November 18, 2021

Wild Pecan Rice Dressing for Thanksgiving

Wild Pecan Rice Dressing for Thanksgiving
Wild Pecan Rice Dressing makes a great Thanksgiving side!

When Char and I got married, we each brought a favorite cookbook into the marriage. Char brought Louisiana Real & Rustic by Emeril Lagasse, and I brought Who's Your Mama, Are You Catholic, and Can You Make a Roux? by Marcelle Bienvenu. But here's the thing... Marcelle co-wrote Louisiana Real & Rustic with Emeril. We love that lady. And we have cooked many dishes out of those cookbooks over the years.

We always reach for Louisiana Real & Rustic as Thanksgiving approaches. Our favorite turkey recipe comes from that book. It was a recipe that Marcelle learned from her Aunt Git. It's a pepper-stuffed turkey, and I guarantee it's the juiciest turkey you'll ever cook.

One of our favorite sides comes from the same cookbook: Wild Pecan Rice Dressing. The original recipe calls for a specific brand of rice, Konriko Brand, which comes out of New Iberia, LA. If you can get it, it's worth it. The way that rice is milled produces a nutty flavor to the end product. But if you can't find it, don't sweat it. We've made it with plain brown rice a few times and it still turns out delicious.


  • 1 tablespoon butter (I've also used bacon grease)
  • 1/4 cup chopped onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 cup pecan pieces
  • 1 unpeeled Granny Smith apple, cored and chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 package (7 ounces) Konriko Wild Pecan Rice (I've also used regular brown rice)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 pound bacon, chopped, crispy-fried, and drained
  • 1 cup chopped boiled ham (I sometimes leave this out)
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley


  1. Heat the butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onions, celery, salt, and cayenne. Saute for 3 to 4 minutes, or until slightly wilted. Add the pecans and cook for about 4 minutes. Add the apple and the rice and stir for 1 minute. Add the water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes.
  2. Remove from the heat. Add the bacon, ham, green onions, and parsley and stir to mix well.
  3. Let sit for about 3 minutes before serving.