Our family loves Rice a Roni.
Unfortunately we discovered that it take almost 3 boxes to feed us all. When the cost of one box has risen to $1.50 per box, that’s just too much of a strain on the budget for a side dish. Not to mentions how unhealthy it is with all the added ingredients.
We now make our own rice a roni and have leftover almost every time I serve it. This recipe can be easily adapted to what you have on hand or to your family’s tastes. We have made this a family affair and the kids get tasked with breaking up the pasta. You can purchase pasta already broken up in to very small pieces, but that sort of takes the fun out of doing it all yourself.
1 ½ cup long grain rice
½ cup broken angel hair or vermicelli pasta (1/4 inch pieces)
2 3/4 cup water
3 Tbs bullion (chicken or beef)
1 Tbs. Italian herb seasoning
¼ cup slivered almonds
1 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. olive oil
In a skillet on medium heat melt butter with olive oil. Add rice and pasta, let brown. Keep stirring so the rice has a nice light brown color to it, and doesn’t burn. Add the water, bullion, and seasoning to the skillet. When it returns to a boil, turn the heat to low and put a lid on it. Stir occasionally, making sure to scrape the bottom of the pan if necessary, until all water is absorbed. About 15-20 minutes.
This could be made up in zip lock bags or Jars (dry ingredients only, and omit the nuts) and labeled with instructions. Store it in your cupboard just like you would the boxed version. One bag of rice and one lb. of pasta will make a whole heck of a lot of boxes of Rice A Roni. Without all the added salt and other things in there this is a much healthier version and a good alternative to the boxed stuff. When feeding a large family it’s definitely cheaper. This could also be made up for gift giving.
You could certainly use broth, homemade or store bought in place of the water and bullion. I purchase a large canister of chicken bullion and use it for everything.
If I happen to have almonds on hand I use them, not always.