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 rice-a-roni recipe 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.
What Is Rice-A-Roni?
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.
Vegan Rice-A-Roni Recipe FAQs And Notes
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 served piping hot.
Heat in the same pan as the dish was cooked similar to cooking a stir-fry. Add a few tablespoons of water, veggie stock or a little oil if the rice dish begins to stick to the pan.
Stir and reheat until piping hot.
Vegan rice-a-roni is substantial enough to serve on its own. But a few ideas for when your family is especially hungry:
large crispy mixed salad
tortilla wraps for using the rice-a-roni as a hot 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 these tasty quick dinner rolls.
This recipe uses 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.
Switch out the kidney beans for borlotti, cannellini, haricot beans, chickpeas, etc.
How to prepare vegan rice-a-roni with kidney beans and peppers:
More Tasty Vegan Rice Dishes To Discover:
Traditional Mulligatawny soup (curried rice and veggies)
Vegan Slow Cooker Rice Pudding
Vegan Rice-A-Roni with Kidney Beans and Peppers
- non-stick skillet/ stove-top casserole pan/ large saucepan
- 2 tablespoon olive oil can omit the oil and the initial browning of the rice, orzo and pasta if preferred
- 160 grams long grain rice
- 90 grams orzo
- 45 grams vermicelli pasta or similar (can simply break up dried spaghetti pasta into small pieces)
- 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 teaspoon garlic powder or 4 minced garlic cloves
- 18 grams fresh parsley fine chopped, plus a little extra for serving if desired, or replace with 1-2 teaspoons dried parsley
- 800 millilitres vegetable stock plus extra if required
- 2 teaspoon onion powder optional, but tasty
- 1 sprig of fresh thyme or your favourite fresh herbs, can replace with 1-2 teaspoons of dried thyme
***If omitting the oil simply add everything to a pan and simmer until the rice has cooked. The flavour and texture will be different but will still be tasty***
- 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 5-7 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. [if the rice starts to stick to your pan add an extra half cup of boiling water and stir this through]
- Turn off the heat, remove the pan off the cooker ring, and leave to sit for another 10 minutes or longer, so that the liquid is soaked up and the rice finishes cooking.
- Check the rice is soft and if so the dish is ready to serve.Remove the fresh thyme.
- Serve with extra chopped parsley scattered over.
- Nutritional information is provided for guidance only and is not a strict calculation as ingredients vary.
- Leftover rice-a-roni can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days within 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.
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 🙂
It certainly is tastier than anything from a box! Hope you all have a great weekend 🙂
The perfect family party vegan side dish that went down a treat at the weekend 🙂
Great so glad the rice-a-roni was enjoyed. Its ideal for a party side dish 🙂
I love this healthy version - what a great recipe - my family loved it!
SO happy your family loved the rice-a-roni. Thanks so much for stopping by 🙂
Such a unique and unexpected recipe! Loved all the flavor and textures; easily, a new favorite dish!
Thanks so much! Happy you enjoyed the rice-a-roni. I love unique recipes. it makes preparing and eating dinner tasty and interesting 🙂
What a great meal! It was so hearty and filling, I will definitely be making it again! Thanks for sharing the recipe!
Thanks so much. Really happy you enjoyed the rice-a-roni 🙂
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!
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 🙂
The perfect way to use up the leftover packets of rice, vermicelli, and orzo! I love all the veg and beans too.
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.
Such a flavorful and easy one pot meal! Definitely perfect for weekdays. I love all the color from the variety of vegetables.
Thanks a lot! I totally agree Rice-a-roni is the perfect midweek meal. So easy and quick 🙂
I'm so happy I found this recipe. I LOVE Rice-a-roni but am thrilled to have a heathier alternative now!
Awesome! Glad you like the recipe 🙂