Fresh Cranberry, Wild Rice & Kale Pilaf - #FreshCranFriday

A balanced bowl of comfort with wild rice, kale, sausage and bright fresh cranberries

In celebration of our last #FreshCranFriday, let’s make things ultra-simple for your next dinner party. I’m thinking mixed dish, everyone loves, amazing-for-leftovers-tomorrow kind of simple. This fresh cranberry, wild rice and kale pilaf with sausage is ultra-comforting and filling. The recipe also uses a ton of kale, so if you’re looking for a way to get your greens in and use up that kale, this is the recipe for you. Since this recipe is so simple, pay close attention as each ingredient is important. 

For example, instead of cooking rice with water, it’s cooked with chicken broth for more flavor. Instead of cooking the sausage in a separate pan, we’re using the flavor from the sausage to cook the onions, garlic and cranberries. Think of it as a way to reduce wasted flavors. And speaking of reducing waste, what if you served this topped with a soft egg or fried egg tomorrow morning? It sounds like the breakfast of champions to me. #runnyeggs

Fresh Cranberry, Wild Rice & Kale Pilaf - #FreshCranFriday
Fresh Cranberry, Wild Rice & Kale Pilaf - #FreshCranFriday
Fresh Cranberry, Wild Rice & Kale Pilaf - #FreshCranFriday
Fresh Cranberry, Wild Rice & Kale Pilaf - #FreshCranFriday
Fresh Cranberry, Wild Rice & Kale Pilaf - #FreshCranFriday


Fresh Cranberry, Wild Rice & Kale Pilaf

Serving size: 5, 1-cup servings (5 cups total yield)

Time: 40 minutes



  • 1 ½ cups + 2 tablespoons low-sodium chicken broth, divided
  • 1 cup dry wild rice blend
  • 2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 4 medium sage pork sausages 
  • 1 cup diced yellow onion
  • 1 cup halved fresh cranberries
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 cups baby kale
  • salt and pepper, to taste



  1. In a large pot on the stove, combine 1 ½ cups broth and wild rice. Bring to a boil, cover and turn heat to low. Simmer for about 20 minutes or until rice is fluffy and soft. Remove from heat and let stand covered for 5-10 minutes. Be sure to check rice package for any brand-specific cooking instructions. 
  2. While rice cooks, heat a large skillet over medium. Add 1 tablespoon butter to skillet with sausage. Brown sausage for a few minutes until skin is crisp and brown on all sides, remove from pan and slice. 
  3. Add onion to skillet and sauté until golden. Add remaining 1 tablespoon of butter and cranberries and cook for 1-2 minutes, until cranberries are softened. 
  4. Add garlic and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes, until garlic is fragrant. 
  5. Remove mix from pan and combine with sliced sausage in a large bowl.
  6. Add kale to still-hot pan with remaining 2 tablespoons of broth. Cover and steam for 1 minute. 
  7. Remove lid, stir then add to sausage bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
  8. Once rice is ready, add rice to bowl and toss ingredients to combine. Serve hot. 
Fresh Cranberry, Wild Rice & Kale Pilaf - #FreshCranFriday

Dietitian Nutritionist and cookbook author sharing flavor-forward recipes and simplified science-driven wellness.