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Instant Pot Rice-A-Roni

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Free up stovetop space and make the best, fluffiest boxed Rice-A-Roni in the Instant Pot. This foolproof Rice-A-Roni recipe is perfect to include in your weekly meal plan for an easy and delicious dinner side dish. You’ll have perfectly cooked, fluffy rice in minutes every time.

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Rice A Roni in a green bowl with a platter of chicken in the background instant pot boxed rice

The Best Boxed Rice – Made in the Instant Pot

For the easiest, tastiest Rice-A-Roni, make it right in your pressure cooker. This Instant Pot Rice-A-Roni recipe has a hands-off approach, which means no stirring or standing over a hot stove. Plus, making it in the Instant Pot frees you to make the rest of dinner while it’s cooking.

Making rice in the pressure cooker is similar to cooking rice in a rice cooker, except pressure cooking steams the rice with high pressure. This creates tender and flavorful rice each and every time!

My pressure cooker boxed rice recipe is perfect for those with a 3 quart Instant Pots (although this works equally well in the larger models!).

After owning a 6 quart Instant Pot for years, I purchased a smaller pot several months ago. I use it more than I ever imagined – it is the perfect size for side dishes like Rice-A-Roni and mashed potatoes, for making hard-boiled eggs, and recipes like Salsa Chicken and Sour Cream Pork Chops. The smaller pot is about the same size as a saucepan and is dishwasher safe.

Ingredients Needed for Easy Instant Pot Rice-a-Roni

You can use any flavor of Rice-A-Roni that you want to make this delicious side dish. I like using the low-sodium Chicken version.

Here is everything you need to make the best boxed rice in the Instant Pot:

boxed ingredients, seasonings

For a full-flavor version, use low-sodium chicken broth for all the water and broth mixture.

For a healthier side dish, add up to 1 cup of diced frozen vegetables.

fluffy pressure cooker rice

How to Make Rice-A-Roni in An Instant Pot

This easy and delicious boxed rice recipe requires 3 simple steps to prepare in the Instant Pot:

  1. First, use the sauté function of the Instant Pot to cook heat the butter or oil. Add the rice and cook for 3-4 minutes until golden, stirring frequently. Press cancel to stop sautéing.
  2. Now add the broth, water, and the package seasonings, and stir to combine with the rice. Close the lid and seal the vent valve. Set the pressure cooker to manual pressure cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Then do a quick pressure release per your Instant Pot’s instructions. Use a spoon or fork to fluff the rice, and serve warm.
Instant Pot boxed rice

Get the full recipe and see the video prep below

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you cook Rice-A-Roni with veggies in the Instant Pot?

If you want to include frozen vegetables in this recipe, simple place on top of the rice just before adding the lid. No need to stir or adjust cook time!

What main dishes go well with Instant Pot Rice-A-Roni?

Pair this classic boxed rice side dish with Instant Pot Chicken Tenderloins, Perfect Pan Seared Chicken Breasts, Salt and Pepper Squid, Buttermilk Brined Pork Chops, or Garlic Shrimp Scampi.

How do you store leftovers?

Transfer cooled Rice-A-Roni to a container with a lid, and keep in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. To reheat, add a splash of water and microwave in 30 second bursts until warm, stirring between heating. You can also reheat on the stovetop in a small saucepan over medium-low heat.

Platter of chicken tenders with dipping sauces and rice-a-roni

Here’s the Full Recipe to Make Rice-A-Roni in the Instant Pot:

Instant Pot Rice a Roni
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5 from 6 votes

Instant Pot Rice-A-Roni

This foolproof Instant Pot Rice-A-Roni recipe is perfect to include in your weekly meal plan for an easy and delicious dinner side dish. You'll have the fluffiest rice in minutes every time!
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword Side Dish, rice
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Time to bring pot to pressure 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 214kcal


  • 1 box (6.8 oz) Rice-A-Roni (any variety)
  • 2 Tbsp butter (can substitute olive oil)
  • 3/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup water


  • Set pressure cooker to sauté and add butter or oil to the pot. Once pot is ready, add rice and sauté until the rice begins to turn golden (3-5 minutes). Press cancel to end sauté.
  • Add broth, water, and seasonings to rice and stir to mix. Close and seal lid, turn vent to seal (if needed). Set pot manually to high pressure for 5 minutes.
  • Once the pressure cooking cycle is complete, perform a quick pressure release by carefully turning or pressing the pressure release button (refer to your pot's instructions). Fluff the rice by stirring before serving.



Serving: 1serving | Calories: 214kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 5mg | Sodium: 246mg | Potassium: 52mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 62IU | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 3mg

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10 thoughts on “Instant Pot Rice-A-Roni”

  1. Thanks for the recipe. When cooking this for a large group how many boxes do you think can be done at once? I have a 6 qt. Pot.

    • I would say that you can make up to 5 boxes. You can safely fill the Instant Pot up to 4 quarts (or 2/3) for starchy foods, which is 14 cups. Each box needs 2.5 cups of water, so between the water and rice I think you could make 5 boxes.

  2. Hi! Thanks for posting this recipe. Do you think it’s possible to add ground beef to this while it cooks?

    • Sure! I would saute/brown the ground beef, then add the rice and seasonings in that order, before pressure cooking. If your ground beef is already cooked or frozen, just stir it in with the rice before pressure cooking.

  3. I need to make multiple boxes of Rice A Roni in my instant pot. Do I need to increase the pressure cooking time?

    • Theoretically, you shouldn’t have to and I wouldn’t. You’ll be adding more water (and rice) to the pot, so the pot will take slightly longer to come to pressure anyway. Be sure to follow the directions carefully to avoid getting a burn notice. That’s happened to me once when I was in a hurry and forgot to stir the rice before pressure cooking.

    • I found that rice in my Instant Pot can be challenging, but this rice recipe has been so reliable. I’m glad you liked it, too!

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