Your microwave is good for more than just popcorn and frozen dinners. This ubiquitous kitchen appliance may just seem like a tool for reheating leftovers and other less-glamorous kitchen jobs, but it’s actually a versatile workhorse that can turn out delicious meals with minimum effort on your part. What could be better than that? When you’re in need of a quick weeknight dinner fix, try one of these five microwave recipes that are better than any frozen entrée.
1. Microwave Mac and Cheese
Delicious homemade mac and cheese in 10 minutes? You can make that dream come true with this recipe from Food Network. This one-pot dish makes for a simple, comforting meal when served with grilled chicken, vegetables like broccoli or collard greens, or a salad.
- 1½ cups elbow macaroni
- 2 cups whole milk
- Kosher salt
- 1 cup shredded deli yellow American cheese (about 4 ounces)
- 1 cup shredded pepper jack or Monterey Jack cheese (about 4 ounces)
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan
- 2 ounces cream cheese
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Directions: Stir the macaroni, 1 cup of the milk, and ¼ teaspoon salt in a microwave-safe 4-quart bowl. (Make sure you use a large bowl so the milk does not boil over.) Cover tightly with plastic wrap; cut a small slit in the center with the tip of a paring knife to vent excess steam.
Microwave on high (at 100% power) for 4 minutes in either an oven that’s 1,100 or 700 watts. Uncover (be careful to avoid the hot steam) and stir. Cover and microwave on high (at 100% power) until the macaroni is about two-thirds cooked, a little harder than al dente, 1½ minutes in an 1,100-watt oven or 3½ minutes in a 700-watt oven.
Add the remaining cup of milk, American cheese, jack cheese, Parmesan, cream cheese, and mustard. Stir well, cover tightly, and microwave on high (at 100% power) until all the cheeses have melted, 4 minutes in an 1,100-watt oven or 4½ in a 700-watt oven. Stir until thoroughly combined. If there are still some pieces of unmelted cheese, microwave again, covered, in 30-second increments. (The sauce will continue to thicken as it sits.) Serve.