bacon and mushroom thanksgiving stuffing… keeping it wild

It’s that time of year again. Cold weather, changing leaves, family gatherings, appreciation for all that life has given us, and of course delicious food. Since starting this blog, my family has kind of handed over the reigns in most everything involving food. First, because I am a little particular about what I put in my body (but you knew that). Second, because I am getting pretty good at this whole cooking and recipe making thing (slowly but surely). And third, because I just absolutely love making food for the people I care about (more on that HERE). So this year, the Thanksgiving torch has official been handed off, and I am so pumped. Pumpkin pie… check. Perfect Turkey…. check (thanks to Against All Grain). Next up… stuffing!

Now, let’s start out by touching on the subject that this recipe has wild rice in it, in addition to bacon, wild mushrooms (super nutrient-dense), dried organic figs, onions, and all kinds of delicious herbs and spices. But before you get all “paleo police” on me about the rice, let’s hash it out.

Wild rice is actually a semi-aquatic grass that is the only grain native to North America and has been growing here for millennia. Homosapiens? 200,00 years on this planet. Just a thought.

There has recently been multiple studies proving that arsenic is found in rice (with much higher amounts found in brown rice than white, incase you need more justification for staying away from all of those “healthy” brown rice syrup filled bars and snacks). The good news is that wild rice isn’t actually rice, which makes this point moot for this recipe, but still important to consider in everyday life.

Moving on, wild rice is a good source of fiber, folate, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, zinc, Vitamin B6, and niacin. Plus, it is is high in antioxidants (30x that of white rice). Not all wild rice is treated equal, though, so be careful where you buy from. Native wild rice has been harvested sustainably by American tribes for centuries, but today (to no surprise) folks are coming in with one incentive: to make money, not caring who or what gets trampled in the process. Thankfully, wild rice is one of the last grains to be corporatized (and hasn’t really been taken over yet). But, please, still do your research before buying. If grown and harvested properly, the wetlands where wild rice is grown provides refuge for communities of animals, plants, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and all kinds of microorganisms.

If you are going to say no to grass-fed beef because it is a life, you should also be selective about where you buy your grains because all kinds of animals are killed in that process.

But, there will be more on that in a later post, so let’s get back on track. When harvested properly and grown organically, wild rice is a great addition to a diet for those who are active, healthy, and patient (it takes about an hour to cook). It is, however, a starch that is very high in carbohydrate, so it should be enjoyed sparingly, depending on your goals and dietary needs. In this recipe, the wild rice adds the perfect nutty flavor, perfect texture, and all kinds of flavor. And I am super excited about it, as was my family when they tried it for themselves.

Remember, Eat for nutrient density. Eat what makes you feel good. Eat foods that are going to provide the most nourishment (body and soul). And eat based on what is sustainable for the environment and for your circumstances. Oh and don’t forget how delicious food can and should be. Over the holidays, I will provide nourishment to the people I love most with entirely unprocessed, sustainably sourced, nutrient-dense ingredients. And it will taste amazing too. Try for yourself and see. This. Is. Good.

My family is going to eat this stuffing on Thanksgiving and will not, for a single second, complain about the lack of bread or the missing gluten. To me, that is a win.

If you still are upset about the rice, try subbing out the wild rice for cauliflower rice (it won’t taste the same but will still be pretty dang good), AND try not to get too caught up in labels or rules, because Is Paleo even Paleo?

Now,  back to what really matters. Family, food, friends, fun, and food. This is one of the first recipe of many to come for the Bruner Holidays of 2014, so stay tuned, get excited, and get cooking. Oh, and if you are reading this and it’s not Thanksgiving, feel free to use it as a delicious pilaf of sorts to pair perfectly with whatever you might enjoy. We’ll be trying it with a grass fed filet this week. Yum.

Here you go! a wild twist on Thanksgiving stuffing…


[recipe title=”Wild Thanksgiving Stuffing (GF, NF)” servings=”8″ time=”90 minutes” difficulty=”moderate”]


  • 3 TB grass fed butter
  • 6-8 slices thick cut pastured bacon
  • 1 large organic onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 3 cups assorted wild mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 TB chopped fresh thyme
  • 3 cups homemade bone broth
  • 1 cup filtered water
  • 4 tsp chopped fresh sage
  • 1 cup wild rice
  • 2 cups uncooked cauliflower, riced in a food processor
  • 1 1/2 cup coarsely chopped organic dried figs
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

More notes on my ingredients HERE


  • bring broth, wild rice, 2 TB thyme, and 2 tsp sage to boil in large saucepan
  • reduce heat, cover and simmer about 50 min until all rice is tender and liquid is absorbed
  • meanwhile, dice your bacon and cook in a cast iron pan until slightly crispy
  • add onions, and sauté until tender and caramelized then transfer bacon and onions (grease and all) to large bowl
  • melt 2 TB butter in same pot over medium-high heat, add mushrooms and 2 TB thyme, and sauté until mushrooms are deep brown, then add to onion bowl along with cauli rice and season with salt and pepper
  • add this mixture, plus figs, and remaining thyme and sage into your wild rice, cover and simmer 5 minutes, stirring frequently
  • season with salt and pepper and stir in 1/2 cup parsley
  • preheat oven to 400°F and use remaining butter to grease a baking dish
  • transfer stuffing to dish or to your turkey carcass
  • cover baking dish and bake until heated through, about 40 minutes
  • uncover and bake until top is slightly crisp and golden, about 20 more minutes
  • sprinkle remaining parsley over stuffing and serve
  • ENJOY and be thankful [/recipe]

Let me know what you think! What are your favorite Thanksgiving recipes and memories? 

About the Author:

I am a Certified Nutrition Consultant and a Certified CrossFit Trainer. I have a passion for educating, and I absolutely love teaching others about nutrition, functional movement, and the power each has to set the foundation for health, wellness, and true quality of life. I LOVE to eat and fuel my body to live life to the utmost, and I wholeheartedly believe that sustainably sourced, nutrient dense foods can be the greatest form of medicine as well as the ingredients to create the most delicious, palate pleasing meals (it’s a win-win!)

One Comment

  1. […] HERE is my recipe for bacon wild mushroom stuffing. […]

Leave A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Sign up for
our newsletter and never miss a thing.