Taste Test: Best Boxed Rice Mixes

We taste-tested dozens of rice mixes from the grocery store and picked our favorites.

BEST CHEESY: Rice-A-Roni Nature's Way Italian Cheese & Herb
After sampling too many bright orange rice mixes, our tasters were delighted by this naturally flavored, creamy blend that packs in plenty of parmesan with the "perfect al dente texture," said one taster. Read more »

Try it with: Parmesan-Crusted Tilapia »

BEST CHICKEN: Uncle Ben's Long Grain Rice Herb Roasted Chicken
Tasters went crazy for this moist and hearty mix, made of wheat berries, orzo, and long-grain and wild rice. There's no fake meat flavor here: "It tastes like it was cooked in real chicken stock," enthused one panelist. Read more »

Try it with: Chicken with Apple Gravy, Rice Pilaf and Green Beans »

BEST VEGGIE: Alessi Risotto con Funghi Porcini
Founded in 1947 by Antonino Alessi, the family-owned company stays true to its Italian roots by using chewy, short-grain arborio rice in this outstanding risotto with woodsy porcini mushroom bits. "It tastes like caramelized onions," said one taster. Read more »

Try it with: Asparagus and Parsley Pesto Risotto Bake »

BEST SPANISH: Near East Rice Pilaf Spanish Rice

This satisfying, paprika spiced blend, laden with bell peppers, onions, tomatoes and garlic, has a "fluffy, chewy" texture and a "rich, buttery taste with a nice kick." Read more »

Try it with: Lamb Chops with Spinach Rice Pilaf »

BEST ASIAN: A Taste of Thai Yellow Curry Rice
Some curries overpower, but this jasmine rice mix gets the complex flavors of Thai food just right "with mellow coconut and bright cilantro," one panelist noted. Another said, "So tasty I'd eat it alone-or use it as a shortcut base." Read more »

Try it with: Asian Chicken Cutlets »

By Amy Sung | Photograph by Lucas Zarebinski