Our easy recipe for Microwave Poached Eggs gives you the perfect poached egg in just 1 minute. Cooked whites and runny yolk, all cooked in a cup in the microwave. This recipe has all the tips to get a perfectly cooked poached egg every time, for a quick and easy breakfast.
This is seriously the easiest way to poach an egg, and so much quicker too - all you need is a mug and a microwave. We want to show you that healthy eating can be quick and easy too.
These poached eggs are perfect for a speedy breakfast, or to put on top of something a bit more filling for lunch. No need to use a big pan or wait for the water to boil, and perfect for when you want just one egg.
Why you will love it
- Perfect eggs every time - Once you have experimented a little with making this in your own microwave and getting the cooking times right, you will have perfect eggs every time. Make sure you read through all our FAQs and extra tips.
- Quick and easy - These microwave poached eggs are ready in just 1 minute. Perfect for a healthy breakfast on those busy mornings.
- Versatile - There is so much that you can do with a poached egg, and far more than just serving it on toast. We have given all our favourite serving suggestions below.
- Eggs - This is really the only ingredient. Make sure to use the freshest eggs you can and bring them to room temperature before using. We used a medium sized egg. The size of the egg will vary the cooking time.
- Water - For the perfect poached eggs, the water should be room temperature, but we have spoken more about that below.
A full ingredients list with measurements is in the recipe card below.
How to poach an egg in the microwave - Step by step
One: Put 130ml of room temperature water in a mug. Gently crack the egg in to the water. Using a toothpick or sharp knife, pierce the egg yolk a couple of times.
Two: Put in the microwave and cover with a microwaveable plate and cook on high for 30 seconds.
Three: Remove the plate and and check to see if the whites are cooked. If not, put the plate back on and put it back in the oven for 10 seconds and check again. It may need another 10 seconds.
Four: Using a spoon or a little sieve, remove the eggs and place them on a piece of kitchen towel.
This recipe does take a bit of practise to get the timings right for using your microwave, but it's so simple! Make sure you read all our tips for avoiding mistakes and learn how to make poached eggs in the microwave. This shortcut recipe is honestly going to change your life. If poached eggs are a big part of your life of course.
Why use a microwave?
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. However, 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, 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.
Health benefits of eggs
Eggs are delicious and nutritious, not to mention a great budget friendly ingredient for making versatile meals. They are a great source of protein, Omega-3s and "good" cholesterol. They are a good source of vitamin B12, B6, vitamin D, selenium, and other important minerals!
What to serve with microwave poached eggs
If you are eating them by themselves, then a pinch of good sea salt and pepper adds loads of flavour. We are also partial to a good splash of hot sauce on these too.
Some kind of bread is a must with poached eggs, right? We love serving these with our Homemade Easy Bagels. Or if you want to try making your own loaf of bread, then why not try our Easy White Loaf Recipe? You could also fold them up in our Homemade Flatbreads with some beans, salsa and guacamole for a breakfast wrap/burrito.
If you want to add some greens to your breakfast, then some spinach cooked in a little butter, or even raw goes well with these eggs. It's also a good way to use up leftovers of our Lemon Roasted Asparagus and makes these feel a little more special - breakfast for a Sunday brunch.
Here are some other things that you can add a poached egg to:
- They are great in a bacon sandwich
- Add one to a burger
- Put one on top of a pizza
- Top a salad with a poached egg
- Make a simple spaghetti dish using our easy pasta sauce and top with a poached egg
- Shakshuka is a way of poaching eggs in a spicy tomato sauce - great for breakfast, lunch or dinner
- Huevos Rancheros - a traditional Mexican breakfast that can use poached or fried egg
- Top a comforting stew with a poached egg
- Add it to the top of Nasi Goreng (Indonesian Fried Rice) instead of the traditional omelette.
Store: You can actually store poached eggs really well. So feel free to make a few of them for even quicker meals for the rest of the week. When then are cooled, transfer them in to a bowl of very cold water to stop them cooking. Once the microwave poached eggs have cooled, you can transfer them to a sealable, air tight container and then cover them with cold water. Cover and store in the fridge for up to five days.
