Learn How to Cook Wild Rice Perfectly and Easily

Wild rice is a nutritious and delicious alternative to traditional rice dishes. However, many people are intimidated by cooking it. With the right techniques, you can learn how to cook wild rice perfectly and easily. This hearty grain is low in fat, high in protein, and packed with fiber. Adding it to your meals can help you feel fuller longer and provide important nutrients. So, whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned cook, let’s dive into the world of wild rice!

Learn How to Cook Wild Rice Perfectly and Easily | Eat Urban Garden
Learn How to Cook Wild Rice Perfectly and Easily

What is Wild Rice?

Wild rice, also known as “Canada rice” or “Indian rice”, is a long-grain plant that grows in shallow waters, such as marshes or paddies. It is a type of grass that belongs to the Poaceae family, and is considered a sacred grain by Native American tribes in the Great Lakes region.


Wild rice has been cultivated for over 1500 years, with evidence of it being grown by Native Americans in the mid-western United States. It was a staple food for many tribes, and was considered a symbol of prosperity and fertility. The Ojibwe people believed that wild rice was a gift from the “Great Spirit”, and was to be used in special ceremonies and celebrations. The harvesting of wild rice continues to be an important tradition to this day, and is often done in large groups as a way of bringing communities together.

Nutritional Value

Wild rice is not only delicious, but also very nutritious. It is high in protein and fiber, and contains a variety of vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins, magnesium, and phosphorus. It is also low in fat and calories, making it a great option for those who are looking to maintain a healthy diet.

  • Protein: Wild rice contains about 6.5 grams of protein per cup
  • Fiber: Wild rice has approximately 3 grams of fiber per cup
  • Vitamins and minerals: Wild rice is a good source of B vitamins, magnesium, and phosphorus

What are The Different Types of Wild Rice?

Wild rice is a delicious and versatile grain that can be used in a variety of dishes. There are four main types of wild rice, each with its own unique cooking requirements:

1. Long Grain Wild Rice

Long grain wild rice is the most common type of wild rice and is usually sold in stores. It has a nutty flavor and a slightly chewy texture. This type of wild rice takes the longest to cook, usually around 45 to 50 minutes. To cook, use a 1:4 rice-to-water ratio and simmer for 45-50 minutes, or until tender.

2. Medium Grain Wild Rice

Medium grain wild rice is similar to long grain wild rice, but has a slightly softer texture and a milder flavor. It is also a bit easier to cook than long grain wild rice, usually taking around 30 to 35 minutes. To cook, use a 1:3.5 rice-to-water ratio and simmer for 30-35 minutes, or until tender.

  • Medium grain wild rice is perfect for dishes that require a softer texture, such as casseroles or soups.

3. Whole-Grain Wild Rice

Whole-grain wild rice is the least processed type of wild rice and contains more of the bran and germ than other types. This gives it a stronger nutty flavor and a chewier texture. Whole-grain wild rice requires a longer cooking time than other types, usually around 50-55 minutes. To cook, use a 1:4.5 rice-to-water ratio and simmer for 50-55 minutes, or until tender.

  1. Whole-grain wild rice is perfect for dishes that require a stronger, nuttier flavor, such as pilafs or grain bowls.

4. Blend Wild Rice

Blend wild rice is a mixture of different types of wild rice and can include long grain, medium grain, whole-grain, and even white or brown rice. Blend wild rice has a mixture of textures and flavors, making it a versatile option for a variety of dishes. Cooking time for blend wild rice varies depending on the types included in the blend.

Type of Blend Wild Rice
Cooking Time
Long grain and medium grain blend
30-35 minutes
Whole-grain and long grain blend
45-50 minutes
Whole-grain and medium grain blend
50-55 minutes

Blend wild rice is perfect for dishes that require a variety of textures and flavors, such as stir-fries or grain salads.

What are the Health Benefits of Wild Rice?

Wild rice is a low-fat, high-fiber, and iron-containing food that can regulate blood sugar, reduce cardiovascular disease, and increase your overall health benefits.

The Low-Fat and High-Fiber Benefit of Wild Rice

Wild rice is very low in fat, being naturally gluten-free and dairy-free, and therefore, the perfect food for those who are trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. Additionally, the high content of dietary fiber in wild rice is essential for a healthy digestive system and is an ideal way to help you feel full in between meals, therefore avoiding snacking on unhealthy foods.

The Iron-Containing Benefit of Wild Rice

Wild rice is also an excellent source of iron. Iron is a mineral that our bodies need to produce hemoglobin, a protein that carries oxygen to the body’s tissues. The iron in wild rice helps to ensure that enough oxygen is being transported by the blood throughout the body, helping to reduce fatigue and maintain a good energy level.

The Benefit of Regulating Blood Sugar

Wild rice also contains complex carbohydrates with a low glycemic index, making it an ideal food for people with blood sugar problems. Complex carbohydrates take longer to digest, releasing energy more slowly and steadily, without causing large spikes in blood sugar levels. This makes wild rice a more nutritious option than other carbohydrate-rich foods that contain high glycemic index carbohydrates which can cause unwanted spikes in blood sugar levels.

How to Choose the Best Wild Rice?

Before cooking wild rice, you need to pick the right variety. Here are some tips to help you choose the best wild rice.


Always go for quality wild rice. Check the brand and product before making a purchase. You can read reviews online or ask for recommendations from friends and family who use it.


