Homemade Rice-a-Roni

Homemade Rice a Roni Recipe 

Do you like the taste of boxed Rice-a-Roni but have been looking for a healthier alternative?  Do you dislike store-bought Rice-a-Roni but would still love a great side dish?  Whichever camp you’re in, you’re going to love this Homemade Rice-a-Roni!

I’ve been making several variations of this Rice-a-Roni for years.  It’s a perfect accompaniment to meat, poultry or fish along with your choice of vegetable.  I just made some of this Homemade Rice-a-Roni to go with some juicy pork chops and thought it would be great to share with you.  This is a fantastic base recipe that you can tweak any which way you like.  You can substitute the toasted walnuts with pecans or pine nuts, for example.  You can use chicken or beef broth if you prefer.  You can substitute the rosemary for any herb of your choice.  Add broccoli or other veggies.  Whichever options you choose, this will become a favorite go-to recipe when you’re in the need of a great-tasting side dish.

Homemade Rice a Roni Recipe

So let’s get started!

We’re going to use long-grain rice which is very important for the consistency (I prefer brown rice, in this instance brown basmati rice) and orzo.  Some Rice-a-Roni uses broken up vermicelli pasta, but I like the shape of orzo.

Homemade Rice a Roni prep 1

Melt the butter and olive oil in a skillet and add the rice, orzo and chopped walnuts.

Rice a Roni prep 2

Saute until half of the rice and orzo is browned.

Rice a Roni prep 3Rice a Roni prep 4

Add the onion and saute for another 2 minutes.

Rice a Roni prep 5

Add the broth, herbs, salt and pepper.  This time I used chicken broth for a Chicken Rice-a-Roni.

Rice a Roni prep 6

Bring it to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer as you would normally cook rice, 15-20 minutes (depending on whether you’re using brown or white rice), or until done.  Fluff with a fork and serve.

Rice a Roni prep 7Homemade Chicken Rice a Roni RecipeRice a Roni 3

Homemade Rice-a-Roni
Serves: 4
  • 1 cup brown or white long-grain rice
  • ½ cup orzo
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 3 cups broth of your choice
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon dried rosemary or herb of your choice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Heat the oil and butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the rice, orzo and nuts and saute, stirring frequently, until half of the rice and orzo is browned.
  2. Add the onion and cook for another two minutes.
  3. Add the chicken stock, salt and herbs and stir to combine.
  4. Bring it to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and cook as you would normally cook rice, about 15-20 minutes or until the rice is done.
  5. Fluff with a fork and serve immediately.


7 Responses

  1. GrammarDiva

    wrote on

    Could you add ground beef for a main dish? I personally would not, but my husband loves Rice-A-Roni with ground beef ’cause his mama made it for him. (YECH). This looks really good. Thanks!

    • The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Hi GrammarDiva! You bet! And you’re such a good wife to accommodate your husbands requests :)

  2. wrote on

    I have a fun time sorting through your recipes1 I found you on a google search for rice a roni, I really enjoyed this recipe! Rice a roni was a childhood favorite of mine. I am your newest follower…we seems to like a lot of the same foods!

    • The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Hi, Tessa, and welcome! I’m so thrilled you found my site and already tried one of my recipes! So happy to have you on board!

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