Our Family’s Rice-a-Roni

Does your family have any recipes you are pretty sure never show up in anyone else’s house?

Growing up, we had a hamburger rice dish we referred to as Rice-a-Roni, only ours never had the ‘a-Roni’ part. My mom replaced the pasta with red kidney beans, and it was always served with copious amounts of ketchup.

I still love it!

I tend to cook it when I’m in the need of some comfort food. My kids learned to like it, and I’m working on the grandkids. Since my goal is to have more whole grains in our diet, I use Jasmine brown rice for its nutty flavor. Other proteins will work if you don’t do beef, including more beans for a vegan dish, but we like the beef version the best. Don’t forget to have a side of veg to give your meal some balance and make your plate pretty. Happy eating!

Our Family’s Rice-a-Roni

Serves Six to Eight


  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 cups brown rice
  • 4 ½ cups beef broth
  • 1 14.5-ounce dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed


  1. In a large skillet, cook ground beef, seasoned with salt and pepper, until no longer pink.
  2. Push meat to the side, add rice and toast, stirring often, for a few minutes until very lightly browned.
  3. Add broth. Bring the mixture to a boil, lower the heat to allow a simmer. Cover and allow to cook until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender, about an hour.
  4. Stir in drained beans and enjoy.
  5. Oh, and don’t forget the ketchup.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Tom Dunn says:

    I remember this dish fondly. I still love it, too.

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