Red Rice Stuffing with Dried Fruit

Healthy whole-grain Bhutanese red rice combines with dried fruits, almonds, and more to bring a touch of the Himalayas to your Thanksgiving table.

Red Rice Dressing with Dried Fruit

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On Thanksgiving, I am a traditionalist and an adventurer. Maintaining a family tradition, I include the canned small French green peas with pearl onions that my mother always served. And I always start Thanksgiving dinner with soup, but a different one every year. Stuffing is another dish where I am adventurous. (I should say dressing, since it is always baked separately from the bird.)

This year, my dressing will be rice-based. Red rice, to be specific. There are several varieties of red rice. All are aromatic and whole grain. California-grown Wehani is the most dense and chewy. Bhutanese red has a lighter texture but still has that full, nutty flavor. You may also find red rice from South America or France’s Camargue region.

Bhutanese is my favorite rice to use in this recipe because it combines well with the dried fruits, almonds, and other ingredients. But any red rice is good. Simply cook it according to package directions. If you cannot get red rice, most other kinds work nicely, too.

Red Rice Dressing with Dried Fruit

Makes 6 servings
 Red Rice Dressing with Dried Fruit


  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup golden raisins
  • ¼ cup chopped dried apricots
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • ¾ cup Bhutan Red rice, or other red rice
  • 1 ½ cups fat-free, reduced-sodium chicken broth, divided
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • ½ cup finely chopped celery
  • ½ cup toasted slivered almonds
  • 1 teaspoons stuffing or poultry seasoning
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In small bowl, plump cranberries, raisins, and apricots in orange juice, 20 minutes. Drain and set fruit aside. Reserve juice for baking or for glazing sweet potatoes.
  3. In medium saucepan, combine rice with 1 cup broth. Add 1 cup water. Bring to boil over medium-high heat. Cover, reduce heat, and cook for 3 minutes less time than on package directions, until rice is slightly less than tender. Fluff with fork, cover, and set hot rice aside.
  4. In small Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and celery and cook, stirring often, until vegetables are soft, 8 minutes. Add cooked rice, soaked fruit, almonds, stuffing seasoning, remaining 1/2 cup broth and mix to combine. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper. When broth boils, cover and bake for 30 minutes, until dressing is hot. Fluff with a fork and let dressing sit for 15 minutes before serving.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving

Calories: 240
Total fat: 9 g
Saturated fat: 1 g
Carbohydrate: 38 g
Fiber: 4 g
Protein: 4 g
Sodium: 125 mg

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