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Wild Rice Hotdish with Ras el Hanout and Dates

Wild Rice hot dish

This hotdish bursts with the flavor of the Moroccan spice mix ras el hanout and gets a nice bit of sweetness from dates and coconut milk, whose richness is balanced by a squeeze of lemon and sprinkle of fresh parsley.

  • Duration
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 6 - 8Servings


  • ¾ cup wild rice, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups water
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 4 large carrots, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • Black pepper
  • 4 teaspoons Ras el Hanout
  • 1 pound ground beef (85% lean)
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 1 can (13.5 ounces) full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 ⅓ cups beef or vegetable broth
  • ⅓ cup packed pitted dates, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 1 sleeve saltines
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice


1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease a 13 x 9-inch baking dish. (Alternatively, if you use a Dutch oven to cook the onion mixture—see below—you can bake the mixture in the Dutch oven.)

2. In a medium saucepan, combine the wild rice, water, and ¼ teaspoon of the salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 30 minutes. Drain the rice and set it aside.

3. In a large pot or 4-quart Dutch oven, heat 4 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrots, a few turns of black pepper, and ¼ teaspoon of the salt and cook, stirring, until soft, about 10 minutes. 

4. Add the ras el hanout and cook for 2 more minutes and then add the beef and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt. Cook, breaking up the meat with a spoon, until it is no longer pink. Add the flour and stir to combine. Add the coconut milk and cook, stirring, until thickened, and then add the broth and cook, stirring, until thickened. Add the dates. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. Stir in the wild rice and mix to combine. If not using a Dutch oven, pour the mixture into the baking dish.

5. Place the saltines in a large zip-top bag, crush them up, then toss them with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Spread the crackers over the top of the dish. Bake uncovered for 35 minutes. Top with fresh parsley and lemon juice. Let cool slightly before serving.

Recipe posted with permission from Molly on the Range: Recipes and Stories from an Unlikely Life on a Far.