Your guide to microwave cooking
We're offer advice on balancing the rising cost of living. This month, we share recipes from food writer Elaine Lemm, all cooked in the microwave for more efficient use of energy
Our microwave recipe collection is a popular destination on BBC Good Food. It’s incredible what you can rustle up at the touch of a button. From chocolate cake to butternut squash risotto, microwaves can add an extra dimension to your cooking, while saving valuable time and electricity costs. They’re more energy-efficient than turning on the oven – a jacket potato can be ready in just 10 minutes if you use the microwave rather than baking it in the oven for an hour. They are the workhorse of a busy kitchen, and it’s no surprise that 93% of households own one.
Find out which of your kitchen appliances are bumping up your energy bill, plus get tips to help you reduce energy use - see the free Which? guide to how much kitchen appliances cost to run.
Which setting to use?
All cooking times are based on a 900W microwave. Adjust times accordingly for other wattages. The recipes are cooked on full power unless stated otherwise.
Our CookSmart microwave recipes...
Garam masala vegetable curry
Unbelievably, this vibrant curry can be on your table in less than 20 minutes. The curry is rich with nourishing spices, spinach, coriander, chickpeas and coconut in thick tomato sauce, then finished with lime juice for extra zing. All you need is steamed basmati rice or a couple of naan breads to go alongside.
Be it breakfast, lunch or supper, when you’re feeling hungry or need to rustle something up quickly for someone else, you can’t go far wrong with a microwave mug omelette. This is the ultimate fast snack, with just a few minutes to prep and even less to cook. For success, less is more with the cooking. Do not try to cook the omelette in one go – it needs 20-second bursts, followed by a light stir until the egg starts to firm up. For variations on the recipe, try changing the vegetables, herbs, and even the cheese.
More like this
When you want a comforting macaroni cheese quickly, without too many pots and pans to wash up afterwards, look to your microwave. This recipe delivers piping hot macaroni in thick, cheesy sauce cooked in less than 15 minutes. The cheeses used here are pretty robust and strongly flavoured, but switch them out for milder ones if you prefer something more subtle.
Jacket potatoes with Swedish prawn salad
Microwave jacket potatoes make for a quick, easy and versatile dinner. We’ve filled ours with a classic Swedish skagenröra – a mix of chunky prawns, fresh dill and mayonnaise – it marries so well with the hot, buttery potato.
There’s no need to heat up the oven with these easy-to-make, fudgy microwave brownies. Made and cooked in under 15 minutes, what could be simpler? Unfortunately, you will have to wait for them to cool down before you can eat them.
Discover all of our favourite microwave pudding recipes, including our fastest-ever lemon pudding.
Our CookSmart promise is to support you with the challenge of rising food and energy prices, we’re bringing together knowledge and ideas to help you eat well whatever your budget. You can find even more resources and advice on low-cost cooking at Cook Smart with BBC Good Food. We’d also love to hear from you with any tips you have to share using the hashtag #gfcooksmart.
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