Delicious homemade copycat Broccoli Au Gratin Rice-a-Roni made in the Instant Pot. It’s fresh and super easy to make, with no weird chemicals, unpronounceable ingredients, or high sodium content.
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Please let me know if you have any questions about this recipe. I read all the comments myself and I try to help as soon as I can. I have readers from all levels of comfort and experience in the kitchen on my site, and I’ve tried to answer some of your questions already in the post. But if I’ve missed anything, please feel free to leave a comment and ask.
Great side dish or main dish
It’s actually fun to make the rice-a-roni in the Instant Pot for a hands off quick, easy, and healthier side dish.
I first posted my version of Rice-a-roni back in 2013 when I was remaking my childhood favorites in a healthier way.
I talked about how Rice-a-Roni was one of my go-to convenience foods.
And, well, I guess it still is.
Sure, a box of Rice-a-Roni is super convenient, but so is this Instant Pot Rice-a-Roni, and you know exactly what goes into this version.
I mean, just 12 minutes cooking time and you have a great main dish for two people, or side dish for 4 people.
Do you like your Instant Pot?
I got my Instant Pot for Christmas. And, honestly, I haven’t really used it that much.
I don’t know, maybe I’m not on board with it as much as the hype told me I’d be.
We’ve made boiled eggs (which were so easy to peel!), potatoes, shredded chicken (for the cat – but that’s a long story in itself), and Dan has made ribs a couple of times.
Maybe the IP is more for meat than it is for vegetarian dishes.
Or, maybe I haven’t given it much of a chance.
So, I thought I’d challenge myself to start writing recipes for it.
Verdict on the recipe
And you know what? This Broccoli au Gratin copycat Rice-a-roni made in the Instant Pot came out great!
Nice texture on the rice and the orzo pasta. Not mushy at all. The flavor was great. I’m actually very impressed.
If you have an Instant Pot, let me know in the comments how you like it, and if you have any favorite recipes. Maybe I can try them!
I’m certainly no expert on the Instant Pot, but I am trying to learn.
I have the Instant Pot Ultra 6 quart. You can find it here on Amazon.
Can I make this without an Instant Pot?
Want to make this Rice-a-Roni but don’t have a pressure cooker. No problem!
Simply hop back to my original recipe here.
It’s a quick stove top version. You’ll also find some of the other childhood favorites that I remade there.
How to serve
Serve it up with some chicken fingers for the kids (or your husband).
I do really like those vegan “chicken” fingers from the frozen section of the super market. It makes for a nice easy vegetarian meal.
Use your favorite broth
What already tastes good to you is what will end up being your favorite.
I use (affiliate link) Better Than Bouillon vegetable base for pretty much all of my cooking (if it’s not homemade broth). I like that it isn’t too salty, and how little space it takes to store so much broth.
Oh, and by the way, they have lots of different flavors of Better Than Bouillon to choose from.
If you aren’t used to vegetable broth, and you prefer chicken broth, use that.
The saltiness of the broth you use will decide how much salt to add at the end of the cooking. If you have a salty broth, you may not need to add any salt at all. But do taste the sauce and see if you need to add more salt and pepper.
Photo above: I wanted you to be able to see the rice and orzo browning in the Instant Pot insert
Great Instant Pot Recipes
Take a look at my collection of Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker recipes.
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Instant Pot Broccoli Au Gratin Rice-a-Roni Recipe
Instant Pot Broccoli Au Gratin Rice-a-Roni
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ cup white rice
- ½ cup orzo pasta
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup finely chopped broccoli
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar
- large pinch of salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Set pressure cooker to high heat sauté. Once hot, add oil. Once the oil is hot, add the rice and orzo to the hot oil, and cook until toasted and browned, stirring occasionally, about 2-5 minutes.
- Turn sauté mode on pressure cooker off, and set to manual low pressure mode for 12 minutes.
- Stir in broth and chopped broccoli. Cover pressure cooker, and cook. Once pressure cooking time is done, do a quick release.
- Open lid, and stir in butter, shredded cheddar, salt, and pepper. Taste for additional salt and pepper as desired.