Welcome to day 5 of Thanksgiving Week!
Every day this week I’ll be posting a new healthy Thanksgiving recipe to serve as inspiration for your own Turkey Day feast. That’s 7 recipes in 7 days! The week will flow just like a menu, from starters and salads to side dishes and mains.
Don’t miss yesterday’s Thai pumpkin soup.
This recipe should probably be called a “dressing” rather than a “stuffing” because technically I didn’t stuff anything, but the latter just sounds more Thanksgiving-y somehow!
Turkey stuffing (whether baked inside the bird or out) is typically made from cubed bread, herbs and aromatics as well as fatty meats like sausage or bacon. Many people claim that stuffing is their favourite part of a Thanksgiving spread – even more beloved than the turkey!
It’s no secret that I absolutely love traditional Thanksgiving stuffing (especially my mom’s Italian version) and would never suggest scrapping it from your Turkey Day menu entirely, especially if you’re cooking for guests. Instead, offer up an additional stuffing recipe that is lighter, meat-free and made entirely from whole food ingredients. That way people can mix and match depending on their tastes, preferences and dietary restrictions. And you never know – maybe even the most traditional of the bunch might be encouraged to try something new (and, yup, healthier).
I decided to try a wild rice stuffing made with the standard vegetables and aromatics (onion, celery, garlic), herbs (parsley and sage) and toasted pecans for some crunch. The recipe would have been good with apples as well, or a dried fruit like cranberries, but I kept it simple.
Be sure to stop by tomorrow for the next Thanksgiving Week recipe! Hint: it’s the (non-vegetarian) main course jazzed up with plenty of aromatic spices.
- 2 cups wild rice
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 4 celery stalks, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh sage
- 1 cup lightly toasted chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (optional)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Bring 6 cups salted water to boil in a medium pot. Add the rice and return to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 40-60 minutes or until rice is tender. Drain excess liquid if needed and set aside.
- While the rice is cooking, heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Add the celery, season the mixture with salt and pepper and continue to cook, stirring, until softened and the onions are lightly browned, about 5 more minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Remove from heat until the rice is done.
- Add the cooked rice to the pot with the onion and celery mixture. Stir in the parsley, sage, pecans and Parmesan (if using) and mix to combine; season with salt and pepper.
- This dish is vegetarian, but to make it vegan simply omit the Parmesan cheese.