Frequently Asked Questions

Check the Best Before Date on the bottom of the package. For the best flavor and quality, use the product before this date.

Vermicelli is a type of pasta similar to spaghetti but shorter and thinner. Rice-a-Roni® has 11 flavors with vermicelli:

Orzo is small, rice-shaped pasta. Rice-a-Roni® has 4 flavors with orzo:

We understand that individuals sensitive to gluten may have difficulty digesting even trace amounts of gluten. Since so many of our Rice-A-Roni® and Pasta Roni® products contain grain ingredients that have gluten, we cannot guarantee that any particular product is entirely free of gluten.

Pasta Roni® is not gluten free as it is made from wheat flour.

Rice-A-Roni® products also include wheat flour because they combine pasta such as orzo, vermicelli, etc. with the rice. Even Rice-A-Roni® products that do not combine rice and pasta may possibly contain trace amounts of gluten because they are made in the same facility as products that include wheat flour and other grain ingredients.

Check the Best Before Date on the bottom of the package. For the best flavor and quality, use the product before this date.

Most of the Rice-A-Roni® products contain a rice and pasta mixture. The pasta is either rosamarina (rice-shaped pasta) or cut vermicelli (similar to spaghetti, but thinner). Browning the rice-pasta mixture keeps the rice from becoming mushy and sticky. It also adds a pleasant, delicate toasted flavor.

Lower fat spreads usually contain more water than margarine or butter and will result in uneven browning. If the rice-pasta mixture doesn’t sauté well, try using a different margarine, butter or oil.

Choose a non-stick or regular 10-inch skillet; cast iron skillets are not recommended because the pasta is more likely to burn. Add the margarine or butter and the Rice-A-Roni® rice-pasta mixture to the skillet. Cook over medium heat and stir constantly with a wooden spoon as the margarine melts and coats the bottom of the skillet. Lower the heat and remove the skillet from the burner if the pasta starts to brown too quickly. Continue to stir until at least half of the rice changes color and at least half of the pasta becomes a rich golden brown. The sauté step usually takes about 4 to 6 minutes.

Rice-A-Roni®: Margarine and butter provide more flavor than oils, but olive oil, vegetable oil, or shortening could certainly be substituted. Coating the pan with cooking spray is also an option, although the texture of the rice may not be quite as fluffy. We do not recommend low fat margarine spreads (less than 56% fat to be precise) because the margarine may burn faster when sautéing and the Rice-A-Roni® will turn out gummy or mushy.

Pasta Roni®: Margarine and butter provide more flavor than oils, but olive oil, vegetable oil, or shortening could certainly be substituted. We do not recommend margarine spreads with less than 56% fat.

For oil preparation, simply halve the amount of butter or margarine with the equivalent of oil. For example, two tablespoons of butter or margarine would equal one tablespoon of oil. However, this may affect the taste and will change the nutritional information slightly.

The amount of margarine or butter can be reduced from the amount listed in the directions, but we don’t recommend leaving it out completely. The flavor will be a little weaker and the texture will be a little gummier. You can also try our Less Fat Directions found on pack, in which the percentage of calories from fat is always less than or equal to 30%.

The Nutrition Facts chart values are calculated based on the use of 2% fat milk. Whole milk will make the creamiest Pasta Roni®. Skim milk, 1% fat milk or Lactaid will make it less rich and creamy.

Our products are optimized for range top and microwave preparation methods so we cannot guarantee the results with various rice cookers and other appliances.

No. The sauté step is important, and it isn't possible to brown the rice in the oven. Therefore, we do not recommend making Rice-A-Roni in the oven.

Microwave directions for both Rice-A-Roni and Pasta Roni can be found on pack or on individual product pages on our website.

Our preparation directions are tested and developed in 600, 700, 800, 900 and 1000-watt microwave ovens. The lower the wattage of the microwave, the longer the cook time will be for the product. When using microwave directions for the first time, use the lower time in the range and add additional time in one-minute increments as needed.

Glass is recommended because not all plastic and ceramic containers are safe and functional for the microwave. Food in round containers heat more evenly than square or rectangular containers.

Microwave manufacturers recommend the following test. Add 1-cup of room temperature water to the bowl. Microwave on HIGH for 1 minute. Touch the bowl surface above the level of the water. If the bowl is hot, the bowl is not recommended for use in the microwave. If the bowl is cool, the bowl is acceptable for use in the microwave. Glass that is too thin might not be able to withstand high temperatures and may crack. Do not use a plastic bowl since it will melt.

Yes, you can combine two boxes of the same flavor or mix and match to create a fun, new combo (e.g. Mexican Rice + Creamy Four Cheese = Cheesy Enchilada!) Follow the range top directions, but use double the amount of added ingredients listed in the directions for one box (margarine and water, for example). Use the sauce mix and pasta from both of the boxes. Cook for the amount of time listed in the directions for one box. The cooking time may need to be adjusted by 5 minutes. Microwave preparation, preparing three or more boxes at one time or preparing two boxes of Red Beans & Rice is not recommended.

Store: Leftover product should be refrigerated in a tightly sealed storage container or zip lock plastic bag. For best results, store products in your refrigerator for no more than two days. After this time, the product may not taste as fresh.

Reheat: Add 1 to 3 tablespoons water for each cup of leftover product. Stir gently while cold. Reheat in the microwave oven. Rice-A-Roni also can be reheated over medium low heat in a saucepan on the stove, stirring occasionally.

Freeze: Freezing is not recommended, as freezing changes the texture of the rice unfavorably.

You can learn about the history of Rice-A-Roni® and Pasta Roni® products by visiting our Heritage page.

Rice-A-Roni®, The San Francisco Treat! Rice-A-Roni®, its flavor can't be beat! One pan, no boiling, cooking ease, a flavor that is sure to please. Rice-A-Roni® The San Francisco Treat! Ding! Ding!

Rice-A-Roni® is called "The San Francisco Treat" because the company and the product have their origins there.