How To Cook Minnesota Wild Rice Recipe in Instant Pot

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Let me teach you how to make this chewy, nutty Minnesota Wild Rice Recipe easily in your Instant Pot or pressure cooker! Perfect for any soup, salad, or side dish, these easy preparation instructions will make cooking this hearty grain for your favorite recipes a breeze.

This is a plate of wild rice with a fork and some rice kernals spilled onto the napkin beside it.

Growing up, wild rice was a common autumn & winter food that we would eat in soups and casseroles. This rice is a staple in Northern Minnesota, though it’s also quite popular in the Twin Cities region (where I live now) and throughout the whole state of Minnesota.

While wild rice is grown in many places, the bulk of our national crop comes from the Great Lakes region of the United States. It has a rich history as a staple food for the Sioux & Chippewa Native American tribes. Many indigenous people of North America considered lake & river varieties of wild rice to be sacred, a “Gift from the Great Spirit, the creator Himself.

It may surprise you to learn that wild rice is not truly rice. It is the seed from edible aquatic grass. Wild rice is also gluten-free.

While it comes at a higher price point than typical rice, it’s full of nutrients. The protein & fiber content is double that of white or brown rice. It’s easy to see why it costs more–the density of nutrients is much higher!

Because of its nutrient density, wild rice is considered a great source of whole grains to include in your diet.

This is a plate of wild rice on a green placemat with bubbles of text sharing nutrition stats.

How to Make Wild Rice in the Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker

This post is a how-to guide for preparing wild rice to be used in a variety of wild rice recipes, whether it be a creamy soup, cold salad, or a rice pilaf recipe. Because it takes a long time to cook, the pressure cooker is an easy shortcut. It’s a great way to conveniently prepare this rice.

Ingredients

To make this Minnesota wild rice recipe in your Instant Pot, all you need is wild rice & water! This is a plain recipe making the rice suitable for sweet or savory uses.

Wild Rice Varieties– For this recipe, choose dark whole kernel cultivated wild rice. Lake & River wild rice is also a great choice, but usually a little harder to find.

For these cooking instructions, avoid rice labeled as “light” or “soup grade.” Light rice & soup grade cook in less time, so these particular instructions will not work for it.

Soup grade is rice that has been broken, therefore it is usually cheaper. While it’s convenient for soup, it has a compromised texture that doesn’t work as well in side dishes, casseroles, or salads where the texture is critical.

You also want to avoid anything called “a wild rice blend” as that is made of different rice varieties with different cooking instructions.

glass bowl of dry wild rice on wooden table

Cooking Instructions

collander of wild rice rinsing under faucet of sink

1. Measure & Rinse Rice

First, weigh out 16 ounces of rice and rinse it. While wild rice is typically pretty clean, it’s always a good idea to rinse before cooking. Add your rice to a colander and run under cold water for a few seconds to rinse off any lingering debris.

instant pot insert with water being poured onto the wild rice.

2. Add Rice & Water to Instant Pot

Add your rinsed rice into your instant pot, followed by 5 cups of water. Place your Instant Pot lid on the pot and turn the vent to sealing.

instant pot panel reading 30 minutes cook time

3. Cook on High Pressure

Cook your rice on High Pressure for 30 minutes, then allow it to naturally release. For best results, allow it to naturally release all the way instead of doing a quick release. Wild rice needs a long cooking time to fully absorb all the water, which is why these cooking instructions are not meant for rice blends. 

4. Enjoy!

The rice is now ready for whatever you need it for. You can use it in a soup, chill it in the fridge for a salad, use it as a base in a casserole, or eat it plain as a side for dinner.

Tips for Perfect Wild Rice Everytime

The instructions given here are to make a plain, versatile wild rice dish great for any application. Feel free to swap out the water for chicken stock or broth to increase the flavor of savory dishes. 

Not all grocery stores carry wild rice, and if you don’t live in the upper Midwest, it may be even harder to find at your regular grocery.

Luckily, you can order wild rice at places like Amazon. Watch out for the phrase “wild rice blend” on the packaging. Real wild rice usually only makes up a small percentage of most blends. While I’m sure the blend is still delicious, it’s just not what we want for these cooking instructions.

Recipes Using Wild Rice

Here are some fabulous recipes to use your fresh wild rice in!

loaf of cranberry wild rice bread sliced open on cutting board

Homemade Cranberry Wild Rice Bread

This light, fluffy, & delicious cranberry wild rice bread is easy to make and makes delightful rolls of loaves.

wooden spoon of fruit salad with fruit salad in background

Wild Rice Fruit Salad

This wild rice fruit salad is a crowd favorite! Make this for your next gathering with friends and family.

bowl of wild rice soup with spoon on wooden background

Chicken & Wild Rice Soup with Ham

This delicious Minnesota chicken wild rice soup with ham is the ultimate comfort food. Based on the original Byerly’s recipe, this recipe is even better!

