Crock Pot Stuffing with Wild Rice Cranberries and Almonds

On Monday, I was on a flight to Nashville, doing my in-flight thing (a.k.a. attempting to negotiate the placement of my laptop, coffee, and baggie of plane peanuts on my tiny tray table), when the woman two rows behind me began complaining rather conspicuously that she had no idea what to make for Thanksgiving this year. Her daughter’s new boyfriend was gluten free and her son had become a vegan. It took all of my powers of self-restraint not to turn around and call back to her, “Hi! I know what you should make. Crock Pot Stuffing with Wild Rice, Cranberries, and Almonds!”

Crock Pot Wild Rice Stuffing with Cranberries and Almonds. Gluten free and DELICIOUS. Easy to make ahead, and the slow cooker frees up the oven so it’s perfect for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or anytime you are hosting a crowd. Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated

A warm and cozy slow cooker recipe that will leave your oven available and can be made completely in advance, this Crock Pot Stuffing with Wild Rice, Cranberries, and Almonds could be the Switzerland of Thanksgiving sides. It’s universal, plays nicely with everyone, looks absolutely beautiful, and as you know if you’ve ever had the pleasure of tasting Swiss chocolate or cheese fondue, it is DELICIOUS.

The BEST gluten free stuffing: Crockpot Stuffing with Wild Rice, Cranberries and Almonds. Easy slow cooker recipe that our whole family loved! Can be made ahead and frees up the oven, so it’s the perfect holiday and Thanksgiving side dish. {vegan, gluten free} Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated

Dietary choices are a prevalent topic, to the extent that it’s become totally normal to discuss everything you may or may not choose to eat, while in the middle of eating something else. I have a friend who is vegetarian, one allergic to dairy, and one with celiac disease (gluten free), so I’ve become more accustomed to thinking through the dishes I bring to group gatherings. I want all of my friends to be able to participate in the meal.

While dietary restrictions can be a cause for chagrin (as the women behind me on the flight will no doubt tell you), the experience has also made me more aware of the wonderful, diet-friendly recipes that ARE available for all to enjoy, not simply the ones that aren’t.

Free up the oven for Thanksgiving with this Crockpot Stuffing with Wild Rice and Cranberries. An easy, DELICIOUS gluten free stuffing recipe that everyone can enjoy! Simple, cozy slow cooker recipe that’s perfect for holidays or anytime you are hosting a crowd. Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated {vegan, gluten free}

Per usual, I shopped for the ingredients for this crock pot stuffing at Pick ‘n Save, my local grocery store with whom I partner each month to create fresh, seasonal recipes. The store has launched a new line of products called Simple Truth that are minimally processed and designed to make healthy eating easier and more affordable. For today’s Crock Pot Stuffing with Wild Rice, Cranberries, and Almonds, I used the low-sodium chicken broth, and if you need to keep the recipe strictly vegan or vegetarian, the vegetable broth is a perfect choice for the recipe too.

Crock Pot Stuffing with Wild Rice, Cranberries, and Almonds. The BEST, easiest stuffing recipe for Thanksgiving or anytime you need a quick side. Gluten free, vegan, and dairy free, so everyone can enjoy! Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated

Even if none of your guests are vegan or gluten free or anything other than hungry, I’m going to declaratively state that you should make this Crock Pot Stuffing with Wild Rice, Cranberries, and Almonds recipe anyway. The nutty wild rice and cranberries taste of everything autumn, the almonds add a pleasing crunch, and the mushrooms give the stuffing savoriness and depth. If the flavor alone doesn’t convince you, let the simplicity of the prep. This is quite possibly the easiest Thanksgiving stuffing you will ever make!

Crock Pot Stuffing with Wild Rice, Cranberries, and Almonds. The BEST gluten free stuffing recipe. The slow cooker does the work. Easy and everyone loves it! Perfect make ahead side for Thanksgiving. {vegan, dairy free} Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated

A word to the wise, if you use a 3-quart slow cooker (as I did), it will be VERY full. Don’t panic—everything fits, you just need to stir gently. This crock pot stuffing also saves beautifully, so in addition to being an easy holiday option, I can see it as go-to side dish for weeknight meals too.

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Crock Pot Stuffing with Wild Rice, Cranberries and Almonds

Crock Pot Stuffing with Wild Rice, Cranberries, and Almonds. An easy, DELICIOUS gluten free stuffing recipe everyone can enjoy!

Yield: Serves 12

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 5-6 hours (on low); 2-3 hours (on high)

Total Time: 5-6 hours (on low); 2-3 hours (on high)

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 2 ribs celery, finely sliced
  • 16 ounces cremini (baby bella) mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 1/2 cups uncooked brown and wild rice blend, rinsed and drained
  • 5 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 2/3 cup reduced sugar dried cranberries
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted

Directions:

