The microwave is a very useful kitchen tool for making more than leftovers! It can be used to prepare different parts of the meal, including veggies, rice, pasta, and protein. Check out these tips on how to prepare each part, including recipes that can be made entirely in the microwave! Caution: Dishes cooked in the microwave will be hot! Don’t forget to use your oven mitts.
Trying to squeeze more veggies into your meals? Frozen vegetables are just as good as fresh and can be prepared in the microwave! Even better, you don’t have to take time to chop them up. Add flavor and color to your meal in no time.
It is also easy to steam fresh veggies in the microwave! Place chopped vegetables in a microwave-safe bowl with enough water to cover the bottom of the dish, cover with plastic wrap or a lid and cook until fork-tender (about 4 minutes for broccoli, up to 8 minutes for tougher veggies). Pro-tip: Mix or flip vegetables every 2-3 minutes while cooking in the microwave to cook evenly.
Rice & Pasta
Make instant rice in the microwave! To prepare in the microwave, follow these simple steps.
- Place equal amounts of water and rice in a microwave-safe bowl and cover with another microwave-safe dish to lock in the moisture.
- For 1 cup of rice (2 servings), use 1 cup of water and cook for 6 minutes. (For 2 cups, cook for 8 minutes and for 3 cups, cook for 10 minutes)
- Let sit for 5 minutes or until all the water is absorbed into the rice.
Did you know you can also cook pasta in the microwave? Oh, the pasta-bilities! Follow these simple steps:
- Place pasta in a microwave-safe bowl and fill with enough water to cover the pasta with a little extra on top.
- Add 3-4 minutes to the listed cook time on the pasta box, stirring halfway through.
- Drain pasta. Top with your favorite pasta sauce and veggies!
The microwave is also a quick and easy tool for cooking meat, poultry, tofu, beans, and more! The microwave can partially cook food like poultry and meat before finishing cooking on the stove, oven or grill to save time. It is important to always finish completely cooking meat or poultry immediately after pre-cooking in the microwave. It is also possible to completely cook meat or poultry in the microwave. Follow these steps to cook meat or poultry in the microwave.
- Place the meat or poultry in a microwave-safe dish and cover with a lid.
- Cook for 5-7 minutes. Stir or flip every 2-3 minutes while cooking to distribute heat thoroughly. Smaller pieces of food will cook faster than larger pieces.
- Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the meat or poultry in multiple spots to make sure it is safe to eat. Check here for the correct temperature for the item you are cooking: https://www.foodsafety.gov/food-safety-charts/safe-minimum-cooking-temperature
- After cooking in the microwave, let the meat or poultry sit for 10 minutes before eating.
Check out these meals that can be prepared using only the microwave.
Do you have more tips for cooking using the microwave? Let us know by leaving a comment below!