt for 50 to 55 minutes. The temperature and the time are important, so don’t forget to let it cook for 50 to 55 minutes. Undercooking makes it crunchy, which is like chewing on gravel.
  • It is also important to let sit, still covered, after it has finished cooking.
  • Drain any excess liquid left over. Wild rice can also be cooked in olive oil instead of water.

You can also take the guesswork out of this recipe even more by baking the wild rice!

  • Rinse rice well, add to boiling water in a baking dish
  • Bake at 350 degrees, covered for 1 hour, then uncover and cook an additional 30 minutes.


Wild Rice is high in protein and has a distinct texture and nutty flavor. Unlike white rice, Wild Rice is not bleached. While brown rice is also a healthy substitute, wild rice is easier to cook without overcooking and has a shorter cooking time. Wild Rice is both long grain and gluten free for those with dietary restrictions.


Wild Rice blend is widely available at your local grocery store and is becoming more cost effective. American cultivated Wild Rice comes from the Great Lakes area, specifically Minnesota, in North America, and is becoming more popular as a white rice substitute across the United States.

Wild Rice with spoon


If you’re looking for some non-grain based healthy sides, next time try the Roasted Green Beans, Crispy Roasted Cauliflower, or Corn Succotash. And, since dinner was so healthy, indulge in some Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies for dessert.


Uncooked wild rice can stay in dry storage for a very long time, up to a few years. Once it’s cooked, wild rice should be stored in a fridge in an airtight container for no longer than five days.

If the rice is cooked with any ingredients other than water and salt (if you used chicken broth), I’d recommend keeping it in the fridge for no more than 3 days after cooking.

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Wild Rice

Wild Rice is an easy side dish ready in under an hour. A healthier, tasty alternative to white rice, it's perfect filling side to your meal. 
Yield 4 Servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Side
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 1 cup wild rice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 cups water


  • Rinse the wild rice well, then add it to a pot with the salt, water and bring to a boil on medium high heat.
  • Cover and reduce heat to a simmer, cooking for 50-55 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat, let sit covered for 5 minutes then remove the cover, drain any remaining water and serve.


Calories: 143kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 303mg | Potassium: 171mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 1mg

Wild Rice


About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

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    1. This is just the base recipe of cooking wild rice, but you can definitely add butter and more yummy seasonings and flavors!

      1. Excellent, but I’m really confused how you can substitute water for olive oil to boil the rice. Did you mean to say you can brown the rice in olive oil before adding the water? Also, since this is sort of standard boiling(if I understood correctly and not really a steam, can water be substituted for milk? And can making sure there’s enough liquid upon cooking being done, make this a good wild rice soup? Lastly, any tips for making like a bed under a roasting source of drippings like a chicken without having burnt rice above uncooked above soggy overcooked rice?