Cranberry-Thyme Stuffing Recipe (With Brown Rice)

Cranberry-Thyme Stuffing Recipe (With Brown Rice)
Heather Nicholds, C.H.N.

I like the contrast of savory with sweet, and soft with crunchy, in this dish. The flavors are wonderfully rich, and yet this stuffing doesn’t feel heavy at all.

I love the texture of stuffing when I make it with brown rice. Cooking the rice with a bit of apple cider infuses it with flavor.

Cranberry-Thyme Stuffing Recipe

Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Makes 6 servings

Adding lots of veggies, and some dried cranberries and almonds at the end, makes for a delicious dish that really could stand alone if you wanted.

But it’s also perfect for baking as stuffing – and there are so many options for plant foods that can be stuffed. Squash, sweet potato, red pepper, or a hollowed out zucchini or eggplant would all be lovely.

This stuffing keeps really well in the fridge, so you could make it in advance to save yourself some time pre-holiday meal.

I used thyme because it’s my favorite, but sage or rosemary would also work really well in this dish. Those three are traditional stuffing seasonings, but you could also branch out and try this with basil and oregano or even mint.


  • 1 cup brown rice (dry measure)
  • 1/2 cup pure apple cider or juice
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 cup mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 apple, chopped
  • pinch salt & pepper
  • 2 tsp thyme
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds


  1. Put the rice, along with the cider, 1 tsp of thyme and water, in a pot. Sprinkle a bit of sea salt in the water, bring it to a boil for a couple of minutes, then turn down to low and simmer for 45 minutes. Don’t stir the rice while it’s cooking.
  2. Meanwhile, chop the vegetables and lightly saute them in a bit of olive oil. Start with the mushrooms, allowing them to fully soften, then add the onions, garlic, carrots, celery and apple, allowing each to soften slightly before adding the next. Season with salt, pepper and the 2 tsp of thyme, and then take off the heat.
  3. When the rice is cooked, stir in the vegetables along with the cranberries and almonds.
  4. If you’re making it ahead, keep the stuffing in the fridge until you are ready to get dinner ready. Then put it into the skin of a squash, sweet potato or potato – or a baking dish – and heat in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until it’s heated.


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