Instant Pot Homemade Rice-A-Roni—Do you love “the San Francisco treat” but want to make it from scratch? Make this super easy version of Rice-A-Roni in your Instant Pot! It’s the perfect side dish for so many meals.
Get the SLOW COOKER rice-a-roni recipe here
Instant Pot Homemade Rice-A-Roni
When I was growing up, from time to time we would have Rice-A-Roni served alongside our protein and veggie at dinner. I love the flavor that these little boxes have but wanted to see if I could make something similar with own (known) seasonings. And I thought, it would be a super bonus if I could make it in one pot…the Instant Pot! It turned out super yum (not to mention easy) and I think you’ll agree that you’ll no longer be buying a box anymore!
More Side Recipes You’ll Love…
Instant Pot Cafe Rio Cilantro Lime Rice
What Pressure Cooker Did You Use?
To make Instant Pot Homemade Rice-A-Roni I used my 6 quart Instant Pot Duo 60 7 in 1*. I love this Instant Pot because it has the yogurt making function which I use almost weekly. It has two pressure settings (high and low), and there are also little slots in the handles so that you can rest the lid there instead of putting it down on your counter-top.
Instant Pot Homemade Rice-A-Roni
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 3 minutes (plus 5 minute NPR)
- Total Time: 20 minutes
- Yield: 4–6 servings 1x
Do you love “the San Francisco treat” but want to make it from scratch? Make this super easy version of Rice-A-Roni in your Instant Pot! It’s the perfect side dish for so many meals.
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 4 ounces uncooked spaghetti (whole wheat is okay)
- 1/2 cup uncooked long grain white rice
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp dried thyme
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 3/4 cups chicken broth
- Turn your Instant Pot to the saute setting. Add in the butter and swirl it around until it is melted. Turn off the Instant Pot. Add in the rice and stir to coat the rice with the butter. Break up the spaghetti into half inch pieces. Add in the spaghetti. Stir.
- Sprinkle in the parsley, garlic powder, onion powder, dried thyme, kosher salt and bay leaf. Pour the broth over the top.
- Cover the pot and secure the lid. Make sure the valve is set to sealing. Set the manual/pressure cook button to 3 minutes. When the time is up let the pot sit for 5 minutes and then move the valve to venting. Remove the lid.
- Fluff with a fork and serve.
- Category: Side Dish
- Method: Instant Pot
- Cuisine: American
*Karen Petersen is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
This is a great recipe and worked great the very first time. But doubling it in my instant pot did not work well. Maybe the cook time just needs more adjustment, but be warned.
Okay good to know. Thanks!
D M says
I have not yet made this, but I had to give it a rating, so I gave it 5 stars because it looks so good and easy. Here is my question: How do you measure out the 4 ounces of spaghetti? It comes in a box, so how much from the box?
Also: How much orzo would you use? thanks
I use a digital scale to measure my pasta. It’s worth the $10-$20 investment. You’d use 4 oz of orzo as well. Maybe this would help? https://www.myfoodandfamily.com/article/000001700/pasta-measuring-chart
I quit buying the box stuff years ago because I don’t want to eat the soy protein isolate that they add. This made the house smell amazing! I followed the 2x recipe and it came out perfectly. The only thing I changed was: I left the sauté setting on and stirred the heck out of the rice and pasta, so the pasta would toast and turn brown. It took about 15 minutes but well worth it. This is absolutely delicious. Thanks, Karen!
Sounds fabulous Lori!
It was! My husband and son were so happy! Thank you again 😊
Do you have a youtube video for this? Either way I want to try this. Thanks for the recipe.
No I don’t, not for this one. Sorry!
1st time making.. Great and easy. I added double garlic and a chopped clove of garlic (I love garlic), minced carrot (2 tablespoon for crunch and sweetness), 1/4 of chop white onion, and 2 button mushroom chopped and stem cut really small. Also browned my pasta with a little oil bc I thought if I used butter (I used the butter later in recipe) it would burn and also browned the rice after the pasta was in the IP for a little bit. Pro tip: I used a sandwich bag to break the pasta so they don’t fly😁. This came out a little wet so I flipped on the saute and stirred so the steam would steam off popped to warm kept stirring and back to saute one time and off… turned out perfect. I might use a touch less water or cook for 5 minutes🤷♂️
This is becoming one of our favorite side dishes. Thank you Karen.
You’re welcome Rich!
Is this angel hair? Or regular spaghetti?
Mine was just regular spaghetti but I’m sure angel hair would be fine.
Simple & delish! I used a sundried tomato and basil spaghetti (Catelli’s Bistro line) and it turned out great. Thanks!
Yum that sounds tasty!
It looks a little mushy do you think I should reduce the liquid
It was still quite wet I followed the recipe to the letter I have it now on keep warm with the lid off and hope that will do the trick
Hope it worked out!
Brendan Plonka says
Hi Karen. I’ve made this twice now and it is fabulous. A great side that goes with almost anything. I’m wondering though, if there are alternative seasonings one could use. (e.g. cajun rice-a-roni). BTW, You are in my top three of internet cooks for the IP. Bravo! Your postings are so professional. Cheers!
