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Vegan Rice-A-Roni Recipe

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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.

bowl of rice-a-roni with red check background.


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.

Although it wasn’t until 1995 that the dish was termed Rice-a-Roni as before it was known as Noodle Roni.

Recipe FAQs And Notes

How do I store and reheat leftover rice-a-roni?

Vegan Rice-a-Roni will keep fresh, covered, in the fridge for up to 3 days. Cool the rice quickly and place in the fridge as soon as possible.

Or freeze in a freezer-proof container for up to 4 months. Defrost in the fridge before reheating.

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 tablespoons of water, veggie stock or a little oil if the rice dish begins to stick to the pan.

What can I serve with rice-a-roni?

Vegan rice-a-roni is substantial enough to serve on its own. But a few ideas for when your family is especially hungry:

  • mixed salad
  • baked potato
  • potato wedges/chips/fries
  • vegan sausages
  • falafels
  • veggie burger
  • roast veggies
  • steamed greens
  • fresh spinach
  • slices of avocado
  • salsa
  • hummus
  • tortilla wraps for creating 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.
  • or enjoy a chilled rice-a-roni burrito for next days lunch
  • Slices of bread such as my vegan Irish soda bread is a delicious accompaniment.
  • Or these tasty quick dinner rolls.

Can I substitute any of the ingredients?

  • 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.
  • 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 through. I would grate the carrot to reduce the risk of hard bits of carrot.
  • Switch out the kidney beans for borlotti, cannellini, haricot beans, 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 tablespoons of tahini through the finished dish for extra flavour and nutrition.

How to prepare vegan rice-a-roni with kidney beans and peppers

Vegan Rice-A-Roni with Kidney Beans and Peppers

Print Recipe
This meal is the ideal mid-week quick, nutritious, and delicious family meal. It will quickly become a favourite as it is so versatile as it can be easily adapted to everyone's preferences.
Course Dinner, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American, British
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Servings 5
Calories 360
Author Jacq


  • 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.
  • 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.
    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.


  • Nutritional information is provided for guidance only and is not a strict calculation as ingredients vary. Data is analysed using computerized nutrition apps.
  • Leftover rice-a-roni can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days, in a covered container.
  • Reheat leftovers similar to cooking fried rice or stir-fry. Add a little veggie stock or oil 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.


Calories: 360kcal | Carbohydrates: 65g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 15mg | Potassium: 455mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 3422IU | Vitamin C: 121mg | Calcium: 40mg | Iron: 2mg

More tasty vegan rice dishes to discover:

Vegan Spanish Chickpea Rice Stew

Vegan Smoked Tofu Kedgeree

Vegan Slow Cooker Rice Pudding

18 thoughts on “Vegan Rice-A-Roni Recipe”

  1. 5 stars
    I’ve only had rice a roni one time in my life, but I am sure that this homemade version is infinitely better! Bookmarked to make this weekend, thank you so much for the recipe 🙂

    1. Thanks so much! Happy you enjoyed the rice-a-roni. I love unique recipes. it makes preparing and eating dinner tasty and interesting 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    I love this healthier version of rice a roni!! It was easy to make, tasted great, and the best part was my kids gobbled it up too!

    1. Thanks! That’s wonderful your kids enjoyed the meal. My kids adore rice-a-roni and I don’t mind making it often as I throw in all the extra beans and veggies 🙂

    1. That’s what I thought as well when I was making this dish for my family that it was great I was using up all the odds and ends in the pantry! Any veggies needing used up can be diced and added as well in place of the veggies in the recipe if needed.

  3. 5 stars
    I’m so happy I found this recipe. I LOVE Rice-a-roni but am thrilled to have a heathier alternative now!

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