Delicious Harvest Rice Pilaf: A Hearty Everyday Meal

Hear ye, hear ye! Welcome to my recipe for Harvest Rice Pilaf. I, Ehud, a humble Israeli chef, present to thee a dish that will tantalize thy taste buds and warm thy soul. This hearty rice dish is infused with the essence of fall harvest, combining two types of rice- wild and brown- with sweet apples, tart dried cranberries, and crunchy pecans.

As thou prepare this savory and sweet side dish, imagine the rustling leaves of an autumn breeze and the comforting scents of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. This recipe holds secrets of the harvest season within it – secrets that I am most eager to share.

So feast thy eyes upon the ingredient list and get ready to embark on a culinary adventure into the flavors of autumn. Gather thy ingredients and let us begin the journey towards a delicious Harvest Rice Pilaf.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Harvest Rice Pilaf
Harvest Rice Pilaf

Ladies and gentlemen, let me tell you why you absolutely, unequivocally must try this harvest rice pilaf recipe. Not only is it one of the most delicious and flavorful rice dishes you will ever taste, but it is also incredibly versatile and easy to make.

Firstly, let’s talk about the ingredients. This recipe calls for a delightful combination of wild rice, brown rice, slivered almonds, dried cranberries, and pecans. With each bite, your mouth will be delighted with a burst of crunchy nuts and sweet yet tart cranberries.

Next, the dish is packed with nutrition. The inclusion of wild rice in particular provides a healthy dose of essential minerals such as zinc and magnesium, antioxidants like vitamin E, as well as beneficial dietary fiber. You can feel good knowing that eating this dish means feeding both your soul and body with wholesome nutrients.

Beyond the taste and nutrition benefits of this dish, it is also incredibly easy to make. With minimal prep time required – simply chop up some onion and apples – the rest is pretty hands off cooking on the stove top. And once you’ve tasted the flavor explosion that comes from putting all the ingredients together in one pan…you’ll agree that it’s worth the small amount of effort put in.

Lastly, one of my favorite things about this recipe is its versatility. It can be served as a side dish with any entree or meal or even on its own as a light lunch or dinner option. It’s perfect year-round no matter what kind of spices or flavors are needed through creative substitutions or spice choices.

In conclusion, whether you’re looking for a nutritious yet delicious side dish to accompany your next homemade meal or just an easy-to-prep weeknight dinner option that doesn’t require too much effort to clean up afterward: make sure to give this harvest rice pilaf recipe a try!

Ingredient List

 A plateful of autumnal goodness!
A plateful of autumnal goodness!

Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make this delicious harvest rice pilaf recipe:

Wild Rice Mixture:

  • 1 cup wild rice
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 2 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

Rice Pilaf:

  • 1/2 cup uncooked jasmine rice
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)

The Recipe How-To

 Warm, fragrant and bursting with flavor!
Warm, fragrant and bursting with flavor!

Now that we have gathered all the ingredients for the harvest rice pilaf, we can proceed to the cooking process.

Step 1: Preparing the Rice

Start by heating 2 cups of chicken broth in a saucepan until it comes to a rolling boil.

Next, add 1/2 cup uncooked wild rice and reduce the heat to low. Let it simmer until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender (usually about 40-50 minutes).

Repeat the same process with 1/2 cup uncooked brown rice, cooking it in another pot with 2 cups of chicken broth.

Mix the two rice types into a bowl and set aside.

Step 2: Sautéing the Aromatics

Heat up 2 tablespoons of butter or oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

Add 1 minced onion and 2 cloves of minced garlic into the pan, and cook until they are softened (about 2 minutes).

Stir in a diced apple into the mix and cook for an additional minute until it becomes tender.

Step 3: Mixing Everything Together

Pour in 1 cup of apple juice and enough water to equal 4 cups, along with 1 tsp. dried thyme, into the skillet with onions, garlic, and apple.

Bring everything to a boil and stir in your mixed rice blend. Reduce heat to low, cover your skillet with a lid, and let it simmer for about 10 minutes until all liquid is absorbed.

Step 4: Adding Crunchy Toppings

Roast 1/2 cup of slivered almonds at 375°F for approximately 5-7 mins or until toasted. Repeat this step with 1/2 cup of pecans.

Once toasted, mix them together into your cooked harvest wild rice dish along with some dried cranberries for an extra pop of flavor.

Step 5: Serving

Serve your delicious harvest wild pilaf with your choice of seasoned chicken or as a side dish alongside your favorite veggie dish.

Don’t forget to snap some pictures and tag us on social media so we can see how well you did in following this recipe!

