Homemade Rice-a-Roni

October 18, 2011 2 Comments

Making your own Rice-a-Roni Dish at home is simple, tasty, and inexpensive.

A few notes before we begin:

  • This recipe uses white rice and rice pasta.  Remember that white rice is “endosperm rice” and has had the bran removed, so they contain very little fiber.  Make sure that you are getting fiber in another meal, or in your side dish.
  • There are very little vegetables in this dish.  If you are serving it as a full meal, you should add a vegetable like frozen peas, carrots, broccoli, etc.  You could also serve a fresh salad on the side.

Homemade Rice-a-Roni


  • 1/2 lb ground beef (Ground chicken or turkey makes a healthy substitute)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 TBSP butter
  • 1 C rice
  • 8 0z spaghetti, broken into 1 inch pieces
  • 3 C broth (Ours is leftover from our vegetable cooking lab)


  1. Brown ground meat over medium heat.
  2. Add onion and saute until translucent.
  3. Add butter and stir until melted.
  4. Brown the spaghetti and rice for about two minutes: just until golden.
  5. Add broth and bring to boil.
  6. Cover, and reduce heat to simmer.
  7. Add frozen or fresh vegetables now, if desired.
  8. Simmer 20 minutes, or until rice and spaghetti is cooked through.

I find that a lot of my students depend on salty, processed convenience food when preparing meals.  This dish is made from whole ingredients and all of the ingredients are shelf-stable.  Students can make this dish just as easily as Hamburger Helper.

I demonstrated this dish with our grains unit.  We watched Alton Brown’s “Waves of Grains: Power to the Pilaf” while we waited for the rice to simmer and while we enjoyed the dish.

I did not add salt or pepper to this dish for the class but set the salt and pepper shaker to the side.  You can adjust the seasonings to your own taste.

Please comment below to share your favorite whole-food convenience recipes.


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  • Quick and Easy Rice-a-Roni Dish October 18, 2011 at 9:49 pm

    […] You can get the recipe and more from my FCS For All website. […]

  • Jennifer @ Fast, Cheap, and Good November 3, 2011 at 12:34 pm


    I blogged about my version, which used yours as inspiration. Thanks so much!


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    I’m Kayla Pins – Health and Family and Consumer Sciences teacher to high school students in rural Iowa. Welcome to my online home where I share lesson plans, activities, and inspiration with fellow teachers.


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