Rice Cooker Mac & Cheese – Easy Weeknight Dish!

Do weeknights full of homework, projects, dog training, sports and more make you feel like there is little, if any, time to make a nice home cooked meal? I know I feel that way so I jumped on the opportunity to try recipes that feature slow-cookers or any claim to be ready in 30 minutes or less. This one piqued my interested in the Washington Post a few weeks ago. Homemade mac & cheese, in a rice cooker, with only 3 steps – I honestly couldn’t wait to try out this seemingly no fuss recipe! It went really well, I made a bit of a tweak to what they listed based on their suggestions and it turned out really great!

Ingredients

– 8 oz pasta – use fuilli, farfalle, cavatappi, anything with a good shape.
– 2 – 2.5 cups no-salt (or low sodium) vegetable broth
– 1 tsp salt
– 1 – 2 cups broccoli florets, frozen peas or whatever other veggies you’d like to add
– 1 cup milk (we use 1 at our home% and I think whole or 2% would have been creamier)
– 1 tsp butter **Optional**
– 1 1/2 cups two cheese blend: Colby & Cheddar (you can use any 2 – 3 cheese blend such as cheddar, mozzarella & Monterrey Jack)

Directions

Combine the pasta, broth and salt in the rice cooker, close the lid and cook for a cycle, or about 15 minutes. You must stir it once or twice to ensure your pasta doesn’t scorch at the bottom. I neglected this initially and it scorched (my husband claimed it added more flavor…). At the end the broth should be completely absorbed.

While the pasta cooks, cook your veggies and get them ready to stir into the pasta. Keep in mind that the pasta will be hot so you may want your veggies a bit more al dente with the idea that they will continue to cook a little once added with the pasta.

Once the pasta is cooked, stir in the milk and butter (if you added butter), cheese and your veggie add-ins. Cook for another 10 minutes to help fully melt the cheese and ensure the milk is incorporated. Again – stir to avoid scorching.

This made a wonderful side-dish to pulled-chicken sliders and was a big hit! We had it for leftovers for a few days after. Next time around I may try using a different 3 cheese blend just to see how those taste, but as-is it was delicious, and very very simple!

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