How to Rock Your Microwave and learn how to be a microwave chef and zap your way to these surprising culinary delights
Most of us tend to think of our microwave as a simple yet convenient tool for defrosting, reheating leftovers, or popping popcorn, but the microwave is actually capable of so much more. You can actually cook with it.
When we say you can make a real meal in your microwave, don’t let your mind wander to the frozen aisle of the grocery store where all those frosty, uninteresting TV dinners lie; instead think chicken fajitas, scrambled eggs, and cake. Cake!
The key is in understanding the power settings and cooking time required for different vegetables and proteins. By correctly using the settings you can achieve even the fanciest of poached fish dishes, perfectly steamed vegetables, and pickles (yeah, I said pickles) in a fraction of the standard preparation time.
Check out these dishes you didn’t know you could make in the microwave… and if you are feeling adventurous, don’t miss the last three slides of this roundup — crazy cool recipes you just have to try.
Making a boiled egg has never been simpler. Boil an egg in your microwave for dinner and serve on top of a salad or with toast for a quick and easy microwave breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
A simple enchilada recipe can be easily converted for the microwave. Use this vegetarian enchilada recipe as a guide and do the following:
Place chopped onion in a microwave-safe bowl and cover with plastic wrap; microwave for one minute until tender. In a separate bowl, microwave sliced mushrooms, covered with plastic wrap, for two minutes until tender, stirring halfway through. Then, mix the onions and mushrooms with canned corn, beans, and half the jar of enchilada sauce. Scoop the mixture into tortillas, roll them up, and place in a microwave-safe pan. Pour the rest of the sauce over the enchiladas, and microwave uncovered for six minutes or until heated through. Add the cheese and microwave until melted, about two minutes.
Use this vegetarian lasagna recipe as a starting point, but replace the regular lasagna noodles with no-boil ones. Mix the vegetables with the ricotta and a quarter-cup of mozzarella. Assemble in a microwave-safe dish according to the recipe instructions, cover with waxed paper or plastic wrap, and microwave for 15 to 20 minutes, until the noodles are tender. Let the lasagna stand for 10 minutes before serving.
Instead of grinding away in the kitchen canning jars upon jars of homemade preserves, it turns out you can just make one jar at a time and skip all the canning headaches (and botulism risks). All it takes is a microwave and a food processor to make your very own homemade marmalade.
Taste of Home
This soup is the real deal: It’s chock-full of ground beef, potatoes, vegetables, and herbs; all fresh ingredients, all made from scratch, but this heart stew is made in your microwave in fewer than 15 minutes.
Perfectly sweet, sticky mochi can take hours to make by hand, but this microwave version delivers the same flavor with a fraction of the effort. The rice flour, cornstarch, and water are nuked in the microwave and then kneaded to the proper consistency. Then, the homemade mochi balls are rolled in crushed peanuts.
Taste of Home
Spicy chorizo, refried beans, shredded cheese, and fresh tomatoes are piled onto tortilla chips and then nuked in the microwave until hot and irresistibly melty.
The humble omelette is said to be a true test of one’s culinary skills. Although you might not be able to fool a master chef with this microwave omelette, it comes surprisingly close to the real thing.
Carefully crack an egg into a preheated mug of water. Then, place a paper napkin over the mug and return it to the microwave for 35 seconds on 80 percent power. Voilà: a perfect poached egg.
Store-bought potato chips contain loads of additives and preservatives, but you can make your own healthier version in a microwave.
Cooking perfect rice in the microwave can be done in half the time it takes on the stove. The basic cooking principles are the same as for cooking rice on the stove, with the ideal water-to-rice ratio being about two-to-one, water to rice. Simply add water and rice to large, microwave-safe bowl and then microwave, uncovered, for nine to 10 minutes, or under tender.
Enjoy five-minute salmon cooked entirely in your microwave. This simple dish requires little more than a microwave-safe dish, plastic wrap, and a few minutes of your time to achieve flaky, delicious salmon.
America Egg Board
Enjoy breakfast for dinner in fewer than three minutes with this egg scramble you can make in a mug. This recipe couldn’t be more suited for those harried school day mornings.
Making a moist and fully cake from scratch in five minutes might sound like a crazy delusion, but all it takes is a microwave and a mug. This chocolatey mug cakes made with Nutella creates a decadently sweet dessert that’s ready in a flash… or should we say zap?
To turn your microwave oven into a simple dehydrator to make your own dried herbs, lower the power settings to 500 watts or less; this will gently draw the water out of your herbs, drying them and preserving their flavor.
Make a quick brine using your microwave and let those cucumbers sit and cool for about two hours to soak up the flavor and become, well, pickles.
Now that you're interested, go ahead and check out 21 more of our favorite microwavable creations, perfect for truly quick and easy meals.