I was just organizing my picture folders and was shocked to see that I hadn't used this picture. No name on it, no category, nothing. Just sitting there, unused and unloved. I'm so shocked because this Copycat Rice-A-Roni recipe is one of my favorite side dishes to make. I can't believe I haven't shared it with you all before. Especially, since last week you guys specifically requested I make you side dishes. I was struggling with that a little bit, because I use a lot of shortcuts on side dishes and this would have been my ace in the hole. Better late than never. Right?
All I think of when I hear Rice-A-Roni is that commercial. You know the one, with the trolley and the jingle "Rice-A-Roni....The San Francisco Treat". And it was my favorite as a kid. But, now that I'm a grown up (or pretend to be), I'm not a huge fan of the ingredient list. My number one peeve with them is that it contains soy protein. You know my kid can't have soy, so no boxed stuff here. If you want to check out the ingredient list, just to compare, go to Rice-A-Roni.
I know a lot of people have shared their own Copycat Rice-A-Roni recipes in the past, but almost every single one I found on Pinterest, called for bouillon cubes. I haven't used bouillon cubes, in years. Literally, not in years. I don't think there is any flavor that resembles chicken in those little gold cubes. All I taste is salt. I am a stock in a box kind of girl. I always have at least 3 or 4 boxes of stock or broth in my pantry at all times. It's super convenient and most brands are low sodium and 98% fat free. Much healthier than those pesky cubes, don't you think?
I've made this Copycat Rice-A-Roni a good handful of times now. The first time I made it I used whole wheat thin spaghetti. The next time a regular angel hair pasta. My point is, you can mix up the pasta that is used. As a matter of fact, I've even mixed and matched when I didn't have enough of one kind of pasta. No big deal, we're just cooking.
This recipe is for the chicken version. If you are looking for beef flavor, just use beef stock instead of chicken.
Copycat Rice A Roni
- 2 T butter
- ½ C thin spaghetti or similar pasta broken into 1 inch pieces
- 1 C medium grain white rice
- 2 ½ C chicken stock or broth
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon salt more or less to your liking
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper freshly cracked
- ¼ C freshly chopped parsley
- In a large saute pan, heat butter over medium heat. Add broken spaghetti and rice. Stir well to coat with butter. Cook, until pasta is just brown, stirring often (3-5 min).
- Add salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, parsley and stock. Stir well to combine. Bring to a bubble, cover and reduce to a simmer.
- Simmer until rice is cooked through and stock is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Taste for salt and pepper and adjust if necessary.