vegan rice cooker mac n cheeze

Another rice cooker recipe is here!

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I love pasta, but, admittedly, it took me a lot of attempts to finally find a rice cooker pasta method that I liked.  The first attempt was a dry bland mush.  The second was slightly better and less overcooked but still much too dry.  I tried again and again, and I am happy to say that a palatable rice cooker pasta method is finally here.  And now it is my time to share.

It is surprisingly simple: 1 lb pasta + 2 1/2 cups water + white rice setting stirred every 3-5 min until done = amazingly tasty pasta

I will say, however, there is one small downside to rice cooker pasta.  The pasta, rather than having that deliciously smooth shine on every piece is coated with a thin layer of starch that normally would disperse throughout the large pot of water when cooking it on the stovetop.

My solution?  A sauce that’s made tastier by that starchy coating!

With some traditional methods, macaroni and cheese would be made starting with a roux, of butter and flour, and then milk would be added and left to simmer, with frequent mixing, until a sauce of desired consistency was reached.  After this, cheese, noodles, and whatever else would be added to finish off the dish.  When I normally make mac n cheeze (with access to a stove and more ingredients), I usually roughly follow this method (with vegan ingredients of course), but, in my dorm room with only a rice cooker and a microwave, I had to get a little more creative.  It occurred to me that the starch on the pasta could, in some capacity, thicken the sauce like the flour in a roux, so I simply skipped the flour, added the plant milk, and my final cheeze sauce came out just fine!  No weird starchiness (as was the case with img_3340other sauces) and a sauce consistency almost identical to one made with flour.  My mac n cheeze was a success!!
Now that I’ve finished rambling about cultural food norms and cooking pseudoscience, here’s the recipe:

Vegan Rice-cooker Mac n Cheeze:

(By the way, here’s a video of this recipe if you haven’t already seen it)

  • 1 lb pasta (I recommend macaroni, shells, or rotini)
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • chopped veggies (optional – I used garlic, red onion, spinach, mushrooms, and broccoli)
  • 2 cups plant milk (I used soy)
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 tsp seasoning mix (I used Bragg Sprinkle Seasoning but garlic powder, onion powder, salt, black pepper, paprika, and/or dried rosemary would all be good here)
  • 1 tbs mustard (yellow or Dijon)
  • black pepper for serving (optional)
  1. Add pasta and water to rice cooker and cook on white rice setting, stirring every 3-5 min until pasta is about halfway cooked (around 6-10 minutes).
  2. Add chopped vegetables and thoroughly mix (or skip this step if not using veggies).
  3. Close lid and continue cooking until veggies and pasta are fully cooked (6-10 minutes), stirring every 3-5 minutes.
  4. Turn off the rice cooker, add nutritional yeast, seasoning, and mustard, and mix everything together.
  5. Serve topped with black pepper if desired.

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