We love, LOVE, LOVE macaroni and cheese! But when you have to feed seven people (one of which is a runner that seems to have an endless pit for a stomach!), it makes it ridiculously hard to keep it on hand. And then, when you try to eat healthy…that kinda means you shouldn’t be buying the fake boxed stuff at the store, even if you have a serious love for it. Sure, there’s the organic kind and they have sales to acquire them pretty inexpensively. But, let’s face it – it is still not really healthy because it has additives and preservatives to keep it shelf stable. For us, eating “healthy” means getting away from boxed stuff – we’re not 100% on top of that, but we avoid the boxes if we can find a homemade alternative.
Anywho, back to my point: We LOVE mac and cheese. I have been making our mac and cheese homemade for the past few months – elbow macaroni and then a roux made into a cheesy sauce. Yum! We mix of the different types of cheeses to find new, yummy flavors. I am not very knowledgeable about cheeses, so we just wing it and make up some combos. Our favorite for grilled cheese sandwiches is gouda and havarti; our favorite for mac and cheese is gouda, havarti and white cheddar. Mmmmm. And sometimes, if I make it a mac and cheese casserole, I throw some cream cheese in the sauce, too, to keep it super creamy.
About a week or so ago, I received an email from a blog I follow, Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures. (I know I have talked about her recipes before, but I absolutely love her site/blog! She has so many delicious, family friendly recipes. And she has allergy-friendly options and gluten-free options, as well.) The email was about her post on Mac and Cheese made in the rice cooker. ?!? At first, I was thinking “oh how dry that must be!” but after I read the post and saw her pictures, I decided to give it a try. It was so incredibly delicious – I have made it about 3 times since I read the email. 🙂 It is the perfect recipe for an easy, quick lunch because the rice cooker does all the pasta cooking for you. There’s no stirring to make sure it doesn’t stick or boil over or anything! I love it. AND, because you cook the pasta in chicken broth…it gives it some extra yummy flavor! Then we add in our delicious cheese combos and it becomes an amazing, deliciously simple meal.
So, here’s how I did it (mine is 1.5 times her original recipe because we eat so much, but her recipe is perfect if your family isn’t quite as big as ours!):
3 cups elbow macaroni
21 ounces chicken broth
1 cup plus 2 TBSP milk
3 cups shredded cheese (I have been using a combo of gouda and white cheddar)
- add macaroni and broth to rice cooker and cook!
- When rice cooker finishes, remove lid and add in milk and cheese, stirring til cheese is melted. Place lid back on and let warm for 5 minutes or so. Turn off cooker and serve!
Some things you can add in: bacon crumbles, ham pieces, shredded chicken, ground beef and tomatoes (for a “cheeseburger” type of mac and cheese) or anything else that sounds yummy!
Have you tried mac and cheese in the rice cooker? Was it fantastic or a flop?? Please share!