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How to Make Homemade Rice-A-Roni

Watch the How to Make Homemade Rice a Roni video

Learn how to make homemade Rice-A-Roni, which is a delicious rice and pasta pilaf side dish. This tasty treat goes with almost any meal, but it is especially flavorful served alongside a chicken dish. (Rice-A-Roni® is a registered trademark of Golden Grain Company.)

My mom wasn’t much for buying prepackaged products, so I grew up eating homemade Rice-A-Roni. Nicknamed the “San Francisco Treat,” this recipe is one of my all-time favorite comfort foods. And I’m confident this homemade recipe will become one of your favorites too.

Affiliates note: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. My content may contain affiliate links to products and services. If you click through and make a purchase, I’ll receive a small commission. It does not affect the price you pay.

Why Make Rice-A-Roni Homemade?

It’s certainly easy to buy boxed foods at the grocery store, but the drawback is that those convenience foods often contain preservatives or chemicals that we don’t want in our traditional foods kitchens.

When you make food homemade, you can choose the ingredients you want to use. You can even change the quantity to add more or less of an ingredient, as well as include additional ingredients. For example, you can add black pepper to complement the turmeric in your homemade Rice-A-Roni.

Benefits of Adding Turmeric to Homemade Rice-A-Roni

Did you know that Rice-A-Roni contains turmeric? In addition to adding color to your dish, this spice contains curcumin, which is high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. It’s perfect for this recipe and your traditional foods kitchen.

Black pepper boosts our body’s ability to increase turmeric’s anti-inflammatory benefits, so we definitely want to include black pepper in our homemade Rice-a-Roni.

If you want to add more turmeric into your diet, try turmeric tea and turmeric golden milk. They are both easy to make and tasty ways to enjoy this fragrant spice.

Which Cooking Fat to use?

When making homemade Rice-A-Roni, you have a number of options when it comes to choosing the fat you want to use when you brown the pasta and rice. I used ghee in my video recipe, but you can also use olive oil or a combination of butter and olive oil.

However, if you have some rendered chicken fat (also known as schmaltz), you are in business! Schmaltz is delicious and adds the perfect flavor component to this side dish.

Homemade Rice-A-Roni Flavor Options

When making homemade Rice-A-Roni, you have a lot of options for flavor. In my recipe video, I use chicken bone broth to give my dish a chicken flavor, which is also one of the flavor options for the store-bought Rice-A-Roni.

You can change this recipe to use beef broth or beef bone broth to give your dish a beef flavor. You can also use a vegetable broth along with olive oil as your fat to turn this dish into a vegetarian treat!

If you want to make homemade chicken or beef bone broth, I show you how in the following tutorial videos.

Looking for Spaghetti Already Broken Up?

When I was shopping at Aldi, I found a fabulous packaged pasta product that contained thin spaghetti already broken up for you! It’s cut Fideo from their Pagasa brand, and it’s made with 100% semolina flour, which is always an ingredient of good pasta.

It’s easy to make homemade Rice-A-Roni by breaking up thin spaghetti. However, being able to use packages of already cut thin spaghetti that’s ready to toss into your frying pan as is, you will literally have your dish ready in minutes!

You can learn more about Fideo and the other foods I found during my shopping trip in my Top 10 Foods You Need to Buy Now at Aldi video.

Cuisinart cooktop

Whenever I make a video using my Cuisinart Countertop Burner, I get so many questions about it. Yes, I love this cooktop! It’s so handy, especially when I need to use my main stovetop for other projects. And it is great to use when I am home canning using my water bath canner.

More Easy Meals

In addition to making homemade Rice-A-Roni, try making the following easy meal recipes to help stretch your food budget and use wholesome ingredients. If you make homemade sloppy joes, be sure to make homemade hamburger buns to go with them. They’re easy to make, and again, you control the ingredients, unlike the store-bought bread sold in plastic.

How to Make a Chicken Dinner

Homemade Rice-A-Roni is the perfect side dish for chicken dinner, and if you’re looking for a chicken recipe, here are a few you can choose from. I love making roast chickens, but for a fall-off-the-bone chicken recipe where you can make chicken broth at the same time, give Praised Chicken a try.

Download Your Free 36-Page Pantry List

As you create your traditional foods kitchen, I am here to help you! For an extensive list of the traditional foods you can make and purchase to stock your pantry, be sure to download my free 36-page Traditional Foods Pantry List. This comprehensive eBook is full of links to recipe videos, helpful articles, and more!

Kitchen Academy Videos

Are you looking for more traditional foods videos? If so, I invite you to join the Traditional Foods Kitchen Academy. Members of this optional paid YouTube community get access to exclusive videos, live streams, and other members-only perks. Plus, your YouTube comments include a special members-only badge.

In the following members-only video, I talk about Digging for Victory: Land Girls and Food Shortages in WWII.

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I look forward to having you join me in my Texas Hill Country Kitchen!

Homemade Rice-A-Roni

5 from 5 votes
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Yield: 6 servings
Homemade Rice-A-Roni is a delicious rice and pasta pilaf side dish. This tasty treat goes with almost any meal, but it is especially flavorful served alongside a chicken dish.


