You know how there are certain things you just don’t feel like cooking? Well a rice cooker could make all the difference.
There are plenty of recipes out there that show you just how versatile a rice cooker can be.
Whether you’re looking for breakfast, lunch or dinner, there’s always room for dessert. So, let’s take a look at some of our favourite recipes.
1. Teriyaki Shrimp And Rice
Shrimp fried rice is one of those dishes that people love to hate. It’s cheap, easy to make, and full of flavour. But it’s also high in fat and sodium, and often contains MSG (see also ‘The 5 Substitutes For Accent Seasoning That Work Best!‘).
This recipe is a healthier version but still delicious.
- 1 lb. medium shrimp peeled and deveined
- 1 ts oil
- 1/2 cup water divided
- 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 tbsp honey or sugar of choice
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil optional
- 1/2 ts ground ginger
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 cup broccoli
- Steamed white rice or noodles for serving
Simply heat a large Wok or frying pan and fry the shrimp for 3-4 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients except the cornstarch and boil.
Whisk the cornstarch with water in a separate bowl then add to the pan, heat through and serve immediately.
2. Easy Spanish Rice
If you like spicy food, you can add some crushed red pepper flakes to this recipe. Don’t worry about measuring out exact amounts of each ingredient and adjust according to taste.
This dish is best served piping hot.
- 2 cups rice
- 1 can tomatoes
- 3 cups water
- 1 small diced onion
- 3 stock cubes
- Chilli powder (1-3 tbs depending on taste)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tsp cumin or smoked cumin
- ½ tsp garlic powder
Layer the rice at the bottom of the rice cooker and add the water and tomatoes. Add the spices and onion and let it dissolve at the top.
Cook accordingly – this dish can be served as burritos or as a side dish to a main course.
3. Rice Cooker Chicken And Sausage Jambalaya
This recipe uses chicken and sausage, along with some tasty ingredients like andouille sausage (see also ‘20 Best Andouille Sausage Recipes‘), celery, bell pepper, green onion, garlic, tomatoes, and white wine.
- red bell pepper, onion, garlic, fresh parsley, green onions
- Andouille sausage
- Chicken broth
- Pepper and cajun seasoning
Add all the vegetables to the skillet and fry until browned. Add the sausage and garlic and finally the rice and broth. Stir until well mixed and serve with a meat accompaniment.
4. Healthy Taco Soup
This healthy taco soup recipe is absolutely amazing and so easy! It’s a hearty blend…of lean ground turkey, black…beans, corn, crushed tomatoes, and seasonings; all simmering to perfection.
An easy dinner option that is kid friendly and quick to prepare!
- Heat oil in a large pot.
- Add onions and garlic; cook for 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in browned meat.
- Pour in broth, water, tomatoes, beans, chilli powder, cumin and salt & pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer for 15 minutes.
- Serve with tortilla chips, shredded cheese, sour cream and salsa.
5. Five Spice Chicken In Rice Cooker
This recipe for five spice chicken will deliver some of your favourite flavours into one delicious meal and it takes less than 30 minutes to prepare.
You’ll love how tender and flavorful the chicken becomes once cooked in the rice cooker.
The secret ingredient in this recipe is Shaoxing wine. If you don’t want to buy a bottle of wine, you can use dry sherry instead.
- 1/2 cup Shaoxing wine
- 3 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
In a small bowl, whisk together the Shaoxing wine, soy sauce and Chinese five-spice until well combined. Pour half of the mixture over the chicken breasts in a large resealable plastic bag.
Seal the bag and shake vigorously to coat the chicken with the marinade. Place the remaining marinade in a separate container and set aside.
Place the chicken in the rice cooker pot. Cover and cook on high heat for 20 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.
Remove from the rice cooker and let stand covered for 5 minutes before serving.
6. Rice Cooker Cilantro Lime Quinoa
Rice cookers are great at making rice, but they can do much more. They’re versatile enough to make a variety of dishes, including pasta, risotto, and even quinoa.
And while that description might not seem too appealing you may change your mind once you try this amazing cilantro-lime quinoa.
Made with fresh lime, garlic cloves, fresh cilantro, vegetable broth, and white rice, this simple recipe packs an unbelievable flavour that’s the perfect complement for any meal.
Plus, after 20 minutes in the rice cooker, it’s done!
Try this with some delicious black bean soup.
7. Rice Cooker Mac And Cheese
This easy mac and cheese recipe takes just 15 minutes to make and tastes like restaurant quality (see also ‘Our 28 Must-Try Recipes For A Restaurant-Quality Dinner‘)!
The secret ingredient is instant rice, which gives the dish a nice texture.
You can use whatever type of pasta (check out our favorite pappardelle pasta recipes) you like, such as elbow noodles, rotini, penne, etc. Just remember to cut the noodles into small pieces.