The quality of wild rice is also defined by its color. You can buy either a gold or brown-colored wild rice. Avoid buying white or ivory-colored wild rice as it may not be of the best quality.


The aroma of wild rice is another important aspect to consider. When you’re purchasing wild rice, make sure it has a unique nutty aroma. If it doesn’t smell right, it may not be of the best quality.

Tip: It’s recommended to buy wild rice in small quantities if you’re trying it out for the first time. This way, you can ensure the quality of such rice before committing to a larger purchase.

How to Cook Wild Rice?

If you’re looking to add some variation to your cooking routine and switch to healthier grains, you should try wild rice. Wild rice is a versatile ingredient that can be served as a side, added to salads or soups, or enjoyed as a delicious standalone dish. Here are some simple steps that will help you learn how to cook wild rice perfectly and easily:

Step 1. Wash, Soak, and Dry the Rice

The first step in preparing wild rice is to wash it thoroughly to remove any dirt or debris. After rinsing the rice a few times in cold water, place it in a bowl and cover it with water. Soak the rice for at least 30 minutes to help reduce its cooking time. After soaking, drain the water and spread the rice onto a clean cloth or paper towel and let it dry.

Step 2. Choose Your Cooking Method

Once the wild rice is clean and dry, you can choose your preferred cooking method. You can boil, steam, or pressure cook the rice based on your preference and kitchen equipment. Each method has its unique advantages:

  • Boiling: This is the most common method and can be done by adding 3 cups of water to a pot with 1 cup of wild rice. Boil the rice for 45-55 minutes until the grains are tender.
  • Steaming: This is a healthier method as it retains more nutrients. Add 2 cups of water to a pot or steamer and place the rice in a steamer basket. Steam for 45-55 minutes until the rice is fully cooked.
  • Pressure cooking: This method is faster and requires less water. Add 2 cups of water or broth to a pressure cooker and cook on high pressure for 25-30 minutes for perfect wild rice.

Step 3. Season Your Rice

After the wild rice is fully cooked, you can season it to your liking. You can add salt, pepper, butter, or your favorite herbs and spices. You can also mix in nuts, vegetables, or proteins to make it a complete meal.

If you want to take your wild rice dish to the next level, try cooking it in broth instead of water. It will add a delicious flavor that will make your dish stand out. And if you have leftover wild rice, you can store it in the fridge for up to 5 days or freeze it for later use.

What are the Best Ways to Eat Wild Rice?

Wild rice is a versatile ingredient that can be used in many different ways. Here are some of the best ways to eat wild rice:

1. As a side dish

Wild rice is an excellent accompaniment to many different main courses. It has a slightly nutty flavor and a chewy texture that pairs well with roasted meats, grilled vegetables, and more. Simply cook up a batch of wild rice and serve it alongside your favorite dishes.

2. In a salad

Wild rice can add a lot of flavor and texture to your salads. It pairs particularly well with greens, nuts, and dried fruits. Cook up a batch of wild rice and mix it with your favorite salad ingredients for a healthy and filling meal.

3. In a stir-fry

Wild rice can add a nice chewiness to stir-fries that use a variety of vegetables and protein sources. Just cook the wild rice separately and then add it to the stir-fry after everything else is cooked.

4. In a soup

Wild rice can be used as a wonderful ingredient to thicken soups and stews. It gives them a creamy texture and is a great alternative to more traditional thickeners like flour or cornstarch. Simply cook up a batch of wild rice and add it to your favorite soup recipe.

5. In a stuffing

Wild rice is a great ingredient to use in stuffing recipes. Its chewy texture makes it a good substitute for bread crumbs, and its nutty flavor adds a unique twist to the dish. Use it as a stuffing for your holiday turkey or add it to your favorite vegetable stuffing recipe.

6. As a vegetarian main course

Wild rice can be the star of the show in a vegetarian main course. It can be used as a filling for stuffed peppers or as the base of a veggie burger. It’s filling, healthy, and delicious.

Thank You for Learning How to Cook Wild Rice Perfectly and Easily

We hope you found our tips helpful and your wild rice turned out just right. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different seasonings and ingredients to create a unique dish that suits your taste buds. If you have any questions or feedback, feel free to leave a comment below. Thank you for reading and please visit us again for more delicious recipes!

Learn How to Cook Wild Rice Perfectly and Easily | Eat Urban Garden

Learn How to Cook Wild Rice Perfectly and Easily

Discover how to cook wild rice perfectly every time with our easy-to-follow guide. Whether you add it to soups, salads, or eat it as a side dish, it's a healthy and versatile ingredient that can revamp your meals.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course entree
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings
Calories 185 kcal


  • 1 cup of wild rice
  • 3 cups of water
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • Optional seasonings: garlic herbs, spices


  • Rinse the wild rice in a fine-mesh strainer and remove any debris or grits.
  • In a large saucepan, combine the rice, water, and salt and bring to a boil.
  • Lower the heat, cover the pan, and let the rice simmer for 45-50 minutes, until tender and fully cooked.
  • Remove the pan from heat and let it sit for 5-10 minutes. Use a fork to fluff up the rice before serving.
  • Feel free to add seasonings of your choice, such as garlic powder, dried herbs (e.g., thyme, rosemary), or spices (e.g., cumin, cinnamon).
Keyword wild rice, cooking tips, healthy recipes, easy recipes, side dishes

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