Learning how to cook pasta in the microwave can simplify cooking for people who don't want to spend hours in the kitchen! This cooking method results in perfectly cooked pasta in just 15 minutes!
Whether you're living a busy life or don't have access to a stovetop, microwave recipes are a great way to prepare healthy and delicious meals in less time.
For this recipe, you don't need a microwave pasta cooker or some other fancy-ish tools. Only a large bowl, pasta noodles, water, and salt.
You can then use the pasta in almost all pasta dishes like vegan pasta bake or pasta salad. Or, you can just add your favorite sauce, throw in some veggies and call it a meal!
Can You Cook Pasta In The Microwave?
Yes! A common misconception is that you can't cook pasta in the microwave or that it turns out unedible. But with the right cooking method, you can have the perfect bowl of pasta within 15 minutes or less, and you won't even need the stovetop!
Ingredients You'll Need
Get all the details on these simple ingredients in the recipe card at the post's bottom.
- Short pasta: This recipe works best with dry pasta. Fresh pasta won't work here and it will most likely fall apart. Also, using small-shaped pasta like farfalle, fusilli, penne, or macaroni will give you the best results.
- Water: You'll need cold water to cover the pasta.
- Salt: For salting the pasta water.
- Olive oil: For coating the pasta once it's drained, this prevents it from sticking.
How to Cook Pasta in The Microwave
To a microwave-safe bowl, add your pasta of choice. Make sure to use a deep enough bowl so that it has room for the pasta to expand (it doubles in volume while cooking).
Pour water and add a generous sprinkle of salt and stir. Make sure that the pasta is fully submerged to prevent it from drying out.
If you're concerned about the water boiling over, you can add plastic wrap over the bowl.
Microwave at full power for 2-3 minutes more than what the packaging says. Make sure to stir every 1-2 minutes after the halfway mark.
Towards the last 1-2 minutes, taste the pasta and microwave in 30-second intervals, cooking until it's al dente.
Once ready, drain through a colander to remove excess water. Toss with olive oil to prevent sticking.
Serve with your favorite pasta sauce (warm it in the microwave if needed), and any toppings of choice!
- Use cold water to cover the pasta. When testing this recipe, I found that adding hot water changes the texture of the pasta and makes it easier to overcook it. For best results, stick to cold water.
- Use enough water. The number one mistake people make when learning how to cook pasta in the microwave is not adding enough water. This makes the pasta dry out, stick together, and overall become a hot mess. The rule of thumb is to have 2 inches (5cm) of water above the pasta. If while cooking you see that there is not enough water, feel free to add more!
- Add salt to the water before cooking. This is important in order to flavor the pasta from the inside out.
- Stir to prevent the pasta from sticking. Don't walk away from the microwave and forget about it! Stir every few minutes to make sure your pasta doesn't stick and fall apart.
- You can also make this using whole-wheat pasta, which has more fiber than regular pasta. Note that whole wheat pasta takes longer to cook, so you will need to microwave it for a few more minutes.
- Adjust the cooking time if needed. Not only every microwave is different, but every pasta type is different as well. The amount of time you need to cook it until al dente, as well as the amount of water, will change depending on those factors, so make sure to adjust those accordingly.
Frequently Asked Questions
For best results, stick to small-shaped dry pasta like farfalle, fusilli, penne, macaroni, or small pasta shells. Long pasta like spaghetti noodles won't cook evenly and will stick.
A general rule is to cook it for 2-3 minutes more than what is written on the packing. For example, if it says to cook for 10 minutes until al dente, you'll need to cook it for 12-13 minutes. However, this can change based on what brand of pasta you're using, as well as the power of your microwave, so make sure to keep an eye on it and adjust the time if needed.
Taste it. That's the best you can check for doneness no matter how you're cooking your pasta. When biting into it the pasta should be chewy and firm to the bite, but not crunchy and hard (this means it's undercooked). If your pasta is so soft that it falls apart, it's probably overcooked.
Yes, if done right, microwaved pasta can be just as good as one cooked on the stovetop!
Add pasta to a microwaveable bowl and add a splash of water to bring back some moisture. Microwave for 1-2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds or so until warmed through.
Yes, but it can be tricky. Since gluten-free noodles can overcook and turn into mush easily, you need to pay extra attention when preparing them in the microwave.
Make sure to add enough water to cover, then start microwaving in 2-minute intervals, stirring often, until your noodles are al dente.
Gluten-free noodles differ drastically from brand to brand, so It's hard to tell what the total cooking time would be. Using the taste test method is the best way to determine if they're done.
These microwave noodles can be used in endless dishes to make quick and simple meals.
An easy way to serve them is to dress the plain pasta with melted butter, black pepper, and parmesan cheese. Serve it as a side dish to Italian-style Impossible meatballs or Beyond meat meatloaf. If you're looking for more ideas, check out my 35 Best Side Dishes for Pasta.
Another thing you can do is toss the pasta with your favorite sauce like vegan vodka sauce, bechamel sauce, and tomato pumpkin sauce, or better yet, make a vegan mac and cheese.
You can also use it to make tofu tomato pasta, hummus pasta, or Southwest lentil pasta salad.
Let cool to room temperature then store in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days!
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How to Cook Pasta in The Microwave
- 1 cup dry small-shaped pasta such as farfalle, fusilli, penne, or macaroni
- 2 cups cold water
- 1-2 teaspoon olive oil, to prevent sticking
- Sea salt, to salt the pasta water
- To a microwave-safe bowl, add your pasta of choice. Make sure to use a deep enough bowl so that it has room for the pasta to expand (it doubles in volume while cooking).
- Pour water and add a generous sprinkle of salt and stir. Make sure that the pasta is fully submerged to prevent it from drying out. If you're concerned about the water boiling over, you can add plastic wrap over the bowl.
- Microwave at full power for 2-3 minutes more than what the packaging says. Make sure to stir every 1-2 minutes after the halfway mark.
- Towards the last 1-2 minutes, taste the pasta and microwave in 30-second intervals, cooking until it's al dente. You know it's ready when you taste it, and the pasta is chewy and firm to the bite.
- Once ready, drain through a colander to remove excess water. Toss with olive oil to prevent sticking. Serve with your favorite pasta sauce (warm it in the microwave if needed), and any toppings of choice!
(Please refer to the post above for instructional photographs and other helpful information for this recipe)
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