Overall, this recipe is perfect for any occasion whether you’re looking for a Thanksgiving staple or simply looking for something new to try out in the kitchen. Happy cooking!

Substitutions and Variations

 A colorful and wholesome side dish!
A colorful and wholesome side dish!

Hark! Should thou feel the need to make some substitutions or variations to this harvest rice pilaf, then fret not! For I shall impart some wisdom on this matter.

Firstly, if thou dost not have access to wild rice, fear not. For one may swap it with brown rice or jasmine rice. Although wild rice adds a delightful nutty flavour and pleasing chewy texture, thee shall still achieve a tasty harvest rice pilaf.

If thou art seeking to add more protein to the dish or serve it as a main course, then consider adding seasoned chicken broth. It shall complement the aromatic flavours of the dish beautifully. Alternatively, any leftover chicken or meat that thou hath on hand may be added as well.

In place of dried cranberries and pecans, fruits such as raisins or currants shalt suffice. Almonds can be substituted for pecans alternatively in case of allergies or preferences.

Moreover, for an added burst of savoury flavour, consider swapping apple juice with vegetable broth. In addition, adding some fried bacon crumbles into the mix shall create an entirely new depth of flavours.

Lastly, shouldst thou wish to experiment with different herbs, sprinkle in some dried thyme, for it’s aroma pairs perfectly with many savory dishes and vegetables.

Go forth and let your imagination run wild!

Serving and Pairing

 Perfectly fluffy rice with a nutty crunch!
Perfectly fluffy rice with a nutty crunch!

Hark! Now that my harvest rice pilaf is ready, it is time to serve it up and pair it with something delightful. This dish sings like a lark and will make an excellent side dish at any feast.

It pairs well with hearty mains such as roasted chicken, turkey, or beef. The flavors of the harvest wild rice pilaf complement the meats with their nutty taste and soft texture.

If you are feeling adventurous, you could also pair it with Moroccan rice dishes or Greek-inspired plates. The flavors of the herbs and spices in those dishes will aid in enhancing the flavor of the wild rice pilaf.

For a vegetarian option, try pairing it with a simple vegetable stir-fry or fried rice. The savory taste of this wild rice pilaf recipe goes well with all kinds of greens and veggies.

In conclusion, this harvest wild rice pilaf recipe would be an apt choice for celebrating the beauty of fall because of the warm colors and cozy feel it brings to your table. It is sure to impress your guests and have them asking for more. So go ahead, pair this dish with what your heart desires, and let my recipe and the platter sing!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 A celebration of harvest season in every bite!
A celebration of harvest season in every bite!

For those looking for a dish that can be made ahead of time and enjoyed later, this harvest rice pilaf recipe is the perfect match. This rice dish can be stored in the fridge for up to four days or frozen for up to three months.

To reheat the rice pilaf, transfer it to a microwave-safe dish and cover it with a damp paper towel. Microwave for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally until heated through. Alternatively, transfer it to a skillet and heat over medium-low heat until warmed through.

If you plan to make this recipe ahead of time, I recommend storing the pecans separately from the rest of the dish until ready to serve to ensure they maintain their crunchiness. You can also add additional cranberries when reheating, as they will plump up during the process.

This harvest wild rice pilaf is perfect as a side dish with grilled chicken or roasted vegetables. It also pairs well with Greek, Moroccan or fried rice dishes.

Overall, this recipe is easy to make ahead, store and reheat without compromising flavor or texture. So go ahead, make it in advance and enjoy it whenever your taste buds desire!

Tips for Perfect Results

 A simple recipe that tastes like it's straight from a restaurant!
A simple recipe that tastes like it’s straight from a restaurant!

If you want to ensure that your harvest rice pilaf turns out perfectly each time, here are some helpful tips to keep in mind:

1. Toast the nuts: Before adding the pecans and slivered almonds to the rice pilaf, it’s recommended that you toast them in a dry skillet over medium heat until they become fragrant. This will enhance their natural flavor and add a pleasant crunch to each serving.

2. Use high-quality wild rice: The quality of your wild rice can greatly impact the overall taste and texture of your dish. I highly recommend using a high-quality brand like Village Harvest wild rice, which has a nutty flavor and tender texture once cooked.

3. Don’t overcook the rice: It’s important to cook the rice until it is tender and fluffy but make sure not to overcook it, or it will become mushy. Follow the recommended cooking time in the recipe carefully and test the texture of the rice as you go.

4. Let it rest for 5 minutes: After removing the harvest rice pilaf from heat, let it rest for 5 minutes before fluffing it with a fork. This will give the grains enough time to absorb any remaining liquid evenly.

