Delicious Cranberry Pecan Rice Pilaf Recipe

Attention food lovers and rice enthusiasts, have you been looking for a side dish that will wow your dinner guests? Look no further because I have the perfect recipe for you. My name is Ehud, an Israeli chef, and today I’m sharing my Cranberry Pecan Rice Pilaf recipe. This rice pilaf is a savory and sweet blend of wild rice, pecans, dried cranberries, and parmesan cheese all simmered in herb-seasoned chicken broth. It’s the perfect side dish to accompany any protein, whether it’s a succulent roasted chicken or a juicy steak.

Now, I know what some of you may be thinking – “rice is just rice.” But let me tell you, this is not your ordinary rice dish. This is a flavorful and elegant dish that will take your taste buds on an adventure. The cranberries add tartness while the pecans provide a crunchy texture that perfectly complements the delicate flavors of long grain rice.

One of the best things about this recipe is how easy it is to make – everything can be done in one pot! You don’t have to fuss with multiple dishes or worry about running out of oven space during the holidays. With just a few simple ingredients, this recipe will make you look like a culinary expert without breaking a sweat.

So don’t settle for plain old white rice at your next dinner party or gathering. Impress your guests with this amazing Cranberry Pecan Rice Pilaf recipe that will leave them asking for seconds (and maybe even thirds!). Get ready to level up your rice game with this irresistible side dish.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Cranberry Pecan Rice Pilaf
Cranberry Pecan Rice Pilaf

Are you tired of serving the same old side dishes at your gatherings? Look no further than this Cranberry Pecan Rice Pilaf recipe! I guarantee that this dish will leave your taste buds yearning for more.

What’s not to love about the combination of nutty pecans, tart cranberries, and fluffy rice pilaf? The flavorful combination will have your guests asking for the recipe before they even leave the table.

Not only is this dish delicious, but it also takes minimal effort. With most of the ingredients already on hand, you can create a mouth-watering dish in a matter of minutes. Plus, it’s an easy one-pot recipe, making clean up a breeze.

Perhaps my favorite feature of this dish is its versatility. Don’t have wild rice on hand? No worries – you can easily substitute it with brown or white rice. Want to add more sweetness? Try incorporating diced apples or even drizzling apple juice over top.

This Cranberry Pecan Rice Pilaf recipe is suitable for any occasion. Whether you’re looking for a side dish to accompany your holiday feast or simply want to spice up your weeknight dinner routine, this dish is sure to impress.

Trust me, once you try this Cranberry Pecan Rice Pilaf recipe, it will become a staple in your household. Don’t just take my word for it – give it a try and see for yourself!

Ingredient List

 A festive twist on a classic dish: Cranberry Pecan Rice Pilaf!
A festive twist on a classic dish: Cranberry Pecan Rice Pilaf!

Here is a list of all the ingredients you will need to make this delicious cranberry pecan rice pilaf recipe:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup wild rice blend
  • 1 cup uncooked rice
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup apple juice
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely diced green onion
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

For the herb-seasoned chicken broth:

  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • Dried or fresh herbs of your choosing such as thyme and oregano

For the pilaf garnish:

  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh or dried parsley

The Recipe How-To

 Give your taste buds a holiday treat with this flavorful dish.
Give your taste buds a holiday treat with this flavorful dish.

Now that we have all of our ingredients ready, it’s time to put together this delicious Cranberry Pecan Rice Pilaf Recipe. Don’t be intimidated by the list of ingredients – this recipe is actually quite simple to make.

Step One: Cook the Rice

To start, let’s cook the rice. In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Add 1 cup of wild rice blend, 1/4 cup of white rice, and 4 cups of chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes, until the rice is tender and cooked through.

Tip: If you don’t have wild rice blend on hand, you can simply use all white rice for this recipe.

Step Two: Add in the Mix-Ins

Once the rice is cooked, it’s time to add in the mix-ins! In a large skillet or sauté pan over medium heat, melt another 2 tablespoons of butter. Add in 3 finely diced shallots and cook until softened and translucent. Then add in 2 cups of cooked rice mixture, 1/2 cup of dried cranberries, and 1/2 cup of chopped pecans.

Step Three: Season and Finish

Now it’s time to season our pilaf! Stir in 1/2 cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese and a handful of chopped green onion. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Once everything is well combined, transfer your pilaf to your serving dish and sprinkle with additional freshly chopped parsley for some extra color!

