A rice cooker is a powerful tool, perfect for all kitchens. It allows you to set timers, create dishes and have everything ready for you when you get home. But while it’s called a rice cooker, it is not just for rice. This is one of those items you can use for a variety of meals.
For example, you can make chocolate cake in your rice cooker. Most people will have their doubts at first, but soon realize just how interesting and fun it sounds. Before you judge, you’ll want to try making it and see just how soft, moist and delicious the cake is.
You can also make a variety of main dishes, whether you want Balsamic and Dijon chicken, a succulent curry and even the perfect frittata. Are you ready to get your rice cooker on the go? Here are eight meals you will want to try.
- Is balsamic vinegar bad for acid reflux? Find out here.
Balsamic and Dijon Chicken with Mushrooms
Start with a beautifully marinated chicken breast. You steam this on a bed of Farro that will leave you wanting more. This dish will take 80 minutes in total, and you’ll only wait an hour for your meal. It’s perfect to put on as soon as you get in from work, so it’s calling for you when it comes to dinner time.
- 4 chicken breasts, skinless and boneless
- 1tsp oil of choice
- 2 shallots, chopped finely
- 8oz cremini mushrooms, quartered
- 1 cup of faro
- 1 ½ cups of vegetable broth
- ¼ cup of parsley, chopped finely
Ingredients for the marinade
- 1/3 cup of balsamic vinegar
- 1tsp oil of choice
- 1tbsp Dijon mustard
- Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- Start with the marinade by putting all the ingredients into a zip-lock back and combining fully
- Add the chicken to the bag, turning to fully coat and then put in a bowl and cover; place in the fridge until ready
- Set your rice cook on “Regular” and then place the tsp of oil into the bowl
- Add the shallots and stir to coat before closing the lid and cooking for 5 minutes
- Add the mushrooms and cook for another 8 minutes, until soft and water released
- Add the farro and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally
- Add the broth and then place the chicken over the top
- Cover with the lid and cook for 60 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through
You’ll want to serve with about a cup of the mushroom/farro mixture on the plates and the chicken breast on top. Finish serving with the parsley over the top. This isn’t just a delicious meal to end your day but will also make a perfect dieting meal for those who want to lose weight. It’s filling and warm, suitable for those cold winter nights.
Easy, Peasy Frittata with Summer Vegetables
Frittatas are quick and easy to make, but that doesn’t mean you want to watch over them as they cook. Your rice cooker is perfect to make the egg dishes and have them cooked to perfection. You can even use the bowl of the rice cooker as a mixing bowl to keep the washing up to a minimum, but you’ll want a frying pan for the vegetables to start with.
Frittatas are packed with protein, making them popular dinner and breakfast options. You can even do them for lunch on the weekend or your day off. Here’s the recipe you want.
- 6 eggs
- 2tbsp grated cheese
- 1 garlic clove, peeled
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 potato, peeled and diced
- 1 zucchini, sliced
- 2tbsp oil of choice, divided
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Heat a tbsp of oil in a frying pan and add the garlic clove, frying until browned and fragrant
- Discard the garlic clove and add the rest of the vegetables to the pan, seasoning with the salt and pepper; set aside
- Place the other tbsp of oil into the rice cooker bowl and spread around the sides with some paper towel
- Add the eggs and cheese and season, beating the eggs in the bowl
- Add the vegetables and spread evenly throughout the egg mixture
- Place the lid on the rice cooker and switch on the Regular setting
The frittata will be finished once the regular cycle is complete. It will look just like a normal frittata but tasteless oily than normal. You can even keep the frittata wrapped in the fridge for 3-4 days, making it the perfect quick breakfast option if you want.
If you want a quick dinner, do the vegetables ahead of time. They’ll keep in the fridge covered for 3-4 days. You can then just throw them straight in with the egg and cook right away.
