Whether you’re cooking for your family or making a simple supper for one, these microwaveable feasts can be thrown together in a flash. Bypass the oven, shun the hob and boycott the grill – these ‘cheat’ recipes are fuss-free, healthy and full of flavour. Forget about pre-packaged microwave meals, these dinners are all made from scratch and will do you good. Read our top tips on how to cook in a microwave to get the most from your machinery.
Get the lowdown on the very best kitchen kit and discover our best microwaves on test.
Try this spicy veggie rice mix that’ll feed a family of four. This easy, healthy recipe is perfect with a dollop of soured cream, and you won’t believe something so tasty was magicked up from your microwave. Amp up the Cajun seasoning and chunky chorizo if you’re a fan of heat. We guarantee it’ll become a family favourite in no time, especially on chilly evenings.
Try the ultimate in adaptable eating with our simple microwave biryani. Add in whatever veggies you have to hand to create this speedy feast, and garnish your dish with coriander and mint for a comforting classic. We can’t resist the juicy sultanas full of spices and crunchy spring onions. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly supper, look no further.
Summon up a bowlful of classic Middle Eastern flavours in just 10 minutes. This deceptively simple shakshuka is perfect for a speedy brunch, lunch or supper for one, and won’t break the bank. It makes a great healthy option for vegetarians and is best served with a warm pitta bread for mopping up that runny yolk and tomato sauce.
4. Butternut squash risotto
No need to spend precious time stirring risotto at the stove – our 20-minute butternut squash recipe needs minimal attention and fuss. This family-friendly dish not only counts as one of your 5-a-day, it’s also high in vitamin C and deliciously cheesy. At the bottom of the recipe, read our tips on how to cut and prep a butternut squash to discover the chef’s tricks of the trade.
5. Kale & chilli eggs
Dinner could be on the table in under 10 minutes with our easy kale & chilli eggs. It takes just five ingredients to make this low-calorie dish. Jack Monroe’s secret to the perfect microwave poached egg? Pierce the yolk with a knife or fork and cook in three 30-second bursts. This will ensure it cooks more gently, and you’ll avoid any unexpected mini yolk explosions. Add a sprinkling of za’atar to spice things up.
6. Risotto primavera
We love a classic recipe done with a cheat’s method. Our risotto primavera feels just a luxurious as the stove-top version, with chunks of creamy goat’s cheese, fresh asparagus and a splash of white wine. It’s hard to believe this indulgent dish is healthy but believe us, it’s true. This meal is easily halved if you’re keeping it cosy. You’ll never go back to laborious hob-based hassle after you’ve cooked up this Italian treat.
7. Bacon & fish o’leekie
Super filling, low-fat and full of delicious chunks of fresh cod, this bacon & fish o’leekie makes a hearty midweek meal. It doesn’t get much easier than this microwave marvel – serve up scoops of this family-friendly supper straight from the dish with a pinch of lemon zest and juice. It’s a great way to get the kids to eat fish. Sub in haddock instead of cod if it’s more readily available.
8. Easy veggie biryani
Ditch the takeaway menu and whip up your own 20-minute easy veggie biryani with roasted cashew nuts. This fluffy rice mix uses frozen veg and korma curry paste, so it’s pocket-friendly and there’s minimal food waste. Give your plate a pop of Indian-inspired flavours and watch it disappear. Even the most reticent of chefs will be able to master this recipe with ease. Serve with warm naan bread for a tasty bonus side dish.
9. Wild rice salad
Pair this vibrant wild rice salad with a spicy stew for a speedy side or mixed Mediterranean veg for a filling lunch. Add in some juicy sultanas or dried cranberries for a touch of fruity sweetness to complement the zesty lemon dressing. Crunchy carrot and red onion strips bring this colourful recipe together.
10. Courgette & pea risotto with prawns
One for the adults and kids to enjoy together. If you’re looking for a family-friendly meal that’s ready in under 30 minutes, this courgette, pea & prawn risotto is the recipe you need. Feel free to swap the prawns for chicken if your little ones aren’t seafood fans. This healthy, low-fat dish topped with grated cheddar is pure comfort food. If your kids aren’t keen on veg, try peeling the courgettes and cutting them into small dice so they don’t ring any alarm bells.
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