How to Cook Wild Rice on the Stove Top

by M.H. Dyer

A white bowl of wild rice.

PicturePartners/iStock/Getty Images

Wild rice is actually not rice, but the grain of an edible grass that grows wild in the Great Lakes region. Because wild rice is in relatively short supply, it is more expensive than regular rice. Wild rice is dark in color and has a mild, nutty flavor. It is a good source of complex carbohydrates and provides fiber, protein, potassium, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus and several B vitamins. Stove-top cooking is an effective method for preparing wild rice, because it eliminates any concern about using too little liquid. Use plenty of liquid, then drain the excess from your cooked wild rice.

Remove any grass or debris from the wild rice. Do not rinse the rice, as this may remove nutrients, according to Utah State University Cooperative Extension.

Bring 3 cups of water or broth to a full boil in a large saucepan. Add the wild rice and a dash of salt.

Bring the rice and liquid to a boil again, then lower the heat to a simmer.

Place the lid on the saucepan, and cook the rice until it begins to get puffy and begins to split, which takes 45 minutes to one hour. Taste the wild rice. If the texture is firmer than you like, cook it for a few more minutes.

Remove the cover, and fluff the wild rice with a fork. Simmer the mixture -- with the cover off -- for an additional five minutes.

Pour the rice into a colander to drain excess liquid.


  • While broth adds flavor, it also increases the sodium content. If this is a concern, and use low-salt chicken or beef broth.

    Decrease the cooking time by a few minutes for chewier wild rice.

Photo Credits

  • PicturePartners/iStock/Getty Images

About the Author

M.H. Dyer began her writing career as a staff writer at a community newspaper and is now a full-time commercial writer. She writes about a variety of topics, with a focus on sustainable, pesticide- and herbicide-free gardening. She is an Oregon State University Master Gardener and Master Naturalist and holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative nonfiction writing.