There’s a vastly underutilized appliance in your kitchen that could help up your cooking game: your microwave. Believe it or not, the piece of equipment can be used for much more than heating up TV dinners and making popcorn. It can help make your meals easier, slash your cooking time vastly, and lead to food more impressive than canned soup or steamed vegetables.
Here are all the foods you didn’t know you could make in a microwave.
Whether you want to make hands-off poached eggs or want to cook a quick scramble, your microwave oven can help with that. Make just one or two eggs for yourself without so much as having to pull out a pan, or throw in some vegetables to make a frittata for a crowd. Try this recipe for an omelet in a mug.
You might be surprised to learn that whipping up a cake for one at home is far easier than driving over to the bakery to buy a cupcake. Throw flour, an egg, cocoa powder, and a few other ingredients in a mug, push a few buttons and, voila, enjoy your individual cake! Try this recipe for a moist chocolate mug cake.
Now, you can’t actually put pickles into a microwave (since they glow and can explode) but you can make them in one. If you don’t have much patience for pickling, then you’re in luck. Put sliced cucumbers, chopped onion, vinegar, sugar and spices into a bowl or mason jar, and cook them in the microwave for about eight minutes. Let them cool in the fridge and enjoy on sandwiches or right out of the jar. Try this recipe for microwave pickles.
Before you declare it blasphemous to cook fish in a microwave, give it a try. Not only does it make for much easier cleanup, a quick cooking time means you won’t end up with an overcooked fillet. Throw your tilapia, mahi or salmon into a microwave safe dish with some spices and a bit of wine to prevent it from drying out and cook for 3-5 minutes. You won’t regret it. Try this recipe for microwaved salmon. It has some heat added to it in the form of sriracha mayonnaise. You’ll never use your oven to make salmon again after you try this moist and flavorful version.
You’ve probably seen spuds that are packaged in plastic wrap for microwaving at the grocery store, but any potato can be easily cooked in the appliance. Scrub your potato or sweet potato clean, then follow this easy guide for a “baked” potato that you can then top with all your favorite fixings.
Forget the super salty store brand stuff. By slicing a potato (or sweet potato) thinly and laying it flat on a dish, you can microwave yourself some chips with your own favorite spices in less than three minutes. Try this recipe for sour cream and onion veggie chips.
Any pizza lover will tell you reheating leftover delivery in the microwave is a no-no, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make your own in the appliance. Use a pita as your base, and add your favorite cheese and veggies to finish it off. Try this recipe for microwave mug pizza.
Read ahead for some more easy foods that you can make in your microwave.
No need to bust out your blowtorch. With this simple recipe that can be made in a microwave or toaster oven, you can enjoy a mini creme brulee in less time than it takes for you to play “La Vie en Rose.” Get our recipe for Microwave Creme Brulee recipe.
This keto-friendly recipe is ready for eating in 90 seconds flat. Top it with avocado or peanut butter to get some healthy fat on your plate. Get the recipe.
Risotto might seem super intimidating (especially since it’s been the downfall of so many “Top Chef” contestants over the years), but that’s no reason to shy away from it. With this simple to follow microwave recipe, you’ll become such a pro it will become a part of your regular meal repertoire. Get the recipe.
Your favorite breakfast food doesn’t need to be made with tons of dishes and pans from your cabinets. Drizzle your french toast with your favorite maple syrup after it’s done. Get the recipe.
Just because all you have on hand is ramen doesn’t mean you have to go for a basic or boring meal. Upgrade your standard ramen with some peanut butter, chile-garlic paste and some veggies. Get our Late-Night Asian Noodle Recipe.
No need to swing by the deli to buy something for breakfast before work. This two-minute cake features fresh blueberries that make it the perfect meal to start your day. Get the recipe.
Header image courtesy of Bigger Bolder Baking.