Have you ever made a boxed version of something and thought to yourself, “I wonder how hard it would be to make this from scratch?” I had that exact thought as I was making a box of RiceARoni a while back. So I decided to do some poking around online to find a recipe.
Guess what? I found a recipe on Pinterest by Life Currents. And guess what else? It was super easy to make. Turns out RiceARoni is a combination of rice and Orzo pasta. Honestly, I think the hardest part for me was finding the Orzo pasta. Mostly because I kept accidentally walking past it in the pasta aisle at the grocery store.
I’ve made this recipe a few times now, and have made some tweaks. There has even been a few occasions where I thought I had broccoli in the fridge but didn’t, or I forgot to put the cheese on, and it was still super good. I usually make a double batch of the recipe to make sure that we have leftovers. 🙂
Before I start cooking, I like to chop up the veggies first. I try to make the onion bits on the smaller side, but usually leave the broccoli a little larger. If you’d like the final product to look like the boxed version, then I would recommend chopping the broccoli into smaller pieces.
To get started, put the oil and onion in the pan over medium heat. Cook until the onions start to get tender. This will take a few minutes. Then add the garlic and cook for a minute longer.
Note: Make sure the pan you choose has a lid, as you will need to cover it later on.
Next, stir in the rice and orzo pasta until they are coated with oil. Let the rice and pasta cook for a few minutes. The pasta will brown and the rice will start to look translucent.
Next, stir the broth into the RiceARoni mixture. I’ve used both chicken broth and vegetable stock when I’ve made this, or a combination of the two. It is delicious either way. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to low (it should still boil on low). Cover and cook for 10 to 15 minutes until a majority of the broth has been absorbed.
Stir in the broccoli. Re-cover and cook until all the liquid has been absorbed and the broccoli is tender. (If you accidentally wait too long to put in the broccoli, don’t panic. You can always add a little more broth to help the broccoli cook and it will turn out just fine.)
When the broccoli is tender, remove from heat. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the cheese to melt, or serve as is and let each person add as much cheese as they want. Or both. Enjoy!
Homemade Broccoli Cheese RiceARoni
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- ½ cup jasmine rice
- ½ cup orzo pasta
- 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
- 2 cup finely chopped broccoli
- ½ cup shredded sharp cheddar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Place olive oil and onion in a large pan (that has a lid) and warm over medium heat until the onion starts to get tender. Stir in the garlic and cook for about a minute.
- Add the rice and orzo to the pan, stirring to coat in the olive oil. Allow to cook for a few minutes until the orzo starts to brown and the rice becomes translucent. Don't let it sit for too long without stirring or it will burn.
- Add the chicken broth to the pan and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cook covered for around 10 to 15 minutes, stirring once or twice.
- When a majority of the broth has been absorbed, stir in the broccoli and cook covered until tender, about 3 to 4 minutes.
- Remove from the heat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in cheese to melt and/or sprinkle on top. Enjoy!