Rice Cooker Macaroni and Cheese

Yes you read the title right, it says rice cooker macaroni and cheese. I love my rice cooker. I use it to make rice all the time. It makes great rice. It also steams vegetables really well. But did you know that you can cook other things in it. Well you can. There are several cookbooks that have been written for rice cooker cooking. You can also find quite a few recipes by searching the internet.

What I have found is that a lot of these recipes are slow cooking or have many steps. If I am going to slow cook I would rather use my crockpot. And I don’t mind recipes with lots of steps, but for me the whole point of using my rice cooker is to make it faster.

I have found however a recipe/technique for the rice cooker that I love. It is for macaroni and cheese. No boiling water, no stirring while cooking. This is a simple one pot meal.

Now this is no gourmet mac and cheese. I am not claiming that this will be the best ever, but it is good. It makes a great, quick lunch and my kids love it. It beats the stuff in the box with the powdered cheese any day.

Have you ever used your rice cooker for anything besides rice? I would love to hear if you have.

Lynn's Kitchen Adventures

Comments

  1. Thanks for posting this. I will have to try this out. I use my rice cooker to cook lentils all the time. It is so much easier!
    Nicole

  2. Oh I am for sure going to try this one, Lynn. I love my steamer for rice and veggies. Thanks for posting this.
    Susan

  3. I am going to try this! do you by any chance have the pampered chef rice cooker?

  4. No Heather. I have an Oster electric rice cooker that I have had several years. I did not know P. Chef had one.

  5. oh great recipe! i love my rice cooker — matter of fact i’ve worn out the coating and should probably think about getting another one. it’s the only way i’ll bother with oatmeal — we like steel-cut oats.

    • would love to hear how you prepare your steal cut oatmeal in the rice cooker as I love it but the long cooking time is too much for weekday breakfasts.

      • @Kim,
        I have a Sanyo rice cooker and it has a delayed cook cycle on it. I have just recently bought this and now looking for more recipes to try in it as well. I do know it is NOT good for Old Fashion Oats on the Porridge setting :-( . All was not lost, I just added more oats and let it set on warm for about 10 min (refrigerated the leftover).

  6. claudiapatx says:

    This is great. I cook just about everything in either my rival rice cooker/steamer or my “Jet-Stream Oven” Both are great! I love steamed talapia. And there’s no better way to steam shrimp. It just leaves in the flavor which you would normally “boil” out the regular way!

  7. AlOlmstead says:

    Rice cookers are also great when cooking for one or two. Substitute soy milk if lactose is a problem. Experiment with the same basic ingredients and methods to make great rice pudding.

  8. I can not wait to try this. I’ve been so discontent buying mac and cheese lately and wanting to find a version that I like. I look forward to this. :-D

  9. Michelle says:

    I finally tried this a month ago — my boys LOVE it. Will never bother with store bought again …. this is so much better.

  10. Hi! Just found your site via OrgJunkie and I have to say I LOVE this idea to make mac ‘n cheese in my rice cooker. I’ve been looking for a healthier, but still easy way to make mac ‘n cheese for my kids and this looks just right! I, too, LOVE (love, love!) my rice cooker…used it tonight in fact (just to make rice though). Great idea!
    .-= Meal Plan Mom (Brenda)´s last blog ..Cookbook Review: Healthy Foods- An Irreverent Guide to Understanding Nutrition and Feeding Your Family Well =-.

  11. I just made this recipe for a friend who was in the hospital. They loved it and so did my kids. The only problem was the macaroni stuck to the bottom of the pan. (I did spray it.) Any thoughts?

    • @JulieJ, I am glad they liked it. The sticking might be due to the difference in how rice cookers cook. You might try a little extra liquid, you could add just a little water and see if that helps. But I would not add too much because it might make the noodles soggy. I have noticed that mine sticks more when I use gluten free noodles and I have not been able to figure out why on that either.

  12. Hey, Lynn…have you tried doing this with gluten free macaroni or other noodles that are gf? If so, what brand do you find works best?? Thanks.

    • @Susan,

      Never mind, I found it in your blog about the recipe…..duh!! I LOVE those shells, though, and, actually have some…gotta try this either today or tomorrow, my daughter (the gf one) LOVES mac and cheese so, this will be a great thing for her in college.

