We all know that cooking rice in a rice cooker is straightforward, you just put in the rice, and water, then leave it on for some time, and then you are done! Since pasta is one of the most beloved meals globally, a very frequently asked question is can you cook pasta in a rice cooker?
Imagine simply putting your pasta into a kitchen appliance for a fixed time, and TADA your meal is ready. It certainly sounds like magic, but it is very much possible! In this article, we will be discussing cooking pasta in detail using a versatile kitchen appliance – a rice cooker.
Can You Cook Pasta In A Rice Cooker?
The short answer to this question is a big YES. Now let us go further into details about how we can cook pasta in a rice cooker. To start off, let us discuss how to cook JUST pasta in a rice cooker.
If you want to make pasta without sauce in the rice cooker, you will first have to pour water into the cooking bowl, generally about 7 cups of water for half a pound of pasta.
You might want to add a teaspoon of any oil to the cooking bowl, unflavored if possible; this prevents any foaming while the pasta cooks. After pouring water into the cooking bowl, add your pasta to the water with a dash of salt for seasoning.
Stir the pasta a bit so that it cooks evenly, and there is not any half-cooked pasta. You are pretty much done with the pasta then because you have to close the rice cooker’s lid and set your timer. We suggest you let your pasta cook for around 9 to 12 minutes, or whatever suits your palette the best.
One little hack to check whether your pasta is cooked just perfectly is to cut off a very tiny piece and throw it towards your wall. Your pasta is cooked to perfection if the little bit of pasta sticks to the wall.
However, if you plan to cook the plain pasta further for a long time with your sauce on the stove or the oven, you should let it be a bit more undercooked since it will cook with the liquids for a longer time.
Please make sure to add your pasta almost immediately from the rice cooker to your sauce, or else it will dry out and taste a bit stale.
Can You Make A One-Pot Pasta Meal In A Rice Cooker?
In this day and age, everyone seems to have hectic schedules, and we all seem to be rushing, so putting aside a lot of time for cooking is not even an option for many of us. Hence, one-pot meals are a great option to get your home-cooked nutritious meal without spending too much time in the kitchen.
Fortunately, you can make these one-pot pasta meals with your rice cooker to make your life easier!
Step 1: Heat the Oil Before Pouring the Ingredients in
First, you will have to drizzle some oil onto the cooking bowl and let it heat up enough. After that, you can go ahead and add your favorite chopped vegetables into the bowl so they can get sauté a bit; this enhances the flavors in the dish.
We highly suggest you add onions and garlic to the cooker since they really bring out the taste in almost every dish.
If you want to add meat, then go ahead and add some sliced chicken, ground beef, or even sausages to the bowl. Let the meat cook for a few minutes, till they are about half cooked. To the meat and vegetable mixture, add your preferred spices, herbs, and of course, add salt according to your taste, and then give it all a good stir.
Step 2: Add Pasta
The next step will be to add the pasta of your preferred choice and then pour in water depending on how much pasta you cook.
For one-pot meals with pasta, you will need a bit over 2 cups of water for about half a pound of pasta. The water is much less than what you would need when cooking just pasta because, with one-pot meals, you can’t drain anything. If you drain liquid, then you will be draining the good stuff!
Step 3: Add Some Pasta Sauce
When your pasta is well cooked, you can add some pasta sauce from a jar if you like those types of sauces. However, if you want to have pasta sauce made from scratch, you can add milk instead of water to boil the pasta and your favorite cheese, along with some more seasoning.
You could also add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, and more spices with a cup of water to have a tangy pasta dish. In all honesty, cooking is an art form, so you can get as creative as you want to be to make the one-pot meal of the heavens!
Tips For Cooking Spaghetti In A Rice Cooker
It might come to you that spaghetti should be a bit more of a hassle to cook in a rice cooker because of how long they are. That is the reason why we have come up with a separate section for this form of pasta.
The solution to that is pretty simple; you just have to break the spaghetti in half to fit in the cooking bowl and be submerged in the water properly.
An issue with that is that often a lot of people dislike when their spaghetti noodles are short. In that case, you can boil some water in a kettle or stove and pour it into a heat-proof bowl, then let your spaghetti sit in hot water for a bit before you add it to the cooker.
Your spaghetti will be soft in this way and fit properly in the cooking bowl. You can easily move them around in the cooking bowl without breaking them.
Common Errors When Making Pasta In A Rice Cooker
There are a few mistakes people often make when trying to make pasta using a rice cooker. However, the great thing is these mistakes are actually not that serious and can be avoided very easily.
The first thing people don’t do when using a rice cooker is not read the user manual of their rice cooker. That can result in the user putting on the wrong settings and making a mess.
Another thing one might do that can result in a poor meal is adding too much water. This mistake is very common because people do not do their research and add way too much water, resulting in a sort of bland soup with pasta floating around.
Lastly, since recipes usually call for a drizzle of oil sometimes, people go off the limits and add too much, which results in a greasy mess. The same can also happen with butter, so add your ingredients in proper quantities. More does not always mean better!
Using The Rice Cooker’s Lid For Making Pasta
When you are cooking rice in a rice cooker, you use the lid, but you do not have to close the rice cooker’s lid for cooking pasta.
A better alternative to this would be using aluminum foil to act as a sort of a lid over the cooking bowl. Use the aluminum foil on the bowl before you put it inside the cooker.
When Do Rice Cookers Reach The Boiling Point Of Water?
It entirely depends on the power of your rice cooker, and we cannot give you an exact time since this considerably varies depending on the model of your rice cooker and even where you live.
However, we can provide you with one tip to understand if your cooker has reached the boiling point of water, which is 100 degrees or 212 Fahrenheit. Simply sprinkle a few drops of water into the cooker, and if you see the droplets start to sizzle and evaporate in a few seconds, then it has reached the boiling point.
Do You Always Have To Add Additional Water?
Usually, if you are boiling some pasta in the rice cooker, you do have to add water. But exceptions apply when you make pasta with a sauce that already has enough water to let your pasta cook entirely.
Every meal you have should be a delicacy and give you joy whether it is simple or fancy. So, can you cook pasta in a rice cooker? You can make delicious pasta meals with a rice cooker.
Often, people have an unused rice cooker lying around, and if you happen to be one of those people, then we hope after reading this article you realize that you can cook some good pasta in a rice cooker.
Before you start to cook, we recommend you do some research about the dish you want to make, and most importantly, you MUST read the user manual!