Foods You Never Knew You Could Cook in the Dishwasher

Did you know you can cook full-blown meals in the dishwasher? And not just passable, OK-tasting food that serves as nothing more than a party trick, either. The dishwasher can make delicious, tender, flavorful food that’ll have your family and dinner guests begging for seconds. As a bonus, because you can clean your dishes while you cook a lot of these recipes, it’s environmentally friendly as well!

1. Dill lemon cream salmon

parchment paper with raw salmon, lemons, garlic, herbs, and whole peppercorns
Perfect poached salmon. | iStock/Getty Images

Poached salmon isn’t exactly a beginner dish, but preparing it in the dishwasher completely simplifies the entire process. All you have to do is place your salmon in an airtight food vacuum bag along with some lemon, dill, peppercorns, and a sprig of parsley, then turn the dishwasher on normal for a 50-minute cycle. Voila, you have yourself a delicious salmon meal along with a dishwasher full of clean dishes.


lasagna made with minced beef
You can’t use soap on this one. | iStock/Getty Images

Lasagna is one of the more famous dishwashing food experiments out there. Though, most recipes call for the use of tightly wrapped tin foil instead of an airtight vacuum bag or mason jar, so you can’t run this particular recipe with soap. After preparing your lasagna in your tightly wrapped tinfoil pocket, set the dishwasher to the normal cycle and select ‘heated dry’ and ‘sanitize’ for extra heat. When the dishwasher’s done, let the lasagna sit for a few minutes before serving.

3. Buttered dill carrots

Cut them into rounds and place in an air-tight pouch. | iStock/Getty Images

Genius Kitchen has a delicious recipe for dishwasher carrots with butter and dill. Simply cut your carrots (one pound) into thin rounds, add a tablespoon of butter, a tablespoon of dried dill, and salt and pepper to taste. Then wrap it all up in another air-tight foil pouch. Once you’ve prepared everything, place the pouch on the top rack and start your dishwasher on its hottest setting. To serve, transfer the carrots back into their original bowl and toss again.

4. Butter-poached lobster

It’s a fancy meal with a less fancy cooking method. | iStock/Getty Images

This recipe from Sporkful details how to create a soft, buttery lobster masterpiece in the dishwasher (while cleaning dishes!). You’ll need a deveined, de-shelled lobster tail, a stick of unsalted butter and a mason jar. Run your dishwasher on a heavy duty cycle (somewhere between 140 and 160 degrees), and enjoy!

5. Lemon garlic shrimp

Delicious sauteed shrimp
Use heavy duty aluminum foil. | Fudio/iStock/Getty Images

This recipe calls for two slices of onion, two slices of lemon, five large shrimp, salt, pepper, paprika, and chopped garlic. Arrange the ingredients in four double layers of heavy duty aluminum foil and create an air-tight pouch. Place the pouch on the top shelf of the dishwasher and run it through the rinse cycle. Again, since this recipe uses a foil pouch instead of a mason jar or food vacuum bag, it’s best to avoid using soap and washing other dishes when cooking.

6. Green beans, zucchini and mint couscous

Couscous recipes don’t have to be complicated. | iStock/Getty Images

For this recipe you’ll need vegetable stock, green beans, red spring onion, zucchini, mint, couscous, olive oil, salt, pepper, and airtight jars (like mason jars). To start, pan fry the vegetables in a bit of olive oil and put the dry couscous at the bottom of the mason jar(s), depending on how much you’d like to make. Transfer the vegetables to the jars along with the couscous, add the vegetable stock and the salt and pepper, mix it all up, and put a few mint leaves on top. From there, seal everything up and pop it in the dishwasher along with your dirty dishes. The result is perfectly crisp vegetables with warm, soft couscous.

