Rice Cooker Mac and Cheese - Lunch Version

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Rice Cooker Mac and Cheese - Lunch Version

The Cook
4 Servings
6 Ingredients

“Get real” and ditch the blue box! Switch to this easy and healthy rice cooker mac and cheese recipe.

4 Servings
6 Ingredients


  • 2 cups Elbows, Whole Wheat
  • 1 ¾ cups Chicken Broth/Stock
  • ¼ cups Milk
  • 2 cups Cheddar Cheese, Shredded
  • ⅛ teaspoons Salt
  • ⅛ teaspoons Black Pepper



  • Rice Cookers
  • Labels

Cooking Instructions

Freeze For Later Cooking Day Directions

Easy Assembly/Dump and Go

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Make From Frozen Serving Day Directions

Easy Assembly/Ready to Eat

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Make It Now Cooking Directions

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Join the discussion
    1. I’ve never tried. It might be hard though since you want the pasta to absorb all the liquid but not stick to the pot. If you try, use a non-stick pot and keep a close eye on it. Let us know how it comes out.

    2. I bet you can do it in a microwavable rice cooker or just a small covered dish. It would absorb all the liquid without burning it. Similar to the snack ones in the little blue tubs they now sell. I know microwave isn’t ideal to some but I bet it would work.

  1. This is an awesome idea. We can’t eat the boxed varieties (even the organic ones) because they have glutamates in them. My son loves Annie’s frozen Mac & Cheese (the only brand safe for him) but it’s so darn expensive. I’m going to try Alton Brown’s Stovetop Mac & Cheese first, since I don’t have a rice cooker, but I think I’ll modify it to use chicken broth since I have a ton of it already. It’s a complicated recipe though so I’ll try this one sometime and see how they compare.My goal is something my son can microwave — have you ever tried microwaving “already cooked” mac & cheese? Any tips? I’m thinking if I spread it thin in a glass rectangle Pyrex (then I pop them out into a ziplock so the Pyrex can be used for other things during the month) then he could use it just like a microwave dinner, and eat it straight from the Pyrex. Hopefully the thinness of the layer will make it microwave OK…hard to know. I’ll try to remember to report back!

    1. I have never frozen it, but I have eaten it leftover from the refrigerator and it was fine. Please let us know your findings!

    2. Freeze in muffin tins,lined with paper or use a silicone pan. When you reheat add a tablespoon of milk or water to make it as creamy as it was fresh.

    1. I know there are slow cooker mac and cheese recipes out there too (if you find one let us know), but I think they work best on a day where you have planned ahead. This recipe can be used in those situations where you need something quick, but don’t want to resort to processed food.

  2. I made this tonight. So good!! I wanted to put Kale in it (ala mac and greens) but my 4 year old was adamant that I not do it. It was so good. I bought the italian mix of shredded cheese from Organic Valley. Yum. Can’t wait to make it again. Definitely easier than the box, and I am willing to eat this one.

  3. I made this on a week night. My 20 month old picky eater liked it. We ate it as our dinner, my hubby came up with a great idea adding bacon & jalapeno, it was SO DELICIOUS! It tasted like the ‘grown up’ Mac & Cheese from our favorite gourmet burger joint which charges $13 for this dish. We can now whip it up at home much cheaper! I love easy recipes like this, being a working Mom I like fast & easy recipes.
    Thanks for posting such a great recipe Kim!

  4. I cannot wait to try this!! So great, and right in time for summer vacation! My son (and hubby) have always loved the “blue Box” mac and cheese. My other kids and I cannot stand it! I stopped making it when I found they have lots of colors in them (My son has a sensitivity to artificial colors), and switched to organic ones, but they are expensive and the boxes are smaller so I found I was making 2-3 boxes for lunch. I cannot wait to try this when they are out of school. And the added veggies/meat will make it soo much more a meal rather than a box of carbs 🙂

  5. Has anyone tried this recipe with an automatic rice cooker?Mine doesn’t allow me to set the time, I only get to choose what kind of rice I’m cooking and it generally takes about 45-60 minutes to complete the cooking.

    1. I have the simplest rice cooker ever. It only has cook and warm settings, and switches on its own. I just check my pasta after about 15 minutes, but it usually takes about 20. If it hasn’t shut off by then, I just unplug it.

  6. We just tried this for lunch and it was amazing! It turned out better than I had hoped. We used 1/2 cheddar & 1/2 jack with a little Parmesan sprinkled in. I never would have thought to use my rice cooker for pasta. Thank you for the recipe 🙂

  7. I don’t have a rice cooker but hoping to find an alternate to the boxed stuff that my kids like as much. I am going to try incorporating butternut squash because I usually add some to the boxed stuff to sneak in some extra nutrition and it makes it even creamier anyways!

  8. I’ve done LOTS of homemade macaroni & cheese recipes, with a beschamel, one pot, baked, etc…this was the best one to date! It’s also the easiest. We’re looking forward to trying different additions & cheeses. Thanks so much for the great idea!

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