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How to Cook Pasta in a Rice Cooker? Rice Cooker Magic in 5 Simple Steps

How To, Blog, Food & Recipes

According to professional chef Mario Batali, “Cooking pasta in a rice cooker is absolutely possible and can result in perfectly cooked pasta with minimal effort.” 

He explains that the key is using enough water and experimenting with cook times.

With some trial and error to account for variables in pasta shape, brand, and rice cooker power, 

You can reliably produce properly cooked pasta without dirtying extra pots.

Intrigued about how this unconventional cooking hack works? 

The key secrets involve managing starch content during the soaking and cooking process.

Keep reading to discover pro tips on water ratios, 

Cook times, and how to avoid common pitfalls with sticking or mushy results.

You’ll gain knowledge to efficiently cook pasta with tools you already own.


How to cook pasta in a rice cooker?

Cooking pasta in a rice cooker is simple: add pasta, water, and a pinch of salt, then press the cook button. (1)

In just a few minutes, you’ll have perfectly cooked pasta ready for your favorite sauce or dish.

5 Simple Steps to Cook Perfect Pasta in Your Rice Cooker

YouTube video
Source: Cookware Ninja

Rice cookers can make more than just rice.

With a few easy steps, these handy appliances can produce perfect pasta too.

  • First, add water and a splash of olive oil to the inner pot, using a 2:1 water-to-pasta ratio.
  • Next, stir in dry pasta like rotini, farfalle, or penne. Smaller shapes like orzo work too.
  • Then, close the lid and press the regular cycle button. Check doneness starting at the minimum cook time, stirring gently.
  • When the pasta is al dente, mix in your desired sauce like tomato or cheese sauce.
  • Finally, let it all simmer together on warm mode for 2-3 minutes before serving.

Following this easy process, your rice cooker can cook noodles, mac and cheese, and more pasta dishes to perfection.

The key is experimenting with the right amount of liquid and cook times for different pasta types.

In no time, you’ll be whipping up quick, delicious, homemade pasta meals.

What Types of Pasta Work Best in the Rice Cooker?

How to cook pasta in a rice cooker 2

Small, sturdy pastas deliver the best results when cooked in a rice cooker. (2)

Shapes like rotini, farfalle, wagon wheels, and small shells hold up well to…

…stirring without getting mushy or sticky.

They also absorb flavors nicely when mixed with sauce.

Orzo and pastina are ideal rice cooker pastas too.

Their tiny size makes consistent cooking easy.

Just be sure to account for extra absorption by using a touch more water.

Long noodles like spaghetti or linguine can work but may get tangled and clump together when stirred.

Break them in half before adding to the pot.

For more delicate pastas like angel hair, rice cookers can overcook them into a gluey mush.

Stick to heartier shapes or try recipes made specifically for finicky pastas cooked in rice cookers.

With some trial and error, you’ll discover which types you prefer.

The possibilities are endless for fast, fuss-free pasta meals.

3 Delicious Sauces to Elevate Your Rice Cooker Pasta

Once your pasta is cooked al dente in the rice cooker, mix in a flavorful sauce for restaurant-worthy results.

For a creamy sensation, stir in warmed Alfredo sauce and let it coat the noodles on warm mode.

Top with parmesan cheese and black pepper.

For savory tomato comfort, add heated marinara sauce and let it absorb for 2-3 minutes.

Sprinkle it with basil and crushed red pepper.

For a spicy kick, mix in warmed tomato cream sauce blended with hot sauce.

Garnish with shredded mozzarella and red pepper flakes.

Experiment with sauces like pesto, vodka, or cheesy béchamel too.

Adding sauce helps prevent overcooked, sticky results.

The pasta soaks up flavors as it continues steaming in the pot.

This transforms boring rice cooker pasta into an easy, delicious meal.

How to Use Multifunction Rice Cookers to Make Restaurant-Quality Pasta Dishes

How to cook pasta in a rice cooker 3

Fancy rice cookers with specialty modes can cook pasta like the pros.

