Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe

Natural Wild Rice

218.335.7400 | Cass Lake, MN |

Wild Rice Recipes

Cooking Wild Rice (Plain)

  1. Rinse the wild rice: Place the wild rice in a fine-mesh strainer and rinse in the sink under cold running water. Shake to drain.
  2. Bring the rice and water to a boil: Place the rice in the saucepan and add 4 cups of water or stock, along with the salt (unless the stock is already salted). Bring to a boil over high heat.
  3. Reduce to a simmer: When the water has reached a boil, lower the heat to maintain a slow but steady simmer and cover the pan.
  4. Cook the wild rice: Cook at a simmer for 15 - 20 minutes.  (Paddy rice, or cultivated [not naturally grown] rice requires 45-50 minutes of cooking time)
  5. Check the rice. It should be chewy and some of the grains will have burst open. It may need an additional 10 to 15 minutes — keep checking the rice and stop cooking when the grains are tender.
  6. Drain the wild rice: When the rice is done, pour it into a strainer to drain off any remaining liquid.
  7. Fluff and serve: Fluff the rice with a fork and serve, or add it to any number of dishes for a delicious, nutty taste and chewy texture.

Serving Suggestions: Professional chefs often enhance wild rice with some very simple additions. Try some of these ideas to compliment the flavor and presentation of your hand harvested wild rice.

     Substitute: Flavored broths such as chicken or beef for salted water, or 1:2 parts white wine for equal parts water or stock.

     Try Adding: Sautéed chopped onion, celery or mushrooms, cooked and crumbled bacon, sautéed fresh green and red bell peppers, nuts such as cashews, pecans or almonds after cooking, fresh savory herbs like thyme, sage, chives or marjoram.

Wild Rice Hotdish - Leech Lake Wild RiceWild Rice Hotdish

  • 1/2 cup natural wild rice
  • Fine sea salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 tablespoons salted butter, plus more for the baking dish
  • 2 leeks, white and light green parts, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup low-sodium chicken stock
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme (or 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh)
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 2 cups roughly chopped cooked chicken
  • 4 ounces aged Gouda or aged cheddar cheese, grated (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 cups coarsely ground buttery crackers (such as Ritz or Club; about 2 sleeves)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Put the rice in a fine-mesh sieve and rinse it under cold running water, swishing the rice with your hand until the water runs clear. Transfer the rice to a medium bowl and add water to cover. Pour off any black bits or floating kernels, pour the rice back into the sieve to drain, then put it in a small saucepan. Add 1 1/4 cups water, a pinch of salt and the bay leaf; bring to a simmer. Cover the pan and reduce the heat to low. Cook 25 minutes, or until the rice is tender and the water has evaporated. (If liquid remains after the rice is done, drain it in a sieve.)
  2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Heat the butter in a large high-sided skillet over medium heat. Add the leeks and celery and season with 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Cook until tender, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the flour to the vegetables and stir until well combined. Pour in the milk and bring to a simmer, whisking to prevent any lumps. Add the cream, chicken stock, thyme, nutmeg and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Simmer over low heat until the floury taste dissipates, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the cooked chicken, wild rice (minus the bay leaf) and half of the cheese and heat until the cheese melts.
  5. Put the crushed crackers in a heavy plastic bag and add 1/4 teaspoon pepper and the olive oil. Shake to combine and set aside.
  6. Rub a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with a thin layer of soft butter. Pour the chicken mixture into the dish and top with the remaining cheese. Bake 25 minutes.
  7. Pull the dish from the oven, sprinkle the cracker mixture over the top and bake until the crackers turn golden brown and the mixture bubbles in the center, 15 to 20 more minutes. Serve immediately.

Wild Rice Soup

  • 2 cups water or broth
  • 2 cooked, boneless chicken breast halves, shredded
  • 1 (4.5 ounce) package quick cooking long grain and wild rice with seasoning packet
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 cups heavy cream


  1. In a large pot over medium heat, combine water or broth with chicken. Bring just to boiling. Stir in rice, reserving seasoning packet. Cover and remove from heat.
  2. In a small bowl, combine salt, pepper and flour.
  3. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in contents of seasoning packet until mixture is bubbly. Reduce heat to low, then stir in flour mixture by tablespoons, to form a roux. Whisk in cream, a little at a time, until fully incorporated and smooth. Cook until thickened, 5 minutes.
  4. Stir cream mixture into broth and rice. Cook over medium heat until heated through, 10 to 15 minutes.


Wild Rice Soup - Leech Lake Wild Rice

Wild Rice Blueberry Pancakes

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup cooked wild rice
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 3/4 cup unbleached flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
  • nonstick vegetable spray


  1. In a bowl, combine milk, wild rice, egg yolks and oil.
  2. In another bowl, sift together flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and cinnamon.
  3. In a third bowl, whip egg whites to soft peaks.
  4. Pour milk mixture into flour mixture and stir until just combined. Fold in the egg whites and gently stir in blueberries.
  5. Preheat griddle and spray with vegetable spray. Spoon batter onto griddle and cook pancakes until bubbles appear. Flip pancakes and cook other side.

Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe

Natural Wild Rice

Leech Lake Wild Rice is owned and operated by the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Department of Resource Management.




15756 State Hwy 371 NW | Cass Lake, MN 56633

Follow us on Social Media

Leech Lake Natural Wild Rice

Copyright © 2019 | Pinnacle Marketing Group

All contents and information are based on the existing knowledge and practices available pertaining to the Wild Rice processes and historical story behind the rice.  This website was partially made possible through funding from the United States Department of Agriculture grant programs.

Photography by Aaron Fairbanks / Photographs courtesy of LLDRM, LLBO Archives, and Leech Lake Tribal College.