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
- Place the first 3 ingredients in the rice cooker and cook for 15 minutes.
- 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).
- 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?