Models with specific pasta settings automatically adjust time and temperature.

Just add the desired amount of dry pasta and water as indicated.

Cook rice function also works well.

Input the time needed for al dente based on the pasta shape.

Watch closely near the end.

Slow cook, soup/stew, or porridge modes are ideal for dishes like baked ziti, mac and cheese, or risotto.

Cook times vary depending on the recipe.

No matter the program, use at least 6 cups of water per cup of pasta to allow room for stirring.

Cook 5 minutes less than the package directs since the pasta keeps steaming.

With the right mode and cook time dialed in, your multifunction rice cooker will…

…churn out pasta as perfect as your favorite Italian restaurant.

Can You Cook Different Pastas Together in the Rice Cooker?

Yes, mixing pasta shapes and sizes in the rice cooker pot is absolutely possible.

Just account for the varying cook times of each type you add.

Start by determining which pasta needs the longest cook time, like lasagna noodles.

Add water and cook that pasta for 2-3 minutes less than the package directs.

Then stir in faster-cooking pastas like penne, rotini, and small shells.

Finish cooking everything together, testing frequently until all shapes reach al dente texture.

You may need to add more liquid as you go to compensate for extra absorption from multiple pastas.

Watch closely and adjust cook times up or down.

With some trial and error, you’ll perfect pasta mixes with your favorite shapes cooked to perfection.

Reheating and Storing Leftover Rice Cooker Pasta: Perfect Tips and Tricks

How to cook pasta in a rice cooker 4

Rice cooker pasta recipes make excellent leftovers.

To store, let pasta cool completely before transferring to a sealed container.

Refrigerate up to 5 days.

To reheat, add a splash of water or broth to the container before microwaving in 30 second bursts.

This prevents drying out.

Stir between intervals until hot.

For more flavor, scoop pasta into a skillet with extra sauce.

Sauté over medium-low, adding splashes of cream or cheese until warmed through.

Alternatively, rice cookers reheat beautifully.

Place pasta and a few tablespoons of liquid into the pot, select cook mode, and heat until bubbly.

Finish by stirring in Parmesan just before serving.

With proper storage and easy reheating methods, you can enjoy rice cooker pasta creations again and again.

Cooking Pasta for One or Two: Easy Small-Batch Rice Cooker Recipes

Rice cookers easily adapt pasta recipes for solo diners or couples.

Simply scale down the pasta amount and liquid while keeping the ratio consistent.

For one serving, place 1⁄2 cup dry pasta and 1 cup water or broth into the pot.

For two people, use 1 cup pasta and 2 cups liquid.

Cook following standard rice cooker pasta directions, testing frequently until al dente.

Then mix with scaled-down sauces like a few tablespoons of pesto, marinara, or Alfredo.

Sprinkle with spices, herbs, cheese, or protein like pre-cooked chicken or shrimp.

Voila! You’ve created single-serving pasta entrees without leftovers or waste.

Rice cookers allow perfect pasta results in individualized portions.

Cook snap-top containers make transporting easy for on-the-go meals too.

Rice Cooker Pasta Hack: Make Clean-Up a Breeze with This Simple Tip

Here’s an easy clean-up trick after rice cooker pasta meals.

Before serving, transfer cooked pasta to a serving bowl.

Then fill the empty hot pot with water and a drop of soap.

Select cook mode for 20-30 minutes to gently loosen any stuck bits.

Once finished, use a soft sponge or cloth to wipe the pot clean.

For stubborn spots, spray with cooking spray and let sit before scrubbing again.

The water boils without scorching the nonstick surface, allowing starchy pasta residue to lift off smoothly.

You’ll be amazed at how this simple method removes mess.

And with easy clean-up, whipping up fast rice cooker pasta is even more appealing.

Save time on both cooking and cleaning using this handy hack.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make rice cooker mac and cheese?

Yes, you can absolutely make a rice cooker mac and cheese.

Many people enjoy cooking pasta in their rice cooker along with a creamy cheese sauce for a quick and easy weeknight meal.

