Roasted Grape and Walnut Rice Pilaf Recipe

Written by Becky

Roasting grapes might possibly be the best aroma I have smelled coming out of my kitchen. The rustic yet sweet smell permeated the house, like a sip of sweet smelling wine. Thyme, walnuts, roasted grapes and wild rice pilaf combine for an intoxicating blend of flavors, creating a perfect fall dish.

As the leaves whiz around my feet when I walk Henry around my favorite park and I exchange the clothes in my closet for my warm winter clothes that are stored away in the basement, I start to think about all of the best flavors of fall: soups, squash, apples, pumpkins, wild rice.

This weekend we’re heading up to one of our favorite getaway spots in Utah, Eden. We’ll be taking it easy and enjoying the simplicity of the small town and stunning mountains around the area. If course, we’ll cook while we’re there. I’m thinking of making our favorite chili recipe, White Bean Chicken Chili, along with some corn bread, and maybe well even roast some grapes.

When I found this recipe it quickly jumped to top of my list too try. What was originated to be a rice salad, I transformed into a warm rice pilaf for the fall. I love it when new recipes emerge as your cooking. I also added a few drizzles of Slide Ridge Honey Wine Vinegar to top of the dish. This recipe would be a perfect side dish for Thanksgiving, as a dressing of sorts, or as a one-pot weeknight meal if you add some chicken. And if nothing else, you should at least try roasting some grapes sometime in your very near future!

Wild Rice Pilaf with Roasted Grapes and Walnuts

A great side dish of wild rice with roasted grapes and walnuts.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American


  • 6 tablespoons butter* 3/4 stick
  • 1 cup chopped shallots, about 4 large
  • 1 cup chopped celery, about 3 stalks
  • 2 cups wild rice, about 12 ounces
  • 4 cups or more chicken broth*
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 2 cups concord grapes, or red seedless grapes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups walnuts, toasted, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated orange peel
  • Slide Ridge honey wine vinegar, optional for finishing


  • Melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots and celery. Cook until soft, stirring frequently, about 8 minutes. Add wild rice, 4 cups broth, thyme, and 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt; bring to simmer. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 30 minutes. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool slightly; cover and chill. Re-warm over medium-low heat before using, adding more broth by 1/4 cupfuls if dry.
  • Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°F. Place grapes on rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with oil; toss. Roast grapes until beginning to wrinkle, about 15 minutes. Transfer to bowl; toss with vinegar. Add grapes and any juices and walnuts to hot rice; toss well. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with orange peel.
  • If you’re making this for dinner like I did, add 1-2 chicken cooked breasts, diced or shredded to the rice. I cooked the chicken in a skillet with olive oil, salt, pepper, and thyme.


This recipe can be made vegetarian or vegan just by using vegetable broth and olive oil instead of butter.

Comments (13)

  1. I've never had roasted grapes. I guess I've been missing out. I know I missed out on tasting the Honey Wine Vinegar. Have fun in Eden!

  2. I bought grapes the day you posted this. Can't wait to make this soon. I've never tried roasted grapes and this combo makes my heart happy.

  3. This was DELICIOUS!!! I didn't use wild rice or the vinegar because I was out but it turned out great. I am passing this on, thanks!

  4. Delish! I definitely tweaked a little bit, but stayed true to the recipe for what it’s worth! Here’s how I changed it: quinoa in place of rice, pecans in place of walnuts, white onion in place of shallot, which, along with the celery, I diced vs. chopped. My boyfriend really liked it, specifically commenting on how the crunch from the nuts was great. Although this was a great SIDE dish for our salmon at dinner, it stole the show! Thanks for sharing your recipe!

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