5 Microwaveable Recipes That Are Better Than Frozen Dinners

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

Macaroni and cheese

Mac and cheese | iStock.com

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.

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