Alternative Side Dish: Cranberry and Walnut Rice Pilaf

Easy and pretty.

If you don’t want to serve the traditional roasted vegetables with your Christmas meal, perhaps try this instead. It is also ideal if you are asked to bring a plate to a gathering because I bet nobody else would think to make rice.

The dried cranberries are like red jewels of sweetness, and the spring onions add freshness and flavour. The walnut pieces are a perfect texture contrast to the soft rice. Delicious!

I used a brown rice and quinoa mixture but this recipe will work with any kind of rice that you have. If you need to feed vegetarians then use a vegetable stock cube instead of a chicken one.

I always cook rice using the absorption method as detailed on the back of the packet. Of course if you have a rice cooker then feel free to make use of it.

You can cook the rice in advance if absolutely necessary – to re-heat it, add a splash of water to the cold rice and then microwave for a minute or so, stirring at least once. Add the other ingredients once the rice is warm.

Ingredients – serves 4 as a side dish:

  • 1 cup rice (any kind)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 chicken or vegetable stock cube
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup crumbed walnuts (i.e. walnuts that have been chopped up into small pieces)
  • 2 spring (green/salad) onions, finely sliced


  • Cook the rice according to the packet directions, using the water and stock cube as your liquid. This will change depending on what type of rice you use – white rice cooks much quicker than brown rice. You should end up with fluffy rice flavoured by whatever kind of stock cube you used.
  • Once the rice is cooked, stir through the chopped cranberries, walnuts and spring onions.
  • Pile the rice onto your serving platter and then scatter over a few more walnut pieces.
  • Serve and enjoy!

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1 Response to Alternative Side Dish: Cranberry and Walnut Rice Pilaf

  1. Pingback: Holidays are coming: Alternative Side Dishes | Recipe Adaptors

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