Rice cookers may seem like a one-trick pony kitchen appliance to many. But in actuality, they can be one of the most convenient and versatile kitchen devices you can find! Not to mention how affordable and storable they are in a small apartment and dorm spaces. So here are ten rice cooker recipes you can use when you’re a little cramped for space and appliances.
Rice and Salmon
Probably one of the most predictable, simple, yet delicious combination you can find out there, rice and salmon is a staple in so many households. This rice cooker recipe is not only a nutritious and comforting meal, but it’s also super easy to prepare! Measure out the amount of rice you want to use and wash it thoroughly. Washing rice is so easy. All you do is run your rice under cold water and agitate it in a circular motion with your fingers till the water turns a bit milky. Rinse and repeat till the water runs clear. Next, put however much salmon you want on top of the rice, season with whatever you like. Then turn on your rice cooker and walk away. It’s so easy.
For those who are looking for a bit more of a vegetarian option in their rice cooker recipes, tomato rice is seriously no joke. Do the same steps as above by rinsing your rice till the water turns clear, then chop up a tomato into slices and pop them in. Bonus tip: You don’t have to just end it there. Onions, leeks, carrots, whatever sort of veggie you want with your rice, feel free to add it in! For extra flavor salt and pepper it, maybe drizzle in a bit of olive oil. Then, once again, you turn on the rice cooker and walk away. It sounds crazy easy, and far too enjoyable to be true, but it really is just that simple.
I know what you might be thinking. Cake? Really? In a rice cooker? This can’t be real. Well, my friend, I’m here to tell you I’m dead serious, and yes, it is real. You can google it! With tons of different recipes on youtube, it’s surprising how easy baking can be by using a rice cooker. Sure, the shape of the cake might be a bit odd since it’s not baked in a pan, but they just look so fluffy and spongey all the same! From matcha to sponge cake, next time your sweet tooth comes calling, I urge you to give this rice cooker recipe idea a try!
Okay, let’s say you’re not a sweets person. Let’s say you’re not even that much of grains or starchy person either. Well, you still have a ton of rice cooker recipe options. You see, most rice cookers come with a steaming option along with a steamer basket. Just pour in a little water at the bottom, set your basket of veggies inside, turn it on, and wait for the chime. Once you come back, you will find all your vegetables have been perfectly steamed to deliciousness. Drizzle a bit of balsamic vinegar over them or coat them with cheese. Either way, you got a win.
So this rice cooker recipe will require a bit more work if you’re willing to go through the effort. But I promise the end result will be far better than anything you can get out of from a can. If one of your friends is suffering from a head cold, they will definitely be thanking you after this. In your rice cooker, add some noodles (or rice), diced chicken, and bone stock. Make sure that there’s enough bone stock, so the noodles don’t absorb all of it and that the rice cooker won’t overflow while cooking. This can vary from rice cooker to rice cooker, so read the instructions that came with your appliance. Now for the herbs. Using a bit of kitchen twine or some food-safe string, tie a spring each of fresh sage, thyme, and rosemary together and toss it in, followed by two bay leaves. Turn on your rice cooker and serve it nice and hot.
Mac and Cheese
Another unusual rice cooker recipe. This one is a bit less labor-intensive, but it is advised that if you’re looking for something with a quick cleanup lining your rice cooker with some sort of food-safe plastic might be advisable for this one. Pour in your noodles, add milk, butter, and cheese. Give it a good mix to make sure it’s evenly incorporated into everything, then once more, just turn on your rice cooker and walk away. You may laugh now, but sometimes there’s nothing more comforting than some good old-fashioned mac and cheese.
This is more of a ramen hack than an actual recipe, but sometimes people get exhausted. It’s hard to make meals for yourself at the end of the day, and I get it. Life can be exhausting sometimes. Especially for the poor college kid with four lectures starting at eight am. But lucky for you, there’s a way to play smart and not go hungry at night when all you want to do is slip into bed. Put your ramen into your rice cooker and make it as you usually would, then set your rice cooker to it’s “keep warm” function. Even the most basic of rice cookers have this. Then walk away. At night you can return to a nice hot meal and slip into bed. Your stomach will thank you for not letting it go empty.
Like the mac and cheese, this rice cooker recipes might lend way to some protection for your recipe cooker to make clean up a bit easier. In your rice cooker, add your potatoes and a bit of water, not enough to cover them entirely, just enough to make steam. Then once more, set your rice cooker to steam until the potatoes are softened. Then in a bowl, mashed them up with a bit of butter, or whatever else you like to add to your mashed potatoes and enjoy.
Once again, a very comforting meal, many rice cookers are actually equipped for a specific setting to make porridge specifically. However, others are a bit more touch and go, so be sure to consult your owner’s instruction manual to make sure yours is equipped with what you need for this. I would especially recommend making porridge in the case of something like a stomach bug or to cure a hangover. Not only is it gentle on the stomach yet still nutritious, but you can also easily add chicken or an egg to is as well to make it extra flavorful without being too hard on your upset tummy.
For our last rice cooker recipes: Dumplings. So, in your handy dandy steam basket, prepare some dumpling and set them, so they’re spaced out according to recipe instructions. Add a little bit of water to the bottom and wait for them to be finished and ta-da! Homemade dumplings made just for you. If you have a few more than you can fit into your rice cooker, just do them in multiple batches. Your friends will seriously be impressed that you made dumplings from scratch, and even more so when you told them you did it using a rice cooker!