Instant pot wild rice pilaf comes together in minutes and is the easiest side dish to have up your sleeve for holiday dinners!
Your holiday side dish savior is coming in hot!
Even though we haven’t even made it to Halloween weekend yet, my mind is already on Thanksgiving food. Or more specifically, bringing a STRONG side dish game!
The next couple of weeks are alllll about the holiday dinner food and first up is this killer rice pilaf.
When it comes to holiday dinners, we all know oven and stovetop space is almost always limited. Enter, the rice pilaf made ENTIRELY in the instant pot in minutes with the option to keep warm for hours!
And y’all, it is one killer rice pilaf. Wild rice just automatically makes anything holiday-ish in my book and this pilaf is just brimming with the holiday spirit.
This Instant Pot Wild Rice Pilaf features…
- Hearty wild rice and fluffy white rice
- Tender sauteed vegetables
- All the classic rice pilaf add-ins you can mix and match based on preference
- Made entirely in the instant pot in only MINUTES!
- Several make-ahead options to easily make for a holiday dinner
Making the Instant Pot Wild Rice Pilaf
(scroll down to the bottom of post for the full recipe)
Ingredients You Will Need
- Olive oil
- Yellow onion
- Chicken broth
- Wild rice
- Long-grain white rice
- Dried cranberries
Can I Use a Different Rice?
We’ve had success making this recipe with a mix of jasmine rice/wild rice and regular long-grain white rice/wild rice. You can also use brown rice or basmati!
We do not recommend changing the ratio of white rice to wild rice in this recipe. We find that the wild rice can be a bit too chewy on its own and greatly benefits from pairing with a lighter, fluffier rice.
Tips for Perfect Wild Rice Pilaf
- Saute vegetables – use the SAUTE function on your instant pot to saute yellow onion, celery, and carrot until vegetables are crisp-tender.
- Add aromatics – fresh garlic, bay leaf, and thyme sprigs add so much flavor.
- Use two kinds of rice – like we mentioned above, using a combo of white rice and wild rice makes for a perfectly balanced pilaf.
- Cook pilaf on high pressure – the rice, chicken broth, aromatics, and sauteed vegetables all get cooked together on high pressure for 12 minutes (you can also use the rice/risotto setting)
- Release pressure naturally 10 minutes – don’t skip this step! The rice will continue cooking a bit during these 10 minutes.
- Remove herbs – don’t forget to remove and discard the thyme sprigs and bay leaf!
- Fluff rice and add extra add-ins – use a fork to fluff the pilaf and toss in dried cranberries, pecans, and a little fresh parsley.
There are many ways to make this recipe your own! –>
- Add another vegetable – you can swap out pretty much any veggie for the classic onion/celery/carrot trio! Sauteed zucchini, mushrooms, or sweet peppers would be great tossed into the rice once its finished cooking.
- Try another dried fruit – try dried blueberries, raisins, or another dried fruit in place of the cranberries.
- Make it vegetarian – replace the chicken broth with veggie broth for a completely vegetarian side dish!
- Add meat – fold in some cooked shredded turkey or chicken after the rice is finished cooking for a full meaty meal!
Make Ahead Instructions
Prep all vegetables ahead of time – you can chop all the vegetables and store them in the fridge up to 4 days in advance before cooking.
Keep instant pot on warm – once instant pot pressure has released naturally and remaining ingredients have been added, snap lid back on and keep instant pot set to “warm” for up to 4 hours. Fluff the rice occasionally with a fork.
This rice, y’all. It’s incredibly fluffy, perfect balance of heartiness, and the cranberries + pecans just give it such a festive feel.
This is just one of those holiday sides that will have a permanent spot on your table!
Save this recipe using the ‘save to recipe box’ button below. If you make it, please let us know! Leave a comment + star rating below, or take a photo and tag it on Instagram with #wholeandheavenlyoven
More incredible side dishes to add to your holiday lineup!
- Roasted Garlic Butternut Squash Scalloped Potatoes
- Sweet Potato Gnocchi
- Sun-Dried Tomato Mushroom Carbonara
Instant Pot Wild Rice Pilaf
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, finely diced
- 1/2 cup celery, diced into 1/4-in cubes
- 1/2 cup carrot, diced into 1/4-in cubes
- 3 medium cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup wild rice
- 1-1/2 cups long-grain white rice
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 3 cups chicken broth (or veggie broth)
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat a 4-qt instant pot using SAUTE function. Add olive oil and swirl to coat bottom. Add onion, celery, and carrot and saute several minutes, stirring occasionally until vegetables are tender.
- Add garlic, wild rice, and white rice to instant pot and saute 2-3 minutes until rice is slightly toasted. Add bay leaf, thyme sprigs, and chicken broth to instant pot and turn SAUTE function off.
- Lock instant pot lid into place and set vent to closed. Cook rice at high pressure 12 minutes, then turn off instant pot and let steam release naturally 10 minutes.
- Unlock instant pot lid and discard bay leaf and thyme sprigs from pot. Fluff pilaf with a fork and toss in cranberries, pecans, and parsley. Season pilaf with salt and pepper to taste and serve warm. Enjoy!
Awesome, tasty, and easy to make.
Thanks for sharing, Michael! 🙂
So delicious! Thank u for the recipe! I didn’t have thyme or parsley but it was still delicious.
Happy to hear this pilaf was a success, Amber! 🙂
My new go to rice recipe!
That makes me so happy to hear, Blair! 🙂