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What to eat with wild rice?

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Chewy texture with slightly grassy and smoky flavor, wild rice pairs well with fish or simply loaded with herbs, salads, soups, casseroles, and stuffings to make various recipes that satisfy your tastebuds.

The nuttiness and unique texture make this rice versatile compared to most other grains. When paired well with other ingredients, it offers plenty of protein and fiber that balances wonderfully with other wholesome food sources.

What to eat with wild rice? Wild rice is served as pilaf with mushrooms, unsalted butter, scallions, and ground peppers. Drizzling hazelnut or walnut oil can increase the nutty taste in every bite. 

From creamy soup to salad and casserole, wild rice is a solid foundation for a savory and hearty dish. It also tastes better when paired with fish, beef, or chicken to make nutritionally complete meal.

Wild rice is a unique type of rice and comes in an array of colors including brown, black, red and green that adds vibrance to the plate. Once cooked, the nutty flavor and chewy texture makes it more selective in regards to food pairing.

If you are looking for inspiration on what to eat with wild rice, this article tells you exactly what works well together. Answered below are frequently asked questions about what to eat with wild rice to complement its nutty flavor and chewy texture with a well rounded meal.

What flavor goes well with wild rice?

Whether it is salty or herby taste, a combined mixture of tastes is all that is needed to complete a wild rice recipe. 

Try throwing in some spices such as chili, pepper, lemon, and some mint to give it that tangy and herby flavor. Fine diced vegetables like carrots, mushrooms, bell peppers, celery and onions are a great way to impart more flavor into the side dish.

Here are chef’s approved flavor combinations that go well with wild rice:

  • wild rice + apple + dried cranberries + brussels sprouts
  • wild rice + celery + vegetable broth + olive oil
  • wild rice + butter + mushroom + black pepper + white wine
  • wild rice + lemon + thyme + chicken broth
  • wild rice + goat cheese + arugula + sweet potatoes + vinegar

What meat goes well with wild rice?

In terms of classic cuisine, beef is the most common meat to pair with the wild rice. The hearty pairing brings about a satisfying flavor that allows the grain to stand up to the overwhelming taste of the meat.

But not all meats blend well with wild rice to achieve the delicious nutty and juicy meal. Here are options to consider when pairing meat with wild rice:

  • Beef: ground beef, top sirloin steak, flank steak, beef chuck
  • Chicken: chicken thighs, breasts
  • Pork: ground pork, pork loin, tenderloin, pork chops

What sauce goes well with wild rice?

Sweet and salty Asian sauces are the best for wild rice. Soy sauce base is highly preferred and commonly used for wild rice due to its classic sweet-salty-umami taste. 

On the other hand, Caribbean hot sauce, green mole sauce, tahini sauce, cilantro chimichurri, and Sichuan sauce also do the trick. These sauce are classic sweet, savory, creamy and spicy sauces that pair well with wild rice, meat, and vegetable to garnish a complete meal.

  • red wine vinegar + orange juice + honey
  • ginger + sesame oil + soy sauce + rice wine vinegar + honey
  • cranberry sauce + mandarin orange 
  • tomato sauce + garlic + chili powder + chicken stock
  • mushrooms + heavy cream + parmesan cheese

What pairs well with wild rice?

There are a variety of ingredients that goes well with wild rice including fruits, vegetables, nuts, cheese, oil, herbs, and alcohol. 

Here are the chef’s favorite ingredients to use with wild rice:

What to serve with wild rice?

Wild rice can be served with a variety of dishes including soup, lettuce wraps, salads, pilaf, casserole, and stuffing. These dishes hold up to the nutty flavor  and chewy texture of the grain.

  • Soup: There are a variety of soup recipes that can be paired with wild rice including vegetable soup, fish stew, or even beef stew.
  • Lettuce wraps: Involves wrapping sautéed minced chicken and vegetables topping it with cooked wild rice. The rice will add bulk and flavor, thus dramatically changing the entire taste and wholesomeness.
  • Salads: Adding a salad to cooked wild rice is tasty, simply an explosion of taste from fresh greens and dressing.
  • Pilaf: Wild rice pilaf slowly sautéed with aromatics before cooking in broth creates a gentle seasoned rice compared to regular cooked rice. From sweet to savory and creamy, there are multiple cooking techniques that can be used to make pilaf on the stovetop or in the oven. 
  • Casserole: It is simplest and easiest meal to accomplish with wild rice. In oven or cast iron, wild rice, chicken broth and unsalted butter can do the magic. Drop a spoonful of heavy cream or sprinkle breadcrumbs over the top to give a slight crunchy texture to the dish.
  • Stuffing: Bell pepper and ground turkey stuffing is commonly served with wild rice. It is a healthy option to serve grain instead of using extra fats, but still offers a nutty flavor that soaks the juiciness of the dish to harmonize the flavors all together.
Eat with wild rice

Eat With Wild Rice: Conclusion

Sweet and spicy dishes complement the flavor profiles of wild rice by adding a more likable taste component. As too much of anything is not good, the spices should not be too overpowering as they may ruin the sweet taste and aroma exhibited by the wild grains. 

Versatile sauces may also be used in preparation of a wild rice recipe. Acidic vinaigrettes or creamy dressings can be mixed into the grains for a favor packed side dish.

This complex grain complement well with mushrooms, butter, scallions, ground peppers, and specialty oils to enhance the nutty flavor.

The meat and sauce you choose for wild rice can significantly impact the end result by making it sweet, savory, salty, or spicy. With the right pairing, wild rice can be served as lettuce wraps, pilaf, and stuffing to enjoy year round.

Whether you are serving as soup, casserole or salad, use these flavor combinations and recommended ingredients to diversify the taste of wild rice with an assortment of flavor. 

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