Go Back
+ servings
Thanksgiving rice with cranberries, citrus, and rosemary on a cream colored plate.
Print Recipe
5 from 6 votes

Cranberry Pecan Thanksgiving Rice

A sweet, tangy and protein packed side dish perfect for the holidays. This would make a perfect light autumn main meal as well. Hearty and filling!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Total Time55 mins
Course: Salads, Sides
Cuisine: American
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan
Servings: 6
Calories: 239kcal



  • Heat the oil in a pot over medium heat on the stove. Add the shallots and garlic and sauté until soft and translucent, about 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Add the rosemary by crushing it between your fingers as you sprinkle it in. This releases the oils of the dried herb and makes it more flavorful. Sauté 1 minute until fragrant.
  • Add the rice, stir, and sauté about 2 minutes to toast the rice and bring out the nutty flavors.
  • Add the vegetable broth, mandarin juice and dried cranberries. Stir and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for about 45 minutes, until all of the liquid is absorbed and the rice is cooked through. Turn off the heat and let the rice sit, covered, for about 10 minutes before fluffing with a fork.
  • Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the the maple syrup, dijon and tamari until smooth. Pour it into the rice mixture and stir until well incorporated.
  • To toast the pecans, add them to a dry non-stick skillet over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring frequently to prevent burning, for 3 to 5 minutes. You'll know they're done when they turn a shade darker and become fragrant. Add the pecans to the rice and stir to combine.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature.


~ Place the rice in a fine mesh strainer and rinse it well under cold water until the water runs clear. This will remove some of the starch so the rice will be rice sticky.
~ Crush the rosemary between your fingers as you sprinkle it into the pot. This will release the natural oils, making it more fragrant and flavorful.
~ Drain off any excess liquid after the rice is tender.
~ Let the rice sit, covered, for about 10 minutes off of the heat after it has cooked. This will allow it to firm up a bit and become more fluffy instead of sticky.
~ Toast the pecans to deepen their flavor and bring out the crunch.

Store leftovers in an air-tight container in the fridge for 4 to 5 days.
You can even freeze this rice. Let it cool then spread it out onto a rimmed baking sheet and place in the freezer until frozen. Once frozen, transfer to freezer-safe plastic bags. Flatten the bag and squeeze all the air out. The rice should keep well for 3 to 4 months.


Calories: 239kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 345mg | Potassium: 122mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 700IU | Vitamin C: 15.7mg | Calcium: 50mg | Iron: 0.9mg