Alternate Rice-a-Roni

I received a rice maker that needs a bit more babying than I like from my kitchenwares. Rather than consider it a set it and forget it piece I now consider it closer to a potholder, something that does a job for a short time but which isn’t to be relied on forever. Today I tried to make Rice-a-Roni in it and that only reinforced my belief as after 20 minutes I came down to a smear of flavor packet-augmented sauce pouring over the floor as gluttonous rice bumped the top. Something in the mix provided more protein than I wished and, after the dish settled, I got a giant gelatinous mass of rice. While not the texture I wanted, it did have the benefit of being highly sculptible.