A change from traditional stuffing, this rice dressing is packed full of bacon, mushrooms, and fluffy rice. It's a great make ahead Thanksgiving side dish that is so easy and so delicious!
This dressing is a twist on the classic stuffing. My grandma used to make this then I was growing up and it was always my favorite side dish. You can make this dressing ahead of time and then the morning of Thanksgiving heat it up in the oven.
If you're looking for a gluten free side dish, look no further! Since rice is naturally gluten free, this side dish is perfect! Double check that your chicken broth you are using is gluten free as well, and you can always use regular water to cook the rice instead of chicken broth.
And don't forget to check out the rest of these Thanksgiving sides:
- Sourdough Stuffing with Sausage and Mushrooms
- Italian Stuffed Mushrooms
- Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce
- Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
- Sourdough Dinner Rolls
Dressing Vs. Stuffing
The only difference between dressing and stuffing is that stuffing is stuffed into the turkey. You don't want to stuff this recipe into a turkey. There is no egg or binder to keep this dressing together like a traditional stuffing would, and the rice will get overcooked in the bird. Keep this rice dressing in a baking dish and heat it up the day of.
Ingredients You'll Need
- Onions and celery- to add flavor to the rice dressing.
- Chicken broth- use low sodium chicken broth so the rice does not get too salty.
- Bacon- use your favorite type. For this recipe, I used hickory smoked bacon.
- Rice- long grain rice is best for this recipe. You can use brown rice if you would prefer, but the cooking time would increase.
- Mushrooms- Cremini, or baby portabellas give a this recipe a meaty texture. Button mushrooms can be used instead of cremini mushrooms.
Equipment You'll Need
Let's Make Rice Dressing with Bacon!
Clean and slice the mushrooms and set them aside. Chop the celery and onions into small pieces and set that aside.
Cook the rice according to package instructions using the chicken broth to cook the rice in. While the rice cooks, cut the bacon into pieces and cook the bacon in a large saute pan. Cook for 5-7 minutes until the bacon gets crispy and renders it's fat, meaning the fat melts.
Take the bacon out of the pan and place the bacon pieces onto a paper towel lined plate, but leave the bacon grease in the pan. Add the chopped onions, chopped celery, and sliced mushrooms to the pan. Cook for 5 minutes, until the onions and celery soften and the mushrooms are cooked.
When the rice is cooked, add the rice and the bacon back into the pan and mix all the ingredients to combine. Serve immediately or place the rice dressing in a baking dish and cover to reheat when you are ready to cook.
Make This Ahead Of Time!
This rice dressing is perfect to make a day or two ahead of when you need it. Make the dressing completely and place the rice in a baking dish. When you are ready to heat up the rice, add one cup of chicken broth to the baking dish and cover the baking dish with aluminum foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until the rice is heated through. Serve immediately.
Frequently Asked Questions
This rice dressing is fantastic just the way it is, but to change it up, add mozzarella to the recipe or sausage to bulk it up. Add a teaspoon of poultry seasoning for a little extra herby goodness!
Long grain rice is best. When it cooks the rice kernels stay separate and don't stick together. I don't recommend Arborio rice or sushi rice as they would stick together or become too creamy. You can use brown rice if you would prefer, just make sure to cook the rice according to the package instructions.
Yes! This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled if you are feeding a large crowd!
You can make this ahead of time and serve it the day of Thanksgiving. It's great for leftovers too! It will last up to five days after Thanksgiving in an air tight container.
Other Recipes To Try
Did you love this Rice Dressing With Bacon? I'd so appreciate it if you would give this recipe a 5-star review! That will help other hungry readers find my recipes!
- Instant Pot Split Pea Soup
- Pasta Carbonara with Leftover Turkey
- Cornbread with Kefir
- Sweet and Spicy Cranberry Dip
- All in One Apple Cake
- Sourdough Bread
- Instant Pot Zuppa Toscana
Rice Dressing With Bacon
- 2 cups White Rice Long Grain
- 4 cups Chicken Broth Low Sodium
- ½ lb Bacon 6 or 7 slices
- 1 cup Onions Chopped
- 1 cup Celery Chopped
- 2 cups Cremini Mushrooms Sliced
- Cook the rice in the chicken broth according to the package instructions.
- While the rice cooks, cut the bacon into pieces and place the pieces into a saute pan. Cook 5-7 minutes until the bacon pieces are crispy and the fat is rendered, meaning there is a lot of bacon fat in the pan.
- Take the pieces of bacon out of the pan and place them on a paper towel lined plate. Set them aside.
- Add the sliced mushrooms, chopped onions, and chopped celery to the pan with the bacon fat. Cook for 5-7 minutes until the vegetables are soft.
- When the rice is cooked, add the rice and bacon to the pan with the vegetables and mix everything until well combined. Serve immediately.
- To make this ahead of time, make the entire recipe and place the rice into an 8x8 inch baking dish. Cover with aluminum foil and place the rice in the refrigerator. When you are ready to heat the rice through, add 1 cup of chicken broth to the rice and place the baking dish in a preheated 350 degree oven. Bake for 30 minutes until the rice is heated through.