Just be sure to follow the instructions for cooking pasta in a rice cooker.

How do I cook noodles in a rice cooker?

Cooking noodles in a rice cooker is very similar to cooking pasta.

The general rule is to start by adding the recommended amount of water or vegetable broth to the rice cooker along with your favorite noodles or pasta.

Make sure to only fill the rice cooker to the designated “water” fill line.

You can then cook the noodles using the rice or steam setting until they are tender but still firm to the bite.

Some people like to enhance the flavor by adding a small amount of salt or tomato sauce to the cooking liquid.

How much water do I need to cook pasta in a rice cooker?

The amount of water needed to cook pasta in a rice cooker will depend on the amount of dried pasta added but a general rule is to use 2 to 3 cups of water per 1 cup of dried pasta.

Always check the water level during cooking and add more if needed to prevent burning.

You may need a touch more water for thicker pasta shapes.

Adjust as needed based on your rice cooker size and pasta type.

What types of pasta can I cook in a rice cooker?

Most types of dried pasta can be cooked in a rice cooker, but tubular, curly or twisted pasta shapes tend to work best.

Good options include penne, farfalle (bow-tie pasta), gemelli, fusilli and rotini.

Thicker pasta like orecchiette (ear-shaped pasta) also cooks up nicely.

Thin strands or narrow shapes with a lot of surface area, like spaghetti or linguine, can overcook more easily.

Avoid delicate fresh pasta in a rice cooker.

How do I prevent pasta from sticking in a rice cooker?

To help prevent the pasta from sticking together when cooking it in a rice cooker, 

You can add a small amount of oil, vegetable broth, 

Tomato sauce or even cream cheese to the cooking water.

The fat or dairy helps coat the pasta strands.

You can also toss the cooked pasta with a splash of olive oil.

Another tip is to not overcrowd the rice cooker with too much pasta, 

And be sure to use the proper water-to-pasta ratio as specified above.

Rinsing the pasta briefly after draining also removes excess starch.

Can I add sauce to the pasta while it’s cooking in the rice cooker?

It is generally not recommended to add sauce to the pasta while it is cooking in the rice cooker.

Since rice cookers work by monitoring the temperature and pressure of the contents, 

Adding cool sauce could disrupt the cooking process.

A better approach is to cook the pasta plain in the rice cooker, 

Then drain and toss it with your favorite pasta sauce in a separate bowl once fully cooked.

This will allow the pasta and sauce to combine evenly while keeping the rice cooker settings optimized for cooking the pasta only.

Do I need to use a specific ratio of pasta to water in a rice cooker?

When cooking pasta in a rice cooker, it’s best to follow general guidelines for the ratio of dried pasta to water.

A standard ratio is around 1-2 cups of water per 1/2 cup of dried pasta.

This ensures the pasta has enough room to move around freely during cooking and absorbs the water without boiling over.

You may need to adjust slightly based on your rice cooker size and type of pasta.

It’s fine to start with a little extra water and check the level periodically – 

You can always drain off excess later once the pasta is tender.

Following a rough ratio will help ensure even cooking.


Rice cookers are remarkably versatile tools that can easily tackle pasta creations beyond basic rice.

With the proper ratios of pasta to water and experimenting with cook times, 

You can produce perfect al dente noodles matched with flavorful sauces.

Using specialty functions also unlocks restaurant-worthy pasta dishes.

Once you determine the ideal methods for your preferred shapes and recipes, 

Rice cooker pasta delivers foolproof results every time.

Ditch pots and colanders while enjoying effortless, delicious pastas with minimal cleanup required.

What will you cook up next in this kitchen multitasker? 

Let us know your favorite rice cooker pasta tips and tricks in the comments!


  1. https://bakeatmidnite.com/making-pasta-in-rice-cooker/
  2. https://soyummy.com/rice-cooker/creative-pasta-recipes-designed-for-rice-cookers/#:~:text=Short%20and%20medium%2Dsized%20pasta,time%20and%20ensures%20even%20cooking.

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