30 Things you didn't think you could make in a microwave
Your trusty microwave is far more than just a reliable, fast way of heating up that leftover Chinese takeaway - in fact, you can use your microwave oven to make a range of delicious meals and snacks, many of which are healthy and quick to make. Forget soggy leftovers, leave your skepticism at the door and try some of these ideas next time you're having a busy day; we promise you won't be disappointed!
Start the day off
Use an overturned bowl to lay streaky bacon slices on - the fat will drip down the sides and leave you with deliciously crispy bacon for a protein-packed breakfast option!
#2. Bluberry Muffins
#3. One-Minute Quiche
Quiche-in-a-mug is ideal for breakfast or brunch and couldn't be easier to make with ingredients you have leftover from your weekly shop - bread, eggs, milk, butter and the vegetables of your choice. We like to use peas and mushrooms!
#4. French Toast
This sweet treat is ready in under 2 minutes - serve with some cinnamon and vanilla and a little natural maple syrup.
#5. Poached Eggs
Eggs are a healthy way to start your day, packed with protein and lutein, which can help to protect your vision. Making poached eggs in the microwave is quick and easy, so you won't have to fuss around with a pan and boiling water. Find out how here.
#6. Scrambled Eggs
Scrambled eggs in under 2 minutes? Yes please. Chuck some eggs in a bowl, whisk with a fork and zap in thirty-second increments until cooked. Top with some veggies or a little smoked salmon and serve on toast for a healthy brekkie. Yum!
#7. Breakfast Cookies
Cookies for breakfast are actually healthier, and easier to make, than you might think. You'll need egg whites, banana, peanut butter and oats to make this breakfast treat that we recommend saving for weekends. Give the recipe a try!
Lunches and Dinners
#8. Corn on Cob
#9. Steamed Veggies
Steaming vegetables can help them to retain their nutrients, and if you do it in the microwave, you won't need to worry about cleaning a steamer afterwards. You'll need a microwave safe bowl and lid - it takes just minutes.
#10. Macaroni and Cheese
Mmmm mac and cheese, the ultimate comfort food! Making it from scratch can be a bit of a pain in the ass, and something you probably only have time to do on days off or weekends. Now, you can make it in the microwave and it's much healthier than ready-made packet mixes, which are packed with salt and additives. This recipe uses just a few ingredients and is ideal when time is short.
#11. Chicken Fajitas
Fajitas in 15 minutes using the microwave? Yes, we know, sounds too good to be true. There's a bit of prep work when it comes to slicing the vegetables and chicken but this recipe is pretty simple to make - and because everything is cooked in one microwave pot, less washing up to do later!
Risotto is a great comforting dish that is delicious enough to serve when friends are coming over yet cosy enough for a quick dinner for one. The perfect food for a chilly night in, this simple garlic risotto tastes great with some added veggies - the recipe calls for mushrooms and spinach, but you could use whatever you have to hand.
Mexican food in a microwave doesn't get much better than this recipe! Made in a mug, this part-nachos-part-quesadillas recipe is super-tasty! We recommend adding some leftover chicken or beef to up the protein content - this is the perfect single-serve lunch or dinner.
#14. 'Roast' Aubergine
You'll usually need quite a bit of olive oil to sautee aubergines, which can turn them from a healthy choice into a calorific one - roasting them takes forever, so why not microwave them? This recipe uses some tomato and cottage cheese for a healthy topping, but you could serve them plain, mash them into Baba Ghanoush dip or top them with whatever you have handy!
#15. 'Roasted' Garlic
Blasting garlic in your microwave on half power gives it a subtle flavour that's ideal for adding to recipes - less mess and less smell too!
#16. Chocolate Donuts
Grab yourself some donut moulds (easy to find on Amazon), some glutinous rice flour and a few other ingredients and you can make these mochi donuts with this Japanese-inspired recipe. Pretty healthy and definitely better for you than Krispy Kremes!
