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Copycat Rice a Roni

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This Copycat Rice a Roni recipe is even better than the boxed version. Make it in the Instant Pot for a hands off quick, easy, and healthier side dish.

copycat rice a roni on plate with fork next to it

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You ever have a random craving for a meal from your childhood? Happens to me quite often. I’ll be thinking of what to create in my kitchen and I’ll get a sudden urge for a dish I hadn’t had in years. That’s how it was when it came to this Rice a Roni.

Even as an adult, I used to buy the flavored rice and pastas from the dried goods section of the supermarket. Once I realized that these things were full of sodium and other no no ingredients, I stopped buying them.

As a matter of fact, I discovered that it was much easier and cheaper to make flavored rice out of ingredients I already had in my pantry.

Hence this homemade copycat rice a roni was born. I recall the first time I made it to go along with a delicious steak dinner I made for hubby and myself. Apparently he used to eat rice a roni as a kid too and loved it. So I made this copycat rice a roni, plated it beside a delicious steak and asparagus dinner, and waited for the verdict.

Initially, he thought it came from the box and he claimed I doctored it up somehow because it tasted so delicious. He was in shock when I told him it wasn’t from a box. As a matter of fact, he didn’t believe me, still doesn’t believe, and always looks in the trash for a rice a roni box as evidence when I make it.

I tend to make all my rice in my Instant Pot now and this copycat rice a roni is no different. Reason being is that with the right ratio, rice cooked in the pressure cooker always comes out perfect. I tend to walk away and forget to lower the stove when it comes to stove top rice. The pressure cooker allows me to place my ingredients in the pot, set my timer, and go on to the rest of my meal. Perfection and no more burned rice bottom.

rice in instant pot insert with wooden spoon in it

The great thing about this rice a roni is that you can prep the majority of the ingredients ahead of time. No need for a rice a roni seasoning packet when all the dry herbs and spices are in your cupboard. The only herb in this recipe that isn’t dried is the parsley. Dry parsley can be substituted but fresh parsley is so much better.

I hope you enjoy this homemade copycat rice a roni as much as we do. I hope your family believes you when you tell them it’s not from the box. As always, Enjoy 🙂

Looking for more Instant Pot recipes with rice? Try these out:

Pressure Cooker Shrimp Paella  

Instant Pot Chicken and Rice (Halal Cart Copycat)

Instant Pot Brown Rice

Instant Pot Dirty Rice

Instant Pot Mushroom Risotto

Instant Pot Brown Rice

Instant Pot Kale Rice

Instant Pot Rice and Beans (Jamaican Style)

Or Find All of My Pressure Cooker Recipes Here.

This Copycat Rice a Roni recipe is even better than the boxed version. Make it in the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker for a hands off quick, easy, and healthy side dish. #dinner #quickdinnerrecipes #copycatrice #pressurecookerrice #myforkinglife #ricepilaf #instantpot #pressurecookersides #copycatrecipes #homemade
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4.73 from 62 votes

CopyCat Rice a Roni in the Instant Pot

Copycat Rice a Roni is the perfect side dish for your dinner table. 
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
natural release 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 160kcal
Author Tanya


  • 2 Tablespoon butter
  • 2 oz thin spaghetti noodles broken into small pieces
  • 1 cup long grain white rice
  • 1 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • ½ teaspoon dry thyme
  • ½ teaspoon minced dry onion
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh parsley* chopped


  • Combine dry thyme, minced dry onion, garlic powder, salt, and turmeric. Set aside. 
  • Set pressure cooker to sauté. Once Hot, add butter and let melt. Once melted, add thin spaghetti noodles and stir until toasted, about 2 minutes. 
  • Add rice and stir for about 30 seconds, until slightly toasted. 
  • Add spice mixture and chicken broth and stir, ensuring that there are no pieces stuck to the bottom. Turn off sauté mode on pressure cooker and set pressure cooker on Manual mode for 8 minutes. Cover pressure cooker, making sure valve is set to sealed.  
  • Once pressure cooking time is done, allow to natural release for 10 minutes, then quick release any remaining pressure by moving valve to “venting”
  • Open lid and add chopped parsley. Fluff with fork and Enjoy!



Make sure there are no dry bits stuck to the bottom of the pot. This could result in that annoying “burn” signal some pressure cookers give off. Once you add your broth, stir with a wooden spoon to ensure there is no food stuck to the bottom. 
Basmati rice can be substituted for the long grain. 
I always rinse my rice under cold water before cooking. I started doing it out of habit because mama taught me that way. It yields a much fluffier non sticky rice. 
*If subbing dry for fresh parsley, reduce amount to 1 tsp. 


Calories: 160kcal
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Although attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Under no circumstances will be responsible for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information.

Step by Step Photos of Copycat Rice a Roni in Pressure Cooker

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This Copycat Rice a Roni recipe is even better than the boxed version. Make it in the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker for a hands off quick, easy, and healthy side dish. #dinner #quickdinnerrecipes #copycatrice #pressurecookerrice #myforkinglife #ricepilaf #instantpot #pressurecookersides #copycatrecipes #homemade

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Recipe Rating


Thursday 14th of September 2023

LOVE IT! I have been craving "the San Francisco treat" for so long, but the high salt content in the real thing makes it nearly impossible for me to indulge. This recipe is everything I was hoping it would be. The turmeric adds the color my eyes are looking for, and the broth brings enough chicken to balance the flavor with the herbs.

Honestly, I am not even a fan of rice dishes in the Instant Pot. I feel like they turn out soggy. Yuck! But this recipe is fluffy and light. It is perfect. And, it adds another "whole food" item to our weekly meal menu. "Homemade" is how we are going eat healthy AND survive the rising cost of groceries. Please keep bringing recipes like this, because I am an instant fan.


Thursday 14th of September 2023

Thanks so much Jody! I totally agree. There's so many things that can be homemade and they tend to me more delicious and healthy. So glad you liked the recipe.


Thursday 6th of July 2023

Hi, I love this recipe, but I am wondering how I can do it on the stovetop, instead of the IP?


Sunday 9th of July 2023

Hi Alex, for the stovetop, you'd want to use a heavy bottom pot. Start by sautéing the butter and noodles over medium heat.Add rice and stir for about 30 seconds, until slightly toasted. Add spice mixture and chicken broth and stir, ensuring that there are no pieces stuck to the bottom. Bring to a boil, then cover with a tight fitting lid, reduce to low, and allow to cook covered for 18 minutes over low heat, then remove from heat. Leave the lid on for an additional 5 minutes. Then open the lid and full with a fork.


Saturday 1st of July 2023

I have been making this awhile. We love it. I have to double it as to feed my son. Lol. I don’t add salt or turmeric just because we prefer it without. Everything else is fabulous!


Monday 3rd of July 2023

Thanks so much Patti! I also love how you make the recipe your own.


Tuesday 6th of June 2023

Wow, this turned out great! I didn’t have turmeric, but still good.


Wednesday 7th of June 2023

Thanks Jessica! So happy you liked the recipe :)


Monday 13th of March 2023

My family and I loveeee this recipe. Thank you for making it so delish and easy. My toddler says the noodles look like “hair” lol!


Thursday 16th of March 2023

Lol, so cute! Thanks so much for sharing Nicole. So glad you and your family loved the recipe.