In many people’s minds, Thanksgiving revolves around the roasted turkey as the centerpiece dish. When they think of a Thanksgiving table, their first thought is the turkey and stuffing. And most think of the stuffing that is made out of bread and filled with meat. Not exactly a win for vegetarians. But the holiday doesn’t have to be all about those dishes. This Mushroom and Wild Rice Stuffing is a beautiful departure from that meat filled stuffing and it has all the flavors of the season, plus the unexpected hints of sweetness from the pears and cranberries. It is one of my all time favorite dishes and deserves to be in the center of every Thanksgiving table.
This vegetarian stuffing will also appeal to those guests who have food allergies, as it is naturally gluten and dairy free. And it’s taste is amazing. Because my family loves this stuffing so much, I have halved this recipe and made it during the year as part of my weekly meal planning. It would not be surprising to see one of my family members heating up a big bowl of this mushroom & wild rice stuffing as their main meal.
To help with clean up and manage all the cooking on Thanksgiving Day, you can make this stuffing up the night before. Refrigerate it, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap. Remove it from the refrigerator one hour before you need to put it in the oven, to bring it up to room temperature.
For delicious vegetarian recipe ideas for all your holidays, please visit our recipe page.
Mushroom & Wild Rice Stuffing
In a large stock pot, add rice mix, water and first 3 cups of stock and a sprinkle of salt.
Bring to a boil. stir well one time and lower to a simmer.
Cover and cook for the wild rice blend for 25-30 minutes. If using the brown and basmati rice mix, cook for 15-20 minutes. The rice should be fork tender when done.
If using dried mushrooms, place in a small bowl and fill with water. Allow the mushrooms to re-hydrate, this makes them easier to dice.
Set aside for 20 minutes. Drain mushrooms and pat dry with a paper towel before dicing.
Dice the onions - they should yield about 4 cups.
In a large dutch oven, melt the butter.
Add diced onions to the melted butter and cook for about 10 minutes over medium heat, or until translucent.
While the onions are cooking using the white part of the leeks only, cut them in half and rinse thoroughly. This is a good way to remove all the grit from the leeks.
Chop leeks into small pieces and add to the onions.
Over medium heat, cook leeks and onions for another 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Dice the mushrooms and herbs while the onions and leeks are cooking.
Add the diced mushrooms and herbs to the onion mixture. Stirring occasionally, cook for 10 minutes.
Add cooked rice (should be about 10 cups cooked,) remaining 2 cups of stock, and if using chopped pears and/or cranberries to the mushroom and onion mixture. Stir well.
If making in advance, cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
On the day of serving:
-Spray casserole dish with cooking spray.
-Transfer stuffing into the prepared casserole dish.
-Spray the underside of a piece of aluminum foil with cooking spray to prevent the rice from sticking to it, and cover the stuffing.
-Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes.
-If desired, garnish with fresh parsley.
This Mushroom and Wild Rice Stuffing is vegetarian, vegan, gluten free and dairy free.