It might sound unusual to make baked cheesecake in your microwave, but this simple lemon cheesecake is the perfect way to satisfy your sweet tooth! It takes less than a minute to make and is a great treat.
#18. Choc Chip Cake
There are loads of cake-in-a-mug recipes around on the web, but this choc chip cake has to be one of our favourites. We would sub a natural sweetener for the Xylitol, or you could use sugar, if you prefer. It's gluten-free and makes the perfect dessert served with some frozen yoghurt or ice cream - we like to use dark chocolate chips for a healthier touch!
#19. Coffee Cake
This single-serving coffee cake recipe takes minutes to zap in the microwave and at least there's no risk of you eating too large a portion! When the craving for cake strikes, avoid the supermarket and local bakery and make your own with just a few ingredients. Lovely!
#20. Healthy Brownie
We're huge brownie fans and we didn't anything could top our love for Delicious Ella's Sweet Potato Brownies - until we found this recipe! Gluten-free, butter-free and sugar-free, this single-serve healthy brownie is dark, gooey and delicious; we defy you to resist!
#21. Oatmeal Cookie
For a fibre-packed snack, make your own vegan pumpkin oatmeal cookie in the microwave with oatmeal, almond milk, pumpkin, banana, raisins, spices and of course, your microwave! This could be served as a healthy dessert, perhaps topped with some Greek yoghurt and fruit, or enjoy it as a snack with a cup of tea.
Ok, so you already know you can make popcorn in the microwave - but the ready-packed popcorn you'll find at the supermarket is loaded with salt, fat and additives. Do DIY microwave popcorn at home; all you need is some popcorn kernels (available at most supermarkets or health food stores) a paper bag and some tape. Find out how here!
#23. Banana Bread
This quick snack makes the most of bananas that are turning brown - don't throw them out, make this single-serve healthy cake! Making a whole loaf of banana bread isn't always practical and you might find yourself eating too much of it. So try this recipe which calls for a banana and just a few other ingredients which you'll probably already have to hand. This is one of our favourites!
#24. Veggie Crisps
You know those posh veggie crisps you sometimes find at certain bars and restaurants? They're really yummy - unfortunately they're also quite expensive to buy. It's surprisingly easy to make your own with sliced sweet potato and parsnips. The trick is to slice the vegetables really thinly using a mandolin, or a very sharp knife. These take just a few minutes to make in the microwave and are a great alternative to regular crisps.
#25. 'Toasted' Nuts
Nuts are the ultimate protein snack, but toasting them in the oven can be messy and time-consuming. Microwaving them gives them the same nutty crunch and flavour as oven-cooking, with less mess and fuss!
#26. English Muffins
We love a sliced English muffin as the basis for a healthy breakfast or lunch. Topped with some scrambled egg and smoked salmon for a weekend brunch or served with poached eggs and some avocado, there's nothing better! Make your own with this gluten-free, grain-free recipe that uses almond flour.
#27. 'Toasted' Coconut
Toasted coconut is a great dessert topping, or we love to serve it sprinkled over some Greek yoghurt and fresh berries. Yummy! Toast yours in the microwave - it takes just seconds!
#28. Frothy Milk
You don't need a fancy coffee machine or milk frother to get lovely, frothy hot milk for cappuccinos and hot chocolate - just add some milk to a jar, shake it up to create froth then heat it in the microwave for cafe-quality drinks at home! Get the scoop here.
Making your own pickle to add to salads and sandwiches is super-simple with the help of your microwave - you'll never turn to supermarket pickles again! You'll just need some vinegar, sugar, pickling season/spices, onions and cucumber - now get pickling!
#30. Crunchy Crisps
Doritos, Frazzles, Walkers - what do all these crisps have in common? Usually they contain high levels of saturated fat and salt - not great news for your heart. We've got some good news though; you don't have to give up your crisp habit altogether. Next time the craving for something crunchy and salty strikes, make your own using heart-healthy olive oil in your microwave!