Coconut flavored Rice-A-Roni

There have been many occasions when me and my children do not look eye to eye about dinner. I take so much love and effort making something nutritious and yummy for them and all I get is an eyeroll and “I wish there was Mac and Cheese”. It just is so heartbreaking when you have to face a dinner table battle over food choices. Even when I have no qualms whatsoever with mac and cheese. I make it so often , I can do it my eyes closed.

I usually prefer making rice for kids meals just because it is easier to make, easier to sneak vegetables into and it is my favorite side to eat. only problem I face is my kids want nothing to do with rice. I was wondering for some time how do I make it to look like and taste like macaroni, then I stumbled upon the idea of Rice -A-Roni and perfect way to make it.

close up photo of risotto dish

with simple ingredients like coconut milk , rice and cheese that we all have in our kitchens, we can easily make this in a heavy bottomed pot , instant pot or a rice cooker. Resulting Rice-A- Roni is just as creamier ,tastes heavenly and with this little flavor trick even looks the mac and cheese.

with that note, lets gather up what we need to make this simple and tasty side dish.


  • 2 cups of white basmati rice or Spanish Rice ( Raw white rice works best)
  • one and a half cups of thick coconut cream
  • Salt to taste
  • Half a teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • 4 cups of water to cook the rice
  • half a cup of grated parmesan cheese
  • cup of mozzarella and sharp cheddar blend.
  • 1 tablespoon of butter


  • Rinse the rice once. add rice, water, turmeric and salt to your rice cooker or instant pot. We do not have to worry about overcooking rice here , because creamy texture is what we are looking for.
  • Cook until the rice almost absorbs all the water but still wet. add coconut milk and adjust the salt. Stir coconut milk in. From this point on keep and eye on it and cook the rice until coconut mil is almost absorbed and rice looks creamy.
  • butter a casserole dish and transfer the steaming coconut milk rice in to that. spread to make a even layer. sprinkle mozzarella and Cheddar cheese on top.
  • bake in 365 degree oven until cheese is bubbly and crusty on top.
  • Take Ricearoni out of the oven and sprinkle parmesan cheese on top. cover and let it cool.
  • Enjoy with your favorite side salad , butter fried pork, or roast . yumm.

** please be careful while transferring steaming milk rice to the casserole, because it will be really hot.

I have made this dish several times now and every time it is a hit with my frailly. no complains, no comparisons. Rice -A- Roni just disappears rite out of table.

I hope you will try to make it and fall in love with it as much as I have. please let me know what you think below. Have a great 4 th of July !