Reheat: You can also reheat any poached eggs that you have stored. Don't add them to boiling water, as this will be too hot and will cause the eggs to overcook. Instead, the water from your hot tap should be enough. Fill a large bowl with hot water from the tap and carefully lower the eggs in to the bowl and leave for about 2 minutes. This should be enough to warm them through. Use a slotted spoon to lift them out and they are ready to serve.
Frequently Asked Questions
We have found that a microwaveable coffee mug is best for cooking these in. However, you could use a ramekin that is suitable for the microwave too.
No, there is no need to add vinegar if you are using fresh eggs. However, if you are finding that your eggs are falling apart when you crack them in to the water, then you can add a little bit of vinegar, which will help to keep them together.
Microwave cooking temperatures can vary massively, so there will be a little trial and error when you first make this, so you can find the exact cooking time using your microwave. The perfect poached egg should have a runny yolk and opaque white. You don't want to overcook the eggs!
In our microwave (our is 1,000 watts) it takes about 50 seconds and this is what we have found when we have made this in other microwaves when travelling too. But use that as a guide. It will depend on how powerful your microwave is, the type of cup/bowl you use and also the size of your eggs (we used medium). No matter what the wattage of your microwave, use the HIGH setting.
If you are wanted a hard yolk, then you will need to cook it for about 1 minute 30 seconds total.
Yes, as long as there is no cross contamination, then this can be gluten free. Just be careful that whatever you are serving it with is gluten free too.
If your yolk is not runny, then it is over cooked. By cooking it for 10 seconds at a time after the initial 30 seconds, you can check on it regularly. Your microwave might also be really powerful, and you might just need to cook it for 15 seconds the first time, and then 10 seconds at a time after that. Make sure to remove the eggs from the water right away, as this will stop them continuing to cook.
If they are still runny, then you will need to cook them for 10 seconds at a time more, until they are cooked through. You could also take it out of the microwave and let it rest for 1 minute before scooping it out. This would help the whites to set, without overcooking the yolk.
If you cook these too quickly, or for too long, the steam will build up and if it can't release fast enough then it will cause it to explode. That is why after the initial 30 seconds cooking, you want to just cook it for 10 seconds at a time until it is cooked. The difference between a perfectly poached egg and an overcooked one can be just 10 seconds. Piercing the yolk also stops the egg from exploding and this is essential if you want a hard yolk.
Using room temperature water can take a bit longer, if you need to wait for the water to get to room temperature. We use what has cooled from the kettle after making coffee or you can heat some water in the microwave. So, you can use cold water (but not super cold), but cooking times will vary.
Yes, you can cook 2 eggs at a time, but you will need to use a bowl for this. You will need to use about 500ml of water, which will give the eggs enough time to move. Heat the water in the microwave a little first and then add the eggs. They will need about 1 minute 10 seconds total cooking time, following the same method for just one egg.
More egg recipes
Now you know how to make poached eggs in the microwave, let us know how you got on in the comments below.
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Microwave Poached Eggs
- 1 Egg - medium
- 130 ml (0.5 cups) Water - room temperature
- Put 130ml of room temperature water in a mug.
- Gently crack the egg in to the water.
- Using a toothpick or sharp knife, pierce the egg yolk a couple of times.
- Put in the microwave and cover with a microwaveable plate and cook on high for 30 seconds.
- Remove the plate and and check to see if the whites are cooked. If not, put the plate back on and put it back in the oven for 10 seconds and check again. It may need another 10 seconds.
- Using a spoon or a little sieve, remove the eggs and place them on a piece of kitchen towel.
- Let refrigerated eggs reach room temperature before poaching.
- Fresh eggs are always best, because they will hold their shape better and give you perfect poached eggs. Place the egg in a bowl of water, and if it sinks, it is fresh. Floating eggs should be thrown away because they are too old.
- If you are having trouble cracking your egg straight in to the cup, then crack it into a small ramekin first and then pour that into the cup.
- The amount of water you use will depend on what you are cooking the egg in. We used a mug, so just needed 130ml (0.5 cup). If you are using a bowl, you might need to use more, just make sure the egg is covered by 1 inch of water.
- Make sure you cover the cup with a plate. This stops the steam escaping and keeps the water at the temperature needed to cook the egg.
- If you want to avoid soggy eggs, drain off the excess water by placing them on a paper towel before serving.
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.