Delicious and Easy Mac ‘n’ Cheese
Mac ‘n’ cheese is one of those perfect dinners when you want something warm, satisfying and perfect for the whole family. You can make it in just 10-15 minutes in the rice cooker once the macaroni is cooked, also making it the perfect quick evening meal. This is something to do the night the kids have their clubs or you’re working unusually late.
- 1 ½ cups of elbow macaroni
- 1 ½ cups of chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 cup of almond milk
- ¾ cup of cheese of choice
- ½ cup of mozzarella cheese, shredded
- ¼ cup of Parmesan cheese, grated
- 1/4tsp paprika
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- Mix the macaroni, milk, and broth together in the rice cooker and cook according to the packaging instructions, until tender but still with a bite
- Add the cheeses and seasonings and cook until the cheeses melt.
Experiment with the different types of cheeses available and how they can add more to your dinner. Try adding different seasonings and spices, too. You can use Monterrey Jack cheese if you want a bit of a bite and try mixing in some Jalapenos. There are so many options and they won’t add any extra time to the cooking.
Almond milk isn’t the only option available either. Try some coconut or soy milk or you can stick to cow’s or goat’s milk if you prefer. And you can always make with other types of pasta if you don’t have macaroni to hand. The options are endless with this rice cooker recipe.
Rice Cooker Chicken Curry
It’s time to make a family curry with your rice cooker. This will serve four and you’ll have it ready in just 30 minutes. There’s no reason to order takeout again!
- 2tbsp oil of choice
- 1 cup of onion, chopped
- 1tsp garlic, minced
- 2tbsp curry powder
- 2 cups of water
- 8oz of tomato sauce
- 8 oz of jambalaya mix
- 1lb chicken breast, skinless and boneless, chopped into cubes
- ½ cup of golden raisins
- ¾ cup of yogurt
- ½ cup of cashew nuts, chopped
- Add the oil to the rice cooker and press the Cook button
- Add the garlic and onion, cooking for 5 minutes
- Add the curry powder and cook for another 2 minutes
- Add some water to the tomato sauce and jambalaya mix with the chicken and raisins and stir to combine everything fully
- Close the lid and cook until the rice cooker automatically switches to warm
- Turn off the cooker and add in the yogurt and then allow to stand for five minutes
Serve the dish with the cashew nuts sprinkled over the top. This is one of those dishes that you can try with different added ingredients, such as different dried fruits and nuts. You can also add some cilantro to the pot if you really want an Indian taste.
Rice Cooker Chicken and Daikon Soup
You don’t just have to make full dinners with your rice cooker. This is also an excellent way to create a soup without too much hassle. You just pop the rice cooker on and you can have it ready in hours. Plus, you can warm the soup through, meaning you can make it on a day you have time and then warm up quickly with your rice cooker so it’s ready for your meal
- 500g of chicken, skinless and boneless, chopped
- 1lt of water, plus extra to cook the chicken
- 5 ginger slices
- 1 daikon, peeled and chopped
- 8 shiitake mushrooms, stems removed
- 1tbsp wolfberries, soaked in water to make puffy and drained
- 3 dried scallops
- Salt, to taste
- Set the cooker to Cook and add the water
- Once the water boils, add the chicken and cook for 5-8 minutes covered
- Discard the liquid and set the chicken aside
- Add the liter of water and cover
- Once boiling, add the cooked chicken back in with the daikon, mushrooms, scallops, and ginger and cover to boil and cook for about 45 minutes
- Switch the cooker to Warm and simmer for 1-2 hours
- Add the wolfberries in about 30 minutes before the cooking is finished
This is a thick soup and full of chunky meat and vegetables. It’s certainly going to be something that leaves you full and satisfied at the end of a long day.
Roasted Pork with Hoisin Sauce
How about a rice cooker-cooked pork recipe? This uses any type of pork you have in the fridge or freezer and mixes a range of Oriental-style vegetables and spices. You’ll want to add this to your Thai, Chinese, Korean and other Oriental-themed night.
