Wild Rice with Sausage and Mushrooms

Wild Rice with Sausage and Mushrooms could be a gluten-free stuffing idea for Thanksgiving, or just serve it as a side dish any time of year. This tasty wild rice dish is a fairly low-glycemic dish compared to traditional stuffing. Use Side Dishes to find more recipes like this one.

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Wild Rice with Sausage and Mushrooms found on KalynsKitchen.com

I’m a fan of wild rice, which is actually not rice at all, but the seed of a type of grass that grows in the U.S., Canada, and China. I’ve used it in dishes like Turkey and Wild Rice Soup, and it’s often sold in a mix with brown rice. This Wild Rice with Sausage and Mushrooms uses wild rice in a way that was different for me, where the wild rice is the main ingredient in the dish, with sausage mushrooms, and fresh thyme adding flavor.

The recipe was called Thanksgiving Wild Rice on the Food Network site, where it included lots of butter that I switched for olive oil, but take your choice on that! This could certainly be served as a stuffing or side dish, but I enjoyed just eating a bowl of it for a quick lunch. I’m putting some of my leftovers in a 2-serving container in the freezer, and I’m guessing it will freeze well and taste great for lunch some day when I’m too busy to cook. (Wild Rice with Sausage and Mushrooms was updated with better photos, October 2009.)

Wild Rice with Sausage and Mushrooms found on KalynsKitchen.com

Wild rice isn’t a quick cooking food, and if the rice you use has been sitting on the store shelf or in your pantry for a year or so it may take even longer to cook. You need to simmer it in stock until some of the rice grains start to split apart and it’s soft but slightly chewy. When the rice is nearly done, start to brown the sausage. I used Jimmy Dean Pork Sausage, but this would be a great way to use turkey sausage as well. Mix the cooked wild rice and sausage in a bowl, then saute the onions and then the mushrooms. Cooking the onions with plenty of chopped fresh thyme adds a lot of flavor to this dish, but I think you could use dried thyme here with good results.

Wild Rice with Sausage and Mushrooms found on KalynsKitchen.com

I used brown Baby Bella or Crimini mushrooms, but you can use regular white mushrooms if that’s what your store carries. Whichever type you use, be sure the mushrooms are well browned. Mix the cooked onions and mushrooms into the wild rice/sausage mixture, then add 1/2 cup stock and some chopped parsley, put it in a casserole dish and cover with the lid or foil. Bake 30-40 minutes, or until it’s piping hot and most of the stock has been absorbed.

More Recipes with Wild Rice:

Turkey and Wild Rice Soup with Cabbage, Parsley, and Sage from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Wild Rice Salad with Walnuts and Corn from French Kitchen in America
Brown and Wild Rice Salad with Snow Peas and Peppers from Kalyn’s Kitchen

Wild Rice with Sausage and Mushrooms

Wild Rice with Sausage and Mushrooms could be a gluten-free stuffing idea for Thanksgiving, or just serve it as a side dish any time of year.

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup wild rice, rinsed and drained
  • 3 cups plus 1/2 cup chicken or turkey stock, homemade or canned
  • 2 T olive oil or butter (or less, depending on your pan)
  • one 12 oz. pkg. ground pork sausage (I used Jimmy Dean 50% less fat pork sausage but turkey sausage would be great too)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 T finely chopped fresh thyme leaves (or use 1-2 tsp. dried thyme)
  • 12 oz Crimini, Shitaki or white mushrooms, stems removed and coarsely chopped
  • 3 T finely chopped fresh parsley
  • fresh ground black pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. In saucepan combine wild rice and 3 cups stock. (Original recipe added salt, but I didn’t think it needed it.)
  2. Bring to a gentle simmer, cover, and cook until rice is tender, about 60 minutes. or longer if the rice has been stored for a while. (Edit: I cooked the wild rice at the lowest possible simmer, in a pan with a very tight fitting lid. You will probably need to check after a few minutes, and possibly add some water during the cooking time, depending on how old the wild rice is, how tight the lid is on your pan, and how low your stove burner goes.) Rice should be tender to the bite with some grains starting to break apart when it’s done.
  3. Dump rice into colander and let it drain well. Begin preheating oven to 350.
  4. In medium sized frying pan, cook sausage until it is lightly browned. (I sometimes use a potato masher to break the sausage into small pieces as it cooks.)
  5. Drain off any excess fat and add sausage to the cooked rice. (If you don’t have reduced fat sausage, you can put the cooked sausage in a fine-mesh colander and rinse with very hot water to remove some of the fat.) Put drained rice and sausage into a mixing bowl.
  6. Wipe out pan with a paper towel if there is a lot of fat, then heat 1 T olive oil or butter, add onions and cook on low until starting to turn golden, about 10 minutes. Add the chopped thyme and cook 2 minutes more. Add thyme/onion mixture to the rice.
  7. Add more olive oil or butter to frying pan as needed, add chopped mushrooms and saute until lightly browned and all liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes. Add mushrooms to the wild rice mixture.
  8. Add the chopped parsley and 1/2 cup stock and season with black pepper to taste. Transfer mixture to glass or crockery casserole dish with a lid.
  9. Bake until heated through, about 30 minutes. Serve hot.

Notes:

Recipe adapted from Thanksgiving Wild Rice at the Food Network.

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Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Wild rice is actually a grass seed and not really rice, and it’s higher in protein, more nutritious, high in fiber, and lower on the glycemic index than rice. That makes this Wild Rice with Sausage and Mushrooms a good choice for the South Beach Diet Phase 2, and other low-glycemic eating plans. Wild Rice is also relatively low in carbs, especially if you consider the fiber and count net carbs.

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