That’s all there is to it! This easy one-pot Cranberry Pecan Rice Pilaf Recipe makes for a perfect side dish any time of year. Enjoy!

Substitutions and Variations

 A perfect side dish to complement your Thanksgiving or Christmas feast.
A perfect side dish to complement your Thanksgiving or Christmas feast.

Trying out something new with your recipe can add a different dimension to your dish. With the Cranberry Pecan Rice Pilaf Recipe, there are various substitutions and variations you may explore. Here are some suggestions:

– **Different nuts:** Instead of pecans, try using almonds or walnuts for a different taste.

– **Different rice:** Change up the wild rice blend and maximize creativity by substituting with white rice, brown rice, or quinoa.

– **Vegan option:** Substitute margarine with olive oil and chicken broth with vegetable broth for a completely vegan alternative.

– **Vary fruits:** Don’t have dried cranberries? Add raisins or chopped apricots for a different twist. Apple lovers can add diced apples for a Cranberry Apple Pecan Rice Pilaf.

– **Cheese type:** Switch out Parmesan cheese with asiago, manchego, or aged cheddar for added depth of flavor.

– **Herbs and spices:** Add some fresh herbs like thyme or rosemary for an earthy note. A dash of cinnamon introduces another layer of flavor to this dish.

This recipe is versatile and adaptable, so feel free to experiment! Keep in mind that substitutions may affect the recipe’s taste and texture, so use caution when changing ingredients. Regardless of your substitution choices, the final step should be ensuring the flavors taste balanced before serving.

Serving and Pairing

 Packed with protein and healthy grains.
Packed with protein and healthy grains.

If you’re looking for the perfect side dish to complement your main course, then this Cranberry Pecan Rice Pilaf is an excellent choice. The combination of savory rice pilaf with the sweetness of cranberries and crunchiness of pecans is sure to delight your taste buds.

When serving this dish, I suggest pairing it with roasted chicken or grilled fish. The chicken broth used in the recipe will enhance the flavors of the meat and create a harmonious balance between the two. You can also serve it as a side dish with a juicy steak, but I would recommend using a red wine reduction sauce to complement its earthy flavor.

For a vegetarian option, this rice pilaf pairs well with roasted vegetables such as sweet potato, squash or carrots. You can also add some steamed broccoli or green beans on the side to add some color and boost its nutritional value.

If you’re planning for a holiday meal or a festive dinner party, this pilaf is an excellent addition to your menu. Its bright color and festive flavor make it perfect for any occasion. Pair it with roasted turkey, herb-seasoned chicken or baked ham for an unforgettable feast.

No matter how you choose to serve this Cranberry Pecan Rice Pilaf, one thing is for sure: It will impress your guests and leave them feeling satisfied and contented.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Nutty pecans and tangy cranberries create a flavor explosion in every bite.
Nutty pecans and tangy cranberries create a flavor explosion in every bite.

The cranberry pecan rice pilaf is a great dish to make ahead of time, and it stores well in the fridge for up to five days. If you are planning to make it ahead, you can follow the recipe until step 4 (final simmer), then take off the heat and let it cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

When reheating, add a splash of water or chicken broth to prevent the rice from drying out. You can reheat it in the microwave for about two minutes, stirring halfway through or reheat on a covered skillet over low heat, adding a splash of liquid if needed.

If you find that the rice has dried out upon reheating, try adding a little bit of butter or olive oil while stirring, which helps to bring back some of its moisture and creaminess.

Another option is to repurpose any leftovers as an easy one-pan lunch or dinner by adding some protein like grilled chicken or shrimp on top. The flavors meld together even more after sitting in the fridge for a day or two, making it an ideal dish for meal prepping.

Overall, this recipe is versatile and forgiving. It’s perfect for those with busy lifestyles who want something delicious and comforting on hand during hectic days.

Tips for Perfect Results

 The perfect blend of sweet and savory.
The perfect blend of sweet and savory.

When cooking wild rice pilaf, it is important to pay attention to the details to ensure the best possible outcome. Here are some tips to help you achieve perfect results every time.

First and foremost, make sure to use high-quality ingredients. Invest in a good chicken broth, fresh green onions, and real butter or margarine for maximum flavor. Choosing the right type of rice is also essential, as wild rice adds a nutty flavor that pairs perfectly with the sweetness of dried cranberries and pecans.

