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.
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.
Melt the butter and olive oil in a skillet and add the rice, orzo and chopped walnuts.
Saute until half of the rice and orzo is browned.
Add the onion and saute for another 2 minutes.
Add the broth, herbs, salt and pepper. This time I used chicken broth for a Chicken Rice-a-Roni.
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.
- 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
- 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.
- Add the onion and cook for another two minutes.
- Add the chicken stock, salt and herbs and stir to combine.
- Bring it to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and cook as you would normally cook rice, about 15-20 minutes (if using white rice, longer if using brown) or until the rice is done.
- Fluff with a fork and serve immediately.
Kelli A Bowers says
Never buying this in a box again. Excellent recipe.
Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet says
Thanks so much, Kelli, I’m happy you enjoyed it!
Pamela Panaro says
My girlfriend couldn’t believe I made this from s ratch, delicious! Taste so much better than the box, and I liked it😣
Kristie Simmons says
We were wanting rice a roni for dinner tonight but did not have any. I Google for a recipe and found this one. It matched the ingredients I had on hand minus the walnuts. It was absolutely delicious 😋 Thank you so much for sharing.
How would you tweak this recipe if trying to replicate the Herb and Butter flavor Rice A Roni?
Hi Kimberly, this looks like a great recipe, thanks. How do you get brown basmati rice to cook in 20 minutes, though?? Brown rice takes about 50 minutes to cook. You haven’t had a problem with the rice not getting fully cooked in 20 minutes? Thanks again!
Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet says
Hi Lisa, this calls for either brown or white rice and too cook it for 20 or until the rice is done, depending on which rice you’re using. Sorry for the confusion.