microwave recipes
Microwaves really do make life easier. (Photo by Matthew Jungling via Unsplash)

7 Quick and Easy Microwave Recipes for the Student New to Cooking

With more people opting for off-campus housing this semester, this list should help those who are making food on their own for the first time.

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microwave recipes

With more people opting for off-campus housing this semester, this list should help those who are making food on their own for the first time.

If you are off-campus like me for the first time, learning to cook for yourself can be messy and tedious. However, if you stock your refrigerators and cupboards with kitchen staples, putting together a simple meal by following a microwave recipe is hardly a hassle. Not only are they easy to follow, but they also allow for personalization depending on what you have in the pantry. Perfect for when you do not have time to use a stove or simply would rather not dirty pots and pans, here are seven convenient microwave recipes for quick meals and cooking inspiration.

1. Five-Minute Migas Scramble

Update your go-to scrambled eggs breakfast with a Southwestern twist. This breakfast microwave recipe is a convenient go-to.

Ingredients:

  • Tortilla chips
  • Chunky salsa
  • Two eggs
  • Cheese of your choice (recommended: shredded or cotija)
  • Milk or milk substitute
  • Any cooking oil or spray
  • Avocado

Steps:

  1. Lightly grease a 10-12 oz. coffee mug.
  2. Add eggs and your desired amount of milk to the mug and stir with a fork until the consistency is smooth. Alternatively, use an egg beater (I recommend a spring whisk egg beater).
  3. Microwave the mug on high for 40 seconds, and then stir around the edges. Add tortilla chips or cheese if you so desire.
  4. Microwave in 10-20 second intervals until eggs are cooked through.
  5. Top with salsa, tortilla chips, avocado and cheese.

2. Simple Shakshuka

Out of all the microwave recipes, this Mediterranean dish is the most TikTok famous. Luckily, following a microwave recipe yields the same delicious results as cooking on a stovetop.

Ingredients:

  • Three-quarters of a cup canned whole peeled tomatoes
  • One pinch paprika
  • One pinch cayenne
  • One pinch cumin
  • One diced garlic clove
  • As much diced onion as desired
  • One egg
  • Feta cheese
  • Any cooking oil or spray

Steps:

  1. Grease a microwave-safe bowl or mug, then stir in tomatoes, paprika, cumin, cayenne, garlic and onion. Side note: If you do not have all the spices, just lightly sprinkle in whichever you choose to your liking. Same with the garlic and onion; personalizing your shakshuka by adding whatever you think would taste good and eyeballing the amounts works perfectly well.
  2. Make a well in the center of the mixture and break in the egg.
  3. Cover the bowl and microwave for one minute, and then in 20-second intervals until the egg whites are set.
  4. Add feta and serve on toast or enjoy it on its own.

3. Better-Than-Kraft Macaroni and Cheese 

When you get tired of Kraft cheese powder, cooking macaroni with fresh cheese is much tastier and almost as easy.

Ingredients:

  • One third of a cup elbow macaroni
  • One third of a cup shredded cheese of your choice (e.g. sharp cheddar, white cheddar, gruyere or gouda) and/or parmesan
  • Milk or milk substitute
  • One third plus one fourth cup of water

Steps:

  1. Put the water and macaroni in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for one minute, stir, and then microwave and stir at two-minute intervals for six minutes (you may need more water depending on the power of your microwave), or until the pasta is fully cooked.
  2. Add cheese and microwave for 30 to 45 minutes.
  3. Stir well and add a splash of milk or milk substitute for extra creaminess.

4. Miso Ramen 

Ramen is a late-night snack staple; adding miso broth to your microwave recipes makes them rich in essential minerals as well as in flavor.

Ingredients:

  • Ramen noodles (yes, they can be from a package of Cup Noodles)
  • Miso broth
  • Sliced ginger
  • Soy sauce
  • One egg or one fourth cup of tofu
  • Basil
  • One stalk of green onion
  • Tahini
  • Cooking oil or spray
  • Salt

Steps:

  1. If you are using an egg, grease a mug and sprinkle a little salt on the bottom.
  2. Crack the egg into the mug and pierce the yolk a few times.
  3. Cover mug and microwave on high for 30 seconds or medium for 50 seconds. For a harder yolk, microwave for 10 more seconds, or until it is cooked to your liking.
  4. Put one serving of ramen noodles into a microwave-safe bowl and add enough broth to cover the ramen.
  5. If you are using tofu or ginger, add them to the bowl. Microwave the bowl for three minutes.
  6. Stir in as much soy sauce, onion, basil and tahini (for a creamier broth) as desired.

5. Sweet Cinnamon Couscous

Couscous is similar to rice — it has a better texture, in my opinion — and is just as easy to find in stores. Adding apples and golden raisins to shake up your side dish routine makes this microwave recipe sweet and crave-worthy.

Ingredients:

  • One cup couscous (recommended: pearl couscous, specifically)
  • Golden raisins
  • Diced apple
  • A dash of cinnamon
  • Butter, ghee or a tablespoon or two of oil (e.g. olive oil)
  • One cup water

Steps:

  1. Put the couscous and water in a microwave-safe bowl
  2. Mix in the diced apples and golden raisins, and add as much butter, ghee or oil as needed.
  3. Microwave for four minutes, stir, and then continue microwaving in one-minute intervals until fully cooked
  4. Strain the mixture if needed
  5. Add cinnamon

And finally, here are two dessert microwave recipes to indulge your sweet tooth. Bon appétit!

6. Three-Ingredient Chocolate Mug Cake

Ingredients:

  • Six tablespoons chocolate cake mix
  • Two tablespoons chocolate chips
  • Two tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
  • One tablespoon of water

Steps:

  1. Add cake mix, water and applesauce to a mug. Mix with a mini whisk or fork until you obtain a smooth consistency.
  2. Mix in one tablespoon of chocolate chips, and use the other tablespoon to scatter on top of the mix.
  3. Microwave for one minute, or until your cake is cooked through.

7. Single Serving Cheesecake

Ingredients:

  • Four tablespoons softened cream cheese or cream cheese spread
  • Two tablespoons plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • Two and a half tablespoons sugar
  • One egg, whisked
  • One quarter teaspoons vanilla
  • Four tablespoons graham cracker crumbs
  • One tablespoon melted butter

Steps:

  1. Grease the mug and add and thoroughly mix the butter and graham cracker crumbs. Press the mixture for a crust-like texture.
  2. In a microwave-safe bowl, add the egg, yogurt, cream cheese, vanilla and sugar. Use a whisk to mix the batter until it is smooth, and then pour the batter into the mug.
  3. Cover the mug with a paper towel and microwave on high for one minute, and then in 20-second intervals until the cheesecake batter is cooked through.
  4. Cool the cheesecake in the refrigerator for at least one hour.
  5. Top with berries or chocolate chips, or enjoy it plain.

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