Instant Pot Rice-a-Roni is a real food side dish the whole family will go crazy for! With simple gluten free pantry ingredients and no weird fillers like the box, this hands off dish is a snap to pull together!
And no worries if you’ve yet to acquire an Instant Pot, I have directions for stove top homemade rice-a-roni too!
Growing up, I simply adored all varieties of Rice-a-Roni. It was total comfort food for me! It’s why my Instant Pot Rice-a-Roni Chicken is one the family’s favorite meals…EVERYONE loves the nostalgic flavor!!
Of course, once I grew up and started reading labels….there was no way I was going to feed my family something so heavily processed and loaded with nasty ingredients!
Is Rice a Roni gluten free?
When you buy the box….most definitely NOT! That’s another reason making your own homemade version is SO awesome! Check out all these highly processed ingredients:
- RICE, WHEAT FLOUR, DURUM WHEAT SEMOLINA, SALT, SUGAR, AUTOLYZED YEAST EXTRACT*, HYDROLYZED SOY PROTEIN, ONIONS*, MONOSODIUM GLUTAMATE, NATURAL FLAVOR, PARSLEY*, GARLIC*, CHICKEN BROTH*, CHICKEN FAT, TURMERIC SPICE WHICH IMPARTS COLOR, HYDROLYZED CORN GLUTEN, NIACIN*, DISODIUM GUANYLATE, DISODIUM INOSINATE, FERRIC ORTHOPHOSPHATE, FERROUS SULFATE, THIAMIN MONONITRATE, TURMERIC EXTRACT, FOLIC ACID, RIBOFLAVIN.
MSG??? That is KNOWN to have serious reactions for many people, so don’t eat it! Nasty!!
And what does hydrolyzed or autolyzed mean? I don’t want to know!): I just know there is no need for those kind of franken ingredients in our diet when homemade versions are just as simple and delicious!
To make homemade chicken rice a roni gluten free, you just use your favorite gluten free spaghetti noodles! That’s IT! Everything else is naturally gluten free!
Nutritional boost options:
My kids are not big meat eaters. They will eat some…but their protein is lacking. So I get creative!
I like to make this with either homemade bone broth, Perfect Supplements Bone Broth Powder, or add in some collagen to my broth! Just like that….I’ve created a more nutrient dense side for my family!
Can I make homemade beef Rice-a-Roni?
Most definitely! And it is is SUPER easy! Switch out to beef broth, and for spices try this seasoning mix instead:
- 1/2 teaspoon ground rosemary or sage, 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, and 1/2 teaspoon onion powder/granules
Serving suggestions for homemade rice a roni
Serve along side any favorite family meal! Here are some of our favorites:
- with a green salad and my garlic lemon infused crispy fish amandine!
- my roasted lemon garlic chicken is bursting with flavor and is simple to make!
- this stove top pork tenderloin takes only 20 minutes start to finish!
- this gluten free baked oregano chicken looks fab!
Additional great side dishes to try
Some nights, it’s just a bag salad of some sort, but there are several go too QUICK and easy side dishes I turn to when I need something PRONTO! Here are a few of my favs:
- this quick sautéed broccoli is ready in under 10
- good luck not eating the whole pan with this popular baked sweet potato fries recipe
- slaw is one of my low carb go-to side dishes. The coleslaw recipe in my kalua pork post is where it’s at!!!
- this mashed cauliflower is right up my alley!
Can I make stove top homemade rice a roni?
Yes!!! Not EVERYone has an Instant Pot yet…OR maybe you have your MAIN dish in your pressure cooker, and need to to do your side on the stove?
I will put how to cook on the stove top notes in the recipe card notes below!
Instant Pot Homemade Rice a Roni Recipe:
If you make this nostalgic side, be sure to come back and leave a comment and star rating!
I created a simple (real food) Rice a Roni substitute perfect for families!! My whole family loves this recipe, and I get my comfort food back!
Instant Pot Rice a Roni
- 2 tablespoons butter or avocado oil if you need dairy free
- 2 oz gluten free spaghetti noodles broken into small pieces. About 1/2 cup
- 1 cup California basmati rice or long grain rice, or jasmine
- 1 1/2 cup chicken broth or beef broth. Bone broth works great too for added protein and nutrition.
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt add 1/2 teaspoon more if your broth has no salt
- 1/8 teaspoon turmeric optional, for color only
Preheat your Instant Pot by hitting the 'saute' button. Add in your butter to melt. Pre measure your rice, and mix your broth and seasonings together so you can work quickly.
Once the butter is sizzling, add in your broken spaghetti noodles, stirring to coat.
Stir noodles occasionally for 2-3 minutes until uniformly golden. Add in your rice, stirring.
Now add in your broth and seasonings. Use a spoon or spatula to ensure you scrape any browned bits off the bottom of the Instant Pot insert. This will help you avoid the annoying 'burn' notice.
Lock on the lid (pressure vent closed), hit 'pressure cook' or 'manual and set time for 6 minutes.
As soon as the time is up, hit 'cancel' and leave the pressure cooker to natural release for at least 15 minutes. Incidentally, I often make this an hour or more in advance and just let it sit there until dinner time!!
Release any residual pressure by opening the vent, and enjoy!
STOVE TOP DIRECTIONS: In a pan over medium heat with a tight fitting lid, saute the noodles until golden. Add in the rice, stirring to mix. Fry a bit. Then mix in 2 1/4 cup broth and seasonings, stirring. Bring to a slow boil, cover, and reduce to a LOW simmer. Cook for an additional 15 minutes, turn off heat LEAVING the lid on. Let rice rest for 5-10 minutes, then serve!
How much is one serving?
never measured amount, maybe 1/2 cup?
I’m sad to admit we used to have this in our pantry regularly. Gross! Thanks for this healthy version.
linda spiker says
Oh yum! Childhood comfort food, but better!
there’s a lot of weird stuff in that packaged rice o roni, much MUCH rather have yours!
ChihYu Smith says
What a fabulous side dish for everyday as well as special occasions! Love the new flavor, too!
STACEY CRAWFORD says
I do miss rice a roni, lol. This is a much better alternative!
My family will love this! Can’t wait to try it.
Looks like a simple but tasty recipe – the best type! Homemade is always so much better than from a box!
Raia Todd says
I don’t think I’ve ever made rice-a-roni, from scratch or a box. My hubby loves it, though, so I might give this a try!
Rach's Recipes says
Thank you for sharing this was really good. I added all the spices as recommended but instead of garlic powder I used mildly toasted garlic bits. Delicious!
Tessa Simpson says
One of our favs Rach, so glad you liked it too!
Oh no – I received an error message when I clicked on the link 🙁 … and I really wanted to know how to make Rice a Roni, lol!!
Tessa Simpson says
Yikes Megan…this publishes on April 7th, my bad!!
Tessa Simpson says
Megan, it is live now!