Microwave meals may come off like a simple solution for a lot of people. Microwaves have gotten a bad rap over the years of not really being the go-to appliance for meals. Obviously, there are better ways to cook your meals, but that doesn't mean you need to dismiss the microwave as being one of the underdogs who can help you when you're pressed for time or in a pinch. These simple meals only take minutes to make and are super easy to make.
Cooking time: 1-2 minutes
It's a no-brainer to put your eggs in a skillet and fire them up on the stove for a hearty breakfast. And, yes, we all knew that you could make scrambled eggs in the microwave. But did you know you could make your eggs in a variety of ways without the stove? You can poach or hard boil your eggs with ease in the microwave if you're looking for something a little different.
Cooking time: 9 minutes
When we see the word "baked" our minds immediately drift to the oven, but there are lots of different ways to make baked potatoes. One of the swiftest ways is to make your baked potatoes in the microwave - a method that only takes nine minutes before it's all done.
Cooking time: 7 minutes
Here's a traditional side dish that often gets boiled before being served. Corn on the cob is one of those little treats we want to make sure we get right so we can enjoy all the flavor and sweetness alongside our entree. For many, it might not seem feasible to make microwave corn on the cob but it only takes a few minutes and still traps in all the flavor we know and love.
Cooking time: 5-10 minutes
No one said the buck had to stop with the classic baked potato. If you're looking for a healthier option than sweet potatoes are definitely the way to go. There are lots of different ways to make sweet potatoes, but the microwave is easily the fastest method. Remember that you don't need to skin them either sweet potato peels are loaded with nutrition and they're low in fat.
Cooking time: 3 minutes
Alright, this one might seem a little too savory for the microwave. Anyone who has ever made lasagna before knows the hard work that goes into it and all the layers you need to thoroughly bake before serving. So, how in the heck can you make lasagna in a microwave? Well, it's pretty simple actually and it takes only a few ingredients and a mug to make the magic happen.
Cooking time: 2-4 minutes
If we're talking about fast microwave meals then our list wouldn't really be legit without mentioning macaroni and cheese. Those of us out there who prefer to make mac and cheese on the stovetop probably stay away from the microwave, but microwave mac and cheese is just as good. You don't need a whole bunch of ingredients with this one, but you can still sprinkle in some seasoning to make it stand out from the boring instant kind.
Cooking time: 5 minutes
Spaghetti squash might not be the perfect substitute for authentic pasta, but it's a healthy alternative that many of us turn to. The good news is that you can add as many herbs and spices as you like to make things taste more like the real deal you're accustomed to, or even pour some of your go-to pasta sauce on there. But if you're just looking for something new to try that's fast to make then microwave spaghetti squash is your perfect solution.
Cooking time: 3 minutes
Meatloaf is another one of those dishes that doesn't seem like it would cook well outside the stove. These hearty and savory meals have never failed us in the oven, but to put them in the microwave seems a little moot, no? Put those thoughts out of your mind! It's actually pretty simple to make mugs of meatloaf in the microwave since the recipe doesn't require a ton of work and it will still be just as tasty. You can still season it to your tastes and throw some ketchup over the top once it's done if you so choose.
Cooking time: 25 minutes
When we're eating something like meatloaf we might want something to go alongside it. It feels a little blah to just have a cup of meatloaf or a microwave entree all on its own. A traditional side we all love to have with our meals is rice. Yes, you can make rice in the microwave. This recipe definitely takes more time than any of the others on this list, but that doesn't mean it's harder to make. All you need is some rice, water, and seasoning to get things going.
Cooking time: 1 minute per slice
While we've all probably been making bacon on the stovetop, there are lots of different ways to cook it to perfection. One of those ways is the super simple method of placing slices on an upside down bowl and cooking your bacon in the microwave. Make sure you stick your bowl on top of a plate and you're good to go.
Cooking time: 6-8 minutes
What would go better with your spaghetti squash than some hearty meatballs? You can absolutely make meatballs in the microwave and it won't even take you ten minutes to get the job done. You can season them however you like and yield a good serving as well, which means you'll have some leftovers for later in the week thereby making your cooking load even lighter.
Cooking time: 5 minutes
For the most part, we enjoy sticking our salmon into the oven for a terrific baked dinner, but you can actually make salmon in the microwave and still enjoy a healthy meal. Before sticking it in there, though, you can marinate it to perfection to ensure your finished product is just as good as it would be coming from the oven.
Cooking time: 5 minutes
Who said that we only needed to make meals in the microwave? This appliance is just as good for whipping up desserts and snacks as it is making us our three meals during the day. Ever since recipes for potato chips came out we've been making our own to save on costs and indulge in something homemade. There isn't just the one way to make them, though. You can make easy potato chips in the microwave in only five minutes. Talk about a fast snack.
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Continuing with the snacks, making yourself some delicious banana pudding in the microwave is a good way to reward yourself after a long day. It's really simple to make and you can dress it up however you like with icing sugar or a scoop of ice cream over the top. You also don't need many ingredients and it will yield quite a few servings so you'll have something to enjoy later on in the week.
Cooking time: 2 minutes
We saved the best for last because who doesn't want warm, gooey chocolate cake in two minutes? This super simple recipe for microwave chocolate cake doesn't require that much manpower and will give you a nice mug full of cake. You'll still need the same ingredients you do for a traditional cake, but only a fraction of the time to get things done. You can drizzle some chocolate syrup over the top to really make things mouth-watering or sprinkle some powdered sugar for an added boost of sweetness.
These microwave meals are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to making food. There are hundreds of different recipes you can check out to make things better suited to your lifestyle and personal preferences. Hopefully, these 15 recipes will show you that it's okay to use the microwave for your meals and you don't need to turn your back on the helpful little appliance that can make something just as delicious in a very short amount of time.