I think we can agree on one thing: microwaves are convenient. In fact, I would bet that more than 80 percent of our recipes say something like, “to reheat leftovers, microwave until warmed through.” But beyond reheating, did you know that your microwave can also steam, poach, boil, and even bake (yes, as in a 3-Layer Vanilla Cake)?
Just yesterday, I wrapped a couple slices of bacon with a paper towel, set it on a plate, slid it into the microwave, and about four minutes later, I got crispy bacon for a BLT. No messy oil splatters to clean up and no pan to scrub. Roasted garlic typically cooks for more than 30 minutes in the oven. You can make it in the microwave in about five minutes. It’s best to make brown butter in the microwave, not the stove top—there is almost zero chance you’ll burn it.
The microwave can help you become a better and faster home cook. Plus, you won’t be left with as many dishes to wash and splatters to clean up. If you aren’t regularly sliding amazing meals out of your microwave you’re not harnessing its true power. Simply Recipes is here with tips and tricks and recipes to take your microwave to the next level!
I leave you with a recent joke from my five-year-old: Why does the microwave hum when you turn it on?
Hmmm…hmmm…hmmm…because it doesn’t know the words!
— Myo Quinn, Senior Editor
As a child left to her own devices while her parents worked, writer Thao Thai reheated TV dinners in the microwave. Marie Callender’s. Banquet. These meals gave her a taste of independence, and “felt like stepping briefly into a new world”—the America that her Vietnamese family lived in but weren’t accustomed to.
Read the story: As a Latchkey Kid, the Microwave Gave Me a Taste of Independence
Writer Elana Lepkowski’s Indian mother-in-law stocks her freezer with Trader Joe’s frozen Indian meals because they are delicious and affordable. Elana asked her to taste test and share her opinions about all of the frozen Indian products from Trader Joe’s—these are her favorite curry dinner, flatbread, and appetizer.
Read the story: The Best Indian Foods at Trader Joe’s, According to My Indian Mother-in-Law
Don’t blame the microwave. Don’t blame yourself. What’s keeping you from next-level microwave cookery is the bowl you’re using. Writer Meghan Splawn found a brand of bowls specifically made for microwaving, and now she uses them daily for making dinners, snacks, and even cakes in the microwave.
Read the story: These Bowls Help You Make Impressive Meals in the Microwave
For the days when making dinner from scratch just isn’t in the books, why not turn to a satisfying meal you can pop into the microwave. And we’re not talking about a boring TV dinner. Costco carries so many bargain, like-homemade frozen meal options. Here are writer Grace Elkus’ top finds.
Read the story: The 9 Best Microwaveable Foods From Costco Under $10
Trader Joe’s superpower is reliably yummy frozen meals—like the super popular Mandarin Orange Chicken. Writers Julie and Amy Luxemberg show us how to zhuzh up their favorite frozen meal, TJ’s Vegetable Fried Rice. They are full of ideas that will change your weeknight dinner game in under five minutes.
Read the story: 4 Easy Upgrades for This Trader Joe’s Weeknight Staple
Next-Level Microwave Recipes
Nuking leftovers isn’t the only thing your microwave excels at. You can make impressive meals your family and friends will be won’t believe came out of your microwave.
- 2-Minute Salad Dressing
- Gyeran Jjim (Korean Steamed Eggs)
- Microwave Garlicky Creamed Spinach
- Microwave Broccoli with Sesame Dressing
- Microwave Arroz Verde
- Microwave BBQ Chicken Wings
- Microwave Red Curry Poached Salmon
- Microwave Oyakodon
- Microwave Shakshuka
Pastry Chef-Approved Sweets Made in the Microwave
Mark Beahm, our resident baker, didn’t bat an eye when we asked if it would be possible to make a classic three-layer vanilla cake in the microwave. Not only is it possible, it’s a winner. Here are recipes we thought impossible in the microwave.
- 3-Layer Cake In the Microwave
- Microwave Caramel Corn
- Banana Bread Chocolate Chunk Mug Cake
- Microwave Strawberry Jam
- Microwave Blueberry Jam
- Microwave Fig Jam