wild rice pilaf with mushrooms
Small Bites + Sides

Wild Rice Mushroom Pilaf

Buttery mushrooms, peas, and herbs come together with flavorful wild rice in a simple dish that works as well as an entree as it does as a side or appetizer!

wild rice pilaf with mushrooms

I’ve gotten questions periodically about the recipes I offer and how to either modify them or offer more for particular diets. Some are benign, a la “Any suggestions on how to make this gluten/dairy/grain free?” Some are a little more pushy, but there’s a delete button for those.

Here are a couple of issues with those requests.

We put ingredients in recipes because it makes them taste a certain way. Changing up those ingredients, if you’ve got the recipe right, will change the taste, and I can’t promise you, unless I’ve done a few test kitchen experiments, that it will be any good. In the case of baking, where you need particular ingredients to get things to rise, where the acidity level of one fruit will cause things to collapse and another just makes it sing, where there’s a vast amount of science involved, it can be downright disastrous to the recipe.

So unless I’ve done the homework myself on how to make it taste good with all those substitutions, I’m not going to recommend it. And given that I cook for a household of near carnivores, one of whom is mildly lactose intolerant, I can probably tell you some methods I use for lowering or removing the dairy in something, but making vegan substitutions isn’t my forte.

However, there is one thing I can get on board with here.

wild rice pilaf with mushrooms

There’s nothing wrong with adding more veggies or meatless meals to your meal rotation, or finding more creative ways to get the carnivorous man-creatures you live with to actually enjoy something that isn’t a steak or chicken. They definitely seem to love this wild rice pilaf, no matter how many veggies I enrich it with.

But while it’s full of veggies and doesn’t contain meat per se, it isn’t vegan. If you wanted to make it vegan, you’d need a butter substitute and a veggie stock with a minimum of ingredients, and I haven’t even looked at the other ingredients to see if there are hidden ways anyone has snuck animal protein in there {you’d be amazed how sneaky companies can be with different additives}.

What are the best ones? I don’t know. I haven’t done the test. But no one has to wait on me for that. That’s the great thing about recipes. They’re meant to be shared, meant to be used, and meant to be made your own.

So swap ingredients. Try new things. Make a recipe totally your own. The ghost of Julia Child is not going to come out of your oven and rap you on the knuckles with a ruler if you decide to make a vegan coq au vin {seriously, the patates au vin version of her recipe looks fantastic!}.

And if you decide to make a bunch of substitutions to my recipes to make them vegan or dairy free or add whatever you fancy, it’s PERFECTLY FINE!

Just don’t ask me to promise it’ll work the same way or vouch for the taste. I can’t. That’s up to you. You get to be the expert in what you like. How about that?

wild rice pilaf with mushrooms

Wild Rice Mushroom Pilaf

Buttery mushrooms, peas, and herbs come together with flavorful wild rice in a simple dish that works as well as an entree as it does as a side or appetizer!
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Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4
Calories 390 kcal


  • 2 cups wild rice
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 ea shallot finely diced
  • 1/2 ea sweet onion finely diced
  • 2 cups baby bella mushrooms stems removed, sliced
  • 3/4 cup green peas
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • thyme fresh, finely chopped, to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • In a large saucepan, combine the rice and the stock. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil, and then reduce to low heat and simmer covered, stirring occasionally, for 20-25 minutes, or until the rice has absorbed the liquid and is tender and fluffy. Set aside.
  • In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the shallot and onion and saute until the onion is translucent and the shallot is fragrant, 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the mushroom slices, green peas, and a couple sprigs of thyme, and saute 5 minutes, or until the water from the mushrooms and onions is almost evaporated. 
  • Stir in the Italian seasoning and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Mix the mushroom and pea mixture into the cooked rice.;Serve garnished with fresh thyme sprigs.


Calories: 390kcalCarbohydrates: 73gProtein: 19gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 7mgSodium: 279mgPotassium: 787mgFiber: 7gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 264IUVitamin C: 11mgCalcium: 65mgIron: 3mg
Keyword broth, mushroom, pilaf, rice, veggies
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

I get totally nostalgic seeing this recipe when I look back. Marcus used to steal this off my plate like there was no tomorrow, and now that he’s four, he’s ascribing to the little kid yellow food diet – chicken nuggets, tater tots, bananas, rice, and that’s about it. HELP!

Switching back to this recipe, here’s an additional use for it you might not consider but really should – if you’re looking for a great Thanksgiving dish, make this same dish but add dried cranberries and pecans when you add the mushrooms and peas to the shallot and onions. You can serve it as a separate dish or use it as a great stuffing for turkey or chicken!

wild rice pilaf with mushrooms

Seriously, I hope you all are here because you have a love for food and want to explore and experiment, and I hope when you cook, you get the same enjoyment I get out of how the flavors combine in a dish and how everything works together!

And I hope your week is off to a great start!

If you have vegan substitution recommendations, let’s hear them! What would you use?

About the ChefKristin

Career Army officer with a tendency toward workaholism. On the side, self taught cook, carpenter, and gardener, working to build a beautiful life for my family. Trying to tilt my balance in the right direction.

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