Can You Microwave Pasta?

Cooking pasta in the microwave is not as simple as tossing it into a bowl, zapping it for 10 minutes and eating. The method is actually a little more complex so keep reading to learn how to effectively cook pasta using a microwave.

How to Microwave Pasta

Microwaving pasta isn’t a difficult process, but there are a few things you need to get right, or you will end up with a mess of overspilled water in the microwave.

Microwaving pasta isn’t the quickest method and will take longer than if you cooked it on the stove as you usually would! However, you don’t always have easy access to the facilities, so a microwave will work well in a pinch.

Follow this method for successfully cooked pasta in the microwave.

  1. Prepare Ingredients
    You will need to gather the ingredients and equipment you need first. You need your pasta, a large microwavable bowl and a large plate that is safe to put in the microwave.
  2. Place Pasta Into a Microwave-Safe Dish
    Pop your pasta into the microwavable bowl. You will need to measure out about half a cup of pasta. The bowl needs to be large enough for the pasta to expand into and to ensure you have enough water for the pasta to cook in.
  3. Add Water
    You need to ensure the pasta is covered and then fill until the water is a good inch or two above the level of the pasta. This is because the pasta will expand as it cooks, and it needs to remain submerged in water the whole time it is cooking. 
  4. Place Into the Microwave
    Put the bowl on top of the plate and put this into the microwave. The plate helps prevent too much of a mess if the water boils over a little in the microwave.
  5. Microwave
    Check the instructions on the packet of pasta for the time it should cook in. You need to add three to four minutes to this time and put the microwave on for this amount of time. Once the time is up, check you are happy with the pasta. If it isn’t quite done, pop it back into the microwave for thirty-second intervals until it is done.
  6. Drain
    Drain the water and serve the pasta as usual.

Microwaved Pasta

3 Tips for Microwaving Pasta

If you’re going to cook pasta in the microwave, then make sure you read these three tips first:

  • Pre-Boil Water – If you want to speed up the cooking process a little, you can boil some water in the kettle and use that to pour into the bowl before microwaving. This is instead of using cold water. This means you won’t need to add the extra three or four minutes, and the pasta should cook in the time given on the packet.
  • Use a Large Bowl – Make sure you use a large enough bowl for microwaving the pasta. You need quite a lot of water, and you still need to leave space for the water to bubble ad the pasta to expand. The water level should be an inch or two above the pasta, and the bowl needs to have a good two-inch gap at the top to allow the water to bubble as it boils.
  • Don’t Bother – Whilst you can microwave pasta, you may not want to! It doesn’t save you any time, and it is a little trickier than just cooking it in the usual way. It’s only worthwhile doing if you do not have access to a hob.

Advantages of Microwaved Pasta

Although we’ve briefly mentioned the disadvantages to using the microwave, there are actually some benefits:

  1. Convenient
    The major advantage of cooking pasta in the microwave is if you don’t have access to a stovetop in order to cook the pasta in the traditional way by boiling it in water.
  2. Great for Reheating
    Whilst it may not be the best option to cook pasta in the first place, a microwave is a fantastic option for reheating pasta that has already been cooked. It’s easy and quick and doesn’t change the pasta too much while it is heating it.

Disadvantages of Microwaved Pasta

Unfortunately, as you’ve probably guessed, there are some drawbacks to using the microwave to cook pasta:

  1. It Takes Longer
    The biggest disadvantage of cooking pasta in the microwave is that it is slower. It takes up to four or five minutes longer than it would do if you cooked it on the stove in the usual method.
  2. Can Be Fiddly
    Another disadvantage of microwaving pasta is that it’s a little fiddly to do. The water can easily boil over and make a mess in the microwave. You need a huge bowl to stop this from happening, and even then, there is no guarantee the water won’t boil over.

How to Reheat Pasta in the Microwave

Reheating pasta in the microwave is a straightforward process. You take the pasta and ensure it is in a microwaveable bowl. Pop this into the microwave and heat it for a couple of minutes. Stir it and repeat the microwaving process for another minute until it is piping hot throughout.

How to Defrost Pasta in the Microwave

You can defrost frozen pasta using the microwave. Ensure the frozen and cooked pasta is in a microwavable bowl and put into the microwave on a defrost setting. Set the timer for two minutes and then stir it. Repeat this process until the pasta is completely thawed out.

Final Summary

You can cook pasta in the microwave, but we would only recommend that you do this if you have no access to traditional methods for cooking it. It actually takes longer to cook pasta in the microwave by about three to four minutes than it would cook if you cooked it on the stove.