Homemade Rice A Roni

One of the things that I have done in trying to avoid packaged food is cut out all packaged rice and pasta mix. We did not eat these very often, but I would keep them on hand for when I needed a quick side dish.

I have tried several recipes that I found online and could not find one that we liked. I was almost ready to give up on finding one when I saw on in the cookbook Dining On A Dime. It looked like it might be worth a try.

It was. This recipe was really good. I make up a big batch of it and store it in a Tupperware container. Then I always have it on hand when I want it. It is also cheaper than the store bought mixes.

I will warn you though this is not yellow or brown like the real “rice a roni”. The box mix has a lot of stuff in it to make it look like it should be chicken or beef flavored. This homemade version is much more appealing. It looks like rice and noodles should.


Lynn's Kitchen Adventures


  1. That sounds so good. I hate buying the rice a roni from the store b/c i don’t know what is really in it. Thanks for the recipe!

  2. I have always liked ric a roni but don’t buy it very often because it costs too much. Thanks for the great, and I’m sure much more healthy alternative!

    p.s. Thanks for stopping by my blog :)

  3. While I generally liked Rice-A-Roni in the past, the salt content is outrageous. I’m definitely trying this recipe.


  4. I love this- I often make rice a roni for lunch with vegetables and left over meat added. But I don’t like the fact that it has preservatives in it. I’m going to give this a try! Thanks.

  5. This sounds great as I have a TON of rice and pasta!! One question though and this maybe a stupid one but I don’t have the bouillon powder but rather the cubes. Could I grind it to powder?

  6. Shynea @ Penny Pinching Diva says:

    Thank you for this recipe. I like Eice-a-roni and so does my boys. This will really come into use for my family.

  7. WendyDarling says:

    This sounds like a fantastic alternative to Rice-A-Roni. I’m definitely trying it. :-)

  8. Krisi and Adam says:

    Sounds like a great alternative to Rice-a-Roni. Will add this to my cupboard.

  9. Oh, what a great idea!!! Does the seasoning fall to the bottom of the container though?

  10. Kirstin, the spices do fall to the bottom some. I always shake or stir it right before I use it to solve this problem.

  11. I’ve got my ingredients, now I’m wondering about serving sizes. For the mix recipe you gave us how many servings does that make? Thanks.

  12. One cup of the mix made up feeds our family of five. But my kids are still pretty small ages 6,8, and 10. I think one cup of the mix though will give you about the same as a box of rice a roni.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for this recipe. When eating Ramen noodles, I always have leftovers from the seasoning packet–I typically only use about a quarter of it. I store the remaining seasoning in a bottle and use it like bouillon powder. One could certainly use the Ramen seasoning in this, if you have leftovers. Sodium content is high, but same as in bouillon. Just use less–a little of either goes a long way. Alternately, one might skip the powder altogether, and replace the water with low-sodium or homemade stock or broth. The flavor might be more mild, but you could boost it by stirring in fresh herbs at the end.

  14. Hi,
    Is beef bouillon powder different than beef instant bouillon? I made this last night and it was extremely salty, so I thought maybe I used the wrong thing. Please let me know. Thanks!

    • @Angie, Different brands of bouillon can contain different amounts of salt. So that may be the difference. You can always cut back a little on the bouillon if you think it is too salty. I think it is a bit salty but less salty then the real rice a roni.

  15. Thank you for a fantastic recipe!!! My son who always says he doesn’t like rice had two HUGE servings of this. I finally have a side dish that the entire family will eat (happily)!! Thank you, Thank you, thank you!

  16. I LOVE Rice-a-Roni and it was one of the only packaged mixes left in my pantry… until I found this recipe of yours. Thanks so much! It’s wonderful.

  17. The only thing that bothers me about bouillon is that it almost always contains msg. I wonder if anybody has found any that does not? At least the amount of chemicals all togther would be vastly less than rice dinner mixes at the store, even with the bouillon. Sounds very good.

  18. Great idea and very tasty!

    Try this idea… leave out the bullion (too much salt and preservatives anyway) and instead of 2 cups of water, use 2 cups of stock (homemade gives you complete control) of your choice.

    Add in: sauté some thinly sliced mushrooms in that initial phase with the rice and noodles.

    After it’s been cooked about 15 minutes; add 1/4 cup of milk, stir, and let stand uncovered covered 5 minutes. Very creamy.

  19. Mommytoneb says:

    I saw your recipe and with great excitement prepared it for dinner last night. I think perhaps I did something wrong! The rice was severely undercooked. I kept having to cook it longer and longer, and add more water. The roni’s then were overcooked. Any suggestions? Is it better to saute the mix in the butter before adding the liquid? I am sad, and so confused! Thanks……

    • @Mommytoneb, This was a recipe I posted early in my site. I have not made this since I went gluten free two years ago. But from what I remember we did like the texture better when I sauteed the mixture first in butter.

  20. If you want to make it yellow, add some turmeric. That’s probably what makes the boxed version yellow. It’s commonly used in south Indian cooking — it’s what gives yellow curry its color. :-)

  21. Molly Trumbull says:

    Do you use minute rice or long grain rice I would love to try this recipie and thank you:)

  22. I made this for the first time tonight and it was delicious! My husband even commented “this is a keeper!” I have made three of your recipes so far and they were all good. I will be trying many more. Thank you for sharing!

  23. I had the same dilemma when we switched to real, whole foods. I finally perfected a chicken flavored rice we love. I cook the rice in 2 cups of homemade chicken stock (salted to taste), and 2 tablespoons of homemade poultry seasoning blend. It’s really good, and so easy! I’ll have to try adding in some “roni”.

  24. adrienne says:

    I make this too, but use orzo pasta. I always toast the rice and pasta for awhile in a little butter before adding the broth and seasonings. I think it makes a huge difference. Yum!

  25. I made the mix for this a few weeks back and got to cook it tonight. It was a hit with my family! My granddaughter could not get enough. I blogged about this recipe on my site (http://mytinyhousedream.blogspot.com/2013/07/puttin-by-home-made-rice-roni.html) but felt compelled to stop by and say thank you. We love, love, love your recipes! Thank so much for sharing!

  26. Curious, I don’t keep bouillon powder in the house. Only the cubes! How many cubes should I use to make this?

    • I would adjust it for the amount of cubes needed for 2 cups of water. I think that would be 1, but check to make sure.

  27. I found that 6tbs of bouillon was way too salty, I tripled the rice and pasta and still find it way to salty, maybe it should be tsp not tbs

  28. Can’t WAIT to try this. I hate all the “bad stuff” in the box mixes, but my son loves it and I’m so happy to find a version I can make at home!! YAY!!!

  29. I have spent many years trying to find a suitable home made recipe for rice a Roni fried rice! It is one of my favorite childhood dinner foods. The recipe you listed is closest I have ever tasted! I slightly amended the cooking directions as I prefer to brown the rice a bit before adding water and seasoning. Thanks again for sharing your tasty find!
    God bless you and everything that comes out of your kitchen adventures!


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