  13. Do you know if this will work in a Pampered Chef microwave rice cooker? I might have to try it. :)

  14. Tried this last night and it was so easy and good! Thanks for the recipe!!

  15. Thanks for posting this fantastic recipe for the rice cooker. Great quick and easy comfort food.

  16. AllieZirkle says:

    I made this recipe for lunch yesterday :) I would say that I will use water next time (instead of chicken stock). The stock was too strong yesterday and in today’s leftovers. Also, I salted the water and added both black pepper & dry ground mustard to the final product at cheese mixin time. Delish!

    I found that 1:1 pasta:liquid works great.

    Thanks for a fun recipe!

    ;) Allie

  17. Never used a rice cooker before. What kind do you have? Maybe you could do a series on all the ins, outs, how tos, more recipes, etc.

    • @Ruth, Here is a post I wrote a couple years ago about my rice cooker. I have actually replaced the one in this post though and now have a new one. I do love rice cookers in general and think the middle priced ones are good. The one I have now was about $30 and it works great. I love being able to get perfect rice every time and it works well for steaming vegetables also. I would not buy one just to make mac and cheese in it, but if you eat a lot of rice, they are worth getting. http://www.lynnskitchenadventures.com/2008/09/rice-cooker.html

  18. Lynn, we use our rice cooker to make a layered Middle Eastern dish called Mak-loobe. Sear off some pork chops, layer in the bottom of the cooker. layer on salted/wrung-out/panfried eggplant, then thick slices of tomatoes. Top w/ 2 c white rice, add salt to taste and water, cook until rice is done. Serve with plain yogurt. This is my Syrian husband’s very favorite dish!

  19. Just made this. It’s good and easy and a great lunch for my son!

  20. Julie Huey says:

    Thanks for posting this! I love how easy this recipe is compared to the one I have, which involves making a roux first! I thought about adding a little cream to the milk. After I realized I ran out of cream, I add 3 T. of butter instead. The chicken stock really takes the recipe to the next level. It was really good!

  21. I have thought about getting a rice cooker for the last few weeks but was not sure if it was necessary. This post might have just swayed me. Thanks so much and thanks for the link that shows us which one you have.\

  22. We tried this in our household tonight. It was a huge success. Thank you!

  23. This is an ingenious way to do mac ‘n’ cheese and will definitely get a run here when I do up my next batch of chicken stock. Or whatever sort I get in the mood to make; the recipe sounds like it would take well to almost any kind of clear stock–and some monkeying with cheese varieties too. Uh-oh, more new food addictions!

  24. Added can of salmon, italian cheese, moz. cheese, and cream cheese today. Yum!

  25. I have a Wolfgang puck rice cooker
    Will Mac and cheese recipe work in that?
    Lydia.

    • I have tried it in 2 different rice cookers and it works, but neither is Wolfgang Puck brand. I think it would be worth a try though.

  26. CJ Teague says:

    My friend told me shee cooks oat groats for breakfast in her rice cooker, I tried it ad Loved it.

  27. I use my rice cooker for mac m cheese all the time. I also
    add about 2Tsp. of mustard too adf a little zing. Also add a little shreddef
    Parmesan. for added flavor. My Grandkids love it!!!!!!!

  28. I just recently got myself a Zojirushi 5 1/2 cup micom rice cooker and I’ve been looking for every excuse to use it so I can’t wait to try this recipe out (I love mac n’ cheese!). Do you use the rice cooker cup for the measurements or is it just standard American measurements for the ingredients?

    • I use American measurements. And on my Zorjirushi I use the quick cook setting. On my old rice cooker I just used the regular one. I hope you enjoy it. And I hope you enjoy your rice cooker. I love my Zorjirushi!

      • I’m glad I read through the comments :) I was wondering if you had made any adjustments or done anything different since you got your Zojirushi. I’m in love with mine! I’ve only had it about a week but I think I’ve used it every day! Lol :p

  29. I have three different sized rice cookers and use them all. My favorite recipe is one I made up that my kids enjoy. I make 3 cups of uncooked rice, once it’s cooked and on warm I add a 28 oz. can of baked beans, 18 oz. bottle of bbq sauce and 6 smoked or polish sausages sliced up. Let it heat through on warm. We call it beans, wienies and rice casserole. I never thought about making mac and cheese in my rice cooker but will definitely try it! Thanks for the recipe.

  30. Hi. I’ve made this a few times (the first time I didn’t read the directions and added all the liquid at once – not recommended) but the last time I made this it was great. I used beef broth, buttermilk, and some smoked Gouda cheese. Yum…the faults loved it and my 3 year old wanted it again for dinner the same day. Yum!!!

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