17 Things Nobody Knew We Could Cook in the Microwave

The humble microwave may just be one of the most diverse and useful cooking appliances you have in your kitchen, allowing you to make quick, mess-free snacks and meals. We’ve compiled a list of 17 things you didn’t know you could cook in the microwave.

Scrambled Eggs

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Beat eggs in a microwave-safe bowl, season, and add milk or cream before cooking. Reader’s Digest says, “You’ll need to fluff them with a fork periodically when microwaving them, but a minute may be all you need. The key is to keep a close eye on them and take them out as soon as they look barely set.”

Chocolate Lava Cake

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By mixing just a few simple ingredients in a mug or small bowl, you can make your very own chocolate lava cake, perfect for when you need a late-night sweet treat. The key is to cook for only 60–90 seconds (depending on your microwave wattage) to ensure the center stays molten.

Steamed Vegetables

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Vegetables can be quickly steamed in the microwave to save time and washing up. Simply add them to a microwave-safe dish with a bit of water, cover with a lid or plastic wrap, and make sure you leave a small vent for steam to escape. Depending on the type and size of the vegetables, they should be cooked within 2–5 minutes.

Poached Fish

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Fish can be cooked quickly in the microwave without the need for a pan. Simply season your fish, add a splash of lemon juice or white wine, and cover with cling film to trap the steam. Cooking times will vary depending on the size of the fish, but it will usually be done in around 2–4 minutes.

Crispy Bacon

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Microwaving bacon is a mess-free solution; simply arrange the bacon on a microwave-safe plate lined with paper towels to absorb the grease. Delish recommends you “start with cooking the bacon for 4 minutes and cook for an additional minute at a time until it’s as crispy as you like. But remember, the bacon will get crispier as it cools.”


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Risotto is a great comfort food, and cooking it in the microwave cuts the time down to around 18–20 minutes. Simply combine rice, broth, and seasonings in a microwave-safe bowl, then cook in intervals, stirring in between, until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender. Then finish with butter and parmesan.

Corn on the Cob

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Corn can be cooked in as little as 3–5 minutes in the microwave, depending on its size. You can leave the corn in the husk or wrap it in damp paper towels to trap steam. Once done, brush with butter and season with salt, pepper, and herbs before serving.

Potato Chips

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Thinly slice your potatoes, then rinse them to remove the starch and pat them dry. Arrange in a single layer on a microwave-safe plate and microwave in intervals until they’re crispy and golden brown. Once done, you can add sea salt, vinegar, chili powder, or other seasonings to create your favorite flavor.

Spaghetti Squash

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Cut the squash in half, remove the seeds, and place it cut-side down in a dish with some water. You can then microwave for 10–12 minutes until tender and scrape out the strands to create a pasta-like texture. Food Network says, “Poking holes will let the steam escape and helps prevent any explosions in the microwave.”

Mug Pizza

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Who doesn’t love pizza? This quick version is done in around a minute. You’ll need to make a quick dough by adding flour, baking powder, salt, milk, and oil to a mug. Once stirred, top with marinara sauce, cheese, and your favorite toppings. You’ll know it’s done when it rises up and the toppings are bubbling.

Baked Potatoes

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A baked potato is a cheap, satisfying meal that can be cooked in no time with a microwave. Just pierce with a fork, wrap in a damp paper towel, and microwave for 5–10 minutes, turning halfway through. Once soft in the center, top with sour cream, chives, cheese, or bacon.

Rice Pilaf

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This is a slightly longer recipe, but microwaved rice pilaf still makes a quick and nutritious meal. You’ll need to combine rice, broth, and seasonings in a microwave-safe dish, cover, and cook for about 15–18 minutes until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is fluffy. 


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These are quick nachos with less mess and no need to heat up your grill. Simply layer your tortilla chips with cheese, beans, and other toppings on a microwave-safe plate, then microwave until the cheese is melted; this usually takes about 1–2 minutes. Once done, you can top it with guacamole, sour cream, or fresh salsa.

French Toast in a Mug

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A great weekend breakfast, or even a late-night sweet treat, this microwave French toast is done in just a few minutes. You need to cut your bread into small cubes and soak it in a mixture of egg, milk, cinnamon, and sugar in a mug for around 90 seconds. You can then microwave until set and top with fresh berries.

Macaroni and Cheese

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A quick and mess-free solution to homemade mac and cheese, simply mix pasta, water, and salt in a mug, cook until pasta is al-dente, then stir in the cheese and milk until smooth and creamy. Good Food suggests you “find a mug that holds twice the volume of your dry pasta—the bigger, the better.”

Shrimp Scampi

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Firstly, arrange your shrimp in a microwave dish before adding garlic, butter, lemon juice, and herbs. Then cover and cook for 2–3 minutes until the shrimp are pink and opaque. You can serve this over pasta or with a side of crusty bread to soak up the flavorful sauce.


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This one takes slightly longer due to the cooling period, but still makes a great treat when you don’t want to leave the house. Mix cream cheese, sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract into a microwave-safe dish, and cook in intervals, stirring until smooth and cooked through. Cool it in the fridge to allow it to set, and add your favorite toppings.

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