  • 1 tbsp Ghee Alternatively, you can use olive oil or a combination of olive oil and butter.
  • 1 cup Rice, preferably long grain white rice
  • 1/2 pound Thin spaghetti, broken into 1/2"-1" pieces Alternatively, you can use regular spaghetti.
  • 1 small Yellow onion, peeled and grated
  • 1 small Garlic clove, peeled and grated
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dried parsley Alternatively, you can use 1 1/2 teaspoons of fresh parsley finely chopped.
  • 2 cups Chicken bone broth or chicken broth Alternatively, you can use beef bone broth, beef broth, or vegetable broth.


  • Place a skillet on the stovetop and set to medium heat.
  • Add the ghee to the skillet and allow it to melt.
  • Once the ghee is melted, add the thin spaghetti and rice to the skillet and sauté until lightly golden, approximately 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the onion and garlic and continue to sauté until fragrant, approximately 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the salt, pepper, turmeric, and parsley to the skillet and stir.
  • Add bone broth or broth to the skillet. Stir and bring up to a boil.
  • Once the mixture comes up to a boil, place a lid on the skillet, turn the heat down to medium or medium low (you do not want the mixture to boil), and allow to simmer for approximately 20 minutes until the bone broth or broth is absorbed and the rice pasta mixture is light and fluffy. (See video.)



Find this recipe and video at
(Rice-A-Roni® is a registered trademark of Golden Grain Company.)
Copyright © 2022 Mary’s Nest, LLC, All Rights Reserved
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Homemade Rice-A-Roni, Rice-A-Roni®, Side Dish
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Disclaimer:I am not a medical doctor, a medical professional, a dietician, or a nutritionist. All content found on the website, including text, images, videos, eBooks or eGuides, social media, or other formats, were created solely for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or proper nutritional advice. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have watched in a video or read on this website. Use caution when following the recipe in this video. The creator and publisher of this video and website will not be held responsible for any adverse effects that may arise from the use of this recipe and method or any other recipe and method on this website or corresponding video channel.

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  1. Jackie says:

    5 stars
    So easy and way better than the box! Delicious and can’t wait o make it again.

    1. Mary Bryant Shrader says:

      Hi Jackie,

      Thanks for your kind comment. I’m so happy you enjoyed the recipe!

      Love and God bless,

  2. Elaine says:

    I made this for supper tonight. I added ground turkey. It was really good. It will be made again! I also enjoy your videos.
    Thank you for sharing your knowledge.

    1. Mary Bryant Shrader says:

      Hi Elaine,

      Thanks for your kind comment. Adding ground turkey sounds delicious!

      Love and God bless,

  3. Carol says:

    I made this for the first time today and I can honestly say good-bye to buying the boxes of Rice-A-Roni. I agree this is a wonderful base recipe that can be customized at will. Thank you so much for this recipe!!!

    1. Mary Bryant Shrader says:

      Hi Carol,

      Thanks for your kind comment. Yes. This is so easy to make and you can customize your ingredients. I’m glad that you enjoyed the recipe!

      Love and God bless,

  4. Dana says:

    Hi Mary. Thank you for the recipe. I found that 2 cups of liquid wasn’t enough. It started sticking about half way through as the liquid was absorbed. Since it was very dry I had to add more olive oil and more seasoning for our tastes. I will try again with more liquid and my adjustments.

    1. Mary's Nest says:

      Hi Dana,

      Thanks for your comment. That sounds great. Yes. Please customize the recipe to add the ingredients and the level of moistness that you’d enjoy.

      Love and God bless,

  5. Barbara says:

    5 stars
    I made your homemade Rice-a-Roni yesterday and it is truly a keeper and a blank canvas to add your favorites to it. I added diced red and green peppers to the onions and garlic. Had some leftover rotisserie chicken which went in as well. And to guild the lily I served it with a splash of soy sauce and chopped green onion. Thank you for the inspiration.

    1. Mary's Nest says:

      Hi Barbara,

      Your additions sound delicious! I’m happy that you customized the recipe and made it your own.

      Thanks for your kind comment, and I’m so glad we’re on this traditional foods journey together!

      Love and God bless,

  6. Hélène says:

    I do this with 100% wholegrain spag and rice, just cook longer. Basically a pilaf but with pasta lol

    1. Mary's Nest says:

      Hi Hélène,

      Thanks for your comment. The recipe is a tasty combination and a comfort food that brings back nice memories.

      Love and God bless,

  7. Judith Davis says:

    5 stars
    To your basic recipe I added: celery, green onions, carrots, diced left-over pork roast, peas and corn. This changed it from a side dish to a main dish. It turned out delicious and will certainly make again. I have never used turmeric in cooking before but it is now part of my spice cabinet. I learn a lot from Mary’s videos and love them. Thanks for the inspirations.

    1. Mary's Nest says:

      Hi Judith,

      I love all of your additions, and yes, with the addition of your pork roast, you’ve made it into a main dish, like a delicious fried rice. I’m happy that you’re using turmeric more often too.

      Thanks for your wonderful comments and recommendations. I’m so glad we’re on this traditional foods journey together!

      Love and God bless,

  8. Susan Williams says:

    5 stars
    Thanks for showing us how to make things being there when questions

    1. Mary's Nest says:

      Hi Susan,

      Thank you for your kind comment. I’m so happy to help.

      Love and God bless,

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