Another important tip is to properly cook the rice. When adding the rice to the broth, bring it to a boil before lowering the heat and covering the pan. Make sure not to overcook the rice or let it become too mushy. It should have a tender but firm texture when done.

To add extra flavor and texture, consider adding in some additional ingredients such as diced shallots or grated parmesan cheese. These additions can take your wild rice pilaf to the next level.

Finally, be sure to taste and season your dish properly. Adjust seasoning as needed with salt, pepper, or other herbs and spices until you are satisfied with the flavor profile.

Following these tips will ensure that your cranberry pecan wild rice pilaf is a standout side dish at any meal. Whether you’re making it for a holiday gathering or a weeknight dinner, this recipe is easy to make and guaranteed to impress!


As we near the end of this recipe article, I want to address some frequently asked questions that I often receive about this cranberry pecan rice pilaf dish. So, let’s dive in and see if we can alleviate any concerns or confusion you may have about the recipe.

How is rice pilaf different from rice?

Cooking rice and rice pilaf follow different techniques. Unlike plain rice boiled in water, rice pilaf involves sautéing aromatic ingredients followed by cooking the rice in broth to produce flavorful and distinct rice grains.

What does pilaf mean in rice?

Pilaf or Pilau is a savory dish made with grains like rice or wheat, cooked in flavorful stock or broth, and enriched with spices, vegetables, and meat. The cooking process aims to create individual grains of rice with a tender texture that doesn’t stick together.

What pairs well with rice pilaf?

When it comes to poultry dishes, this pilaf is a perfect match. Be it a juicy Thanksgiving turkey or a succulent roast chicken for an intimate date night, this dish is sure to elevate the flavors of your mains. Additionally, it also pairs flawlessly with creamy soups like the Cauliflower Potato Soup or the Caramelized Broccoli Soup, making it a hearty and delightful side dish.

Is rice pilaf supposed to be wet?

It’s not necessary to dry off the rice before putting it in the pot since a little moisture on the grains won’t cause any harm.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, the Cranberry Pecan Rice Pilaf recipe is a fantastic addition to any meal. Its nutty and sweet flavors make it an excellent side dish for Thanksgiving and other holidays. This recipe is easy to prepare, flavorful and healthy because it has all the nutrients you need. Its versatility allows you to enjoy it as a side dish or main course, either way, your taste buds will be delighted.

So why not give it a try? With the wide range of options available such as almond substitution, slow cooker alternative or even fried rice variations, there is something for everyone. It’s an easy one-pot dish that requires minimal preparation time so you won’t have to spend too much time in the kitchen.

The ingredients used in this recipe are readily available, and you can always make substitutions if necessary. You don’t have to worry about storing and reheating leftovers because it still maintains its deliciously flavorsome taste when reheated.

In summary, this Cranberry Pecan Rice Pilaf recipe is a must-try for anyone who wants to explore culinary options whilst caring for their health. It’s incredibly delectable and packed with nutrients that your body will appreciate. Don’t hesitate any longer – give it a try today!

Cranberry Pecan Rice Pilaf

Cranberry Pecan Rice Pilaf Recipe

This is one of my favorite rice recipes. I don't recall where I got it, but it was somewhere online. What I especially like about it, is how very easy it is to make, and the rave reviews it never fails to get!
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Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Calories 453.8 kcal


  • 2 tablespoons butter or 2 tablespoons margarine
  • 1 cup uncooked rice
  • 1 (14 1/2 ounce) can chicken broth
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted (I've also used pine nuts and even prefer them)
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onion
  • salt & fresh ground pepper


  • Melt butter in 2-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add rice. Cook and stir 2 to 3 minutes. Add broth and heat to boiling, stir once or twice. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat. Stir in cheese, cranberries, pecans and onions. Season to tast w/salt and pepper.
  • *to toast pecans (or pine-nuts) spread on small baking sheet. Bake at 350 5-8 minutes (keep an eye they don't burn) or until golden brown. Stir frequently.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 223gCalories: 453.8kcalCarbohydrates: 44gProtein: 16.5gFat: 23.7gSaturated Fat: 9.1gCholesterol: 37.3mgSodium: 773mgFiber: 2.7gSugar: 1.7g
Keyword < 30 Mins, Brown Rice, Easy, Fruit, Long-Grain Rice, Nuts, Rice
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