Creamy mushroom wild rice pilaf is a simple one-pan recipe that works great for a light meatless dinner. It's the perfect vegetarian rice dish for those days when you want something uncomplicated yet delicious.
If you love wild rice and mushrooms, this wild rice mushroom pilaf should be on your list of things to try. A vegetarian rice pilaf is quite different from risotto and even easier to make.
Made with a mix of shiitake and forestiere mushroom for extra flavour, this is a versatile pilaf that you can indeed make with any kind of mushrooms you have on hand.
It's a surprisingly creamy and flavourful dish that you can easily turn vegan if you want. You can serve it as a side dish or a light dinner.
You'll need a large pan with a lid to make this wild rice pilaf (a cast iron shallow casserole also works). If you're not a fan of stirring a risotto, the good news is that you don't have to do it for this recipe. All the stock goes in at the same time, and the pilaf is cooked with a lid on. You only have to stir occasionally, so it doesn't burn on the bottom of the pan.
What do you need for this mushroom wild rice pilaf?
Wild rice — I use a wild rice mix that features a blend of Italian red rice, wild rice, and long grain rice, which gets cooked to perfection in under 30 minutes. You can use just wild rice instead of a mix, but you'll have to simmer it for about 50 minutes. Wild rice is quite expensive on its own, so wild rice mixes are quite popular and readily available in supermarkets. Unlike white rice, wild rice has a healthy mix of fiber and protein, and it's also gluten-free.
Mushrooms — Just about any combination of mushrooms works for this recipe. I used a blend of shiitake and forestiere mushrooms, but you can make it with a wild mushroom mix, chestnut mushrooms, Portobello mushrooms, and even porcini.
Fresh thyme — Fresh thyme give the pilaf an incredible flavour and it pairs beautifully with the earthiness of the mushrooms. If you don't have fresh thyme, you can add some extra Italian herbs mix or use 1 teaspoon of dried thyme instead.
Dry white wine — This is optional but highly recommended as it elevates the flavours of the rice to a whole new level. A dash of vermouth or dry sherry also works instead of white wine.
Parmesan — If you're a vegetarian, it's important to look for hard cheese that's suitable for vegetarians. Parmigiano Reggiano isn't vegetarian, unfortunately, as it's made with animal rennet, but you can substitute it with a similar hard cheese that's labeled as suitable for vegetarians.
How do you make it?
In a large pan, melt the butter over medium heat and saute the onion for 3-4 minutes until it softens. Add the garlic and continue to cook for another minute.
Tip in the mushrooms and cook for 7-8 minutes, stirring often, until they reduce in size and there's very little liquid left.
Add the dried herbs and thyme and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant. Next, add the white wine and cook for 1-2 minutes until the alcohol evaporates.
Add the rice, pour in all the vegetable stock, bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer with a lid on, stirring occasionally, for 25 minutes or until the rice is done to your liking.
Once the rice is cooked, stir in the double cream and grated Parmesan. Season to taste and serve hot.
Make it vegan
You can easily make this creamy wild rice and mushroom pilaf vegan by making a few substitutions. Start by using vegan butter or substitute with olive oil, and add a plant-based cream at the end. The nuttiness of a vegan cream made from cashews would complement the flavours beautifully. Skip the Parmesan or substitute with a vegan version.
Recipe notes and tips
- You can use one or two tablespoons of olive oil instead of butter for this recipe.
- Cooking times can vary depending on the type of wild rice mix you're using. If the rice is still not done after 25 minutes and the pilaf looks dry, add some more stock and continue to cook until it has the right texture.
- You can add some other fresh herbs such as rosemary and parsley, for example, and skip the Italian herbs mix.
If you liked this creamy mushroom wild rice pilaf recipe, have a look at some of my other veggie recipes:
- 30 g (1 ounce) butter
- 2 medium onions, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 400 g (14 oz) mixed mushrooms, sliced
- 1 tsp dried Italian herbs mix
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme, finely chopped
- 75 ml (2.5 fl oz) dry white wine or dry sherry
- 200 g (7 oz) wild rice mix
- 600 ml (2 cups) vegetable stock
- 100 ml (½ cup) double (heavy) cream
- 30 g (1 ounce) grated Parmesan
- Freshly ground black pepper
- In a large pan, melt the butter over medium heat and saute the onion for 3-4 minutes until it softens. Add the garlic and continue to cook for another minute.
- Tip in the mushrooms and cook for 7-8 minutes, stirring often, until they reduce in size and there's very little liquid left.
- Add the dried herbs and thyme and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant. Next, add the white wine and cook for 1-2 minutes until the alcohol evaporates.
- Stir in the rice, pour in all the vegetable stock, bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer with a lid on, stirring occasionally, for 25 minutes or until the rice is done to your liking.
- Once the rice is cooked, stir in the double cream and grated Parmesan. Season to taste and serve hot.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 304Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 51mgSodium: 665mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 4gSugar: 7gProtein: 8g
Nutritional information is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator.