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A bowl of cooked wild rice garnished with fresh parsley is photographed from the front view for the how to cook wild rice recipe post

How to Cook Wild Rice

While wild rice is wonderful when served by itself, it also is a nice addition to salads, soups, and casseroles. Its nutty flavors elevate a dish instantly. If you agree, consider this post as your guide to How To Cook Wild Rice recipe. Read through the post to get the recipe and find out the answers to FAQs.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4 (3 1/2 cups cooked)
Calories 166kcal


  • 1 cup wild rice rinsed well - Not soaked*
  • 3 cups of water * or vegetable, chicken or beef stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp butter (or oil) you will need oil if you are using the rice cooker method


To Cook Wild Rice on the Stove Top:

  • Place wild rice, water (or stock), and salt in a saucepan with a lid over medium-high heat.
  • Put the lid on and bring it to a boil. Turn the heat down to low and let is simmer for 40-45 minutes. You will know that it is cooked when some of the kernels are burst open. If you soaked your wild rice the cooking time should be around 20-30 minutes.
  • Drain excess liquid and serve.

To Cook Wild Rice In Rice Cooker:

  • Rub the rice cooker insert with a tablespoon of butter or vegetable oil.
  • Add 1 cup of wild rice, 2 cups of water*, and a ½ teaspoon of kosher salt. Give it a stir.
  • Select the brown rice (or white rice) option and let it cook. During my testings, it took about 45-55 minutes for wild rice to cook in a rice cooker.
  • When the cooking cycle is completed, let it rest for 10 minutes and fluff it with a fork before serving.

To Cook Wild Rice in Microwave *

  • Place 1 cup of wild rice, 3 cups of water, and ½ teaspoon of kosher salt in a microwave safe bowl. Give it a stir.
  • Use a large enough microwave safe plate to cover.
  • Microwave on full power for 6 minutes. Carefully remove from the microwave and give it a stir. It will be very hot so be careful.
  • Microwave on medium (50%) power for 25-30 minutes. Remove from the microwave and let it sit on the counter for 10 minutes.
  • Most of the water should be absorbed and wild rice should be fully cooked and tender.
  • If not, microwave (covered with the plate) in full power in 1- minute intervals until it is fully cooked.


  • An easy way to flavor wild rice is to cook it in chicken or vegetable broth so if you want, you can use a combination of water and stock.
  • The amount of liquid you will need for the rice cooker method is 2 cups (it is not a typo). 
  • While I shared the microwave method, I caution you on keeping a close eye on it as it cooks. The results you get and the timing might differ based on your microwave.
  • I have tried this recipe both with cultivated and true wild rice varieties and the 3 cups of liquid worked perfectly for both of them. However, I read on a few other sites that some commercial wild rice sold in the supermarkets sometimes require more liquid. Therefore, I suggest keeping an eye on it during the cooking process and adding more boiling water, if necessary.
  • To freeze: Be sure to drain it first and then place it in airtight containers. It will keep fresh up to 6 months. I freeze mine in small (1-cup) quantities so that I can grab the exact amount when I need it. Be sure to let it thaw in the fridge overnight a day before you need to use it.
  • Want to cook it in a pressure cooker? Check out my foolproof Instant Pot Wild Rice recipe


Calories: 166kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 302mg | Potassium: 171mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 1mg