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40 Things to Make with a Box of Instant Rice

Quick dinners are a must on weeknights. Enter these recipes made with instant rice, sure to get supper on the table in a snap.

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Spanish Rice Exps Ft19 1107 F 1017 1 5

Spanish Rice

You’ll find my easy Spanish rice is better than any found in grocery stores. Best of all, it can be prepared in the same amount of time as those so-called “quick and easy” boxes. —Anne Yaeger, Washington DC, Washington
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Bacon Cheeseburger Rice

My husband and I thought the original skillet dish lacked pizzazz, so we created this tastier version. I’ve had teenage nieces and nephews request the recipe after their first bite. —Joyce Whipps, West Des Moines, Iowa
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Cajun Pork And Rice Exps174893 Edsc143234b04 15 4bc Rms 9

Cajun Pork and Rice

I created this recipe upon returning home from traveling. With little food in the house, I used what was there. My husband loves this dish because it's tasty, and I love it because it's easy. —Allison Gapinski, Cary, North Carolina
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Meat Lover S Pizza Rice Skillet Exps Sdas18 214139 D03 28  7b 12

Meat Lover’s Pizza Rice Skillet

My son named this “pizza rice” after I threw together a quick dinner from what I had in the fridge and pantry. Add any other pizza topping ingredients you desire. I often add black olive slices or mushrooms. Teri Rasey, Cadillac, Michigan
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Rice Stuffed Peppers Exps1487 Gb2919407c01 24 2bc Rms 3

Rice-Stuffed Peppers

Mother used to fix this wonderful, easy dish when we had company. She was from a family of fantastic Cajun cooks, so our food was always well-seasoned. In Louisiana, rice is part of many meals. The cheese sauce sets these stuffed peppers apart from any others I've tried. —Lisa Easley, Longview, Texas
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Mom's Paella

I enjoy cooking ethnic foods, especially those that call for lots of rice. Like my mom, I often prepare this dish for special Sunday get-togethers. Traditional paella uses saffron, but turmeric is a budget-friendly alternative. —Ena Quiggle, Goodhue, Minnesota
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Southwestern Vegetables Rice Exps Dodbz20 138392 E07 21 7b 10

Southwestern Vegetables & Rice

Short on time? Here’s a spicy, satisfying supper that comes together in minutes. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Quick Chicken & Broccoli Stir-Fry

This Asian chicken and broccoli stir-fry is a household best bet. The spicy sauce works with chicken, seafood, pork or beef. Add whatever veggies you have on hand. —Kristin Rimkus, Snohomish, Washington
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Lemony Chickpeas

These saucy chickpeas add just a little heat to meatless Mondays. They're especially good over hot, fluffy brown rice. —April Strevell, Red Bank, New Jersey
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Pork Spanish Rice

Pork Spanish Rice

My family wasn’t fond of pork roast until I used it in this yummy casserole.—Betty Unrau, MacGregor, Manitoba
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Gumbo in a Jiffy

This is a yummy dish. My husband loves the kick that the sausage gives this quick gumbo, and it’s such a cinch to assemble. —Amy Flack, Homer City, Pennsylvania
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Sassy Salsa Meat Loaves

Here's a twist on classic meat loaf. You can make these loaves ahead, and they’ll last for a few days. Make meat loaf sandwiches with the leftovers, buns and a little Monterey Jack cheese. —Tasha Tully, Owings Mills, Maryland
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Foil Packet Shrimp And Sausage Jambalaya Exps Sdas18 219065 D03 28  6b 15

Foil-Packet Shrimp and Sausage Jambalaya

This hearty, satisfying dinner has all the flavors of an authentic jambalaya with little effort. The foil packets can be prepared a day ahead and cooked right before serving. These are also good on the grill! —Allison Stroud, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
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Quick Shrimp Creole

My mother made shrimp Creole when I was growing up, so I’ve carried on the family tradition. For extra kick, pass the Louisiana hot sauce. —Gina Norton, Wonder Lake, IL
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Zucchini Beef Skillet Exps Sdjj17 125067 C02 09 4b 6

Zucchini Beef Skillet

This is a speedy summer recipe that uses up those abundant garden goodies: Zucchini, tomatoes and green peppers. —Becky Calder, Kingston, Missouri
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Turkey Sausage Cabbage Rolls Exps Sddj17 197362 B08 11 6b 3

Turkey Sausage Cabbage Rolls

I practically grew up in my Polish grandmother's kitchen, watching Babci cook and listening to her stories. I made her cabbage roll recipe healthier with whole grains and turkey, but kept the same rich flavors I remember. —Fay Moreland, Wichita Falls, Texas
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Slow-Cooked Stuffed Pepper Stew

This is my go-to pepper stew. When my garden yields green peppers, I dice and freeze them for those cold, blustery days to come.—Debbie Johnson, Centertown, Missouri
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Chicken Brunch Bake

Chunks of tender chicken add heartiness to this appealing brunch casserole. This was my son's favorite hot lunch meal from high school. —DeLee Jochum, Dubuque, Iowa
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Lemon Chicken and Rice

On our busy ranch, we often need meals we can put on the table in a hurry. This all-in-one chicken dish - with its delicate lemon flavor - fits the bill and it's inexpensive to boot. —Kat Thompson, Prineville, Oregon
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Skillet Ham & Rice

Ham, rice and mushrooms make a tasty combination in this homey stovetop dish. It goes from start to finish in just 25 minutes. —Susan Zivec, Regina, Saskatchewan
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Salsa Rice

