Microwaves are typically used to heat store-bought frozen meals, easy mac, and dinner leftovers. But if you’re only using your microwave to reheat and defrost, you’re missing out on tons of creative, delicious, fast, and easy dishes. With these seven recipes, you can easily start your day with a blueberry muffin, whip up a quick meatloaf in a mug for lunch, or prepare a mouthwatering mushroom risotto for dinner. Gourmet-tasting meals just got a whole lot easier to prepare.
1. Blueberry Muffin for One
Chocolate Covered Katie’s recipe is a great way to enjoy a blueberry-packed muffin for breakfast without spending a lot of time in the kitchen. A few ingredients, a microwave, and a couple of minutes is all you need to make a tasty breakfast dish for one.
- 3 tablespoons spelt flour
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- Heaping ⅟₁₆ teaspoon salt
- 1 to 2 tablespoons blueberries (fresh or frozen)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon unrefined coconut oil (can substitute with a different oil or applesauce)
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon milk of choice
- 1 tablespoon sugar
Directions: Mix dry ingredients, then add wet. Mix until just combined, making sure not to overmix. Grease/spray a little dish, pour batter in, heat for about 90 seconds, and enjoy.
2. Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Breakfast Cookie
This delicious breakfast cookie creates a super sweet start to the day and can also pass as a good-for-you dessert. A Foodie Stays Fit’s recipe calls for banana, egg whites, vanilla extract, oats, baking powder, chocolate chips, and peanut butter, creating a marvelous morning meal that only takes a few minutes to prepare.
- 1 banana
- 1 egg white
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup old fashioned oats
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon chocolate chips
- Dash of cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
Directions: In a microwavable cereal bowl, mash the banana with a fork and mix in the egg. Whip it well. Stir in the vanilla extract. Add the oats, baking powder, and dash of cinnamon. Stir until fully incorporated. Stir in the chocolate chips. Microwave for 1 minute, 45 seconds. Spread the peanut butter on top and enjoy while warm.
3. Meatloaf in a Mug Recipe
There’s no need for dinner leftovers or frozen lunches when you can easily prepare gourmet meatloaf for your midday meal. Taste of Home’s recipe calls for five ingredients, makes 1 serving, and can easily be made in a microwave. Lunch couldn’t possibly get any easier than this.
- 2 tablespoons 2 percent milk
- 1 tablespoon ketchup
- 2 tablespoons quick-cooking oats
- 1 teaspoon onion soup mix
- ¼ pound ground beef
- Additional ketchup, optional
Directions: In a small bowl, combine the milk, ketchup, oats, and soup mix. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well. Pat into a microwave-safe mug or custard cup coated with cooking spray. Cover and microwave on high for 3 minutes or until meat is no longer pink and a thermometer reads 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Drain the meat and let stand for 3 minutes. Serve with additional ketchup if desired.
4. Microwavable Quinoa and Basmati Pilaf
A delicious and simple blend of rice, quinoa, and almond sauce can easily be prepared with a blender and microwave. Allyson Kramer’s recipe will deliver you a home-cooked, healthy meal in about 25 minutes.
- ½ cup basmati rice
- ½ cup quinoa
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup almonds, soaked for at least 1 hour
- ⅓ cup tahini
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch, mixed with 2 tablespoons cold water
- 1 cup non-dairy milk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1½ teaspoon curry powder
- ½ to 1 teaspoon turmeric
Directions: The microwave time will depend on your wattage, so keep that in mind when cooking. Place rice, quinoa, and water in a large, microwavable-safe bowl. Stir. Cook on medium power for about 8 to 10 minutes. Check on the rice to see if it’s done. If it has the texture of a chewy rock, it needs more time, and an additional 2 minutes should do the trick. When it is finished cooking, allow rice to remain in microwave for 10 minutes. Place almonds, tahini, non-dairy milk, prepared cornstarch, salt, and spices into blender or food processor. Purée until smooth. Combine sauce with rice and quinoa into the microwavable bowl and microwave an additional 2 minutes. Fluff with fork and serve.
5. Microwave Mushroom Risotto
A flavorful broth, fresh mushrooms, and rice creates an absolutely effortless risotto dinner dish. Food Network’s recipe requires five minutes of prep time and yields 2 main dish servings.
