Fall Harvest Recipes

Mushrooms and Rice Recipes – Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Hi, Vegetarian Carnivores! Happy November! Yea, I know it’s already the middle of November, but I have been hard at work creating some delicious recipes for Thanksgiving (which is exactly a week away from today!) Anyway, from today until the end of this upcoming weekend, you can expect a whole flurry of delicious recipes that all your family and friends will go nuts for this Thanksgiving, whether or not they are vegetarian or vegan. In this post, I am going to share with you guys two ways to cook mushrooms and rice together that are guaranteed to start a party in your mouth. These mushrooms and rice recipes are both absolutely vegan friendly!

I will be using Earth Balance vegan buttery sticks as part of my trial period of vegan dairy products. If you haven’t already read my cost analysis of vegan vs non vegan dairy products, you should definitely check it out here. In a nutshell, I am currently in the testing phase of vegan dairy substitutes in a lot of my recipes to see just how convincing and tasty they are.

Without further ado, let’s get started on our first recipe.

Mixed mushrooms with wild rice

You can’t have fall without having wild rice! And that is what inspired me to create something with it. Earthy flavor and texture from the rice, to the meaty and chewy texture of the mushrooms, plus herbs and garlicky roasted potatoes, this side dish is definitely going to be a hit at the Thanksgiving table!

Patience is the name of the game for this recipe. Wild rice cooks a lot slower than arborio (risotto) rice, brown rice and white rice. This dish is simple, in that the active time is only 20 minutes. However, bear in mind that your wild rice will be simmering away for a good 35-40 minutes from when you start to cook it.

Ingredients – for 4 servings

  1. 3 medium-sized red potatoes, cubed
  2. Two handfuls of wild mushrooms (such as enoki, maitake, shiitake, porcini, etc), thoroughly washed and separated
  3. Half a stick (4 tbs) Earth Balance vegan butter
  4. 2 cups dry wild rice
  5. 4 cups water
  6. 3 tsp “no chicken” bouillon base
  7. 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  8. Italian seasoning
  9. Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Prepare the potatoes by tossing them with the garlic, Italian seasoning, and some salt and pepper, to your taste. If you want, you can add some olive oil. Personally, I like dry roasting my potatoes so they are very crispy.
  3. Melt the vegan butter in a large saucepan and saute the mixed mushrooms until they have reduced.
  4. Add the wild rice, no chicken base, and water and stir until the base has dissolved. Turn heat to medium and let it cook (with or without lid is fine) for 40 minutes. 
  5. Your oven should be ready by now, so roast your potatoes for 35-40 minutes. 
  6. Periodically check on your rice and stir to prevent it from sticking to the bottom and clumping. If it is becoming dry, slowly stir in half a cup of water at a time.
  7. When your potatoes are done, mix them in with your rice. I know cooking time can vary depending on the kind of stove you have (gas vs electric) so use your judgment and taste a little of the rice to make sure it is fully cooked through but not mushy. 
  8. Serve hot and enjoy!

The Results

A delicious savory dish, you can even make an entire meal out of it if you’d like!

Keep on reading for the next recipe!

Garlic Butter Rice with Wild Mushrooms

Guys, this one has got to be one of my personal favorite recipes of all time. I originally made it with regular dairy butter and the results were fantastic. And then I got thinking, what if I finally tried out that vegan butter that has so many rave reviews? And that is exactly what I did.

I made this one in the Instant Pot to take care of the pressure-cooking, and boy did it do an amazing job! I definitely endorse Instant Pot and recommend it to everyone, regardless of cooking skill level, interest level, or cooking frequency.

Ingredients (for 4 servings)

  1. 2 handfuls mixed mushrooms, thoroughly washed and separated
  2. 1 stick (8 tbs) Earth Balance butter
  3. 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  4. 4 cups water
  5. 4 tsp no chicken base
  6. 2 cups white rice
  7. Handful of fresh chopped parsley


  1. Set the Instant Pot to saute mode and melt the butter. 
  2. Add in the garlic and saute for one minute until fragrant.
  3. Add in the mushrooms and saute until reduced. 
  4. Add in the rice, no chicken base, and water and stir until completely dissolved. 
  5. Set the Instant Pot to sealing and pressure-cook for 12 minutes.
  6. Quick release the steam when it is done and give the rice a good stir to mix everything together. 
  7. Add in the fresh parsley and stir.
  8. Serve hot and enjoy!

The Results

So far I am loving the Earth Balance vegan butter! It looks and melts exactly like its dairy counterpart and cooks the same way as well. It does have a somewhat weird smell to it while it is melting, and by weird I mean different from butter. However, if you keep on cooking it loses the smell and takes on the flavor of butter.

A word of caution: This second recipe does not keep well for long. I made it and by day 3 in the fridge the leftovers had already gone bad, so definitely plan for it to be finished within a couple days. But feel free to refrigerate and store the first recipe and use it as meal prep and enjoy the leftovers for up to 5 days!

What are you having for Thanksgiving?

And now, like always, I am interested in hearing your thoughts! What kinds of side dishes do you make for Thanksgiving? Will you be giving one of these recipes a go? Let me know your ideas in the comments below!

See you soon!

Janani <3 <3






  1. Hi Janani, Wow I am salivating after reading your article. We do not celebrate Thanksgiving here in NZ but this mushroom and rice dish would be a wonderful addition to our Christmas menu. Could you just use ordinary field mushrooms for the recipe and still maintain the flavour? Thank you for a great recipe I will be stopping by to check up on more. Cass

    1. Hey Cass! So happy to hear you are interested in trying this out! You can use any kinds of mushrooms you want! I like to get a variety in there for a bunch of different flavors and textures, but the exact varieties are yours to choose. I look forward to seeing  you back here soon!!

  2. I can’t believe I never thought to combine mushrooms and rice!  I’m definitely going to give both of these recipes a solid try.

    It is really difficult to have vegetarian dishes that taste good during the holidays.  With the Thanksgiving being centered around meat and a lot of recipes as well.

    I do like having options for different side dishes and having rice will be an awesome new addition.  Thank you!

    1. Hi Barry! Sometimes it’s the simplest ingredients that make a killer combination, as I found with these recipes 🙂 I completely agree that it can seem like vegetarians and vegans have nothing to eat during traditional Turkey Day, but it gives us a chance to really take advantage of all the beautiful fall vegetables and earthy flavors! I would love to know how these turn out for you so definitely share your pictures with me!

      Thanks so much!

  3. Mushrooms and rice are very filling.  And when butter and garlic, it becomes a lovely decadent meal.  Your recipe make it seem so easy to do – I will definitely experiment with it to add to our Thanksgiving table!  

    By the way, I had just come across your other article on making a gravy.  I can serve this dish as a main meal, actually, and use the gravy as a side dish, no?  Do you think that will go?

    Thank you for sharing.

    1. Hi Cath! So glad to hear this will be making it on your Thanksgiving list! I think you can definitely use this dish as a main dish! It is filling, with the rice and the micronutrients that are present in mushrooms. I have not put my gravy on this dish yet, but I have a hunch it would be delicious!

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