This mushroom rice pilaf recipe is made with wild and long grain white rice, onions, chicken broth and mushrooms that are sauteed in butter. It’s a savory and totally satisfying side dish!
Pair the mushroom wild rice with chicken, fish, pork or beef. It’s an elegant yet comforting side that’s worthy of a special occasion.
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Did you know that wild rice is not rice? It’s a grass that grows in shallow waters in parts of the U.S. and Canada. The grass produces an edible grain that is long and black with a nutty flavor. It is usually combined with other rice and grains to make wild rice mixes.
Find wild rice in the same section you find rice at most supermarkets. It will probably be packaged in a small box or bag and is usually sold in smaller quantities. It is a little pricy, but totally worth it. Use the extras to make this creamy chicken and wild rice soup.
- Oil – We use extra virgin olive oil to sauté the onions, but you can use your favorite oil if it is suitable for sautéing. The mushrooms are gently cooked in butter. I suggest not substituting the butter because it adds a nice flavor to the mushroom rice.
- Onion – Use a yellow or white onion and dice it as finely as possible so it all but disappears in the rice dish.
- Rice – We make our own wild rice mix by combining wild rice and long grain white rice.
- Liquid – Instead of water we use chicken broth to make the rice. It adds flavor and saltiness we won’t be able to get with plain water.
- Mushrooms – We keep it simple and use white button mushrooms. They are budget friendly and readily available at most markets.
Clean the mushrooms by wiping them with a damp cloth or paper towel, or quickly run them under cold water and use your fingers to gently remove any soil. Then, pat them gently with a kitchen or paper towel to dry.
Don’t slice the mushrooms too thin because they will break apart during cooking and won’t hold their shape. We want nice hearty mushroom pieces.
Cook the mushrooms in a non-stick skillet until all the liquid cooks out and they are golden in spots, about 10-12 minutes. Stir occasionally at first, then more often as the liquid cooks out.
Don’t over-stir the mushroom rice during the cooking time to avoid sticky, gummy rice. Stir it just enough to combine and to ensure it’s not sticking on the bottom.
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Mushroom Rice Pilaf
- Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the onions and cook gently for 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add the wild rice, chicken broth and salt to the pan, stir.
- Raise the heat to high and bring the liquid to a boil (It will take about 5 minutes to start boiling). Lower the heat to medium-low to low; cover and cook the wild rice for 20 minutes. Keep the liquid at a simmer, adjust the heat as needed.
- Add the white rice to the saucepan and give it a quick stir. Raise the heat to high, bring the broth to a simmer again (it will take 2-3 minutes to come to a simmer). Stir once to make sure the rice is not sticking to the bottom and cover the pan. Keep the liquid simmering, adjust the heat as needed.
- In the meantime, melt the butter in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. When the butter is melted and foamy, add the mushrooms and sprinkle with a pinch of salt.
- Gently cook the mushrooms until all the liquid cooks out and they are golden in spots, about 10-12 minutes. Stir occasionally at first, then more often as the liquid cooks out.
- When the mushrooms are done add them to the rice. Give everything a good stir to combine.
- Continue cooking the rice pilaf, covered, for 20-25 minutes on medium-low to low heat stirring only one time about halfway through the cooking time.
- Uncover the saucepan and fluff the rice with a fork, let some steam escape and fluff again.
- Taste the rice and add salt if needed. As a reference we did not add extra to ours.