Rice Cooker Mac and Cheese

Who knew that you could cook anything other than rice in your rice cooker? I had no idea until just this year. My mother-in-law has tried to convince me to make dishes like Fish Head Soup and Whole Black Chicken Soup. I just stuck with just making rice in my rice cooker.

Until now. I have to credit my (non-asian) friend Miranda who turned me on to Weelicious’ Rice Cooker Mac and Cheese. She is my minimally-processed meals friend and inspiration! And then I found recipes like the one below and this Buzzfeed article that confirmed the same thing. This recipe is #2 on that list. It should be #1!

Rice Cooker Mac & Cheese

Original recipe says it serves 4-6, but in my family of skinny boys that number is still closer to 2-3. They love them some noodles and cheese.

Prep Time: 5 mins, Cook Time: 35 mins


2 cups pasta (I prefer macaroni, but you could also use rotini, faralle or bite size pasta)
1 1/2 cups chicken stock (regular, or low sodium stock, or vegetable stock all work well)
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese – 3 cheese blend of cheddar, mozzarella and monterey jack


  1. Place the first 3 ingredients in the rice cooker and cook for 15 minutes.
  2. Open the lid, add the milk and cheese, stir to combine, close the lid and cook for an additional 20 minutes (25 minutes if you want it to have a crust on the bottom).
  3. Stir and serve.

Tips and Options

  • Rice cookers can cook at different heats, so make sure to check the mac & cheese a few times when it’s cooking for 20 minutes.
  • The original recipe uses the fancy Zojirushi rice cookers but I only have a super old school one-switch kind that also does the trick. Mine comes out a little more stuck together but the kids still have no problems devouring the entire pot.
  • I’ve run out of milk before and only used chicken stock instead of milk. Still tastes delicious.
  • I’ve also run out of the 3 cheese blend before and only used mozarella. (Don’t judge.) Still tastes delicious.
  • Optional: you can try to add a cup of finely chopped broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, butternut squash or frozen peas. Do so in step #2.


What kinds of other things do you cook in your rice cooker?


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