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Designer Impostor Homemade Chicken Rice-a-Roni

  • Author: Katie Kimball


  • 1 c. brown rice
  • 2 c. chicken broth (1 can plus a little water makes 2 cups)
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 12 stalks chopped celery
  • can of black, kidney or other beans (or 1 1/2 cups cooked dry beans)
  • salt (Use the code kitchenstewardship for 15% off of your first purchase) and pepper to taste


  1. Saute onion and celery in a little water, oil or butter 5 minutes until limp.
  2. Add chicken broth and rice, salt and pepper; bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 45 minutes until rice is cooked and liquid is absorbed.
  4. Drain and rinse beans.
  5. Add and heat through.


Freezes fine in single serving sizes.

Timesaver: If you have chopped celery and onion in your freezer, this is just as quick as the boxed stuff!

Cost: $1 with homemade chicken stock; $1.50-2 if using canned (but it makes a MUCH bigger batch than the little boxes of Rice-a-Roni, and the nutrition is far superior because you’re using brown rice and healthy fats, plus no MSGs.)

Super foods: 1 + 2 honorable mentions
*Props are due to Martha, our local Pampered Chef guru, for the recipe idea!

Healthy Upgrade:
Soak brown rice in one cup water plus 1 Tbs. whey or lemon juice for 7-12 hours or overnight. Add 1 1/2 cups chicken broth when it’s time to cook. (Why soak grains? A very short explanation here.)

You can use just about any bean in this recipe, switch out the celery for sweet peppers, and add spices or spicy peppers to zoop it up a little!

I tried garbanzo beans (chickpeas) and subbed fresh yellow peppers for the celery. I think I liked it better than the original!