- 2 cups uncooked long grain white rice
- 8 ounces whole milk ricotta cheese
- 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- Salt & pepper to taste
Just throw it all in and hey presto …mac and cheese creation!
8. Lemon Parmesan Pesto Rice
This dish works well as a side dish and is refreshing and tangy.
- 1 cup uncooked Basmati rice
- 3 cups water
- Salt & Pepper
- Lemon juice (optional)
- Extra virgin olive oil (for cooking)
- Basil pesto sauce (recipe follows)
- Grated parmesan cheese
Cook the rice according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, prepare the pesto sauce by whisking together the ingredients listed above in a medium bowl.
Season with salt and pepper. Add the cooked rice and toss gently to coat evenly. Serve immediately.
9. Rice Cooker Chilli
This is the smaller version of my stove-cooked basic chilli, but the savoury flavour of the beef is still top notch. You can add some spices like cayenne pepper, oregano, basil, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and black pepper.
If you want to make this into a full meal, you might want to double the amount of ground meat.
Lean ground sirloin is ideal because it cooks up tender. For those who are vegetarian (see also ‘34 Easy Vegetarian Dinner Recipes‘), you could replace the beef with vegetable crumbles or tofu.
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3/4 cup chopped onions
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
No chopping needed, just add to the rice cooker and switch it on! A great quick mid week meal!
10. Cakes And Pancakes
But what about cakes? You might be thinking there aren’t many options for baking cakes with a rice cooker.
However, many rice cookers come with a cake setting, allowing you to make fluffy whole wheat sponge cake, Japanese-style cheesecake, and black sesame cake.
Just remember to grease the rice pot well with melted butter to avoid sticking.
This Dark Rich Chocolate Cake is perfect served hot with a cup of tea or cold with some ice cream. It is easy to make and very versatile.
You could even use it as a base for a cheesecake or add nuts or fruit to the mix.
You will need:
- 1 x 350g tin of condensed milk
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 250ml full fat milk
- 4 large eggs
- 100g unsalted butter, melted
11. Apple Cinnamon Breakfast Risotto
This risotto is loaded with apples, cinnamon, and cheese. It’s hearty enough to serve as a main dish, but I like eating it topped with yoghurt for dessert.
If you want to make it dairy free, simply substitute skim milk for regular whole milk.
- 1 cup Arborio rice
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 3 medium apples, peeled and diced
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
12. Hot Chocolate Oatmeal
This fluffy dish combines oats, bananas, walnuts, cinnamon, and cocoa powder into one bowl. It’s easy to make, too, thanks to the quick cooking time of the oats.
You’ll find that this healthy treat tastes surprisingly similar to traditional hot chocolate.
- 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
- ½ banana
- ¼ cup chopped walnuts
- 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- ⅓ cup skim milk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons honey
- Cooking spray
In a medium saucepan over low heat, combine the oats, skim milk, and 2 cups of water. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, until thickened.
Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla, honey, and cocoa powder. Let cool slightly, cover, and refrigerate overnight. Serve topped with additional sliced bananas, if desired.
13. Spinach And Mozzarella Frittata
This recipe is perfect for brunch parties. You can even make it ahead of time and keep it warm in the oven while you wait for everyone to show up.
This frittata uses eggs, spinach, tomatoes, onions, garlic, and lots of vegetables. It’s filled with protein and healthy fats, making it a great choice for vegetarians and vegans.
Mix all the ingredients together and place in the rice cooker following the instructions on your model.
14. Greek Yoghourt
Making yoghurt from scratch takes some work, but it’s hands off with a slow cooker and you don’t even have to worry about keeping it warm while it sits overnight.
This recipe uses 2% milk, plain yoghurt, lemon juice and salt, and calls for letting the mixture sit overnight.
Once you’ve got the hang of making yoghurt, you can experiment with different flavours.
15. Japanese Braised Pork
Kakuni, or Japanese braided pork, is a regional Chinese-Japanese dish that typically requires hours of careful stewing and skimming to prepare properly.
But if you’re in a hurry, here’s how to use a rice cooker to make a tasty version of the popular dish.
Cutting the meat into bite-sized pieces helps speed up the cooking process.
Simply put the cubes of pork belly into the rice cooker along with some sliced green onion, peeled ginger, soy sauce, sugar, sake and water.
Set the timer for 20 minutes and let it do its thing. When the time runs out, turn off the rice cooker and serve immediately.
The secret to good chicken in the rice cooker is marinating the chicken first. This helps retain juice and makes the chicken tender (see also ‘20 Of The Most Delicious Fast Food Chicken Tenders‘) and juicy.
Then, just add veggies like mushrooms, carrots, broccoli, etc. to give it flavour and colour. To add extra nutrition, you can use brown rice.
Brown rice is very nutritious as it contains fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
To make it easier to serve, serve over hot rice. You can also serve it over white rice or pasta. If you want to make this meal gluten-free, simply replace regular flour with cornstarch.
