Wild Rice Porridge

Show me something I can put maple syrup on and I’ll show you me abusing that option. While I stop short of spaghetti, I seek out foods where it is appropriate. Yogurt. Ice cream topping. Cereal. And this: porridge!

Wild rice porridge can be a welcomed addition to your Thanksgiving spread. It is crock-pot friendly (score!), it’s unusual without being wacky (score!) and it’s full of warm fall flavors (triple score!) If you need more reason to be excited, it’s also highly adaptable to your favorite fruits, nuts and seeds as well as amenable to adding spices like cinnamon or nutmeg. How about a splash of vanilla? Or maybe bourbon. That’ll settle the kids down.

Cooking the wild rice can be done days ahead (even more if you freeze it) and it can be brought to a simmer with the rest of the ingredients on the stove top or in a crock pot on the big day. Here are some ideas for other fruit and nut (or seed) combinations:

  • Dried apple, craisins, and walnuts
  • Dried peaches, craisins, and pecans
  • Dried raspberries, craisins, dried blueberries and pecans
  • Using one of Trader Joe’s ready made trail mixes for your fruits and nuts
  • Substituting pepitas or other toasted seeds in place of nuts for those who are allergic

I love using maple syrup for the sweetener but sweet spices like cinnamon or other sweeteners like brown sugar would be just as great. You really can’t go wrong. And if it wasn’t versatile enough already it also tastes good cold. Really, what more could you want out of a side dish?

Happy Thanksgiving, kids! I hope your holiday is filled with love and deliciousness. XOXO.

Wild Rice Porridge

(ever so slightly adapted from Hell’s Kitchen)


4  cups  cooked wild rice (takes about 55 minutes)
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup dried blueberries
1/4 cup craisins
1/2 cup roasted cracked hazelnuts (takes about 20 minutes)
1 cup half and half


Cook the wild rice according to package instructions. This can be done days ahead.

Preheat oven to 275 and roast hazelnuts in a single layer on a lined cookie sheet for 20 minuets. When done, roll nuts in a dishtowel to remove skins. Coarsely chop.

When ready to make, combine rice, syrup and half and half in a heavy bottomed pan. Bring to a simmer slowly over med-low heat. When simmering add fruit and nuts. Bring back to a simmer. Simmer for another 5 minutes, stirring. The half and half will thicken in this time.

Serve warm with additional syrup and cream for garnish. A sprinkling of additional dried fruits and nuts is pretty also. Enjoy!


  1. Posted November 21, 2010 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    Mmm. Have you ever tried Maple Butter???

  2. altrooheather
    Posted November 22, 2010 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    Not all mixed up in one thing but accidentally on pancakes and I LOVE IT. I can only imagine I’d love it in some pre-mixed form as well. NOM NOM.

  3. Posted November 22, 2010 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    I always thought it took just under a year to cook wild rice?

  4. altrooheather
    Posted November 22, 2010 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    I meant this as an idea for NEXT Thanksgiving. You know, because of that.

  5. Posted December 20, 2010 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    Oh man! This seriously looks beautiful and sooooo tasty… love the idea of pre cooking and freezing the rice and those hazelnuts, YUM!!!!

  6. altrooheather
    Posted June 25, 2011 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

    Coming from you that is high praise! You are such an amazing cook and photog! :)

  7. Michelle
    Posted January 6, 2011 at 2:44 am | Permalink

    Please keep posting! I miss your blog1

  8. altrooheather
    Posted June 25, 2011 at 11:10 pm | Permalink

    Michelle! Man, it’s been complicated! Mostly I needed to step away from the butter for a bit (and, woah, I’ve lost 58 pounds and run miles in a ROW now!) I’m thinking maybe I’ll switch to healthy vegetarian food? Do you think that would be good?

  9. Posted January 10, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    agreed!! it’s been too long!

  10. altrooheather
    Posted June 25, 2011 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

    Hi Jamie! All is well! I needed to step away from the butter for a bit and lo and behold I lost 58 pounds! Now that I’m feel better and ready to cook again maybe I’ll start posting healthier stuff? Hope that’ll be as fun! Thanks for your note! It’s nice to be missed! :)

  11. Ali
    Posted January 29, 2011 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    Yeah, I miss your posts, too. Hope everything’s ok :/ Hope you post again soon :)

  12. altrooheather
    Posted June 25, 2011 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

    Hi Ali! All is, indeed, well. I needed to step away form the butter and guess what — I lost 58 pounds! Magic! So I needed a break and wasn’t sure how to break away so I sort of neglected this piece of internet real estate. Sorry! But I’m feeling sort of interested in food and maybe switching over to a healthier sort of blog? Stay tuned? :)

  13. Michelle
    Posted February 18, 2011 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    I miss your blog too, is everything alright? How is Seattle treating you?

    Logan and I are still plugging away in Minneapolis, spring is about ready to burst on the scene, it was a long winter here.

  14. altrooheather
    Posted June 25, 2011 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

    Logan! Fluffiest dog EVER.

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