Fruit and Nut Wild Rice Stuffing

Fruit and Nut Wild Rice Stuffing is a healthy twist on a classic Thanksgiving side made with fluffy rice, pecans, cranberries, and apples.

The holidays can be the hardest time of year to stick to your health goals, but it’s not impossible. With Side Dishes like Healthy Green Bean Casserole, Brussels Sprouts Gratin, and Mashed Cauliflower, you can fill out your turkey dinner with healthy, filling, and delicious recipes. Add this Wild Rice Stuffing to the mix for a lighter, more nutritious take on classic stuffing.

Fruit and Nut Wild Rice Stuffing in baking dish


When it comes to American holidays, Thanksgiving usually has the biggest emphasis on food. Between rich gravy, pumpkin pie, and stuffing, it might seem like you can’t enjoy your favorite holiday traditions without breaking your diet. Don’t worry! You can enjoy healthy versions of all kinds of classic American holiday favorites while eating nutritious recipes.

Along with this gluten-free Wild Rice Stuffing, you can also try recipes for Pumpkin Bread, Brown Sugar Acorn Squash, and Turkey Bacon Brussels Sprouts. All are packed with amazing autumn flavors and perfect to serve for a holiday party.

Fruit and Nut Wild Rice Stuffing collage

Stuffing is a delicious, savory part of the holidays that you don’t have to pass up just because you’re eating healthy. Wild rice is a perfect alternative to bread and is loaded with a rich, nutty flavor. You won’t want to return to your old stuffing recipe. There are also crunchy nuts and sweet fruit in each bite of this Pecan Stuffing recipe.

While this dish is great for a holiday dinner, family-get-together, or dinner party, it’s also easy to make for no-fuss family dinners. After just a few steps of prep, the dish only takes 20 minutes of baking. Then you’ll have an amazing side dish everyone is sure to love. The whole recipe only takes 30 minutes, so you can enjoy it any time of year!


Instead of eating bread stuffing, wild rice stuffing is gluten-free, high in protein, fiber, folate, magnesium and antioxidants. Wild rice has about 30 percent fewer calories than white rice, and loads less than cornbread stuffing. On top of all that, wild rice has a delicious natural flavor blend of nutty and savory. Combining it with fruit makes for the perfect blend of mellow nutty, sweet, and tart flavors.

Fruit and Nut Wild Rice Stuffing in baking dish


  • Fresh herbs: If you have a particular main dish you’re trying to match, or if you are looking to experiment a little, you can season rice with all kinds of flavors. Fresh sage, fresh thyme leaves, bay leaf, paprika, or black pepper are great choices. You could also add red pepper flakes and Cajun seasoning for a Southern-inspired dish.
  • Nuts and fruits: If pecans aren’t your thing, there are so many different varieties that you can literally go nuts with them (sorry, not sorry). Try some chopped cashews, almonds, or walnuts for a richer flavor and a fun crunch. You can also experiment with adding different kinds of dried fruit like apricots, raisins, or dates to go along with the cranberries.
  • Vegan: The only thing in my recipe that isn’t vegan-friendly is the butter. You can replace it with olive oil for sautĂ©ing or with a store-bought vegan butter substitute.
  • Broth: Replace the 2 cups water you’d normally use with a few cups of chicken or vegetable broth. Veggie or chicken broth will infuse the rice with extra flavor, which is fantastic for the stuffing.
  • Veggies: There’s no limit to what kind of vegetables you can use in this recipe. Try chopping up carrots, sprouts, tomatoes, cauliflower, green onions, mushrooms, leeks, and more depending on your taste.
  • Rice: If you don’t have wild rice, or you want to experiment with the rice mixture, you can try different kinds like brown rice, yellow rice, jasmine rice, black rice, or long-grain white rice.

Fruit and Nut Wild Rice Stuffing close up



  • Serve: Don’t leave Wild Rice Stuffing out at room temperature for longer than 2 hours (although there probably won’t be any left by then.)
  • Store: Leftovers are good in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. You can pop the stuffing in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time to reheat it before serving.
  • Freeze: Cooked wild rice will be good in the freezer for up to 6 months. Make sure to seal it tightly, and let it thaw in the fridge overnight before you reheat it.

Fruit and Nut Wild Rice Stuffing close up on spoon

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Fruit and Nut Wild Rice Stuffing

Yield 16 Servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Stuffing
Cuisine American


  • 2 yellow onions , chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic , minced
  • 3 stalks celery , diced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 fuji apples , cored and diced
  • 1/2 cup pecans , chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 3 cups wild rice , cooked
  • 2 cups brown rice , cooked


  • Add the onions, garlic, celery, olive oil and butter to a large skillet over medium heat and cook for 5-7 minutes until the onions are translucent, stirring occasionally.
  • Add in the apples, cooking 3-4 minutes until they just start to soften, then add in the pecans and cranberries, and cook another few minutes just to heat through.
  • Add the skillet mixture to a large bowl with the wild and brown rice and mix well. Pour into a large baking dish, cover and bake at 325 degrees for 20-25 minutes before serving.


Calories: 286kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 10mg | Potassium: 273mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 141IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 1mg
Keyword: Fruit and Nut Wild Rice Stuffing

Fruit and Nut Wild Rice Stuffing collage

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a trained professional chef who has cooked for private clients for over a dozen years. Experienced in handling dietary restrictions, allergies and picky kid eaters, she's well versed in coming up with healthy, yet flavorful recipes.


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