A Family Recipe: A Thanksgiving Tradition You Can Taste

Halloween is over and it’s time to put away the cat ears and mermaid skirts to exchange them for cookbooks and turkey basters.

Story by Elise Horsak

Photos by Brianna Casselman

In fact, we are approaching my favorite holiday of the year: Thanksgiving! Naturally the holiday that is centered around food is my favorite. But, what I truly love about this holiday is not just the quantity of food, but the quality.

While most people will have the classics at their table—turkey, stuffing, pie and the works—many families have variations and special dishes unique to them. These may be of a slight variation, like a different style of potatoes, or something outside the norm. Repeated year after year and passed on to each generation, these dishes are an integral part of a Thanksgiving meal, and without them, the table would not be complete.

I’m here to share a favorite from my own Thanksgiving table: my mom’s famous wild rice recipe. Over the years, she has always prioritized this dish because of its history. Not only did my grandmother pass it on to her, but it was first passed on from my great-grandmother. This particular dish is The Rariden Family Wild Rice, a four-generation tradition that has rightfully earned its reputation as one of the crowd favorites.

This savory dish is sure to bring a small taste of home to your Friendsgiving feasts this year.

This savory dish is sure to bring a small taste of home to your Friendsgiving feasts this year.



  • 1 box (6 oz.) long grain wild rice (Ensure it is only wild rice, and not a blend)
  • 4-6 cans chicken broth
  • 1 lb. breakfast sausage
  • ½ - 1 lb. sliced mushrooms
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 or 2 cups celery, diced
  • 1 tsp. thyme
  • Worcestershire sauce, to taste
  • Parsley



  1. Wash and soak the rice in 1 can of chicken broth. Leave the rice to soak either over-night or all day in the refrigerator.
  2. After soaking, cook the rice and 4 more cans of broth on top of the stove. Cook on medium-high until the rice splits and curls. This can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, but be sure it is cooked thoroughly.
    1. Note: The curly rice is what gives this dish its signature look! As you know, you’ll be taking a picture of your dinner table later so image is everything.
  3. Brown the sausage in a pan and drain the grease. Using the same pan, sauté the onions, celery and mushrooms. It’s best to leave a little grease in the pan to cook and season with.
  4. Take the sausage, onions, celery and mushrooms and add them to the rice. Next, add the thyme, worcestershire sauce (4-6 shakes) and a handful of parsley. Mix together.
  5. Transfer the mixture into a buttered casserole dish. Pour a small amount of chicken broth over the dish before cooking, and again halfway through the cooking period. Be sure not to drench the food by pouring too much. This step is only to prevent the mixture from drying out.
  6. Bake for 30-40 minutes at 350 degrees or until hot throughout.


This recipe is so easy to make, and it can be doubled or tripled if serving a larger crowd!

My family will be sure to enjoy our beloved wild rice this Thanksgiving, and we’re excited to pass it on.