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Wild Rice, Sausage, and Apple Dressing

Wild Rice, Sausage, and Apple Dressing

In this recipe, wild rice is paired with fall flavors of apples, cranberries and sausage. It makes a great side dish for ducks, venison, wild boar or even your holiday turkey. It can easily be adapted to be vegetarian - just remove the sausage.

  • Prep Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 60 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings


  • 1 cup wild rice
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 Pink Lady or Braeburn apple, cored and diced
  • 2 ribs celery with leaves, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves
  • pinch ground nutmeg
  • 1 pound bulk Italian sausage, removed from casings
  • 1/2 cup lightly toasted pecan pieces
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


  • Combine the wild rice, water and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.

  • Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the rice is tender and just bursting, about 30 minutes. (Cook time may vary depending on the brand of rice used.) Drain and set aside.

  • Preheat the oven to 325° F.

  • Melt the butter in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, apple, celery garlic, thyme, nutmeg, remaining 1 teaspoon salt and pepper, to taste. Cook until the vegetables soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in the sausage, breaking it up with a wooden spoon and cook until it loses its rosy color, but not so much that it's dry, about 5 minutes more. Stir the cooked wild rice, pecans, cranberries and parsley into the vegetable mixture. (This can be made the day before.) Transfer the mixture to a baking dish, cover with aluminum foil, and bake until heated through, 25 to 30 minutes.

Recipe Details