7. Potatoes

It’s great to make with kids. | YelenaYemchuk/iStock/Getty Images

This recipe for yummy dishwasher potatoes is so simple, Our Everyday Life says it’s a great opportunity to get the kids involved in the kitchen. Start by cutting the potatoes into small bites and adding your favorite seasoning, Then, place them in some sort of airtight container, put them on the top rack, and do a load of dirty dishes on the hottest possible setting through both the wash and dry cycles.

8. Chicken

Poached chicken with ginger
Simple and delicious | c_yung/iStock/Getty Images

Dishwasher chicken is as simple as packaging a seasoned, thin-cut chicken breast in an air-tight pouch and running it through a hot wash cycle and the entire dry cycle. Cafe Mom raved over how her chicken turned out juicy and tender, saying, “This stuff was incredible.” 

9. Thanksgiving day turkey

Roasted Thanksgiving Turkey
Thanksgiving never got so easy. | evgenyb/iStock/Getty Images

Want easy, tender turkey breasts good enough for Thanksgiving day? Pop ’em into the dishwasher! You’ll need turkey breasts, parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, garlic, shallots, olive oil, salt and pepper. Mince the herbs, garlic and shallots and mix with the salt, pepper, and olive oil, and rub the mixture into the turkey breast. Then, put your breasts in an airtight bag, pouch, or wrap and place it into an open Tupperware container to hold everything in place. Put it on the top shelf and run the dishwasher for three full cycles. After, place the turkey under the broiler to crisp the skin.

10. Asparagus

Fresh green asparagus
With a mason jar and some butter, you’ve got yourself some delicious vegetables. | Vima/iStock/Getty Images

All you need for this recipe is a half quart mason jar, a ¼ pound of trimmed asparagus, a pat of butter, some seasoning, and a cup of water. Place the ingredients in the jar, put the jar on the top rack, and set your dishwasher to a normal cycle. It’s as easy as that.

11. Bagels

Whole Grain Bagel
It’s hard to understand this one, but apparently it’s doable. | Bhofack2/iStock/Getty Images

Bagels aren’t exactly a beginner dishwasher dish, but, apparently, they’re incredibly tasty. Bagel expert Jay Glass (the owner of SPOT Bagel Bakery in Seattle), told Cafe Mom all about how to make the perfect dishwasher bagel. You can find the full recipe and step-by-step process right here.  

12. Lemon couscous

Make sure you evenly distribute the couscous. | iStock/Getty Images

This delicious, fluffy couscous is an easy three-step dish. Simply fill a half-quart mason jar with a cup of couscous, a tablespoon of lemon juice, and 1 ¾ cup vegetable or chicken stock, and make sure it’s all evenly distributed by giving the jar a shake. Place the jar on the top rack, and run your dishwasher along with a load of dirty dishes.

13. Soft boiled eggs

A tough job just got easier. | Nirad/iStock/Getty Images

Soft boiling eggs can be tricky, but it’s hard to mess up a dishwasher soft boiled egg! All you need to do is place some eggs into glass containers filled with water and run your dishwasher for an hour-long intensive cycle at 65 degrees. When your dishwasher finishes running, you’ll have perfectly soft, white eggs with creamy yolks.  

14. Green beans

This healthy dish couldn’t be simpler. | iStock/Getty Images

Cooking green beans in the dishwasher is also extremely easy. All you need is a ¼ cup of green beans, a cup of water, and salt, pepper, and lemon to taste. Pop all of those ingredients into a mason jar, screw the lid on tightly and run it through the dishwasher along with a load of dirty dishes.

15. Strawberry Cinnamon Compote

strawberry compote
It’s perfect for pouring on ice cream. | Vm2002/iStock/Getty Images

You can even cook dessert items in the dishwasher! This delicious strawberry cinnamon compote is the perfect ice cream topping. All you need to do is combine a cup of chopped strawberries, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, one tablespoon of maple syrup, and a ½ cup or water. Seal it all in an airtight mason jar, pop that into the dishwasher with a load of dirty dishes, and you’re good to go.

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