A simple and quick meal, Microwave Pasta hits the spot when you have a craving for something comforting and ready in under 10 minutes. Follow our tips for how to cooked pasta in the microwave and the best sauces to go with it. A foolproof method and ideal if you are cooking for one or two.
If you have been wondering "can you cook pasta in the microwave?", then the answer is yes! This was a staple in my student days and I still continue to use this method when cooking small portions of pasta.
Cooking pasta in a microwave is a bit of a game changer, especially if you are living with limited cooking facilities. It's also quicker, as there is no need to boil the water first.
Why you will love it
- Quick and easy - No need to boil the water first, as cold water is mixed with the pasta and put in the microwave and then the cooking time is quicker too.
- Good for small portions - If you are just cooking for one, or even two, cooking pasta in the microwave is an easier option.
- Energy efficient - Microwaves are cheaper to cook with, instead of the hob. Especially if you are cooking a small portion.
- Adaptable - The great thing about microwave pasta is that there are SO many different ways that you can serve it. We have shared all our favourite pasta sauces below.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Pasta - You can use any pasta shape for this this recipe. We used penne, but fusilli works well too.
- Water - That's the only other ingredient. How simple is that?!
A full ingredients list with measurements is in the recipe card below.
How to cook pasta in the microwave - Step by step
One: Place the pasta in a microwave safe bowl. Cover with cold water, ensuring the pasta is completely covered.
Two: Put the bowl into the microwave and cook on high power for 8 minutes. Stir and then cook in one minute intervals until cooked to your liking.
Three: Drain and serve.
Why use a microwave to cook pasta?
Microwaves have gotten a bad reputation over the years. They have been called lazy and they have been called dangerous. But, if you are looking at these recipes then I am guessing that you don't believe either of those, and neither do we. Let's dispel those myths.
Firstly, there is no real evidence that shows that microwaves are dangerous to your health. You will find a lot of information on the internet to say they are, but nothing scientifically proven. Studies have shown that using a microwave might be better at preserving nutrients than other cooking methods.
Microwaves are for lazy people? Nope! That is such an ableist thing to say. There are many reasons why people might use a microwave as a convenient method of cooking, such as not being able to stand at the cooker for any length of time.
Also, microwaves tend to cook things much quicker, which is perfect for those with less time in the kitchen and you also don't usually need to do any stirring (although for this microwave pasta you do), which is perfect if you need something you can just put in and leave.
Sometimes the microwave can be a bit of a life saver. If your oven breaks, or you are having your kitchen renovated, you need to be able to make meals with just a microwave. Maybe you are living in accommodation with no/limited cooking facilities like a hotel/studio/student halls. We want to show just what you can do with a microwave. We also love them for smaller portions.
We have a full section of microwave recipes for you to try.
The great thing about cooking pasta in a microwave is that there is so many great ways to use it. We like to keep it simple with a sauce. We stirred in leftovers of our Tomato Pasta Sauce, but you could also use leftovers (to keep it quick) of our Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce, Slow Cooker Hidden Vegetable Pasta Sauce, or Arrabiata Sauce.
We also like to stir through some butter, cream cheese or Mixed Herb Pesto. You can make a simple mac and cheese by stirring in some milk and grated cheese when it's finished and cooking for a couple of minutes longer.
Store: Any leftover microwave pasta can be stored in an air tight container in the fridge and it should keep for 2 days. If you are storing pasta that hasn't been mixed with a sauce, then it will need to be mixed with olive oil to stop it from clumping.
Freeze: Microwave pasta mixed with sauce can be stored in a freezer container and kept in the freezer for up to 2 months.
Defrost: You can defrost it in the fridge overnight.
Reheat: You can reheat it in the microwave for 2 minutes, until hot through.
Frequently Asked Questions
Every microwave is different, so they will all cook at different rates. If yours needs longer, then cook until it is cooked to your liking. We like our pasta al dente, but others like it softer.
Yes, you can use this method to cook spaghetti in the microwave. It will cook a little quicker too, as it's thinner.
Yes, you can. It may take a couple of minutes longer though.
More pasta recipes
- 120 g (4.25 oz) Dried pasta
- Place the pasta in a microwave safe bowl. Cover with cold water, ensuring the pasta is completely covered.
- Put the bowl into the microwave and cook on high power for 8 minutes. Stir and then cook in one minute intervals until cooked to your liking.
- Drain and serve.
- Make sure to use a big enough microwave safe bowl. You need to allow for the pasta to expand, as it will double in size.
- If you want to keep this microwave pasta really simple, and don't want to cook a sauce to go with it, simply stir in some butter and olive oil with salt, pepper and fresh herbs.
- You can cook a small portion of pasta in a mug.
The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using online tools. Information can vary depending on various factors, but we have endeavoured to be as accurate as possible.