OPINION

MN Cultivated Wild Rice Council: Wild Rice holds the key to a memorable holiday meal

Minnesota Cultivated Wild Rice Council
Minnesota Cultivated Wild Rice Council

It’s hard to imagine how to make the traditional Thanksgiving meal better. It’s one of the most iconic and traditional meals we prepare - a juicy, golden-brown turkey, mashed potatoes, corn, or green beans. This is the type of Thanksgiving menu we’ve all come to love and expect. However, it’s not just these typical staples that make the Thanksgiving meal so memorable, it’s the accompaniments, the thoughtful and distinctive touches and trimmings that turn a great meal into a memorable one. One of the best ways to enhance your holiday meal is by incorporating the great taste of wild rice.

Wild rice is so versatile it can be used in virtually any type of recipe –appetizers, soups, salads, sides, and even desserts. Its great taste and distinctive flavor is a great way to add flair and elegance to any holiday feast. This year, try any one or all of these wild rice recipes to make your Thanksgiving meal one to remember:

Wild Rice Apricot Stuffing

For a flavorful new twist on a traditional sausage-based stuffing try Wild Rice Apricot Stuffing. This delicious complement to your holiday turkey combines pork sausage with dried apricot, apricot preserves, sliced green onion, and wild rice for a slightly sweet stuffing your guests will love.

Wild Rice Apricot Stuffing

Wild Craisin Salad

Rather than serving the same old jellied cranberry sauce, try savory Wild Craisin Salad to add festive color and a new way to incorporate cranberries into your holiday celebration. Wild Craisin Salad combines wild rice, dried cranberries, green pepper, and celery tossed in a refreshing light cranberry vinaigrette that serves as a perfect complement to the rest of your meal.

Wild Craisin Salad

Hot Cheesy Spinach Rice Spread

Looking for an hors d'oeuvre that will capture the attention of your guests? Try Hot Cheesy Spinach Rice Spread which features the smoky flavor of wild rice combined with cream cheese, spinach, and sharp white cheddar cheese. Serve with Melba toast or your favorite crackers and you’ve created the perfect appetizer to satisfy those pangs of hunger until dinner.

Hot Cheesy Spinach Rice Spread

Classic Creamy Wild Rice Soup

The ideal starter for your Thanksgiving meal is also one of America’s favorite soups – Classic Creamy Wild Rice Soup. Hearty, simple, and extremely flavorful, this comforting soup blends the nutty flavor of wild rice with smoked ham, onion, sherry, and almonds to provide the perfect beginning to a memorable holiday meal. When you’re looking for a tasty option for leftovers, try swapping out the ham with leftover turkey.

Classic Creamy Wild Rice Soup

For even more great recipe ideas featuring the great taste of wild rice, search the world's largest wild rice recipe library for other ideas on how to make wild rice the star of your Thanksgiving meal (www.mnwildrice.org/search.php).