Pantry Clean-out Challenge: Delicious Rice-A-Roni Casserole Recipe

All Things Mandy
by All Things Mandy

I have recently realized how much stuff I have in my pantry that I need to use up, so I am issuing myself a challenge.

I am going to go through all of my cabinets, take out all the food I have accumulated in there and make a huge pile, and then make as many meals as I can based solely on what I find there and in my fridge and freezer.

I love pantry meals because they allow me to feed my family without spending extra money and going to the store unnecessarily. Let’s get started!

Pantry challenge ingredients

This is the stockpile I have put together after cleaning out all the shelves of my pantry. There is quite a lot of stuff here, and I am hoping to make six or seven meals out of it, but I have no doubt that I can make five at the very least.

What do I have here? There is some taco stuff, a hamburger helper, Rice-A-Roni, a can of cream of mushroom soup, a can of mixed vegetables, a bag of egg noodles, corn muffin mix, a can of cream of chicken, black beans, three big cans of chicken from Sam's Club, a can of tuna, diced green chilies, pinto beans, a jar of pasta sauce, a can of sliced mushrooms, fire roasted tomatoes, diced tomatoes, and part of a box of lasagna.

I also have several bits of things in my fridge and freezer that I am going to be using, as well as some random things like a little bit of French fried onion leftovers, a bit of Basmati rice, and one lone cup of nacho cheese sauce.

Tonight, I am making a two person serving of a Rice-A-Roni casserole. I am going to use that cheddar and broccoli Rice-A-Roni and some butter that it requires, add cream of mushroom with roasted garlic and a can of chicken and use these French fried onions for the top.

First, I sprayed my casserole dish. You could go ahead and follow the box directions of the Rice-A-Roni but I decided not to do that as I did not want to dirty more dishes.

Instead, I poured out the rice in the bottom of the casserole dish and then added the canned chicken breast that I had first drained. I broke up the larger chunks of chicken with my clean hands.

Next, I added in the cheddar and broccoli seasoning packet. I wanted the casserole to be creamy, so I added in cream of mushroom with roasted garlic.

I did not bother mixing it all up since I was adding water anyway - 2 1/4 cups, as per the package instructions.

Finally, I gave it a little stir to get the rice all mixed in but without worrying about it being perfect, and baked the casserole at 425 F for 20-30 minutes.

Making Rice-A-Roni casserole

For the topping, I melted 2 tablespoons of butter that the Rice-A-Roni instructions called for, and mixed it with crushed up French fried onions.

Once the casserole was done, I mixed it up a little bit and poured out the onions and butter mixture on top of it for a bit of crunch. I then put it back into the oven for an extra 5 minutes.

Rice-A-Roni casserole

The casserole came out smelling absolutely amazing, and I could not wait to try it. It was super delicious and so comforting. The little chunks of mushroom in the cream of mushroom soup definitely added a depth of flavor, and it is so creamy. Depending on your appetite, this could be two or three servings.

If you have a box of Rice-A-Roni laying around, or just plain regular rice, add a can of cream of mushroom soup and a can of chicken as well as some crunchy topping and you will not be disappointed.

Pantry clean-out

I am going to keep improvising recipes until I am done with this stockpile from my pantry, so stay tuned. What would you make with the ingredients I listed in the beginning? Share your ideas in the comments and perhaps I will give them a try!

Next up, learn How I Do My Super Easy Sheet Pan Meal Prep.

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 1 comment
  • Teresa Teresa 18 hours ago
    So has anyone here heard how bad processed food is for a body? Bad oils, very little nutrition. Canned chicken? Seriously? Do you know what is in French fried onions? Dextrose, palm oil, flour, all bad. It’s all disgusting. Sorry… 😞 The family would be better off not eating. There are ways to eat healthy on a budget. Please don’t poison your family. Good luck ♥️