Mixed Vegetable Rice a Roni has something for everyone with this copycat recipe with orzo pasta, rice, zucchini, carrot, celery, and cheeses. Serve this dish as a stand-alone one-pot meal or as a side-dish. It’s a great way to sneak in a few extra veggies at a BBQ, pot-luck, or family holiday buffet.
I first shared this recipe in 2013 along with the broccoli cheddar version. It was inspired by this recipe for Cheesy Zucchini Rice; it’s a fun and easy one pot dish. And I also turned it into a broccoli cheddar rice-a-roni and an instant pot rice-a-roni recipe. But it was time for the twp recipes to have their own space, so I’ve updated this for a better reader experience.
Now, this Mixed Veggie rice version has no direct counterpart in the store-bought packaged world, because, well, they just don’t sell boxes with that many veggies in them.
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What flavors can you add?
This Rice-A-Roni is delicious as it is! But there are so many different ways to change it up and have a new and different meal.
Using the recipe as a base, why not add in some
- Sliced mushrooms
- Chopped tomatoes
- Fresh chopped herbs like parsley, basil, or oregano
- Chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
- Crumbled bacon
- shredded chicken
If you have any leftovers, cover the tightly, and store in the fridge for 3-4 days.
To reheat, simply pop them in the microwave or place them back on the stove top in a small saucepan for a few minutes. You may need to add in a little more water to loosen things up a bit.
This veggie pilaf is also a great way to use up some of that summer garden zucchini.
What to serve this with?
This vegetable rice & pasta side dish goes great with so many things.
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Mixed Vegetable Rice-a-Roni
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ cup white rice
- ½ cup orzo pasta
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 medium zucchini grated
- 1 medium carrot grated
- 1 celery stalk finely chopped
- ½ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- Pinch salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan
- sliced green onion for garnish if desired
- Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the rice and orzo, and stir to coat. Cook, stirring often, until the orzo turns golden brown, and the rice turns translucent.1 tablespoon olive oil, ½ cup white rice, ½ cup orzo pasta
- Pour the broth in, bring to a boil, turn heat to low, and cover. Cook, covered, for 10 – 15 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed.2 cups vegetable broth
- Remove from the heat and add the butter, grated zucchini, carrot, celery, cheddar, thyme, salt, and pepper. Stir until well incorporated. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes.2 tablespoons butter, 1 medium zucchini, 1 medium carrot, 1 celery stalk, ½ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese, 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, Pinch salt, ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Top with Parmesan and green onions. Enjoy!2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan, sliced green onion for garnish
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations, and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary based on brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes, and more.