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
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.
2. Microwave risotto primavera
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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…