Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Ditch the Box - Homemade Rice-a-Roni- Chicken

I tried a new recipe for Homemade Chicken Rice-a-Roni the other night.  It was a COMPLETE SUCCESS!  This stuff was straight on just as good as the boxed kind.  Ditch the box!  I'll never buy a box of Rice-a-Roni again!  What's better is that you can mix up most of the ingredients and make a homemade Rice-a-Roni mix that you can keep in your pantry.  I'm loving that!  Saves money and better for you!

Rice-a-Roni is something that I love.  My mom never made anything out of a box except pudding and jello so I didn't discover my love for all things Rice-a-Roni until I got married and we started going to BBQs at our friends' houses.  One of our friends always brought a big fluffy dish of Rice-a-Roni and I could never get enough.

I found this recipe on a favorite blog - Chickens in the Road.  Suzanne makes all kinds of wonderful things at home that most people buy in the store.  I found this recipe on her Farm Bell recipes.  When I was seeking out a recipe to try for this dish I knew that I could depend on anything I found on her site.  

Sometimes I have homemade chicken broth in the freezer but this week I didn't.  So instead I used two chicken bouillon cubes  plus 2 cups of water to make the chicken broth called for in this recipe.  This was not the healthiest way to do it - I don't know what's in chicken bouillon cubes, but it was the cheapest, especially since I already had chicken bouillon cubes in my pantry.  Those things are great meal starters!

Remember that one of the best parts about Rice-a-Roni is having a box of the stuff ready to cook in your pantry.  Just having this recipe in your repertoire will not make it as handy as actually having the mix.  So mix up an extra batch - in a canning jar or in a zip type baggy, and you will be ready to go.  You could even include the two wrapped bouillon cubes in the jar/baggy so that the only ingredients you need to add would be water and butter/margarine - which by the way are also the only ingredients required to make a box of Rice-a-Roni.

Here's how I made Homemade Rice-a-Roni-Chicken AT HOME MY WAY:

Homemade Rice-a-Roni Mix

Dry ingredients:  (Combine in a jar or sealable baggy)
  • 3/4 cup long grain white rice (NOT minute rice)
  • 1/2 cup broken thin spaghetti or angel hair (less than 1 inch)
  • 1 teaspoon chicken base (granulated)
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt & Pepper, optional
  • 2 cubes chicken bouillon (ONLY if not using real chicken broth) 
Additional ingredients:
  • 2 Tablespoons margarine/butter
  • 2 cups water (if using 2 chicken bouillon cubes) or 2 cups of real chicken broth
Directions:  (these are the same as on the box of Rice-a-Roni)  

If not using real chicken broth, first make 2 cups of broth using the 2 chicken bouillon cubes & water).  (I heat the water & bouillon cubes in a glass measuring cup in the microwave until the cubes dissolve-stir well.)

Melt 2 Tablespoons butter/margarine in a skillet.  Dump all dry ingredients (except bouillon cubes) into the skillet and stir/cook for approximately one minute until pasta is turning barely a little brown.  (Don't forget to stir!) Add the chicken broth.  Stir well.

COVER, stirring occasionally (especially right after it starts cooking) - COOK on low/medium - just simmering- 18 - 20 minutes or until water is absorbed and rice/pasta looks fluffy.  
(NOTE:  If the rice isn't fully cooked and it appears dry, add a small amount of water (1/4 cup) and continue cooking with a lid a little longer.)

Remember to include the list of additional ingredients and directions on your mix.

Options after cooking:
  • Adding some cooked vegetables (I like mixed vegetables but mushrooms would be great  or cooked zucchini, squash, etc. or even canned beans-drained) would make this go even farther!
  • You could also add cooked chicken to the rice and make it a main dish.  (I grew up eating Cuban chicken & yellow rice and adding cooked chicken would make this very similar.)




  1. Thanks Gina! That is awesome! We LOVE Rice-a-roni:) I will try this!

    1. Let me know if you try it, Theresa! I ate every last bit of it leftover for lunch for a few days. The last day I just dumped it in my lunch container, added in a little bit of frozen mixed vegetables (uncooked) warmed in the office microwave. It took on a new life that was completely wonderful! Sometimes rice doesn't warm up very good but for some reason this was perfect leftover! Enjoy!

  2. I ate so much rice and pasta-roni when I was in college (which was quite a while ago) but once I read the ingredient list, I've tried to stay away. I'll totally have to give this homemade version a try!

    1. Let me know if you try it! I loved it! And leftovers warmed up perfectly. Thanks for commenting. I love to know when someone actually is reading my blog besides my children LOL. Have a great day!



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