5. Choose seasonal ingredients: To get the most flavorful results from this recipe, choose fresh seasonal ingredients like apples and dried cranberries. In addition, use homemade chicken broth for an extra boost of flavor over store-bought options.

By following these simple tips, you can elevate your harvest rice pilaf from good to great and impress all your dinner guests with this delicious side dish!


Hark! Forsooth, to all ye who have the deepest questions about this exquisite harvest rice pilaf recipe, lend me thy ears! In this section, I shall provide answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the dish. Fear not, as I shall enlighten thee with the best tips and advice to ensure success in your culinary pursuits. So stay tuned, and let us delve into these FAQs together!

How is rice pilaf different from rice?

When it comes to cooking rice and rice pilaf, the key difference lies in the cooking technique. While rice is cooked in plain boiling water, rice pilaf undergoes an additional step where the grains are sautéed with aromatic seasonings before simmering in broth. This process enhances the flavor profile and results in a more defined and flavorful rice dish.

What is the procedure of pilaf rice?

To start, let’s heat up some oil in a trusty skillet of your choice. While that heats up, we’ll want to chop up some onions and any other aromatics that make your taste buds dance, like garlic. Once the skillet is hot, we’ll toss in the onions and aromatics, letting them cook until softened and fragrant.

Now, it’s time to toss in the rice, stirring it around until each grain is coated in that aromatic goodness. At this point, add in your liquid of choice – it could be water, broth, or something fancier if you want to showcase your culinary prowess.

After bringing the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat and cover the skillet, letting it simmer until the rice is fully cooked. Once that’s achieved, remove the skillet from the heat and let it rest – this will ensure that each individual grain is cooked evenly and has absorbed all that flavor.

Now comes the fun part – fluffing the rice! Grab a fork and gently separate each grain, allowing it to fully express itself. This is when you can add in any other ingredients you’ve been dreaming of – some proteins, veggies, or spices could really take this dish to the next level.

Voila! Serve up your creation and enjoy the fruits of your labor, knowing that you’ve successfully mastered the art of cooking rice.

Do you have to rinse rice for pilaf?

To ensure that your Rice Pilaf has perfectly distinct grains, it’s essential to rinse the rice well under running water, without soaking it. This helps to remove excess starch from the surface of the grains, giving them a cleaner texture.

How to spice up boxed rice?

When it comes to jazzing up rice, there are a couple of tricks up my sleeve. Instead of using plain old water, I prefer to use bouillon or broth as a cooking liquid to add a deeper flavor to the rice. But, I also like to mix things up by throwing in various ingredients such as fresh herbs, dried fruit, peas, nuts, or even other color and flavor enhancers – depending on what I’ve got on hand.

Bottom Line

O gentle reader, as I come to the end of this harvest rice pilaf recipe article, let me implore you to give this dish a try. With its warm and comforting flavors, it makes the perfect addition to any meal. Whether you’re trying to impress your loved ones, treat yourself on a cozy night in or simply diversify your usual rice recipe collection, harvest rice pilaf won’t disappoint.

So go forth and gather the ingredients listed above, for with them you shall embark on a flavorful journey that will tickle your tastebuds and warm your soul. Take heed of my tips and recommendations, follow the how-to steps precisely, or even add your own twist to the recipe with some substitutions and variations. The choice is yours!

In conclusion, dear reader, let me remind you that life is too short for mediocre dishes. Embrace the harvest season with this exquisite rice dish and revel in all its glory. And remember the words of Julia Child: “The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.” Cheers to that!

Harvest Rice Pilaf

Harvest Rice Pilaf Recipe

Favorite fruit ingredients merge with the flavors of New Orleans to create a tasty side dish for holiday feasts. Start with a box of Zatarain’s Rice Pilaf and stir in apples, cranberries, onions and pecans – perfect for any occasion.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Calories 164.4 kcal


  • 2 teaspoons oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 (7 ounce) package ZATARAIN'S® Rice Pilaf
  • 1/2 cup chopped apple
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans


  • Heat oil in large skillet on medium heat. Add onion; cook and stir 2 minutes or until softened.
  • Stir in apple juice, water, Rice Mix, apple and pecans. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 25 minutes or until most of the water is absorbed and rice is tender. Remove from heat. Let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with fork before serving.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 185gCalories: 164.4kcalCarbohydrates: 14.4gProtein: 1.6gFat: 12.2gSaturated Fat: 1.2gSodium: 5.5mgFiber: 2.7gSugar: 9.5g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Easy, One-Dish Meal, Rice
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