This is a plate of wild rice with a fork and some rice kernals spilled onto the napkin beside it.

Instant Pot Wild Rice

The Instant Pot is the fastest and most fool-proof way to cook wild rice without a rice cooker. Check out these easy instructions for my Instant Pot Wild Rice!

Complete the Meal

Complete the meal with some other fall favorites, like orangey roasted Brussels sprouts, air-fried butternut squash, or mashed white acorn squash.

It is also a fabulous side dish for bison meals, like my hearty bison chili, my crockpot bison chuck roast, or my bison & barley stew (you could use wild rice instead of barley in that recipe!

Wild rice is also a great choice to sort into individual portions for meal prep. This chewier rice reheats very well because it retains moisture better than other types of rice.

white plate of wild rice on green napkin and wood table

Nutritional Information

The nutrient information for 1 cup of cooked wild rice (166 grams) is:

This is a graphic showing the nutrition stats for one serving, about 166 grams, of cooked wild rice.
  • Calories: 168
  • Protein: 6.6 grams
  • Fat: .6 grams
  • Carbs: 35.5 grams
  • Fiber: 3 grams

Storing Cooked Wild Rice

One thing I love about this Minnesota wild rice recipe is that it freezes incredibly well! Since wild rice takes so long to cook, that is why I make a full pound at a time and then freeze it in dinner portions.

To freeze, I like to pack 2 cups of cooked wild rice into a vacuum sealer bag, press the rice into a flat, even layer, then remove the air & seal. You can also do this with regular ziplock bags. Just make sure you remove as much air as you can to prevent freezer burn. 

Freezing in an even, flat layer also makes thawing quick and easy. If I am making soup, I grab a bag from the freezer and break it into pieces to just throw right in. It thaws in minutes!

Wild rice can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week, but it’s best eaten within three to four days.

FAQ

What is the best way to cook wild rice?

My experience is that cooking wild rice in the Instant Pot is the most foolproof way to get it done. That is certainly not the ONLY way, and most wild rice comes with stove-top instructions on the bag that you can follow if needed.

I have experienced burnt rice many times trying to make it on the stovetop. It needs a long simmer time, so if your heat level isn’t perfect, you can easily boil away your liquid before the rice is done.

That’s why I love the Instant Pot method. No risk of burnt or crispy rice!

Is wild rice the healthiest rice?

All rice has benefits for a well-rounded diet, therefore you should eat what you like and what you have access to. However, wild rice has many great nutritious qualities. It boasts high levels of protein, dietary fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. It has a chewier texture and nutty flavor compared to white rice. It’s a fantastic choice for a diet based on whole foods.

Is wild rice only in Minnesota?

While Minnesota and Wisconsin grow more wild rice than other states, it can be found in other parts of the country, also, such as Texas and Florida.

This is the Easiest Way to Make Wild Rice!

Try making your wild rice in your Instant Pot next time! You’re sure to love how easy and foolproof it is.

This is a plate of wild rice with a fork and some rice kernals spilled onto the napkin beside it.
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Minnesota Wild Rice Recipe in Instant Pot

This recipe will teach you how to make wild rice in your Instant Pot that is perfect every time!
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Natural Release20 minutes
Total Time55 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: wild rice
Servings: 10 cups
Calories: 162kcal
Author: Holly Lee
Cost: $10

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces Wild Rice dry, dark, whole kernel
  • 5 cups Water

Instructions

  • Rinse wild rice in a colander under cold water to remove any debris.
  • Add your wild rice to the Instant Pot and pour 5 cups of water over the top.
  • Place your lid on the Instant Pot and seal the vent. Set it to High Pressure for 30 minutes.
  • When the cook time is done, allow the rice to do a natural release. Once the pressure is down, the rice is ready to go!

Video

YouTube video

Notes

Use dark, whole kernel wild rice for this recipe. NOT soup grade or light wild rice.

Nutrition

Calories: 162kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 0.5g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 9mg | Potassium: 194mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 9IU | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 1mg

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2 Comments

    1. Yes, by far the easiest method! I had to figure out an instant pot method because I wasn’t very good at the stove top…the rice just takes so long to cook on the stove that it’s easy to accidently have the heat too high, evaporating liquid away before the rice is able to absorb it, leaving you with crunchy rice.

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