- Up to 2lb of pork
- A thumb size of ginger root, sliced
- 6 cloves of garlic
- 1tbsp oil of choice
- 1 cup of soy sauce
- 1 cup of Hoisin sauce
- 1 cup of sugar
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Tie the pork with kitchen twine and rub with the salt and pepper
- In a frying pan, add the garlic and cook until fragrant, and then add the pork to caramelize the surface
- Place the pork in the rice cooker, fat side add, and add the garlic and rest of the ingredients
- Turn the cooker onto Cook and cook with the lid on
- About halfway through, turn the pork over to help cook evenly
- Remove the pork to cool and reserve the cooking liquid for a noodle soup in the future
You can serve this with wild rice or some noodles. Drizzle a little of the sauce over the top to serve.
The number of ingredients will depend on the size of your rice cooker. Avoid filling above the liquid line, otherwise, the sauce will spill over. You may need to do the pork in two batches if you have more than a pound.
Chocolate Lava Cake for Dessert
It’s time to look at your dessert options and the chocolate lava cake is one that you want to try. This is far better than making one in the microwave, although that is a quicker option. This is one of those desserts that you need patience for when it’s cooking, as it will take two hours or so in the rice cooker. However, it’s more than worth the wait!
- 1 box of Devil’s Food Chocolate Cake mix
- 1 can of milk chocolate frosting, divided
- Spray your rice cooker bowl with some cooking spray and then add the cake ingredients, mixing them all together
- Spoon half of the chocolate frosting into the middle of the cake batter and reserve the rest
- Place the rice cooker on Cook and leave for at least two hours, checking on it regularly after that
Plate up the cake once it’s done and add the rest of the chocolate frosting on top. The frosting is best heated in the microwave for about 20s and you can use it on the warm cake. This is one that you will want to serve warm!
Rice Cooker Banana Pudding with Delicious Caramel Sauce
The second cake to try is a banana pudding. The young and old kids will adore this recipe and it’s just so easy to make. It doesn’t take as long as the chocolate cake, but you will need to check on the dish throughout the cooking process to avoid it burning.
- 90g butter, divided
- 1/3 cup and 2tbsp brown sugar, divided
- 2 bananas, mashed
- 1 banana sliced
- 1 egg, whisked
- 1/2tsp ground cinnamon
- 2tbsp milk
- 1 cup of self-raising flour
Ingredients for the sauce:
- 300ml of cream
- ½ cup of brown sugar
- 80g of butter
- Grease and line your rice cooker bowl
- Drizzle 30g of melted butter over the baking paper on the base and sprinkle the 2tbsp brown sugar
- Layer the banana slices over the top of the sugar and put aside
- Mix the rest of the butter, brown sugar and mashed bananas with the egg and cinnamon in a bowl and then add the milk, missing fully
- Sift the flour into the mixture and fold gently
- Spoon into the rice cooker and cover, cooking for 5 minutes on Cook
- Switch the cooker to Warm and allow to stand for 10 minutes
- Place the cooker back on Cook and cook for another 3 minutes
- Switch back to warm for another 10 minutes, not removing the lid during this time
- Repeat the setting switch twice more and then serve in dishes
For the caramel sauce:
- Wipe the rice cooker bowl and then add all the sauce ingredients together
- Cook to bring to a boil and leave on Cook for 5 minutes until the sugar dissolves
- Pour into a heatproof jug and drizzle over the top of your pudding.
This is a delicious pudding served with some vanilla ice cream on the side. You can opt for some chocolate instead of brown sugar if you’d like a chocolate sauce instead.
Put Your Rice Cooker to Good Use
It’s time to make the most of all the appliances in the kitchen. Your rice cooker is for more than just risotto and to make rice cooking much easier. This is the perfect way to cook a range of dishes and desserts suitable for the whole family. Now you just must choose the dish you’ll try first. There are quick and long options, depending on your time and interest.