How To Cook Wild Rice

The wild rice.

Cooking wild rice is simple if you know the tricks to make it turn out perfectly every single time. 

One cup uncooked wild rice yields just over 3 cups cooked (approx. 4 servings). It boasts high protein, dietary fiber, and low fat. 

Wild rice is also gluten-free, making it a safe option for many diets. The nutritional value of wild rice is on par with quinoa, but it has a unique flavor profile. 

Both true wild and cultivated strains of wild rice are known to have a nutty, toasty flavor. The chewy outer sheath hosts a deliciously tender kernel that makes every bite satisfying.

Most Common Way To Cook Wild Rice

The most common method for cooking wild rice is boiling it on the stove. However, it can also be cooked in a rice cooker, pressure cooker, microwave, or even baked, and it will still turn out great. 

Once wild rice is cooked, it is versatile enough to be eaten as a side, in salads, soups, casseroles, or as a main dish with an unlimited choice of toppings. 

Keep reading to learn not only how to cook wild rice in several different ways, but for cooking tips and suggestions to give it a twist.

Table of Contents

Are you ready to try something great?

5 Methods Of Cooking Wild Rice

Boiling Method:

Cooking Time: 45 minutes


  • 1 cup wild rice
  • 2 ½ cups water or broth
  • ½ tsp salt (optional)

Stove Top Instructions:

  1. Rinse wild rice in a colander or bowl and coat pot with oil.
  2.  Add 2 ½ cups of water or broth per 1 cup wild rice to the oiled pot and bring to a rolling boil. Add ½ teaspoon of salt. 
  3. Turn down heat to a low boil and continue boiling wild rice covered for approximately 50 minutes until most rice kernels have popped open. 
  4. Drain excess water, recover and let rest (off heat) for 10 minutes while excess water is absorbed.
  5. Fluff wild rice with a fork and enjoy as desired


Rice Cooker Method:

Cooking Time: 1 hour


  • 1 cup wild rice
  • 2 ½ cups water
  • Butter or cooking spray

Rice Cooker Instructions:

  1. Use butter or cooking spray to coat the inside of the rice cooker
  2. Add 1 cup of rinsed wild rice and 2 ½ cups of water to rice cooker
  3. Cook for 50 minutes then let rest for 10 minutes until all water is absorbed
  4. Fluff with a fork and enjoy!


Microwave Method:

Cooking Time: 40 minutes


  • 1 cup wild rice
  • 2 ½ cups water

Microwave Instructions:

  1. Add 1 cup of rinsed wild rice and 2 ½ cups of water to microwave-safe bowl (water will boil up, so use a large bowl)
  2. Cover and cook for 5 minutes on high, then 30 minutes on medium
  3. Let rest for 10 minutes until all water is absorbed
  4. Use a fork to fluff before serving


Pressure Cooker Method:

Cooking Time: 35 minutes


  • 1 cup wild rice
  • 1 ⅓ cups water*
  • ½ teaspoon salt (optional)

Pressure Cooker Instructions:

  1. Rinse wild rice and drain. 
  2. Add rinsed wild rice, 1 ⅓ cups water, and salt to the pressure cooker.
  3. Ensure that the lid of the pressure cooker is shut correctly and sealed tightly. Using the manual option, cook for 20 minutes on high. Release pressure and let rest for 10 minutes. Open lid carefully.
  4. Use a fork to fluff the wild rice before serving. Bon appétit!

*While wild rice is cooking in a pressure cooker, the water is not allowed to evaporate. While it may seem like 1 ⅓ cups of water won’t be enough, it should all absorb into the wild rice to give it an ideal tenderness.

Baking Method:

Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes


  • 1 cup wild rice
  • 3 cups of water

Baking Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2.  Add 3 cups of water over 1 cup of wild rice in a baking dish.
  3. Cover wild rice with aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour.
  4. Fluff wild rice with a fork halfway through cooking time.
  5. After 1 hour, let the covered dish rest outside of the oven for 10 minutes.
  6. Drain excess liquid and fluff with a fork.
  7. Enjoy!
Wild rice

Tips For Cooking Wild Rice

Do you want to feel inspired and are asking yourself: “How do I cook wild rice as a main dish?” or “How can I make my wild rice more interesting?” 

Here are some suggestions for what to mix into wild rice, whether it’s being served as a side or as the centerpiece of the meal:

  • Dried cranberries, dried mango, fresh mango, onion, celery, chopped carrots, corn, olive oil or butter, chopped toasted pecans, minced scallions, parsley leaves, thyme, mushrooms, lemon, mint leaves, broccoli, cheddar cheese, tomatoes, bleu cheese, melted brie, bacon, sweet bell peppers, turkey breast, bread crumbs, pine nuts, chopped kale, pears.


Get creative! It is easy to mix and match these toppings to create countless different flavor profiles. Do you need something just a little more different? Try swapping the water in any of these recipes with an equal amount of chicken, beef, or vegetable broth.

Final Notes On Cooking Wild Rice

As a main dish, side dish, or a complement to soups or casseroles, wild rice is simple to cook and sure to please. 

Cooking wild rice on the stovetop allows for more control, steaming it in a rice cooker is hands-free, microwaving wild rice is quick and easy, and baking wild rice is a great way to create hearty meals.

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