This Vegan Rice-a-Roni recipe features kidney beans and peppers. It is a fun, delicious, quick and easy meal that the entire family will enjoy.
It has something for everyone with this meal being stuffed with pasta, rice, orzo, kidney beans, bell peppers, peas and corn making up the plant-based tasty combination.
Serve this Rice-a-Roni as a stand alone one-pot meal or as a side-dish. Or even as a rice-a-roni salad to enjoy with a BBQ, pot-luck spread or buffet.
My kids love when they ask what’s for dinner and I reply Rice-a-Roni! They love the zany name and savoury flavours.
My daughter especially enjoys a slice of bread and vegan butter to accompany the meal as then she proceeds to make rice-a-roni sandwiches! Which I must admit reluctantly that they are particularly tasty sandwiches!
Rice-a-Roni is essentially rice and macaroni initially cooked in butter or oil before water, stock and seasoning is added. The rice is then cooked until the liquid evaporates.
Lot’s of different flavours of Rice-a-Roni are available in the US and sold as a box mix.
Similar to those boxes of Kraft macaroni or cheesy pasta available in UK supermarkets.
Rice-a-Roni is also known as the San Francisco Treat as the meal was invented in North West US in 1958 by Vince Domenico.
Vince was the son of an Italian immigrant that lived in San Francisco and had built up a business that evolved to become The Golden Grain Macaroni Company.
Vince was inspired by his family’s authentic Italian food to incorporate a new dish that consisted of instant chicken soup mix cooked with rice and macaroni.
The new meal was manufactured by the family business and proved a huge success.
Although it wasn’t until 1995 that the dish was termed Rice-a-Roni as before it was known as Noodle Roni.
Vegan Rice-A-Roni With Kidney Beans and Peppers
My vegan recipe is inspired by Vince’s Rice-A-Roni and is flavoured with garlic powder, onion powder, veggie stock, and fresh parsley and thyme. And enriched with kidney beans, bell peppers, peas and sweetcorn.
I add a trio of orzo, rice and vermicelli pasta as those are my kids favourite carbs!
You can of course switch these up and include your own family’s preferences.
- skillet/ stove-top casserole pan/ large saucepan
- 160 grams long grain rice
- 90 grams orzo
- 45 grams vermicelli pasta
- 400 grams bell peppers Diced.
- 135 grams sweetcorn Either fresh or frozen.
- 135 grams peas Fresh or frozen.
- 1 small onion Diced.
- 1 can kidney beans 400g/14oz can, drained.
- 2 tsp garlic powder or 4 minced garlic cloves
- 2 tsp onion powder optional, but tasty
- 18 grams fresh parsley Fine chopped. Plus a little extra for serving if desired.
- 750 ml vegetable stock
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 sprig of fresh thyme or your favourite fresh herbs.
- Pour the olive oil into your pan and heat over medium heat for a few minutes.
- Tip in the rice, vermicelli, and orzo.Mix well.Add the garlic and onion powder.Mix.
- Stir frequently and cook for about 7 minutes until the rice, vermicelli and orzo begin to brown. Don't let the mix sit still for long as it could catch on the heat and brown too much.
- Add the peppers and onion. Mix.Cook for 2 minutes stirring frequently.
- Add the peas and corn.Mix well and cook for about 3 minutes.
- Tip in the kidney beans and mix.
- Add the parsley. Stir to combine.
- Pour in the vegetable stock and mix through.If using a sprig of fresh thyme or similar add now, just push below the stock.
- Simmer for 15 minutes.
- Pop a lid on the pan and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and leave to sit for another 10 minutes so that the liquid is soaked up and the rice finishes cooking.
- Check the rice is soft and if so then dish is ready to serve.Remove the fresh thyme sprig.
- Serve with extra chopped parsley scattered over.
- Leftover rice-a-roni needs to be cooled quickly and placed in the fridge in a covered container.
- Reheat leftovers similar to cooking fried rice or stir-fry. Add a little veggie stock to your pan and stir the rice until piping hot throughout.
- Or enjoy chilled rice-a-roni as a rice salad. It is so tasty cold.
- Leftovers can be frozen. Once cool place in a covered container and freeze for up to 3-4 months. Reheat as per the method above.
Prepared one of my recipes?
- Vegan Rice-a-Roni will keep fresh, covered, in the fridge for about 24 hours. Cool the rice quickly and place in the fridge as soon as possible. If reheating ensure the Rice-A-Roni is piping hot. Heat in the same pan as the dish was cooked sort of like its being stir-fried. Add a few tbsp of water if the rice dish begins to stick to pan. Or microwave until piping hot.
- Alternatively serve the rice dish as a salad by chilling it as quick as possible and place in the fridge to chill.
- Rice-a-Roni portions can be frozen. Again cool and chill quickly before placing in a freezer container.
- The reason I recommend cooling and chilling quickly is because cooked rice allowed to sit warm on the countertop can quickly breed harmful bacteria that may lead to food poisoning. Serve Rice-a-Roni as a complete meal or as a side dish. Ideas for accompaniments: mixed salad, baked potato, homemade wedges, falafels, vegan sausages, roast tomatoes and mushrooms, slices of avocado, hummus, salsa, pesto.
- Serve the Rice-a-Roni over a bed of fresh spinach.
- Rice-a-Roni makes for a tasty hot burrito filling. Line a tortilla wrap with fresh spinach, pile on the Rice-a-Roni and top with some salsa, hummus, pesto, vegan mayo, etc.
- Slices of bread such as my vegan Irish soda bread is a delicious accompaniment. Or these tasty quick dinner rolls.
- I use orzo, vermicelli and rice but switch these up and use whatever you have to hand. Such as use 1 cup of macaroni pasta shapes and 1 cup of long grain rice. Just stick to the same total amounts.
- Sub out the vegetables I have included within the recipe for your family’s favourite. Such as mushrooms, courgettes, tomatoes, grated carrot, fennel, celery, sweet potato, broccoli, etc. Although its best to dice or chop small each vegetable so that it cooks in time and it just looks nicer! I would grate the carrot to reduce the risk of hard bits of carrot.
- Switch out the kidney beans for borlotti, cannellini, haricot, chickpeas, etc.
- Add your own favourite herbs if your not keen on parsley. Or use dried herbs if no fresh are available.
- On an oil-free diet? Leave out the oil and use 1/2 cup of veggie stock instead. The flavours won’t be the same but the dish will still be pretty tasty. Perhaps mix through a healthy fat such as a few tbsp’s of tahini through the finished dish for extra flavour and nutrition.