No need to buy the box anymore! This super quick and easy Gluten-Free Homemade Rice-A-Roni copycat recipe is a no-fail, vegan, allergy-free side dish the entire family will love! Just 7 ingredients (including seasoning), one-pot, and 15 minutes!
Rice-A-Roni, where have you been all my life? Did you grow-up with the iconic red boxed rice and pasta side dish? If you did…you’re lucky! Surprise, but I never had it (until now!) My mom never bought it at the grocery store, so I never had it, but I always saw and heard about it. Recently (for some reason), the appeal of Rice-A-Roni and a crazing for the taste I never had, hit me hard. Considering Rice-A-Roni is NOT gluten-free, I’d have to take measures into my own hands if I wanted to satisfy this random craving.
So what is Rice-A-Roni?
If you’ve never had Rice-A-Roni, like me, or you never even heard of it, let me give you the rundown. It is a simple pilaf-style side dish of white rice, broken spaghetti noodles, butter, spices and herbs. The dry rice and pasta are toasted and browned in the pot before fully boiling. According to the historical background: An Italian immigrant who opened up a pasta factory in San Francisco, California called, Gragnano Products Inc. in 1912. The son of, Vince, of the founder was inspired by a pilaf recipe he had that consisted of rice and macaroni. Vince decided to combine a dry chicken soup mix, rice, and macaroni in a box and sell it, marketing it as “The San Francisco Treat!” Various flavors came out after the initial chicken flavor and years later, Pasta Roni also spun off as a separate product.
How do you make Rice-A-Roni gluten-free, vegan, and allergy-free?
As you’ve read, Rice-A-Roni is rather minimal in ingredients. Meaning, we only need to make a few simple swaps to achieve our gluten-free, vegan, allergy-free Rice-A-Roni copycat recipe. Of course, now-a-days, boxed Rice-A-Roni you buy in the store has a whole host of unnecessary ingredients that come in typical packaged processed foods that were not in the original version (like MSG and soy), that’s for sure! The only real food ingredients you need to make this one-pot wonder are: long grain white rice, thin gluten-free spaghetti, onion, garlic, olive oil, parsley, and broth.
How about some flavoring options?
I’ve been keeping my gluten-free Rice-A-Roni plain and original, but you can make a few simple swaps are customize to your flavoring preferences with this baseline recipe. Since I’m posting this as a vegan Rice-A-Roni, vegetable broth is the go-to. However, you can easily use chicken, beef, even seafood broth if that’s your thing. Broth, stock or even bone broths will work! A subtle ingredient swap, but use what you know your family will enjoy most! Of course, you can also add any herbs and spices your heart desires. Want to make it veggie packed? Go ahead and add in some chopped broccoli, corn, peas, mushrooms, whatever floats your boat!
This homemade copycat of Rice-A-Roni came out so delicious that it instilled the same craving that randomly overcame me, into everyone else in the household. Needless to say, it has become a frequent dinner request in the Strength and Sunshine household. It will become a go-to in your kitchen too! You’ll love how easy, quick, tummy-friendly, and simple it is. Nothing fancy, nothing expensive (cheap, delicious eats, anyone?) You’ll never need to buy the boxed stuff (or even try the boxed stuff) ever again! And if you used to eat it, but can’t now because of obvious reasons…well…here you go!
Easy Gluten-Free Homemade Rice-A-Roni
- In a large sauce pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat and then add the broken spaghetti, onion, and garlic.
- Brown for about 3-5 minutes, stirring things about so nothing burns, before adding the parsley and white rice, stirring everything together.
- Now add the 3 cups of broth, bring the pot to a boil before covering with a lid and simmering until all the liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes.
- Fluff with a fork and top with additional parsley to serve.
See how easy that is? Once you have everything prepped and the browning done, it’s a totally hands-off side dish! Let me tell you…this gluten-free Rice-A-Roni is out of this world delicious! I mean, I may have missed “the real thing” growing up, but I honestly don’t think it would have ever compared to this MUCH better copycat!
So tell me:
+ Did you grow up eating Rice-A-Roni? My mom always made us this rice side dish instead.
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