How To: 7 Deliciously Genius Things You Can Make in Your Microwave

7 Deliciously Genius Things You Can Make in Your Microwave

Most of the time we only use the microwave to reheat or defrost, but you can actually save a lot of time by using it for cooking. These genius recipes make the most of this underused appliance, and also turn out some pretty tasty dishes.

First: Is It Safe to Cook in the Microwave?

Urban myths and internet legends abound about the dangers of microwave cooking. But almost all studies show that if you're using your microwave correctly, it's neither dangerous nor unhealthy. If you're worried about radiation leakage, then consider that microwaves emit about the same level of radiation that you get from your cell phone, which you hold up to your head throughout the day.

#1. 3-Minute Single-Serving Cheesecake

You can't eat this in three minutes unless you like hot cheesecake, but it only takes a few minutes to make this before you cool it in the fridge. It's a perfect single-serving dessert that you can top with fresh fruit, compote, or whipped cream.

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbsp cream cheese
  • 2 Tbsp vanilla-flavored Greek yogurt
  • ½ tsp lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp vanilla
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 graham cracker square, crushed

Instructions:

  1. Combine cream cheese, yogurt, lemon juice, vanilla, and sugar in a bowl. Mix well.
  2. Pour mixture into a small microwave-safe glass dish or ramekin.
  3. Microwave on high for 90 seconds and then stir.
  4. Microwave for another 30 seconds.
  5. Remove from microwave carefully.
  6. Let cool in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
  7. Top with crushed graham crackers.

#2. Perfectly Poached Eggs

It's sad when your poached eggs don't turn out when you make them on a stovetop, so it's surprising how easy they are to make in the microwave. Follow this tutorial to learn how to do it.

Image by Faith Durand/The Kitchn

#3. 7-Minute Microwave Caramels

These are so good that you shouldn't make them on a regular basis. They're a lovely, buttery treat, and make excellent holiday candies or DIY gifts. Find our recipe here.

#4. Microwave Risotto

Regular risotto requires a lot more stirring than this tasty microwave version. You can also play around and add other seasonings and vegetables to the mix.

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ sweet onion, chopped
  • 1½ cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup uncooked Arborio rice
  • 1½ cup white wine
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions:

  1. In a large microwave-safe casserole dish, combine 2 tablespoons butter with the garlic and onion.
  2. Microwave on high for 3 minutes. Remove and set aside.
  3. Place vegetable broth in a microwave-safe dish. Microwave on high for approximately 2 minutes.
  4. Stir broth and rice into dish with the onion, butter, and garlic mixture.
  5. Cover and cook on high for 6 minutes. Add wine and stir.
  6. Cook on high for another 8-10 minutes.
  7. Most of the liquid should be gone, but adjust cooking times to your microwave.
  8. Stir remaining 1 tablespoon of butter and cheese into risotto and stir.

#5. Gourmet Potato Chips

Ditch the regular deep-fried version and make a batch of these healthier potato chips in your microwave. Get the ingenious recipe here.

Image by Alice Currah/Savory Sweet Life

If you love potatoes and want to learn more quick and easy ways to make them in the microwave, get more tips here.

#6. 3-Minute Meringues

Traditional meringues can be fantastically shaped, but these are so much easier to whip up on the fly. Get the full microwave tutorial here.

#7. Chocolate Mug Cake

Mug cakes are genius because they make very little mess and are ready in a flash. You just mix everything up in a coffee cup, nuke it for a couple minutes, and you have a single serving of cake. Get the Food Network recipe here.

Image by Antonis Achilleos/Food Network

If brownies are more your thing, then follow our graphic recipe here.

Microwave Cooking 101

If you want to do more with your microwave, then you'll love these tricks to get better tasting food from your microwave and our user-friendly guide to microwave cooking. And for more microwave cooking inspiration, check out these illustrated meals.

Photos by Naomi Imatome-Yun/Food Hacks (unless otherwise specified)

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