Wild Rice Porridge

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Wild rice porridge is a great way to enjoy our native grain at breakfast time: Creamy, studded with fruit, nuts and seeds, it’ll get your day started right.

A bowl of wild rice porridge in the winter sunlight.

Wild rice is native to North America, and the best stuff is true wild rice, which grows wild (duh!) and is harvested all over the northern Midwest and Canada. Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Manitoba have the best wild rice.

Yes, you can get cultivated “wild” rice, which is mostly grown on farms in California and Arkansas, but it’s inferior to the real deal. Normally I get all up in arms about the cultivated stuff, but in the case of wild rice porridge, an even cheaper product — cultivated, but broken-grain wild rice — works very well.

We made wild rice porridge a lot when I worked as a chef in northern Minnesota at a grouse hunting lodge, and the trick to an easy breakfast was to cook the wild rice the night before. True wild rice doesn’t take too long to cook, maybe 20 minutes, but the cultivated stuff can take up to an hour. Not ideal for breakfast.

So cook your rice with just water and a little salt until it’s tender, then drain and keep it in the fridge, where you can store it for a week or so. Then, when you want breakfast, you put the cooked wild rice in a pot with milk and/or cream, heat it to steaming, and you’re good.

(Side note: If you want to eat your pre-cooked wild rice for lunch or supper, try my wild rice salad, or my wild rice pilaf with mushrooms.)

How you make your wild rice porridge is a matter of taste. I generally add whatever fruits (dried, frozen or fresh) that I have handy, along with some nuts and seeds, a bit of maple syrup, honey or brown sugar, and if I reheated the porridge in just milk, a little butter for richness.

Wild rice porridge with uncooked wild rice and dried lingonberries alongside.

Here’s how we made wild rice porridge at grouse camp:

  • True wild rice, broken grains (these cook faster and are cheaper)
  • Half and half, or whole milk plus a little heavy cream
  • A pinch of salt
  • Maple syrup to get it sweet, but not overly so
  • A mix of dried berries: lingonberries, blueberries, craisins, black currants, golden raisins, etc
  • Chopped walnuts, pecans, or hazelnuts. Sunflower and pumpkin seeds are great, too
  • If we wanted to get crazy, a dash of cinnamon

You can mix and match as you see fit. But dried fruit adds tartness and chewiness, the creamy stuff some needed fat, the nuts crunch (also fat), a sweetener to make it all nice.

Once the wild rice has been cooked, a batch of wild rice porridge comes together in about 5 minutes. Easy-peasy.

Oh, and if you have leftovers? Keep them in the fridge separately from your cache of pre-cooked wild rice, then add the leftovers to some new wild rice the next time you want some porridge.

If you liked this recipe, please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating and a comment below; I’d love to hear how everything went. If you’re on Instagram, share a picture and tag me at huntgathercook.

A bowl of wild rice porridge in the winter sunlight.
5 from 7 votes

Wild Rice Porridge

Once you have the wild rice pre-cooked, this recipe comes together in minutes. Note that the prep time shows the cooking time for the wild rice. If you've done this ahead, and you can keep cooked wild rice in the fridge a week, you can be eating your breakfast in less than 10 minutes.
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Hank Shaw
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 53 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 2 cups wild rice
  • Salt
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup dried berries (craisins, blueberries, lingonberries, etc)
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (or hazelnuts)
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup, honey or brown sugar (taste after each tablespoon)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

Instructions 

  • If you haven't pre-cooked your wild rice, simmer it in plenty of water with a healthy pinch of salt added until it's tender. This can vary from 20 minutes with true wild rice, to almost an hour with the hard, black, cultivated stuff. Drain and set aside.
  • Pour the milk and cream into a pot and add the wild rice. Add more milk if you want to. It should not be totally submerged in it — you want the dairy to be a sort of sauce for the rice. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer.
  • Let this cook 5 minutes or so, then serve. If you want, add a little butter or a splash of more cream.

Notes

If you want to, you can add more (or less) fruit, nuts or sweetener to suit your taste. 

Nutrition

Calories: 665kcal | Carbohydrates: 104g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 35mg | Potassium: 542mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 414IU | Vitamin C: 0.3mg | Calcium: 132mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe? Tag me today!Mention @huntgathercook or tag #hankshaw!

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About Hank Shaw

Hey there. Welcome to Hunter Angler Gardener Cook, the internet’s largest source of recipes and know-how for wild foods. I am a chef, author, and yes, hunter, angler, gardener, forager and cook. Follow me on Instagram and on Facebook.

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4 Comments

  1. I have a bag of (true) wild rice in the pantry staring at me and a recent love of morning porridge thanks to a trip to Ireland. This is definitely on my list!

  2. Love the recipe. I’ve been making something similar but with a little less cream and it is still fantastic- especially with some local maple syrup. Add in some local Saskatoon berries and it’s old school wholesome goodness. Thanks again for sharing Hank

  3. This will be on our breakfast menu soon! We tried our hand at harvesting wild rice last fall in Northern Wi. Ended with over 16# after it was dried. Quite the experience!

  4. I grew up with an Iowa father who used to make a similar breakfast porridge (yours is a lot more interesting & better!) and totally agree about the cultivated “wild” rice. We only had the real stuff, there was no cultivated years ago, and there is no comparison. I do worry about what climate change and pollution is doing to such a wonderful wild resource
    I enjoy your site enormously.