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Rice and Noodle Pilaf

This recipe is a great side dish to any meal. For breakfast, try it piled on a plate with a fried egg on top. From the book "Mad Hungry" by Lucinda Scala Quinn (Artisan Books).

  • yield: Makes 2 quarts




  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1 cup dried vermicelli noodles, broken into roughly 1-inch pieces
  • 2 cups long-grain white rice
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt


  1. Step 1

    Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoons of the butter, and as soon as the butter melts, add the onion. Cook, stirring constantly, until the onion is translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the noodles, lower the heat to medium, and cook, stirring constantly, until the noodles are golden brown and the mixture gives off a nutty aroma, 5 to 8 minutes.

  2. Step 2

    Add the rice, stir to combine, and add the remaining tablespoon of butter.

  3. Step 3

    Stir in the chicken broth and salt. Raise the heat to high and bring to a full rolling boil. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the rice and vermicelli have absorbed all the liquid. Fluff with a fork and serve.

Mad Hungry, November 2010



Reviews (6)

  • 22 Feb, 2013

    This is a regular side-dish in my house. We're trying to cut out as many processed foods as we can, so needless to say I LOVE watching Mad Hungry. This has a very similar taste to rice-a-roni, only SO MUCH BETTER, and it's homemade. I didn't want to break up the spaghetti, so I just used an equal measurement of orzo pasta instead. YUM!!

  • 6 Jul, 2012

    This is the first of Lucinda's recipes that I have tried and it was delicious. I had to start over once though because my onion burned before the pasta browned. I recommend barely cooking the onion before adding the pasta because the onion continues to cook quite a bit as the pasta browns. A tasty side dish served with grilled chicken and vegetables...then combine the leftovers and you have lunch for the next day!

  • 24 Jan, 2012

    I haven't made this in so long I forgot how much I love it!
    Great Recipe,Quick and Easy to make Thanks!

  • 4 Nov, 2011

    I loved this. Like the boxed noodle-roni but much better.
    Good for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

  • 25 Sep, 2011

    I made this recipe gluten-free, using rice pasta spaghetti or vermicelli. To my surprise, it translated perfectly! Just watch the pasta as you're browning it - it browns quite quickly. Thanks for another great recipe!

  • 21 Sep, 2011

    Made this to accompany the vinegar glazed chicken tonight for dinner. Between the two recipes the sound of mmmm's and silence as we savored the dishes declared them both a big hit. You did it again Lucinda. Bravo