Apple Wild Rice Pilaf

Nov 16, 2021 | Food, Sides

Happy Wednesday everyone!  This Apple Wild Rice Pilaf with Pomegranate Seeds and Walnuts is the perfect side dish to your Thanksgiving dinner!  It is fast, easy to make, healthy, and an excellent choice for a vegetarian dish.  I found this recipe via the blog but tweaked it a bit to fit my tastes and reduce the number of preparation instructions.  Also, the recipe calls for using Butternut Squash but I couldn’t find any at the grocery store.  I chose to replace the squash with Honeycrisp apples and was not disappointed.  I first thought the apples would get mushy but they held their form and were perfect along side the walnuts and pomegranate seeds.  
Apple Wild Rice Pilaf |
The equipment to make this dish is minimal.  I used my large cast iron skillet and a pot for boiling the rice.  With a knife, cutting board, and a spoon, I was good to go.  
Apple Wild Rice Pilaf |
While the rice was boiling, I cut up the apples by slicing them in 4 quarters, then slicing horizontally and vertically into pieces.  I cut the onions the same way.  The next step was to add oil, salt, pepper, bay leaves (don’t forget to take these out when dish is finished cooking), onions and walnuts to the skillet to sauté for a few minutes.  Then I added the apples, pomegranate seeds, and tossing until combined.  While my apple mixture cooked up over the stove, I drained my wild rice and added that to my skillet.
Apple Wild Rice Pilaf |
For this incredibly easy dressing, I combined olive oil, lemon juice and honey in a bowl.  I seasoned with a pinch of salt and pepper and stirred to emulsify.  It was time to serve!  I got out my solid white scalloped plate, spooned out my rice mixture, and poured the dressing over top tossing just a bit.  
This dressing recipe makes more than I expected which might seem like a lot to you.  If so, be careful when pouring and save some for the table or the next day as the rice will soak it up after being refrigerated.
Apple Wild Rice Pilaf |
I would say this dish is a combination of a little bit of sweet, salty, and citrus if you are wondering what all these flavors together would taste like.  Try making it and let me know in the comment section if you like it.  I honestly wasn’t sure at first but was glad I tried it.  It is a great go to recipe for any party!
This is also a dish you could add shrimp or chicken to for dinner plus leftovers :-).  Serve it as the main dish or a side. Cut chicken into chunks and sauté in a tablespoon of olive oil, sear shrimp on the grill or combine both in this dish for a filling and healthy meal.
This dish is so versatile.  You can make it verbatim or add cranberries, pears, pecans, sugared pecans, or add some pumpkin puree to your dressing for a hint of pumpkin taste.
Apple Wild Rice Pilaf |

Apple Wild Rice Pilaf

A combination of wild rice, apples, walnuts, sweet, sour, and citrus!
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Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Apple, Walnuts, Wild Rice, Lemon, Red Onion, Honey
Author: Bobbi


  • 2 large honey crisp apples
  • 2 small red onions
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp oil (I used Canola oil)
  • 1 box wild rice blend made accordingly to box directions
  • bay leaves (I used 3)
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (I used extra virgin)
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 4 tsp honey
  • 1 small container of pomegranate seeds
  • salt and pepper to taste (if needed)


  • Cut apples and onions as directed earlier in the post
  • Boil rice according to instructions
  • While rice is boiling, sauté onions, walnuts, salt, pepper in oil for approximately 5 minutes
  • Add apples, pomegranate seeds and sauté in oil along with onions. Add bay leaves but take out when you add your rice
  • Mix dressing by combining olive oil, lemon juice, and honey. Shake to emulsify
  • Plate your rice mixture and pour dressing over rice and serve


The original recipe called for using purple onions.  I used red instead but also thought about using shallots.  If you prefer using shallots, slicing 3 or 4 small shallots and caramelizing them in the oil first would be a great substitution.

I love hearing from all of you and do my best to respond to each and every one of you.  I always enjoy your comments, feedback, and suggestions so keep them coming!  If I’ve posted a recipe (for our human and our furry friends) and you try it, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram @twoadorablelabs and use #twoadorablelabs​.

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  1. Carla D Evans

    This looks really good. I do like the versatility also! Thanks and keep up the good work 😊

    • Bobbi

      Awh thank you! If there are any recipes you want me to try to make or re-create, let me know!


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