Thank you so much Brendan!! That is so nice. I bet you could get really creative with this one. Instead of parsley, garlic powder, onion powder, dried thyme, kosher salt and bay leaf try adding 1 tsp of cajun seasoning or lemon pepper seasoning. I bet they would be really good! Who are you other favorite internet cooks?
Can orzo be substituted for the broken spaghetti
I always use orzo because I don’t like breaking spaghetti, it turns out perfect for me. I love this recipe!
SMART! Thanks for the tip!
Another great recipe from this great site. If I had to choose one IP recipe site only, this would be it! Thank you, Karen.
Thank you so much Clare!!!
Louise Jurica says
Made it loved it. I found having to break pasta wasn’t fun. I think I am going to try vermicelli instead of spaghetti . Thank you for sharing
Vermicelli is a great idea!
Cathy Ajeman says
Same as Fideo? If so, how much?
4 oz is what I would use!
I made this tonight and everyone loved it! It is now in our rotation.
Yay! So glad you all liked it 🙂
This side was a success for my family. I thought it was really tasty!
Thanks Kristine for weighing in. So glad it was a success!
Made it verbatim tonight- fantastic! Thanks, been looking for this for quite some time. Wife and I are already thinking of ways to tweak it for different tastes (spanish rice, broccoli pieces, etc)
Yum I like those ideas Chad! Let me know if you try them and how it goes.
Toni Kaplan says
Can I double at the same time?
yes you can double the recipe. just keep the cooking time the same.
Ron Bieselin says
This is great. I added some browned ground turkey. Thinking maybe directly add the rice/pasta/etc to the turkey after it’s sauted.
Could I add boneless chicken thighs on the bottom?
They won’t cook at the same rate as the rice and spaghetti. They take like 15 minutes to cook.
This was good. Next time I’ll try low-sodium chicken broth. It made 4 servings for us.
I made this tonight and it was terrific! I used Barilla Fideo pasta which takes the hassle out of cutting it myself. I also used converted brown rice (Uncle Ben’s) because that’s all I had since I never eat white rice. I had to increase the cooking time to 6 min with 10 min npr and it was fantastic. The noodles weren’t mushy and the rice was perfectly cooked. Now when I get a craving for Rice A Roni, I can make this low sodium version. It’s also nice to not have all those extra unknown ingredients found in the box version too. ♥
YAYYYYY!!! I am so glad to hear this. Thanks for sharing the info about the brown rice.
I have to watch my sodium, so the boxed version was out… . Now thanks to you I can enjoy a homemade lower sodium version. Thank you so much Karen😊
HOORAY!!! Glad I could help!
Lynnette Siegl says
This recipe was so quick and simple so make, I made s lot so I would have extra so that I can make rice patties for another meal tomorrow.
Glad you liked it Lynnette!
CYNTHIA Palacios says
Rice a roni is my favorite but because the salt is so high I dont usually make it just for me. (Single) I have making rice in my IP and love it. After reading this I can say I am looking forward to making this, especially when my kids come home for dinner.
I bet fideo noodles would be great for this. They are basically spaghetti pieces.
Theresa Fisher says
Can you brown the pasta with the rice and butter like the real stuff or does that not work.
Can you cook package rice a roni with this method
Here’s how I’d do the box:
Add 1 1/2 cups + 2 Tbsp water to the pot. Add in the contents of the box (seasonings too) and 1 Tbsp of butter.
Lid on, vent sealed. Set the timer for 5 minutes.
Perform a quick release. If foam starts coming out move the valve back to sealing and wait 20 seconds and then try again.
Stir the rice and serve.
I’m going to try the box in my IP. I would add the TB of butter and saute the rice/noodles and then add the water and seasoning packet and then cook as per your instructions above. Can’t wait to try this!
Good luck! I hope you have success.
Did you rinse the rice before cooking?
I love this recipe and have made it several times. Can I make this with long grain brown rice and whole wheat spaghetti? How long should I cook it?
The spaghetti would not cook at the same rate as the brown rice. Brown rice takes 22 minutes to cook but you could try minute brown rice. That might work better.
Judith Michelsen says
It sounds yummy, but can you use gluten-free spaghetti for the pasta part of the recipe? Would you need to change the timing in any way? Thanks!
I have made this with gluten free spaghetti noodles. It turned out perfect!
Did you reduce the cooking time for the GF spaghetti or leave it the same?
I bet that would work!
Cindy K Cody says
Could you use brown rice or just white?
No, for this recipe the brown rice takes too long. The spaghetti and white rice have the same cooking time so it works out. Brown rice takes 22 minutes 🙁
Sharon Mahan says
Thanks for all your great recipes and videos!
I’ve been making my on rjce-a-roni for years (so much healhier) so Just a little FYi, I save the broken pasta noodles from the bottom of all the pasta packages….waste not want not. I can’t wait to try this in my IP!!!
Just finished making this. It’s awesome! Thanks! 😋😋
Glad you liked it Judi!
I’m thinking this is the perfect recipe to use this in! That way you don’t have to break the spaghetti noodles up!
Yes fideo would be awesome!
Jennifer Gartin says
Did you break the spaghetti into bite sized pieces?
yes I did. Sorry I forgot to add that part into the recipe. I just fixed it.
Jennifer Gartin says
You are terrific and I love your recipes! Thanks!!!!
Thanks Jennifer! You are so nice.