It's a snap to change the spice level in this popular rice side dish by choosing a milder or hotter salsa. It's a delicious way to round out burritos or tacos when the clock is ticking. —Molly Ingle, Canton, North Carolina
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Sausage Rice Skillet Exps Sdjj18 17452 C02 09 3b 9

Sausage Rice Skillet

Flavorful pork sausage, fresh zucchini and instant rice make this stovetop sensation a favorite. Everyone I have shared this recipe with tells me how delicious it is. —Connie Putnam, Clayton, North Carolina
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One Pot Stuffed Pepper Dinner Exps Sdas17 27430 B04 04 4b 6

One-Pot Stuffed Pepper Dinner

Thick like chili and with plenty of stuffed pepper flavor, this dish will warm you up on chilly days. —Charlotte Smith, McDonald, Pennsylvania
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Spinach Rice

I like to serve this Greek-style rice dish alongside steaks with mushrooms. It makes an elegant side that can be doubled for guests. —Jeanette Cakouros, Brunswick, Maine
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Quick Bean And Rice Burritos Exps Srbz16 34918 B09 02 5b 3

Quick Bean and Rice Burritos

These hearty and zippy burritos can be whipped up in a jiffy. —Kimberly Hardison, Maitland, Florida
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Inside Out Stuffed Cabbage Exps Cwfm17 49479 A10 11 10b 3

Inside-Out Stuffed Cabbage

Preparing stuffed cabbage rolls can be time-consuming, but this version with butternut squash has the classic flavors —and it’s table ready in just 30 minutes. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Peachy Pork with Rice

Peach preserves sweeten the spicy salsa in this delicious dish that’s nice enough for company. Adjust the heat level to taste by using mild or spicy salsa and seasoning. —Melissa Molaison, Hawkinsville, Georgia
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Saucy Pork Chop Skillet

Skillet pork chops make easy comfort food. We have them with a salad and fruit. If you've got fresh green beans or steamed broccoli, go for it. —Donna Roberts, Manhattan, Kansas
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Gulf Coast Jambalaya Rice Exps173510 Sd143203b10 24 5bc Rms 14

Gulf Coast Jambalaya Rice

As the stew of the South, jambalaya is a definite staple. For ages, home cooks have been making their own tweaks on the traditional recipe. This rendition is my favorite. —Judy Batson, Tampa, Florida
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Apple-Balsamic Pork Chops & Rice

Thanks to tangy balsamic vinegar and sweet apples, this one-pot pork chop lets you have a little something special anytime. —Greg Hageli, Elmhurst, Illinois
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Cajun Beef Rice Exps137944 Th143193c04 09 6b Rms 3

Cajun Beef & Rice

Cajun rice from a restaurant or box can have a lot of sodium and fat. Here’s a hearty, healthy way to trim it down. —Raquel Haggard, Edmond, Oklahoma
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Broccoli, Rice and Sausage Dinner

The first recipe my kids requested when they left home was broccoli with sausage and rice. If fresh zucchini or summer squash is available, add it to the mix. —JoAnn Parmentier, Branch, Michigan
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Skillet Nachos

My mom gave me a fundraiser cookbook, and this is the recipe I’ve used most. My whole family is on board. For toppings, think sour cream, tomatoes, jalapeno and red onion. —Judy Hughes, Waverly, Kansas
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One-Pot Beef & Pepper Stew

I love most things made with green peppers, tomatoes or green chiles. I wanted to prepare a quick and satisfying dish one evening and came up with this recipe with things I had on hand. —Sandra Clark, Sierra Vista, BC
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Pesto Rice-Stuffed Chicken

Juicy stuffed chicken is perfect for basil fans, but I've just as easily used shredded cheese in place of the pesto for my pickier eaters. —Rachel Dion, Port Charlotte, Florida
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Mandarin Pork Stir-Fry

When my husband and I were dating, he told me he liked Asian food. I got a wok and discovered the joy of dishes like this pork stir-fry. —Laurie Martignon, Niagara, Wisconsin
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Southern Pork & Rice

At our house, we're big on healthy eating. These ultra tender chops with colorful rice and black-eyed peas are a meal fancy enough for a dinner party. —Annie Holmes, Murfreesboro, Tennessee
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One Pan Chicken Rice Curry Exps Sddj17 194862 B08 04 5b 7

One-Pan Chicken Rice Curry

I've been loving the subtle spice from curry lately, so I incorporated it into this saucy chicken and rice dish. It's a one-pan meal that's become a go-to dinnertime favorite. —Mary Lou Timpson, Colorado City, Arizona
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Green Curry Salmon With Green Beans Exps Sdam17 110028 C12 08 5b 5

Green Curry Salmon with Green Beans

Like a lot of people here in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, my boyfriend, Michael, loves to fish. When we have an abundance of fresh salmon on hand, this is one way we cook it. —Amy Paul Maynard, Albany, Oregon
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Brown Rice Turkey Soup

I don’t recall where I got this recipe, but it’s my all-time favorite turkey soup. Everyone who has tried it agrees. The sweet red pepper is what gives the soup its distinctive flavor. —Bobby Langley, Rocky Mount, North Carolina

Rashanda Cobbins
When Rashanda’s not tasting and perfecting Taste of Home’s recipes, you’ll find this food editor sifting through our recipe collection, curating digital content or tracking the latest culinary trends. While studying for her bachelor’s degree in culinary arts, Rashanda interned in Southern Living’s test kitchen and later spent nearly a decade developing recipes and food content at ConAgra Brands. In her spare time, she loves scoping out local farmers markets and having picnics in the park.