Easy Microwave Recipes

In most kitchens, the microwave is a reheater and a defroster. But there are ways to coax out delicious flavors and textures that you'd swear came from an old-fashioned, slow-cook oven.

Microwave Magic

Photo: Romulo Yanes

Microwave Magic

We had a thousand-watt mission to demonstrate that cooks who use microwave ovens only to reheat coffee or to thaw and heat frozen foods are missing a fundamental point: The microwave can actually cook food.

By "cook" we mean deliver crisp textures and complex flavors associated with the dry heat of the much slower regular oven. We wanted a quick, moist meat loaf, for example, or a genuinely creamy risotto that takes half the stovetop time and requires half the amount of stirring.

First, you won't want to miss these Microwave Sweet Potato Chips. You'll need a mandoline to slice the potato thin enough to crisp. The results are delicious and easy, sans the hassle of the oven.

View Recipe: Microwave Sweet Potato Chips

 

Cod with Fennel and Orange

Photo: Romulo Yanes

Cod with Fennel and Orange

This entrée cooks in 7 minutes, with very little cleanup. The bags we used (Ziploc) are dioxin-free and food-safe in the microwave.

View Recipe: Cod with Fennel and Orange

 

Almond Brittle

Photo: Romulo Yanes

Almond Brittle

Substitute pecans, walnuts, peanuts, or pine nuts for almonds, if you prefer.

View Recipe: Almond Brittle

Asparagus and Lemon Risotto

Photo: Romulo Yanes

Asparagus and Lemon Risotto

This risotto is not covered while microwaving. Be sure you are using at least a 2-quart bowl to allow plenty of room for the liquid to boil.

View Recipe: Asparagus and Lemon Risotto

Everyday Meat Loaf

Photo: Romulo Yanes

Everyday Meat Loaf

The meat loaf cooks in the microwave for just 8 minutes, a fraction of the time it takes for traditionally baked meat loaf. Broiling the cheese on top of the cooked meat loaf until it's brown and bubbly lends the dish a pleasing, oven-baked look.

View Recipe: Everyday Meat Loaf

Quick Breakfast Tostada

Photo: Randy Mayor

Quick Breakfast Tostada

This hearty dish, with eggs, beans, and cheese, is good for any meal. Add a little cooked chicken or ground beef for a filling breakfast-for-dinner option, or cook the eggs ahead and pack each ingredient separately for an assemble-at-work lunch. It's also good for kids to make themselves, as everything cooks quickly in the microwave, no stove necessary.

View Recipe: Quick Breakfast Tostada

Microwave Smashed Potatoes

Photo: John Autry

Microwave Smashed Potatoes

If you’ve maxed out your oven and cooktop, let your microwave do the heavy lifting for smashed potatoes. Try one of our three variations—Southwest, Roasted Garlic, or Bacon and Cheddar.

View Recipe: Microwave Smashed Potatoes

Peanut Butter and Dark Chocolate Fudge

Photo: Oxmoor House

Peanut Butter and Dark Chocolate Fudge

Make the combination of peanut butter and chocolate even better by stirring in instant coffee granules and topping the fudge with chopped peanuts.

View Recipe: Peanut Butter and Dark Chocolate Fudge

Caramelized Onion-Stuffed Baked Potato

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Caramelized Onion-Stuffed Baked Potato

Baking the potato in the microwave makes this dish a snap to prepare. Fontina, mozzarella, or even Parmesan would work in this dish. Serve with filet mignon, flank steak, or a seasonal green salad.

View Recipe: Caramelized Onion-Stuffed Baked Potato

Soft Chicken Tacos

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Soft Chicken Tacos

Everyone loves tacos. These easy-to-make soft tacos can be spicy or mild, depending on the type of salsa you choose. Serve with a tomato-and-onion salad.

View Recipe: Soft Chicken Tacos

Ham and Cheese Hash Browns

Photo: Randy Mayor

Ham and Cheese Hash Browns

This recipe resembles a hearty potato hash and is a great use for leftover ham. Cooked entirely in the microwave, it's ready to eat in less than 15 minutes, so pair it with fresh fruit or a salad for a truly effortless dinner.

View Recipe: Ham and Cheese Hash Browns

Braided Salmon

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Braided Salmon

For an even shorter prep time, omit the braiding step. Cut salmon fillet into four (six-ounce) pieces, and cook as directed in braided method.

View Recipe: Braided Salmon

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