Skip the bread dressing and make this life-changing wild rice stuffing for your Thanksgiving dinner!
Using a blend of white rice and wild rice, this stuffing is bound to become a staple at your holiday table. My family has always made this instead of bread stuffing, and every guest agrees that it's the star of the dinner table.
Plus, it's a gluten free take on stuffing and can be made vegetarian with a couple easy swaps.
A gluten free alternative to traditional bread stuffing
If you're skipping the bread this holiday season, wild rice stuffing is a perfect substitute. And let's be real, it's probably going to become your new favorite.
My whole life, wild rice stuffing was our thanksgiving staple. I wish I knew why it's always been the go-to stuffing for my family, but it's been a tradition for so many generations that no one knows how it started.
I grew up thinking that other families must make wild rice stuffing, too, and it must be just as common as bread stuffing. But I've actually never met anyone else who makes stuffing this way.
As more and more people switched to a gluten free lifestyle, I realized that this was such an bread dressing alternative!
Using butter/ghee, celery, onion, turkey giblets, herbs, rice, wild rice, raisins, and broth, it's a supremely easy recipe that packs a ton of flavor.
How to make wild rice stuffing for turkey
First off, gather your ingredients. Here's what you'll need:
- Giblets from the turkey
- Cooking fat (we typically use butter or ghee)
- Fresh or dried herbs (we use a blend of sage, thyme, rosemary, and savory)
- White rice
- Wild rice
- Turkey or Chicken stock or broth
Set a pot or Dutch oven on the stove. Add your preferred cooking fat and heat to medium high.
Add the celery and onion to the pot to soften. Meanwhile, chop up the giblets into little pieces, discarding any of the tough rubbery pieces.
While you could skip the giblets, I really don't recommend it! It may just be tradition speaking, but they're a huge part of what makes this stuffing incredible.
Add the giblets to the pot to brown. Mince the herbs if you're using fresh. If you don't have fresh herbs on hand, dry is fine! I typically use more sage and thyme than rosemary and savory. Adjust to your tastes.
After 5 minutes or so, the mixture in the pot should be softened and fragrant. Add the rice, raisins, and broth. Simmer until the broth is mostly absorbed. The rice shouldn't cook through, though, as you'll be finishing the stuffing with the turkey.
At this point, you can stuff the turkey OR spread it on the bottom of a rimmed sheet pan for spatchcocked turkey. Since I make a spatchcocked turkey every year, that's what I do!
The best accompaniament for wild rice stuffing: spatchcock turkey!
Yes, you read that right — spatchcocked turkey! If you've ever seen a turkey that's been splayed open with the breasts and thights lying flat, that's spatchcocking.
A spatchcocked turkey has a ton of perks — it cooks twice as fast and tastes INCREDIBLE. Definitely my go-to way to make turkey now.
Since wild rice stuffing is such a big tradition in my family, though, I had to come up with a way to make the spatchcocked turkey WITH wild rice stuffing. Inspired by the roast spatchcocked chicken I make, I tried to roast the turkey over the rice. After a couple years of trial and error, I've got a method that works perfectly!
The recipe is mostly the same, but you'll have to add more broth to make this wild rice stuffing with a spatchcocked turkey. The recipe below will note the adjustments!
More gluten free Thanksgiving recipe to make this holiday
- Bacon-Topped Dairy Free Green Bean Casserole
- Gluten Free Dinner Rolls
- Warm Winter Kale and Delicata Squash Salad with Maple Vinaigrette
- Mushroom, Bacon, and Cauliflower Casserole
- Paleo Apple Walnut Bundt Cake
This wild rice stuffing is sure to become a new favorite at your Thanksgiving dinner table! It's gluten free and packed with flavor.
- 2 tablespoons cooking fat (butter/ghee/olive oil)
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 2-3 stalks celery, diced
- turkey giblets, reserved from turkey
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- ⅓ cup packed fresh herb blend, minced OR ¼ cup dried herb blend (I use a blend of sage, thyme, savory, and rosemary)
- 2 cups white basmati or jasmine rice
- 2 cups wild rice blend
- ¾ cup raisins, no sugar added preferred
- 4-8 cups turkey or chicken broth (SEE NOTES)
- Heat the cooking fat in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion and celery and cook for 5-6 minutes, until soft and onion is translucent.
- Chop the giblets, removing any tough, rubbery pieces, and add to the pot. Cook for 1-2 minutes, until the giblets are browned and mostly cooked through. Add the salt and herb blend and stir. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes, until the herbs are fragrant.
- Add the white rice, wild rice blend, raisins, and broth. Reduce heat to medium. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10-15 minutes, until the broth is mostly absorbed by the rice. (SEE NOTES for the difference when prepping for a spatchcocked turkey.)
- IF YOU'RE STUFFING THE TURKEY, stuff the turkey in a roaster pan and fill the sides of the pan with rice. Pour ½ cup or so extra broth over the rice on the sides of the turkey. Cook as directed (approximately 15 minutes per pound of turkey, until the breast meat measures 145 degrees F).
IF YOU'RE MAKING SPATCHCOCKED TURKEY, cover a large sheet pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper to help with clean-up. Spoon the wild rice stuffing onto the sheet pan and pour any extra broth overtopm, being careful not to overflow the sides of the sheet pan. Place the turkey on top. Fold aluminum foil around the edges of the pan, over the exposed rice stuffing but not over the turkey. Cook as directed (approximately 8 minutes per pound of turkey, until the breast measures 145 degrees F and the thighs measure 165 degrees F). About 60 minutes into the cook time, remove the aluminum foil from the edges — my mom and I have always been a fan of the crispy bits!
- After removing the turkey from the oven, let the turkey cool — it should rest for 30 minutes anyway. Carefully transfer the turkey to a serving plate or cutting board. Spoon the rice into a serving bowl.
If you're stuffing the turkey, you'll use significantly less broth since moisture doesn't evaporate as readily inside the turkey. So for stuffing the turkey, use about 4 cups of broth. (A 1:1 ratio between rice and broth.)
If you're making spatchcocked turkey, you'll need more broth since there's more opportunity for it to evaporate. Use 7-8 cups of broth. (A 1:1.75 ratio between rice and broth.) There will likely be "excess" broth in the pot before you put it on the sheet pan. That's fine! Just make sure you don't overflow the edges of the sheet pan.
Keywords: stuffing, wild rice, wild rice stuffing, gluten free