NORTHWOODS COOKS: Make tasty dishes with Minnesota wild rice

Delicious dietary soup made from wild rice with chicken and vege
Hearty chicken wild rice soup is a meal in a bowl. Serve with crusty garlic toast and a salad. Cook the wild rice a day ahead of time, then shred a rotisserie chicken to cut the prep time for dinner.
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Minnesota is known for its wild rice. Called manoomin in the Ojibwe language, wild rice has been an important food for Minnesota's American Indians for centuries.

It was adopted as the official state grain in 1977.

Wild rice is an aquatic grass not related to common rice that can be served in soup, salad or a casserole.

Minnesota Wild Rice Soup


1 cup wild rice

2 Tbsp. butter

2 stalks of celery, diced (about 1/3 cup)

1 medium yellow onion, diced (about 1/2 cup)

2 large carrots, diced (about 1/3 cup)

3 cups vegetable broth

1 small bundle of thyme (optional)

1 cup evaporated milk


1 teaspoon salt or to taste

Cook the rice according to the package directions. In a large pot, heat the butter over medium heat for 30 seconds or until melted. Add the celery, onion, and carrots and cook for 5 minutes over medium heat, stirring frequently.

Add the broth and thyme and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for 15 minutes.

Remove the thyme stems from the pot.

Add the cooked wild rice, evaporated milk and salt. Cook over low-medium heat until heated through. As it sits, the rice will continue to absorb the broth. Add 1/2 cup of water and stir until the soup reaches the desired consistency if needed before serving.

Wild Rice Salad

6-oz. package wild rice


3/4 cup light mayonnaise

1 tsp. white vinegar

1 tsp. white sugar

salt and pepper to taste

2 cups cooked, cubed turkey meat

1/4 cup diced green onion

1 cup seedless red grapes

6 oz. blanched, slivered almonds

Cook rice according to package directions. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper. Stir in rice, turkey, onion and grapes until evenly coated with dressing. Cover and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.

Before serving, sprinkle slivered almonds over the top of the salad.

Minnesota Ground Beef and Wild Rice Hotdish

1 lb. lean ground beef

1/2 cup onion, diced

1 cup celery, sliced

1 cup carrots, sliced

1 cup Minnesota wild rice, rinsed well

3 Tbsp. soy sauce

3 cups water

10.5-oz. can cream of mushroom soup

10.5-oz. can cream of chicken soup

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish.

In a large skillet, brown the ground beef and onion until beef is cooked. Drain excess grease.

Add the remaining ingredients to the skillet, stir until fully combined. Remove from heat and pour into the baking dish.

Bake for 2 hours or until rice is tender. Remove from the oven and let stand for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Readers are invited to submit their favorite recipes to enjoy, along with a note about what makes them special. Send recipes to

Readers are invited to submit their favorite recipes to enjoy, along with a note about what makes them special. Send recipes to

Lorie Skarpness has lived in the Park Rapids area since 1997 and has been writing for the Park Rapids Enterprise since 2017. She enjoys writing features about the people and wildlife who call the north woods home.
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