Cooking meals in a microwave can be an easy and convenient way to prepare nutritious foods! We’ve lined up four microwave meal ideas for each meal of the day.
1. Breakfast: Microwave Scramble Slider
First up, breakfast! This quick egg scramble sandwich is a great on-the-go breakfast. Chef’s tip: Don’t overcook this one! The scrambled eggs will continue to cook and firm up after you take them out of the microwave.
Makes 1 serving
- 2 tablespoons chopped red or green bell peppers
- 1 tablespoon chopped onion
- 1 egg
- 1 thin slice deli ham, chopped
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 whole-wheat English muffin, split and toasted
- Place peppers and onions in 8-oz. ramekin or custard cup, or in a small bowl. Microwave on high 30 seconds; stir. Add egg, ham and water, beat until egg is blended.
- Microwave on high 30 seconds; stir. Microwave until egg is almost set, 30 to 45 seconds longer. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.
- Serve in a whole-wheat English muffin.
Looking for more microwavable meals? Try this Quesadilla con Huevos (quesadilla with eggs)!
Recipe source: MyPlate National Strategic Partners
2. Lunch: Ramen with Veggies
Our favorite four-ingredient ramen recipe just got even easier. Our ramen with veggies recipe is usually made by boiling the ramen, but we’ve adapted the recipe below so you can quickly make it in the microwave!
Makes 2 servings
- 1 chicken ramen package (keep the seasoning packet)
- 3/4 cup frozen vegetable mix (ours included peas, carrots, edamame, and corn)
- 1 boiled egg (you will have to boil the egg on the stovetop, or follow the instructions for making eggs in the microwave scramble slider listed above and add scrambled eggs instead!)
- Break up 1 block of chicken ramen into fourths and add it into a microwave-safe bowl. Set the seasoning packet aside.
- Add enough water to the bowl so that it covers the ramen. Place the bowl in the microwave and cook the ramen for 2-5 minutes, until tender.
- Drain the ramen. Stir in about 1/3 of the seasoning packet (or about 1/4 tablespoon). Set aside.
- Using a separate bowl, cook the frozen vegetable mix according to the microwave instructions on the package.
- Toss the vegetables and the ramen noodles together with tongs or two forks. Enjoy!
3. Dinner: Savory Southwest Sweet Potato
Did you know that you can microwave sweet potatoes? Try our savory southwest sweet potato recipe that we’ve adapted below for the microwave. Pair this savory sweet potato with a side salad for a delicious and filling dinner!
Makes 1 serving
- 1 medium cooked sweet potato
- 3 tablespoons black beans
- 2 tablespoons corn
- 1 tablespoon diced red or green pepper
- a dash of chili powder & cumin
- Wash and dry one medium sweet potato. Pierce the potato 3-4 times with a fork. Cook the sweet potato for 5 minutes on microwave-safe plate. Halfway through, flip the sweet potato over. You know it’s done cooking when your sweet potato is tender all the way through. If it needs to cook longer, microwave the sweet potato for 30 seconds at a time under it’s done.
- While the sweet potato is cooking, dice the red or green pepper.
- Once the sweet potato has thoroughly cooked, remove it from the microwave and set it aside. Do not cut it open just yet so the potato keeps its steam and stays warm.
- Add the black beans and corn to a small bowl. Microwave them until they are steaming hot.
- Slice the sweet potato down the middle. Top the sweet potato with the black beans, corn, red or green pepper, chili powder, and cumin.
Try our other sweet potato recipes, like our Chicken Stuffed or Sweet Banana sweet potato!
4. Dessert: Chocolate Zucchini Mug Cake
This might be the microwave’s favorite dessert– it’s certainly ours! We’re finishing the microwave meals with our favorite mug cake. The zucchini mug cake is moist, chocolatey, and the perfect amount of cake for one person. You can’t even taste the nutritious zucchini!
Makes 1 serving
- 3 tablespoons fat-free milk
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 3 tablespoons zucchini, shredded and patted dry
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- ½ tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- Optional: Mix in semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Add all of the ingredients except the zucchini in a microwave-safe mug. Mix with a fork.
- Shred the zucchini with a grater and pat it dry with a clean paper towel to remove excess moisture.
- Stir in the zucchini.
- Cook the cake in microwave for 1 minute and 15 seconds. Then, carefully take it of the microwave to see how close it is to looking like a regular cooked cake. Different microwaves may require more cooking time. If the cake needs more time, put it back in the microwave for 15 seconds at a time until it is cooked. Cooking it in intervals helps prevent overcooking and drying the cake out.
- Allow cake to cool a few minutes before eating.
To aid you in your microwave adventures, here are some microwaving tips :
- Note that different microwaves are going to require different cook times. Feel free to add cook time until your food is ready according to the recipe.
- To ensure uniform cooking, arrange your food items evenly in a covered dish. Add some liquid if needed. Cover the dish with a lid or plastic wrap. Loosen or vent the lid or wrap to let steam escape. The moist heat that is created will help destroy harmful bacteria!
- Plastic one-time use storage containers such as margarine tubs and take-out containers should not be used in the microwave. These containers can warp or melt, possibly causing harmful chemicals to enter your food.
- Make sure to only use cookware that is specially marked for safe use in the microwave. Glass, ceramic containers, and all plastics should be labeled for microwave oven use. Look for symbols like the one below, with squiggly lines inside a simple microwave outline:
Now, go forth and microwave!
Written by Taylor Newman, PhD Candidate | Edited by Leslie Davis, RDN, LD, CDCES and the Nutrition Team