10 dishes you can cook in a microwave in minutes

Renovating your kitchen? Living without a cooker? Whatever the answer, we have delicious, wholesome microwave recipes that will kick ready meals to the kerb

Microwave risotto primavera

Back in 2014, we conducted a food survey for our 25th birthday and as part of it asked 10,000 people what piece of kitchen kit they can't live without. The winning answer? The humble microwave. But beyond melting, defrosting and general time-saving, the resouceful microwave can be used to cook whole meals - and we're not talking the pre-prepared variety. Read on for 10 clever ideas for creating speedy suppers and perfect puddings with the press of a couple of buttons and waiting for the magic ping. 

Want to equip your kitchen with the very best kit? Check out our review of the best microwaves on the market for every budget. We even have a list of handy gadgets for your microwave to make the fluffiest microwaved scrambled eggs and classic sticky rice. Get tips from the experts and learn how to cook in a microwave.

1. Microwaveable jambalaya

Jambalaya in bowl with fork
Finding this recipe felt like a dream come true when it came to our kitchen renovation (or so far just dismantlement). It actually feels like you are making a proper meal, rather than just heating something up in the microwave. The end result is a really fresh, fragrant and super healthy supper that everyone should enjoy, and tastes pretty authentic too.

Microwaveable jambalaya

2. Microwave risotto primavera

Risotto with asparagus and peas in bowl with fork
The great thing about making a risotto in the microwave is that you cut out any pesky stirring that might normally keep you stuck in the kitchen. Using frozen veg also makes this a budget meal without sacrificing any of the taste or flavour of a more traditional recipe. It is high in fibre, folic acid and low in fat, so a great antedote to any takeaways that may have been sneaking in.

Microwave risotto primavera

3. Fastest-ever lemon pudding

Lemon pudding with spoon
Being short of an oven and time needn't stop you from whipping up a homemade pudding. This microwave-friendly sponge is ready in a record breaking 10 minutes, and you will find yourself with a light, luscious, lemony pudding that is hard to resist. Perfect for cheering up weary troops.

Fastest-ever lemon pudding

4. Super-quick Scandi supper

Beetroot, crackers, fish and cucumber on plate with fork
Think you can't entertain without a kitchen? Think again.This super-quick Scandi supper just involves microwaving some salmon, and the rest of the light, fresh flavours will simply speak for themselves straight from the fridge. Pop it all on the table and let everyone help themselves.

Super-quick Scandi supper

5. Leeky salmon in a parcel

Leeks and salmon on plate with fork
Tender salmon, creamy leeks and peas certainly doesn't feel like your average microwave meal, serve with microwaveable new potatoes for a deluxe and satisfying dinner, bound to give everyone a midweek lift. 

Leeky salmon in a parcel

6. Microwave butternut squash risotto

Butternut risotto in bowl
This cheat's version of a butternut squash risotto is completely scrumptious, a good source of vitamin C, counts as one of your five-a-day and is ready in under 20 minutes. What more could you want? Top with lots of grated cheese for a comforting and hearty supper.

Microwave butternut squash risotto

7. Microwave banana pudding

Pudding in dish
Warming, soft and sweet banana pudding makes a lovely treat for the whole family, and is bound to become a favourite with or without an oven. Want to up the comfort factor to the next level? Heat up some ready made custard for ultimate indulgence.

Microwave banana pudding

8. Apricot & orange rice pudding

Rice pudding with orange in bowls
Healthy, homemade pudding in under 20 minutes? When I discovered this beautifully creamy and comforting recipe, I felt tempted to bin the idea of ever having a kitchen and investing the extra money in pudding rice instead. Delicious!   

Apricot & orange rice pudding

9. Tuna sweet potato jackets

Sweet potato jackets with tuna on tray
If you're mainly living through your microwave then you are probably going to find jacket potatoes become a bit of a staple. Try switching to sweet potatoes and a fresh, spicy topping for a budget-friendly and low-fat lunch or dinner.

Tuna sweet potato jackets

10. Spiced hot choc

Hot chocolate with biscuits
Ok so it isn’t a meal, but not having a fully equipped kitchen can feel a bit tedious at the best of times, so this simple treat might be appreciated.

Spiced hot choc

Still not sated? Discover all of our microwaveable recipes.

Enjoyed these recipes and tips? Read our other kitchen kit and recipe guides...

Top 10 gadgets to save you money in the kitchen
The best slow cookers and how to use them
Family slow cooker recipes
The best slow cooker desserts

What's the best thing you have ever cooked in the microwave? Leave a comment below...

Comments, questions and tips

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moannie joannie
5th Sep, 2019
Microwave bread and butter pudding made with brioche is better than in a conventional oven.
Mia M
18th Feb, 2015
PS - Further to my message below - I forgot to say that I now have a lovely home with a very good kitchen. And I still wouldn't be without my microwave.
Mia M
18th Feb, 2015
At the time of my divorce (1980s) I moved from a splendid apartment overlooking the fabulous St Aubin's Bay (Jersey) to a small flat, comprising the upper floor of a converted (very small) terraced house. It suited me, despite being so cold & damp that I actually found a snail in the wardrobe. I had no oven, just a tiny two-ring-plus-grill gas hob. BUT - I had my microwave. I used to make everything! Bread, cakes, chutney, stock, casseroles, rice dishes - you name it. My brother even made a lasagne in it once, and that was delicious too. It's time people woke up and realized the microwave is good for far more than just reheating pizzas. I wouldn't try to do a roast in it, but even simply as a tool for such kitchen jobs as softening butter, warming plates, it's a vital part of my kitchen.
31st Jan, 2018
Please may we have recipes for one?
goodfoodteam's picture
6th Feb, 2018
Thanks for your question. Here are a variety of recipes for one, some of which will be microwaveable: https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/search/recipes?query=#path=serving/%5B1+TO+1%5D
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