- ½ cup dried porcini mushrooms (about ½ ounce)
- 3½ cups low-sodium chicken broth, plus more if needed
- 1 large shallot, finely diced (about ⅓ cup)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 ounces cremini mushrooms, stemmed and sliced ¼-inch thick
- 4 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced ¼-inch thick
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon-size pieces
- Kosher salt
- 1¼ cups Arborio rice
- ⅓ cup dry white wine
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
Directions: Stir together the dried porcini and 1 cup of the chicken broth in a microwave-safe 2-cup or larger measuring cup. Microwave, uncovered, on high at 100 percent power until the broth is hot but not boiling, 1½ minutes in an 1,100-watt oven or 2½ minutes in a 700-watt oven. Let sit for 5 minutes. Remove the porcini pieces from the liquid with a slotted spoon, squeezing out excess moisture in the process.
Chop the porcini coarsely. Reserve the chopped porcini and the porcini broth separately. Place the shallots, garlic, cremini and shiitake mushrooms, 2 tablespoons of the butter, and ¼ teaspoon salt in a microwave-safe 8-by-8-by-2-inch baking dish. Cover tightly with 2 pieces of plastic wrap; make a small slit in the center with the tip of a paring knife to vent excess steam. Microwave on high until all the vegetables have softened, 5 minutes in an 1,100-watt oven, or 9 minutes in a 700-watt oven.
When removing the plastic, be careful to avoid the hot steam. If some of the vegetables still seem a little raw, stir and microwave again, covered, in 30-second increments. Add the rice to the baking dish, and stir to coat the grains. Add the white wine, 1½ cups of the remaining chicken broth, reserved porcini broth and chopped porcini, thyme, and ½ teaspoon salt. Cover and microwave on high for 8 minutes in an 1,100-watt oven or 10 minutes in a 700-watt oven. Stir the risotto, and add the remaining 1 cup chicken broth.
Cover and microwave on high until the rice is cooked but with the faintest bite in the center, 9 minutes in an 1,100-watt oven, or 15 minutes in a 700-watt oven. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter, Parmesan, and parsley, and stir vigorously until creamy. At this stage, the risotto should be thick but pourable from a spoon; if it’s too stiff, splash in more broth. Let sit, covered, for 2 minutes to rest and come together. Serve with a sprinkling of grated Parmesan on top.
6. Microwavable Salmon
Prepare to enjoy a piece of delicious, tender, and flaky salmon for dinner. Use a little mayonnaise, Sriracha sauce, a few lemon slices, and parsley for a moist and flavorful salmon filet. Savory Sweet Life’s recipe yields 1 serving and takes a total of seven minutes to make.
- 1 single portion salmon fillet
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 to 2 tablespoons Sriracha sauce
- 2 to 3 fresh cut lemon slices
- 1 tablespoon parsley
Directions: Rinse salmon fillet with cold water and pat dry. Place the salmon skin side down in a microwave safe container. Season the salmon with salt and pepper. Set aside. In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise and Sriracha sauce. Spread the mayonnaise mixture on top of the fillet generously and add lemon slices and parsley over top. Cover the dish tightly with microwave-safe plastic wrap. Microwave the fish for 3½ minutes. Check the center of the fillet with a fork to see if it’s done. If there is any uncooked fish, microwave for another 30 to 45 seconds. Garnish with additional parsley and lemon wedges if desired.
7. Chocolate Fondue
You can even make a delectable dessert using a microwave. Eating Well’s recipe calls for chocolate, cream, espresso, vanilla, and salt, and yields 2 servings. Make sure you’ve got some tasty fruits and treats to dip into your fondue!
- 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon brewed espresso
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- 1 banana, peeled and cut into 8 pieces
- 8 (1-inch) chunks fresh pineapple
- 4 strawberries
Directions: Place chocolate, cream, espresso, vanilla, and salt in a medium microwave-safe bowl; microwave on medium, stirring every 20 seconds, until melted, 1 to 2 minutes. Pour the chocolate mixture into a serving bowl. Serve with fruit.