Instant Pot Rice a Roni

It’s here! The Copycat Rice a Roni Recipe you’ve been waiting for. This Instant Pot Rice tastes like a better, fresher version of that boxed favorite and it’s just as easy!

Silver pot filled with homemade Rice a Roni served with a wooden spoon.

Did you grow up eating Rice-a-Roni? A pantry staple of busy moms for decades, it always delivered a tasty meal that kids would eat with no complaints.

There’s something about the taste of Rice-a-Roni that continues to be a little comforting to me, even though it’s far from a gourmet food.

That rice pilaf with bits of noodles and chicken flavor went well with a million main dishes and could be made without any effort at all.

The box mixes of this instant rice tend to be high in sodium and other questionable additives that I’d rather not eat on a regular basis if I can help it. As it turns out, though, it’s super easy to make a copycat rice a roni dish with LOWER sodium in the Instant Pot!

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Copycat Rice A Roni

This imitation rice a roni tastes so much fresher and more flavorful than the stuff in the box. With fresh minced onion, real chicken broth and fresh parsley sprinkled on top, it’s a delightfully tasty Instant Pot rice.

Serve copycat rice a roni as a side dish for all your favorite entrees or as a meal starter! Adding cooking chicken and steamed veggies makes this an instantly balanced and nourishing meal.

White plate with a serving of rice a roni. Wooden bowl in background as well as Instant Pot.

Instant Pot Rice

Rice dishes are some of my very favorite recipes to make in my Instant Pot! The pressure cooker takes out all of the guess work of cooking rice AND makes it so much quicker.

Homemade rice-a-roni makes for a nice change from a plain bowl of rice without much more effort at all!

All in all this copycat rice a roni recipe took under 25 minutes from start to finish. Almost all of that time is hands off, leaving you free to make pork chops, meatloaf, do a load of laundry or, let’s be honest, run around after the kids.

We enjoyed this Instant Pot Rice with Garlic Herb Roasted Chicken and a green salad. It would also be wonderful with Slow Cooker Balsamic Glazed Pork!

The light herb flavors in this easy rice make it an ideal pairing for just about any main dish you can think of. And we love the bright yellow color the rice gets naturally from the tumeric powder. (No artificial food coloring here!)

This is definitely an Instant Pot Rice recipe you’ll want to pin, bookmark and save.

Instant Pot with homemade chicken rice a roni and wooden spoon for serving.

What you’ll Need

More good news? Making copycat rice a roni in the instant pot uses ingredients you probably already have stocked in your kitchen:

{Ingredients at a glance; scroll down for full printable recipe with amounts]

  • Long grain or basmati rice
  • Butter
  • Spaghetti noodles
  • Chicken broth
  • Onion (minced)
  • Garlic powder
  • Tumeric (for color)
  • Salt
  • Fresh parsley

How to Make Rice A Roni

STEP 1. Break the spaghetti noodles into bite sized pieces and turn the Instant Pot to the sautee setting. Cook the noodles in melted butter in the pot until lightly toasted.

STEP 2. Add the rice and cook for another minute until the rice is toasted, too.

STEP 3. Add the chicken broth, onion and seasonings, stirring to make sure there are no rice and noodles stuck to the bottom of the pan. Put the lid on and turn off the pot. Set the valve to “SEALING.”

STEP 4. Select the “HIGH” setting on your instant pot and a cook time of 8 minutes. When cooking time ends, allow natural release for 10 minutes, then quick release the remaining pressure with the valve set to “VENTING.”

STEP 5. Open the lid, stir everything to combine, then add the chopped fresh parsley!

Serve right away or store in airtight containers in the fridge to reheat later.

Wooden scalloped bowl with rice a roni. Instant Pot in background.

Tips & Tricks for Instant Pot Rice

  • Make sure to use a long grain rice here! Short grain rice cooks faster and will give the rice pilaf a mushier texture. I’ve used both regular long grain white rice and basmati with good results.
  • Want more chicken flavor? A cube or two of chicken bouillon, or the instant granules, added with the chicken broth is a yummy addition.
  • To make this vegetarian, you can substitute vegetable broth. It’ll still taste good however it won’t taste exactly like rice a roni.
  • Is your rice too wet when you first open the lid? Fluff the rice with a fork then let it rest for a few minutes before serving.
Fluffy rice a roni closeup with silver spoon and fresh parsley.

More Instant Pot Recipes:

Yield: 6 servings

Instant Pot Rice a Roni

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 17 minutes

It's here! The Copycat Rice a Roni Recipe you've been waiting for. This Instant Pot Rice tastes like a better, fresher version of that boxed favorite and it's just as easy!

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup (2 oz) thin spaghetti noodles, broken into small pieces
  • 1 cup long grain rice
  • 1 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp minced onion
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

Instructions

  1. Turn pressure cooker on "SAUTE." Once hot, add butter and let it melt. Add in broken spaghetti noodles and saute until lightly browned, about 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add in rice and cook an additional minute until toasted.
  3. Add minced onion, garlic powder, salt, and turmeric. Stir in chicken broth and make sure there are no browned bits of rice or noodles stuck to the bottom of the pan. Turn off.
  4. Secure the lid on top and make sure the valve is set to "SEALING." Select "HIGH PRESSURE" and cook time of 8 minutes.
  5. When cook time ends, allow to natural release for 10 minutes, then turn the valve to "VENTING" and quick release the remaining pressure.
  6. Open the lid, stir everything to combine, and add chopped parsley. ENJOY.

Notes

  • For more chicken flavor, add up to 1 Tbsp of chicken bouillon granules when adding in the broth.
  • Make sure the spaghetti noodles are broken into 1/4-1/2 inch pieces before cooking.
  • You can use basmati rice in place of the long grain white rice.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 91Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 11mgSodium: 388mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 2g
*Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.

Copycat rice a roni has definitely made its way on to my list of favorite quick and easy dinner time side dishes! With rich savory flavor from chicken broth and the pretty addition of fresh parsley at the end, this Instant Pot rice gets two thumbs up from kids and adults alike.

Aimee

About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

Affiliate Disclosure:**There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love! Thank you for supporting Shugary Sweets! See my disclosure policy for more info**

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Posted on March 25, 2020

Comments & Reviews

  1. Thank you for the recipe of rice a roni. I have a hard time with all the salt. I can cut down on it to my taste. Thanks again.

  2. 8 minutes seems too long for basmati rice and spaghetti noodles., esp with NR or am I missing something?

    When I do just rice it is more like 4 mins and 10 mins NR…please advise…thanks

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