17. Rice Cooker Chicken And Mushroom Rice
You’ve heard about people cooking in a pressure cooker. Well now there is a rice cooker version too!
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast cut into strips
- 2 cups sliced button mushrooms
- 1 cup uncooked white rice
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
In a large bowl toss together the chicken, mushrooms, and rice. Place mixture in a 2 quart slow cooker and add water just enough to cover the ingredients.
Stir well. Cover and cook on low heat for 4 hours. Remove the lid and stir again.
Replace lid and continue cooking another hour. Serve over cooked brown rice. Serves 3 to 4.
18. Almond-Cherry-Coconut Granola
Homemade granola is much better than the store-bought variety because you know exactly what ingredients are inside.
Plus, you’re not paying extra for sugar, preservatives, and artificial flavours. This recipe uses almonds, cherries, coconut flakes, oats, honey, cinnamon, vanilla extract, salt, and olive oil.
Mix everything together in a rice cooker and cook overnight. Done!
19. Rice Cooker Ribs And Rice
This recipe uses a special type of rice called sticky rice. It cooks up fluffy and moist and sticks together well.
If you want to add some extra flavour, try adding one of the following ingredients: garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, paprika, salt and black pepper.
- 1 pound boneless pork shoulder, trimmed of excess fat
- 2 cups white rice
- 3/4 cup soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon crushed red chilli flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 cup chopped green onions (optional)
Combine all ingredients except the green onions in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until liquid has been absorbed.
20. Rice Cooker Saffron Rice
Nothing beats the fragrant aroma and colour of saffron in food. But while it’s easy enough to buy saffron powder, it’s much harder to find a way to cook with it.
So we’ve come up with a great solution – use our rice cooker saffron risotto recipe!
This rice cooker saffron recipe uses just three ingredients – rice, stock and saffron (for more delicious saffron recipes, read here). To make it, simply add water to your rice cooker pot, add the saffron and stir well.
Then add the stock and let it simmer for around 20 minutes. When done, serve straight away with some crusty bread.
You can easily adapt this recipe to suit your tastes. If you want to spice things up, try adding chilli flakes, garlic or herbs such as rosemary or thyme.
Or if you prefer something lighter, go for plain white or brown rice.
To keep the cost down, you don’t necessarily have to use saffron. Try turmeric instead, or even ground ginger.
21. Rice Cooker Teriyaki Shrimp And Rice Recipe
- 1/2 pound medium shrimp (41/ 50 size), peeled and deveined*
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1.5 cups uncooked Jasmine rice
In a large skillet over high heat, add oil. Add onions and cook for 3 minutes. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
Uncover and continue cooking 5 minutes longer. Stir in peas and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let it stand for 5 minutes.
Fluff rice with fork and serve immediately over shrimp mixture. Makes 4 servings.
22. Cinnamon Apples
Mash them up into applesauce. Serve warm over ice cream. Or just eat them out of hand.
23. Sushi Rice
To begin, you must select the best quality rice you can find.
Next, you’ll want to season the rice properly. You don’t want to overdo it, however.
If you go overboard with seasoning, the rice will become too salty and taste bitter. Instead, just lightly salt the rice while mixing it up.
Lastly, you’ll want to cook the rice. When cooking, you should cover the pot completely with water and bring it to a boil.
Once boiling, lower the heat to medium and simmer the rice for about 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, turn off the heat and let the rice rest for another 5 minutes.
At this point, the rice should be done, and ready to roll onto perfect sushi squares (see also ‘23 Easy Sushi Recipes For Vegetarians’).
Frequently Asked Questions
What Are The Benefits Of Rice Cookers?
A rice cooker makes it easy to prepare delicious meals without having to worry about measuring out ingredients or timing.
You simply add water and rice to the pot, put the lid on, and walk away while the appliance does the rest.
Most rice cookers come with a timer function, too, making it easy to know exactly how long to let the rice sit before serving.
Are Rice Cookers Easier?
When you operate with a gas stove, you’ll surely be bothered by one issue… overcooked rice.
Even though the top of the pot seems to be full of rice, there is actually a thin layer of rice hiding beneath the surface.
This is because the heat rises up, making the rice cook faster than what we see.
If you don’t know much about rice cookers, you might think that you can just put rice into the pot and let it go. However, this method won’t work well.
You’ll end up having to add too much water and the rice will become mushy. To solve this problem, you need to measure out the correct amount of water needed for each cup of rice.
Then, fill the pot with enough water to cover the rice completely. After adding the rice, turn the heat down to low and wait for the rice to boil.
Do not allow the temperature to rise above medium. When the water starts boiling again, reduce the heat to low and set the timer for 20 minutes.
Once the timer goes off, the rice is ready.
You can also use a rice cooker to make fried rice. Simply follow the same instructions as those given above, except replace the rice with cooked meat or vegetables.
A rice cooker is a great investment and is guaranteed to consistently provide delicious food with minimum effort.
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