Have you ever heard of wild rice? It’s very popular in Canada, the United States, but also in China.
Wild rice is the seed of a grass species that grows naturally in lakes and oceans across northern Canada, Europe, Russia, and Asia.
It’s similar to other grains like brown rice, but it has a nutty flavor and chewy texture.
Rice is very popular worldwide as a staple food, but wild rice is especially high in fiber and protein.
One of the best things about eating wild rice is that it can be found on any menu at a restaurant – you can buy it as instant rice or cook a big batch for yourself overnight – add water.
And if you’re looking to spice up your meal, you can also add wild rice to the soup.
When it comes to serving wild rice with other foods, there are plenty of options.
In this article, we will look at 8 of the best side dishes that go well with wild rice.
Why Consider Serving Side Dishes for Wild Rice?
Wild rice is a healthy and nutritious grain to serve your family.
In addition, it is a versatile food that pairs well with a variety of side dishes.
The nutty flavor and texture of wild rice help bring out the best in other ingredients.
When paired with vegetables, you can create savory meals for vegetarians or omnivores alike.
Side dishes also add visual appeal to the table, complementing wild rice’s unique look and feel.
Side dishes can also round out a meal.
As guests are served, the host can discuss the variety of options to choose from in an approachable manner.
Most notably, side dishes offer something to eat when one doesn’t have any more room for main dish food.
In addition, side dishes can add a little spice or different flavors to the usual meal.
For example, choosing a side dish with spices can balance out sweet flavors in the main dish.
Similarly, pairing a strong-tasting ingredient in your side dish may be enough to cover up flavors that are too strong or overwhelming for some palates.
What to Serve with Wild Rice – 8 BEST Side Dishes
The following dishes pair well with wild rice because they complement each other’s flavor profiles and textures:
1 – Dunkin’ Mashed Potatoes
One word: butter.
These mashed potatoes are made with cream, sour cream, and plenty of butter.
They’re super creamy and decadent — perfect for pairing with something light like grilled fish or chicken.
And since they aren’t boiled in water (which releases the starch), they’re really easy to make.
And who doesn’t love an easy side?
The best part about this recipe? It can be prepared ahead of time.
Just mix everything and keep it covered in the fridge until you’re ready to bake.
2 – Spicy Green Beans
If you love spicy food, this side will become your crème de la crème.
Green beans are delicious on their own, but when they’re topped with a spicy, citrusy sauce, it becomes something special.
The key ingredient is the jalapeno pepper.
It adds tons of great flavor and spiciness to balance out all that sweetness from the brown sugar and pineapple juice.
And don’t forget about texture.
This dish has two major components, so the mix of textures will pleasantly surprise your palate.
Also, this side is easy to make.
You cook up the green beans in a pan, add the sauce ingredients, and heat everything together.
3 – Creamy Mac & Cheese
Another creamy side dish great for wild rice is macaroni and cheese.
Made with two types of cheese for extra creaminess and deliciousness, this dish is an absolute classic favorite.
But don’t be fooled by the name — you can make it without too much elbow grease.
Mix everything in one pot (you can even use a rice cooker if you’re short on time) and wait for it to cook.
Then, if you’re feeling fancy, you can even add some cooked chicken on top.
4 – Mexican Quinoa
If you love Mexican food, then this side dish is perfect for you.
It’s super easy to make and can be prepared in about 20 minutes.
And if you don’t have any quinoa on hand, there are still options.
The recipe calls for vegetable broth instead of water while it cooks — you can easily substitute vegetable broth for chicken or beef broth.
That way, you get the same great Mexican flavors without having to spend lots of time in the kitchen.
This side is also versatile.
You can add in some extra ingredients like corn, black beans, and tomatoes if you want to change the flavor profile a bit.
5 – Green Bean Casserole
One of the most popular Thanksgiving side dishes is green bean casserole.
In this dish, green beans are cooked in a creamy sauce, upgraded from bland to cream cheese, and sour cream added into the mix.
What makes this recipe special? It can be served hot or cold.
That means you can still eat it on Thanksgiving if you want, but it also means that it’s freezer-friendly, so you can prepare it ahead of time and enjoy some green bean casserole at another time.
This recipe is perfect for making alongside your wild rice because the two dishes go together perfectly.
The rich flavor of the green bean casserole will help make your wild rice taste even more delicious.
6 – Cheesy Broccoli Casserole
This cheesy side dish is great for people who love nothing more than a little bit of indulgence now and then.
It’s creamy, cheesy, and goes perfectly with something light like chicken or seafood.
The secret ingredient that gives this side dish its unique flavor is the onion soup mix.
It’s an unexpected touch, but it kicks things up a notch.
And while this recipe might look complicated, you can make it in just under 30 minutes.
Even better, it will taste as it took much longer to make.
7 – Soup or Chowder
This side dish is a must-have for anyone who loves soup.
Even though it’s completely different than other wild rice dishes, it has many of the same great flavors and textures.
So what makes this side special? The main thing that sets it apart from other soups or chowders is that adding in the bacon gives the dish a meaty texture.
That’s something you don’t typically experience in soups or chowders.
But if you want to make this side dish even more filling, you can add in some chicken or broccoli.
This will help make it more hearty and perfect for sitting alongside wild rice on your table.
8 – Stuffed Peppers
Do you have peppers on hand? If so, then you can create these stuffed peppers in just over half an hour.
The secret ingredient that makes the peppers taste even better is ricotta cheese.
As it cooks, the ricotta cheese melts into a creamy texture that perfectly complements all of the other ingredients inside the pepper.
And because these are stuffed with so many different vegetables, they never get boring.
Healthy never tasted so good.
So if you want something delicious and unique for your next dinner party, look no further than this side dish.
It’s easy to make, tastes amazing, and is sure to be a hit with everyone at the table.
Wild rice is a delicious, healthy grain that goes well with all kinds of side dishes.
The eight recipes above are sure to become some of your new favorites.
The best part is that you can make any of these recipes in under 30 minutes, and they’ll all taste great.
Now that you know what to serve with wild rice feel free to enjoy it as much as possible.
If we missed any of your favorites, let us know in the comments below.