When oven space is a hot commodity, it’s time to call in Crockpot Wild Rice Stuffing! A hearty, savory stuffing made with wild rice, cranberries, mushrooms, and almonds for crunch, it’s a refreshing twist on the same old stuffing and can pair well with a wide variety of your favorite mains.
This crockpot wild rice stuffing is especially helpful at Thanksgiving and Christmas, or really anytime you need a stellar dinner party side but don’t have space in your oven.
Further, this stuffing can be cooked in advance, making it a busy host(ess)’s BFF.
Unlike a bread and wild rice stuffing, this one is naturally gluten free (be sure to check your rice blend, as oddly not all of them are).
It’s also naturally dairy free and vegan (the creaminess of the stuffing comes from the starches in the rice).
If you have guests with different dietary restrictions, this recipe is an ideal choice to make sure everyone can enjoy a serving.
Every forkful delivers the euphoric feelings of carby indulgence that make Thanksgiving great *but* it won’t weigh you down nearly as much as classic bread-based stuffings. (Translation: more tummy space for Slow Cooker Scalloped Potatoes and Slow Cooker Brussels Sprouts with Maple Syrup, Cranberries and Feta.)
It’s taste and texture is part rice pilaf, part classic stove top stuffing, and entirely scrumptious.
5 Star Review
“The smell of it alone was enough to make me salivate! And it was a HIT for our Thanksgiving dinner last night. Not only that, but it’s gorgeous to look at! It worked perfectly.”— Sophie —
How to Make Crockpot Wild Rice Stuffing
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!
- Brown + Wild Rice Blend. Using a blend of brown and wild rice not only gives the stuffing a unique and delicious flavor, but it also makes it a gluten-free wild rice stuffing. You won’t miss the bread!
- Celery. A stuffing essential!
- Mushrooms. Wild rice mushroom stuffing is scrumptious. The mushrooms taste hearty and pair perfectly with the savory flavors in this recipe.
- Dried Cranberries. Plump jewels of sweet goodness.
- Fresh Sage + Thyme. Make sure to use fresh herbs here. They add a subtle earthiness and autumnal coziness that shouldn’t be missed.
- Slivered Almonds. Toasted almonds are my favorite final flourish. They’re nutty, crunchy, and instantly give the dish an elevated appearance. Toasted pecans would be scrumptious too.
- Sauté the onions and celery. Add the mushrooms. Stir in salt and pepper.
- Stir the rice blend and vegetables together in a slow cooker. Add the broth. Cook on LOW for 5 to 6 hours or on HIGH for 2 to 3 hours. Turn off the slow cooker, then add the cranberries and herbs.
- Cover and let stand for a few minutes. Finish with the almonds, then ENJOY!
- Traditional Stuffing. While I would argue that “traditional” means something different to everyone, if you are looking for the most delicious way to make bread stuffing in the oven, try my Rosemary Bacon Mushroom Stuffing. SO GOOD.
- Slow Cooker Stove Top Stuffing. And by “stove top” I mean the infamous box, which two of my friends swear are their families’ standard. While I don’t use a mix myself (I love making and eating Thanksgiving stuffing from scratch), my Crock Pot Stuffing recipe will give you a similar experience, with an amped-up flavor and superior texture.
- Crockpot Stuffing with Sausage. For those who can’t have their stuffing without it (and sausage stuffing is certainly delicious), begin this recipe by sautéing 1 pound of ground turkey or pork sausage in a skillet. Remove it with a slotted spoon, then use the same skillet to sauté the mushrooms, onions, and celery in Step 1. Transfer the cooked sausage to the slow cooker with the other ingredients and cook as directed. (Or try my Cornbread Stuffing with sausage instead.)
- To Store. Refrigerate stuffing in an airtight storage container for up to 4 days.
- To Reheat. Rewarm stuffing in a baking dish in the oven at 350 degrees F.
- To Freeze. Freeze leftovers in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
Meal Prep Tip
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.
You can also make this entire recipe one full day in advance. Rewarm it in the crockpot or covered in the oven with a splash of additional chicken or vegetable broth to keep it from drying out.
Recommended Tools to Make Wild Rice Stuffing
- Slow Cooker. 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.
- Skillet. A high-quality skillet is a must-have kitchen tool.
- Measuring Spoons. These are magnetic, making them easy to store.
Crockpot Wild Rice Stuffing with Cranberries
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion diced
- 2 ribs celery finely sliced
- 16 ounces cremini baby bella mushrooms, sliced
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 ½ cups uncooked brown and wild rice blend rinsed and drained
- 5 ½ 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
- ½ cup slivered almonds toasted
- 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 ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Remove from heat and set aside.
- 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.
- TO MAKE 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.
- TO STORE: Refrigerate stuffing in an airtight storage container for up to 4 days.
- TO REHEAT: Rewarm stuffing in a baking dish in the oven at 350 degrees F.
- TO FREEZE: Freeze leftovers in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
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