The 24 Microwave Recipes You'll Use Again and Again|Recipes Spots

The 24 Microwave Recipes You'll Use Again and Again

Microwave Oyakodon and Rice in a Small Plate Surrounded by a Table Setting with a Spoon, a Table Napkin, and a Small Plate with Kimchi
Simply Recipes / Frank Tiu

To save space, I tried going without a microwave for a few years. My kitchen isn’t very big, and it’s not designed for a microwave over the range. But as my kids got older, I expected them to make snacks and meals on their own when I wasn’t home. It became clear to me: a microwave oven made it much easier for them to reheat leftovers, make popcorn, and most importantly to them, whip up a quick mug cake. I made room for a microwave.

For many, microwave ovens are an essential piece of kitchen equipment. They make reheating leftovers quick and easy, but they can do so much more—like bake a layer cake or poach salmon—that you’ll be saying, “I didn’t know my microwave could do that!” These 24 recipes show you just versatile the oft-overlooked microwave can be.

Microwave Caramel Corn

microwaved caramel corn in a brown paper bag with colorful bowls for serving
Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm

You don’t need any candy making skills to create fresh, hot caramel corn in the microwave. But you do need a big, brown paper bag. Make a quick, 2-minute microwave caramel sauce and pour it over popped corn—1/3 at a time—in a paper bag. Microwave the whole bag for 45 seconds, dump the caramel corn, and let cool. So simple. So good.

How To Microwave Corn on the Cob

A plate of microwave corn on the cob set on a cutting board and topped with butter.
Eliezer Martinez

Leave the husks on for the easiest microwaved corn on the cob ever. When it’s cooked, cut the bottom off and the husk slips right off.

3-Layer Cake In the Microwave

Cross-Section of a 3-Layer Microwave Cake
Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm

Yes, you can make an entire 3-layer cake in the microwave, one layer at a time. This recipe won’t work for all cake recipes. The ingredients for this white cake are chosen specifically for cooking in the microwave. But, instead of a half hour or more baking time, your cake will cook in 10 minutes.

Microwave Rice

Microwave Rice in a Bowl on a Kitchen Towel with a Wooden Spoon
Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm

If you need perfectly cooked rice on the table quickly, this is the way to do it. This method works with jasmine, basmati, or plain old “long-grain white rice” as well as sushi rice. Place rinsed rice and water in a microwave safe bowl. Cook uncovered, and then covered, and then let it rest till it gets fluffy. If you’re looking for flavorful microwaved rice, try our microwave Mexican arroz verde recipe.

Microwave Bacon

Plate of Microwave Bacon with Sunny Side Eggs and Slices of Buttered Toast
Simply Recipes / Alison Bickel

Yes, you can cook CRISPY bacon in the microwave. The trick is placing the slices between paper towels to soak up the grease as they cook. You’ll have bacon in no time for a BLT, to top a salad, or as a side for your favorite egg dish.

2-Minute Microwave French Salad Dressing

salad dressing in a jar next to microwave
Simply Recipes / Ciara Kehoe

In just 2 minutes, you’ll have a salad dressing worthy enough to be on a French bistro’s menu. Traditionally, this dressing takes a lot of time and some dirty dishes, but you don’t have to use a pan to sauté shallots in our version. Rather, you microwave them in oil to extract their flavor. The addition of Dijon, vinegar, salt, and pepper finishes off this hard-to-resist salad dressing.

Microwave Red Curry Poached Salmon

Microwave Red Curry Poached Salmon Topped with Cilantro and Lime Wedges in a Microwavable Glass Bowl
Simply Recipes / Tara Omidvar

Salmon gently poached in a Thai-inspired curry is on the table in under 30 when you do it all in the microwave. First, cook an aromatic oil mixture in the microwave. Add it to a pie plate with coconut milk, curry paste, and a few other ingredients to make the poaching liquid. Top with salmon, cover with plastic wrap, and cook.

Brownie in a Mug

Overhead view of a brownie in a white mug topped with ice cream.
Annika Panikker

Satisfy your chocolate craving in minutes with this microwave brownie in a mug that takes 10 minutes from start to first bite. The hardest part about making this brownie for me is waiting a few minutes for it to cool so you don’t burn your tongue. A cold scoop of vanilla ice cream on top can speed up that process.

Microwave BBQ Chicken Wings

Platter of Microwave BBQ Chicken Wings
Simply Recipes / Mike Lang

Really? Wings in the microwave? Yes. I’ll be honest here. They won’t be as crispy as they would be if they were fried. But they will be fast and deliciously sweet, with much less cleaning up when you’re done.

Microwave Garlicky Creamed Spinach

microwave creamed spinach in a white bowl
Simply Recipes / Alison Bickel

Much simpler and quicker than making it on the stovetop, this garlicky creamed spinach recipe contains coconut cream, Parm, garlic, and plenty of seasoning. In 10 minutes, this side dish will be ready for your steak, pork chops, or vegetarian meatloaf dinner.

