Microwave cooking has never been more of a time-saver than it will be once you check out this list of microwave hacks. Save time, and some serious hassle, with these genius techniques–from microwavable rice, to dried herbs, and more.

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Thanks to the trusty microwave oven, cooking has become easier and faster. If you only use this kitchen appliance to reheat leftovers, you are seriously missing out on all that it can do.

Your microwave can do SO much more than simply warm-up/ cook food. You can ALSO perform some pretty cool microwave tricks that will cut your kitchen time in half, and make your job easier, in more ways than one.

Related Post: 20 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Cook In the Microwave

Microwave Cooking: 17 Time-Saving Microwave Hacks

We have gathered up 17 genius time-saving, microwave-safe dishes that will absolutely blow your mind. Check them out!

Mug Cakes | One Crazy House

Mug cakes are all the rage right now because they are single-serving “cakes” that you can “bake” in your microwave. Usually ready in about 1 minute, they are perfect for families who may not want to keep a lot of desserts sitting around – or who can’t agree on just one flavor!

pumpkin spice mug cake

Corn on the Cob | Made in a Pinch

Corn on the cob is a summer staple side dish, but it can also take a long time to prepare. If you shuck and boil it, you’re looking at 30+ minutes (that’s not gonna work on busy nights). 

Instead, microwave your corn on the cob in a microwave-safe bowl. It only takes a few minutes, and even makes shucking your corn faster and easier. This is the perfect weeknight side dish, and it will make your cookouts, and feeding a crowd, a lot simpler!

microwave corn on a plate

Poached Eggs | Bon Appétit

Do you love warm, runny yolks, surrounded by silky, firm whites? Look up how to make poached eggs, and you’ll find multiple methods, but this one is an old restaurant hack that makes perfect poached eggs every time–without a big mess. Bonus: not only does it turn out perfectly, this hardly takes any time at all!

poached egg on white background

Get More Juice From Your Citrus | The Spruce Eats

If you’re going to the trouble of juicing fresh citrus fruit, get the most juice you can from each fruit. Microwaving the fruit (for a short period) helps to make it easier to squeeze and release its juice. This same hack can be used for limes, grapefruit, and oranges, too. 

cut lemon on a juicer

Soften Butter | My Baking Addiction  

Recipes often call for softened, or room temperature butter. I’ll be the first to admit that more often than not, I don’t look down far enough in the recipe ahead of time to see when I need to have softened butter ready.

Instead of delaying making your recipe–or worse, straight-up melting your butter, stick it in your microwave. In 20-25 seconds (using this method), you’ll have a perfectly softened stick of butter, instead of a pool of butter soup!

cut butter on a plate

Make a Baked Potato | The Kitchn

If you bake a potato in the oven, you’re looking at over an hour of bake time, plus the time it takes to preheat the oven. On busy nights, you don’t have time to wait almost an hour and a half.

Enjoy a baked potato in a fraction of the time (about 5 minutes) by microwaving it! And cooking for a second at the same time only takes slightly longer. It’s as easy as washing, poking, and microwaving your potato.

baked potato on a plate with a pat of butter

Microwave Rice | Steamy Kitchen

On the stove, in a rice cooker…or in the microwave. There are several ways to cook rice, but this microwave rice recipe will give you tender rice every time. 

Think microwave rice won’t taste or smell the same as rice cooked in your expensive rice cooker? Think again. Evenly cooked, fluffy rice, every time.

bowl of microwaved rice

Steam Veggies | Spoon University 

If you hate soggy vegetables, stop cooking them on the stovetop, and steam them in the microwave, instead! Virtually foolproof, and definitely quick and easy, you can enjoy steamed veggies such as broccoli, green beans, and asparagus in no time.

close up of steamed veggies

Roasted Garlic | Just Microwave It

Roasted garlic cloves are most commonly cooked in an oven, but you can also make it in the microwave. Garlic won’t turn brown in the microwave or be quite as aromatic. However, it will peel extremely easily and is a huge time-saver.

Plate of roasted garlic cloves

Cook Dried Beans | Slow Food Fast 

Here’s another instance where the microwave will save you time and hassle: hydrating and cooking dried beans.

This method for cooking beans in the microwave will yield plump beans with unbroken skin.

microwaved dry beans

Dry Herbs | The View From Great Island   

Do you grow your own herbs, like rosemary and basil? Take those fresh herbs at the end of the growing season, and dry them in the microwave. The microwave will preserve their flavor and color

microwaved dry herbs

Potato Chips | Bigger Bolder Baking  

Potato chips are a classic snack–that salty, flavored goodness is addictively delicious. Most potato chips are fried, adding unnecessary fat and calories.

Try microwaving your own potato chips! Now, instead of enjoying potato chips as a guilty pleasure, you can chow down on crispy, crunchy morsels and feel good about it.

homemade microwave chips

Froth Milk | The Kitchn

Don’t have a frother? No problem. Use your microwave, and just a little bit of arm power to froth your own milk. Make your own lattes at home and add frothed milk, with a dollop of foam on top.

jar of frothed milk

Microwave Risotto | Alberta Milk

Risotto is notoriously finicky to prepare on the stove. Now you can enjoy delicious, flavorful, creamy risotto without the hassle or time it takes to cook on the stovetop.

microwave risotto with veggies in it

Microwave Pasta | Tablespoon 

Microwave pasta couldn’t be any easier to make. It’s also a time-saver, especially if you’re only making dinner for one…or two. Simply add water to your bowl of pasta, microwave, then add your favorite sauce.

microwave pasta with sauce

Microwave Quesadilla | Ginny’s Circle

Dinner (or an after school snack) in 1 minute. Simply add cheese between two tortillas and microwave for less than 60 seconds. It’s delicious and perfect for a meal in a flash.

cut up microwaved quesadilla

Mulled Cider | Food.com  

Don’t have time to let your mulled cider cook in your slow cooker? Make it in the microwave in a fraction of the time. It’s still just as delicious and easy to make in smaller quantities if you are only serving a couple of people rather than a house full of guests.

glass of mulled cider

From frothed milk, to dried herbs, to cooking rice in the microwave, this list of microwave cooking hacks will absolutely change your life! What other microwave hacks do you use?

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