Did you score some awesome deals on pasta and/or cheese lately and are looking for something to quick and easy to make with it? This recipe calls for penne or elbow pasta but if you have a nice stockpile of whole wheat shells that you got for free (like I do) it will work just as well. The original recipe called for fontina but since it is costly cheese I only use it for special occasions. For a typical, quick weekday meal like this I use a 50/50 combination of mozzarella that I got for $1 after coupons ($4.99 savings) and whatever cheddar cheese I have on hand. Most people make mac in cheese in a pot or in a casserole dish but I have another way to make it…in my rice cooker!
I adore my Zojirushi Rice Cooker (I have had 4-5 over the last 10 years) and tend to use it at least once or twice a week for rice BUT have been using it for other simple, one pot recipes like the one you see below. The nice thing about this recipe is that you can change it to your family’s taste or what you have on hand, or got on sale : ) Here is the basic recipe.
(1) 16 oz box of pasta (Any kind, I use elbow or penne)
1/2 cup of water
1 1/2 cups of milk (You can play with the water/milk combo to what you have. I have done 1cup of each in the past and it still comes out great)
1/2 tbsp of chicken base (Minors, Better than Boullion, etc)
1tsp of chilli powder (More or less to taste)
1 1/2 cups of shredded cheese (Mozzarella, cheddar and fontina work the best. Tonight I did 1/2 of mozzarella, 1/2 cheddar)
Now for the fun part. Dump everything in the rice cooker except for the cheese. Stir it up, cover it and turn it on. When most of the liquid is absorbed (after approx 10-13 minutes, depending on your cooker) you can stir in the cheese. Cover for approx 2-3 minutes so the cheese melts, then stir thoroughly and serve! Sometimes I will mix in chopped frozen broccoli or another veggie. After the cheese is mixed in and melted, add the broccoli and let stand for another 5-10 minutes on KEEP WARM to heat the broccoli. Makes 8 servings
If you enjoyed this recipe and article, I also write about similar topics on LabelDaddy, feel free to check those out as well