Microwave Sweet Potato

Plate with Microwave Sweet Potatoes Split in Half and Topped with a Slab of Butter and Salt
Simply Recipes / Alison Bickel

Make a perfectly cooked sweet potato in your microwave in about 5 minutes, with an optional blast in an air fryer to crisp up the skin. Serve it as a side, or use it as the base for chorizo stuffed sweet potatoes.

Microwave Broccoli with Sesame Dressing

Bowl of Microwave Broccoli with Sesame Dressing with Utensils, Next to a Table Napkin, a Glass of Water, and a Bowl with More Sesame Seeds
Simply Recipes / Mihaela Kozaric Sebrek

This microwave broccoli with sesame dressing takes steamed broccoli up a notch. It takes just 15 minutes to make, and it’s a good accompaniment for bulgogi, braised short ribs, and gochujang chicken thighs served with a big bowl of rice. 

Microwave Baked Potato

Microwave Baked Potato Topped with Sour Cream, Cheddar, and Chives on a Plate with a Fork
Simply Recipes / Nick Evans

Just as delicious as an oven-baked potato, this microwave baked potato takes a fraction of the time. Top it with cheese, sour cream, and chives. Or, cook it in the evening, refrigerate it, and slice it up to quickly cook home fries in the morning.

Gyeran Jjim (Korean Steamed Eggs)

Korean steamed eggs in blue bowl.
Simply Recipes / Ciara Kehoe

Microwave adaptations of traditional Korean steamed eggs have become common for their speed and ease—not to mention their power to comfort. Serve them with rice and kimchi for a meal you can pull together on the fly.

Blueberry Jam in the Microwave

microwave blueberry jam in a jar with blueberries and lemons scattered around
Alison Conklin

This recipe is perfect for when blueberries are in abundance because it makes one jar of jam at a time that you store in the refrigerator. This simple, teeny batch of jam takes just 10 minutes to cook from start to finish. If you have an abundance of strawberries to use, try our microwave strawberry jam.

Easy Chocolate Pudding in the Microwave

microwave chocolate pudding in a mug with whipped cream and chocolate shavings
Sally Vargas

A combination of cocoa powder and 60-percent dark chocolate chips yields a deep chocolate flavor and a dreamy texture in this microwave chocolate pudding. When it’s hot, pour it into four bowls, let it cool, and devour, topped with homemade whipped cream on top for added decadence.

How to Steam Broccoli in the Microwave

Microwave Broccoli with Sesame Dressing
Simply Recipes / Mihaela Kozaric Sebrek

Need a quick, healthy, simple side dish for dinner? Steamed broccoli is the answer. This easy method takes just 10 minutes, including cutting up the fresh broccoli.

Omlette in a Mug

microwave omelette with easy omelette recipe
Elise Bauer and Guy Michelier

You can make an amazingly light and fluffy omlette in a mug in just 4 minutes. Add grated cheese and finely chopped red pepper and chives for extra flavor.

The Best Microwave Oatmeal Ever

overnight oats heated in the microwave topped with nuts and berries
Emma Christensen

With a little forethought, you can have hot, perfectly cooked, steel-cut or old-fashioned rolled oatmeal in just minutes. The trick is to let the oats and water soak in the fridge overnight. In the morning, heat the softened oats in the microwave and top them with your favorite toppings.

Microwave Oyakodon (Japanese Chicken and Egg Rice Bowl)

Microwave Oyakodon (Japanese Chicken and Egg Rice Bowl) in a Microwavable Dish, and in the Background, a Small Plate With Cooked Rice and a Small Plate of Kimchi
Simply Recipes / Frank Tiu

The rice in question here is not actually cooked in the bowl. It’s served alongside the oyakodon, a filling and simple Japanese dish of chicken and eggs. You scoop the soft, custardy, savory eggs over the rice and dig in.

Microwave Baked Apple Slices

Mom's Baked Apple Slices
Elise Bauer

Get your apple pie fix (without the crust) in a jiffy with these microwave baked apple slices. Cut up apples, and sprinkle them with sugar, cinnamon, and maple syrup. Then microwave. Eat as is, or top with cinnamon ice cream.

How To Melt Chocolate Chips

Bowl of Melted Chocolate for Candy Bar Dates
Simply Recipes / Ciara Kehoe

Chocolate chips don’t always melt as smoothly as chocolate bars. The microwave method cooks them for 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between every 30-second interval, until they’re smooth and ready to use for chocolate covered strawberries or pretzels.

Homemade Tortilla Chips

A platter of homemade chips and salsa.
Sally Vargas

Seriously, you can make super fast homemade tortilla chips in the microwave with way less of a mess (and less calories) than frying them.

Banana Bread Chocolate Chunk Mug Cake

Mug of Banana Bread Chocolate Chunk Mug Cake Topped with a Dollop of Ice Cream and Spoonful of Cake Resting on a Saucer (Mug on the Saucer Next to the Spoon)
Simply Recipes / Annika Panikker

Mug cakes had their moment as a trend, but don’t forget their potential to sweeten your day (or night) on an impulse to satisfy a sweet tooth emergency. This one offers moistness from bananas and pockets of melted chocolate.

Article Categories:
Dishes · Salad · Salmon

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