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7 Super Convenient Rice Cooker Recipes Beyond Plain Rice

By Heather Anderson
May 21, 2024
Courtesy of Budget Bytes

A one-pot meal is so key on busy nights. Not only does it make cooking simpler, but it also streamlines clean-up. No wonder we turn to our slow cookers, Instant Pots, and sheet pan meals so frequently. And now, another favorite tool has entered the chat: Let’s talk about rice cooker recipes.

Though it’s called a rice cooker, it can do much more. Not only can it cook other types of grains, but it also can help you make whole, complete dinners. In a rice cooker, meals can safely cook themselves: In fact, kids can even throw pre-measured ingredients in and press the button. The rice cooker will turn itself off when the meal is ready, then keep dinner warm.

Here are some of our favorite ways to use the rice cooker to make a whole meal.

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1. Simple Salmon Avocado Bowl

Salmon sushi bowls

Courtesy of A Food Lover’s Kitchen

This fantastic salmon bowl recipe becomes rice cooker-friendly in a flash: Just place frozen edamame in the steam basket above sushi rice 20 minutes into cooking, letting it steam for the final 10 minutes. Add fresh salmon filets to the steam basket for the final 5 minutes to steam them. Spoon the rice into bowls, add the edamame and salmon, then add diced cucumber, sliced avocado, and cut-up seaweed sheets, or any other toppings you like.

Try this recipe from A Food Lover’s Kitchen.

2. One-Pot Rice Cooker “Fried” Rice

One pot rice cooker fried rice

Courtesy of The Foodie Takes Flight

This simple recipe offers one of the best aspects of a slow cooker meal — toss everything in, set it and forget it — but it’s ready in just 40 minutes, not several hours. Plus, you can customize it with whatever protein and vegetables you have on hand. It would also work well with frozen vegetables.

Try this recipe from The Foodie Takes Flight.

3. Rice Cooker Ginger Chicken Drumsticks

Rice Cooker Hainanese Chicken Rice

Courtesy of Wok & Skillet

This delicious chicken drumstick recipe is phenomenally simple, with just a few simple, flavorful ingredients. We recommend adding your favorite vegetables to the steamer basket before cooking so you have a whole meal — kale, carrots, and cabbage should take about 10 minutes to steam, while green beans and broccoli take about 5.

Try this recipe from Wok & Skillet.

Related: 4 Healthy, Super-Tasty Instant Pot Meals to Make Right Now

4. Rice Cooker Miso, Mushroom, and Kale Oatmeal Congee

Rice cooker miso, mushroom, and kale oatmeal congee

Courtesy of Marion’s Kitchen

Congee is a comforting Chinese porridge usually made with rice, but in this recipe, rolled oats take over. You cook kale and mushrooms in the rice cooker, then separately cook the oats in chicken broth in the cooker. Stir in miso at the end for tons of flavor. Top the whole thing with jammy eggs and hot sauce or chili crisp, and you have a hearty breakfast or lunch. 

Try this recipe from Marion’s Kitchen.

5. Rice Cooker Spanish Chickpeas and Rice

Rice cooker Spanish Chickpeas and rice

Courtesy of Budget Bytes

As far as rich cooker recipes go, a shortcut weeknight version of paella is right up our alley. With artichoke hearts, chickpeas, tomatoes, and plenty of spices, this is a hearty dish that’s delicious on its own, or alongside a protein. Alternatively, you could throw some shrimp and/or chorizo in the rice cooker, too, if you like.

Try this recipe from Budget Bytes.

6. Chicken and Soy Sauce Rice

Rice and soy sauce chicken

Courtesy of Jasmine and Tea

Here’s a flavorful dish that’s on the table in 40 minutes, with just a few minutes of prep. Layer rice and broth in your rice cooker, then top it with chicken thighs seasoned with garlic, ginger, and soy sauce. Close up the cooker and hit the button, and dinner will be ready soon. Place some broccoli in the steamer basket for the last few minutes to make it a complete meal.

Try this recipe from Jasmine and Tea.

7. Rice Cooker Frittata

Rice cooker frittata

Courtesy of Southern Home Express

Though it’s easy enough to cook a frittata in the traditional stove-to-oven combo, doing in a rice cooker has two advantages: It’s only one step, and the rice cooker will keep your frittata warm if you end up not eating it right away. (Though it’s best not to leave it in there for too long, or it may become rubbery.) Add any vegetables, meat, cheese, and/or seasonings you like.

Try this recipe from Southern Home Express.

Read next: 6 Immune-Boosting Slow Cooker Recipes

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