  1. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium. Add the onions and celery and let cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened and lightly brown, about 8 minutes. Increase the heat to medium high, then add the mushrooms. Let cook, stirring often, until the mushrooms are soft and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 6 minutes. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. In a 3 or 4-quart slow cooker, stir together the wild rice blend and sautéed vegetables. Carefully pour in the chicken broth (if using a 3 quart slow cooker, it will be full nearly to the top). Gently stir, then cover and cook on low for 5 to 6 hours or high for 2 to 3 hours, until the rice is tender. Turn off the slow cooker, then stir in the cranberries, sage, and thyme. Taste and add additional salt and/or pepper as desired. Cover and let stand 10 minutes. Just before serving, sprinkle the toasted almonds over the top. Serve warm.
  • Leftover Crock Pot Stuffing with Wild Rice can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days or frozen for up to two months.
  • Make it ahead: the celery, mushrooms, and onions can be sautéed up to 2 days in advance and stored in the refrigerator. Add all the ingredients to the crock pot just before cooking.
All images and text ©/Well Plated.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 (of 12, about 1 cup)

  • Amount Per Serving:
  • Calories: 218
  • Total Fat: 6g
  • Saturated Fat: 1g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg
  • Sodium: 248mg
  • Carbohydrates: 38g
  • Fiber: 7g
  • Sugar: 3g
  • Protein: 7g

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I’m sharing this post in partnership with Pick ‘n Save. Thanks for supporting the brands and companies that make it possible for me to continue creating quality content for you!

About Erin Clarke

I’m fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food taste incredible. Wearer of plaid, travel enthusiast, and firmly convinced that sweets and veggies both deserve a place at the table. MORE ABOUT ERIN…

33 comments

  1. Thank you for brightening my day with this stuffing recipe❤️, looks yummy 

  2. This stuffing is so gorgeous and colorful! Loving the wild rice :)

  3. WOW so much incredible flavor in here!  I normally surpass the stuffing on Thanksgiving because it looks no where near as good as yours!

  4. I absolutely LOVE the sound of this! Wild rice is my thing. Beautiful recipe, Erin.

  5. I only have a 6 qt crock pot.  Will that be a problem?  I hope not because this sounds so delicious!

    • Hi Anne! I haven’t tested the recipe this way, so I can’t say for certain. I would recommend checking early to see if it’s done since it probably will cook faster in a bigger crock pot.

    • I used a 6 at and was over cooked at 4 hours.  Never thought it would not take as long. Still was done in less than 4.   Some okay but on mushy side.  It will be even worse when reheating😂

      • Linda, I’m sorry this didn’t turn out! The recipe was, however, designed for a 3-quart crockpot. Generally if you take a recipe designed for a smaller crockpot and put it in a bigger one, it will cook more quickly. I hope reheating goes better than expected!

  6. Is there anything I could use instead of the mushrooms? This look so good but I don’t care for mushrooms.

  7. ‘Tis the season for fresh cranberries.  Why use dried cranberries?

    • Hi Deb, I personally prefer the sweeter flavor of dried cranberries. Fresh would be more tart, but if you don’t mind the tartness, you can definitely make the substitution!

  8. I am thrilled wiith the recipes on here. Simple yet sophisticated. I can’t print them out so I am hand writing them. I never do that, Consider this a compliment! 😊

  9. How would this be with quinoa instead of rice?

    • Hi Randi, if you wanted to make a quinoa substitution, the liquid ratio will need to be adjusted. I’d suggest comparing it with other quinoa-based crock pot recipes and make the liquid and cooking time adjustments based on what you see in those!

  10. I am going to try this  recipe with quinoa rather than rice also.   I just need to research the ratio of water to quinoa.  

  11. I wonder if I can put both quinoa and wild rice in together. Any suggestions?

    • Hi CJ! I actually would not do this, because quinoa and wild rice have different cooking times, so the quinoa will be done before the rice. If you really want to try quinoa, I’d see if you can find a slow cooker quinoa recipe online, follow its guidance for the liquid ratio and cooking time, then add in the other stuffing ingredients (mushrooms, cranberries, etc.) from this recipe. Use your best judgement, and if you decide to experiment, I’d love to hear how it comes out!

  12. Based on my research 1 cup of quinoa to 2 cups of liquid.  I am going to use vegetable broth.

  13. Hi! Does the rice soak up all of the broth or is the dish watery?

  14. Made this recipe in a 6qt crockpot and it was perfect!  It was done in about 2 hours on high.  The smell of it alone was enough to make me salivate! And it was a HIT for our thanksgiving dinner last night.  It provided a gluten and dairy free altenative for my celiac mother, too!
     Not only that, but it’s gorgeous to look at!  We stuffed the turkey with it AND had some left over as a side.  I couldn’t find a wild rice blend at my grocery store so I ended up with Uncle Ben’s boxed rice mix and left the flavoring pack out.  It worked perfectly.  Thank you for sharing this!  

  15. Thank you so much for this recipe, it was such s cool addition to Thanksgiving this year. I made the following changes and it was AMAZING:
    -Omitted the mushrooms
    -Used pine nuts instead of almonds
    – After it was cooked and slightly cooled, I added fresh pomegranate seeds and diced green apples for some color, texture, and sweetness
    Super yummy, Thank you again!

    • Hi Elnaz, adding pomegranate and diced apples sounds delicious! I’m so happy you enjoyed the recipe! Thanks for leaving such a nice review.

  16. Made this easy and delicious dish for my son who’s a vegan for Thanksgiving. He loved it and at this moment I’m about to make him another crockpot of it for the week! Thanks for  a simple, easy and delicious dish…

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