Rice Cooker Mac ‘n Cheese

Homemade mac ‘n cheese in your rice cooker? That’s right people!

When I saw this on the blog Weelicious a while back, I knew it was something I had to try. I’m a total sucker for the rice cooker, especially when it involves cooking things other than rice. While the final dish is certainly not as rich, smooth and creamy as a macaroni and cheese made with a b├ęchamel sauce, it’s an acceptable approximation and oh so easy peasy on a busy night. In fact this recipe is so quick and easy that most kids could probably handle cooking it themselves with just a little supervision. Try it out and see what you think!

Speaking of rice cookers…. I’m about to officially retire my Chime-O-Matic, the rice cooker that my dad bought for me as a going off to college gift. In thinking back on it, I’m pretty sure this was my very first piece of cooking equipment. These days I have to prop it up on a jar lid because it’s missing a leg and it’s so generally raggedy that I have been on the verge of tossing it many times. Only sentimentality has stopped me from pitching it. At long last, I find I can’t resist the new generation of rice cookers with their cool features (a porridge setting for making jook!) and I’m excited to enter a whole new world of rice cooker cookery. So with this batch of mac and cheese as its swan song, I bid a fond adieu to my Chime-O-Matic!

What was your first piece of cooking gear?

Rice Cooker Mac ‘n Cheese (adapted from Weelicious. Here’s the original recipe)

Serves 4

  1. To your rice cooker, add 2 cups of macaroni (we like mini penne), 1.5 cups chicken stock and 1 tsp salt. Stir and cover. Let it cook for 15 minutes.
  2. After 15 minutes add 1 cup milk and 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese. I ended up using a heaping cup of grated cheddar, 1/2 cup or so of nonfat cottage cheese and about 1/3 cup of grated parmegiano reggiano. Stir well and let it cook another 15 minutes.
  3. Since my family loves spinach, I topped each bowl with some finely chopped ribbons of fresh spinach. A sprinkling of homemade breadcrumbs seasoned with garlic powder and toasted on the stove with some olive oil would be a yummy addition as well.