November 16, 2023

Roast Turkey with Wild Rice Stuffing

The tradition of serving turkey as the main dish for Thanksgiving in the United States has deep historical roots. The association between Thanksgiving and turkey can be traced back to the early 17th century when English Pilgrims and Native Americans came together for a feast to give thanks for a bountiful harvest and the blessings of the past year. We know now that this type of gathering likely did not exist and that the Indigenous people had long been on the land before it was even occupied by European colonists, but the history continues.

Over time, this feast became a symbol of gratitude, and Thanksgiving became a national holiday in the United States. Turkey became a staple of Thanksgiving dinners due to its abundance in North America and its association with the original feast.

Here’s a classic roast turkey recipe that you can try for a delicious and moist Thanksgiving or any special occasion. Note that this same recipe can also be used for a Sage or Cornbread stuffing mix.

Roast Turkey Stuffed With Wild Rice Stuffing

Roast Turkey Stuffed With Wild Rice Stuffing

Yield: 12

This roast turkey is stuffed with Wild Rice, but you could easily sub in Sage or Cornbread stuffing. Note the notes of the recipe have the wild rice stovetop cooking instructions. Find Heather's Dirty Goodness Original seasoning and my herb salt recipe for seasoning.



  • 14-16 lb turkey
  • 1 stick butter
  • 3 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp cracked pepper
  • 2 teaspoons fresh Thyme (or substitute Herb Salts - see note above)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh Rosemary (or substitute Herb Salts - see note above)
  • 2 Tbsp Heathers Dirty Good Seasoning
  • 8-10 fresh sage leaves

Wild Rice Stuffing

  • 1 teaspoons sunflower oil
  • 1 1/2 cup cubed sweet potato
  • 1 cup wild rice
  • 2 cups stock
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower oil
  • 1 8 oz packages mushrooms chopped
  • 3 cups chopped swiss chard
  • 2 Tbsp fresh sage (finely chopped)
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup walnuts chopped
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 Tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp Sunflower or olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock


Prepare the Wild Rice Stuffing

  1. Start the Wild Rice in the Instant Pot* (see notes for stovetop directions) with the rice and 2 cups of water or broth.
  2. Set the Instant Pot to pressure cook (manual) mode at high pressure for 30 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes when the instant pot beeps, and then open the lid. Fluff the rice gently with a fork and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, Heat the oven to 400
  4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  5. Toss the sweet potato in a teaspoon of oil and toss onto the parchment
  6. Bake until the sweet potato is roasted for about 20 minutes
  7. While the squash and rice are cooking, heat the oil and saute the mushrooms for about 5 minutes until the mushrooms have released much of their moisture - add the Swiss chard and cook until it wilted; add the sage toss, and set aside in a large mixing bowl.
  8. Add the cranberries and chopped walnuts to the mushroom mixture
  9. Add sweet potatoes and rice when done and toss together
  10. Season with salt and pepper
  11. Stir in Maple syrup

Prepare the Turkey

  1. Preheat your oven to 450°F
  2. Remove the thawed turkey from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature for about 30 minutes.
  3. Pat the turkey dry with paper towels.
  4. Rub the turkey all over the outside skin with 2/3 of the softened butter stick and under the turkey breast skin with the remaining 1/3 stick without tearing it
  5. Sprinkle the turkey and the turkey cavity with 2 Tbsp kosher salt, 1 tbsp cracked pepper, thyme, rosemary, and Heather's Dirty Goodness Original seasoning.
  6. Stuff the sage leaves under the breast skin and put 5-6 inside the cavity
  7. Stuff the turkey with as much wild rice as it will fit in the cavity (likely 2.5-3 cups)
  8. Set aside the rest of the Wild Rice stuffing in a casserole dish for baking later, topped with 2 Tablespoons Sunflower or Olive Oil and 1/2 cup chicken stock, uncovered until heated through) bake for 30 minutes
  9. Cook the turkey for 30 minutes at 450
  10. Take the turkey out of the oven and turn the heat down to 350 degrees. Cover the top of the turkey with a tin foil square to prevent too much browning, and cook at 350 for another 2 hours.
  11. For the last 30 minutes of cooking, remove the tinfoil square and cook until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C) in the thickest part of the thigh.
  12. Let the turkey rest for 15-30 minutes to let the juices redistribute themselves while you make the gravy.
  13. Remove the Wild Rice stuffing and mix it with the stuffing you cooked alongside the bird in the casserole dish.
  14. Carve the turkey and serve with your favorite sides.


*Stovetop rice instructions:

  • Rinse rice under cool water and drain well
  • Place rice along with stock and salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil
  • Place lid on pan and simmer for 45 minutes until rice is fully cooked. Turn off the heat and let rice rest with the lid on for 10 minutes—fluff with a fork.

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