Can you cook macaroni and cheese in the microwave?

Can you cook macaroni and cheese in the microwave?

Can you cook macaroni and cheese in the microwave?

Macaroni and cheese is a classic, comforting dish that many people enjoy. It is typically cooked in an oven or on the stovetop, but what if you don’t have either of these options available? Can you cook macaroni and cheese in the microwave instead? 

The short answer is Yes, you absolutely can cook macaroni and cheese in the microwave. 

In this blog post, we’ll explore the answer to this question while providing step-by-step instructions so you can make delicious microwaved macaroni and cheese when time or access to traditional cooking methods is limited.

About macaroni and cheese

About macaroni and cheese

Macaroni and cheese is a classic dish made from boiled macaroni noodles mixed with a creamy cheese sauce. The most common type of cheese used for this dish is cheddar, but some variations use other types of cheese such as mozzarella or parmesan.

The great thing about macaroni and cheese is that it’s incredibly versatile. You can serve it plain, topped with breadcrumbs, herbs, bacon bits, or even vegetables like broccoli or spinach.

Can you cook macaroni and cheese in the microwave?

Can you cook macaroni and cheese in the microwave?

Yes, you can cook macaroni and cheese in the microwave. It may not be quite as good as when cooked on the stovetop or in an oven, but it is still possible to make a tasty dish with the microwave.


  • 1/2 cup of cheese, of your choice 
  • 1/2 cup dried macaroni or shell pasta
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup milk, any percent
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup shredded cheese, such as cheddar, Monterey Jack, or provolone
  • Extra add-ins: diced vegetables, shredded or cubed cooked meat, cubed tofu, salsa, dried mustard, chili powder

Instructions for cooking macaroni and cheese in the microwave

Step 1 – Combine pasta with water and salt in a deep, microwave-safe bowl. Give it a good stir to evenly mix the ingredients.

Step 2 – Heat the pasta in the microwave for 2 minutes on high power. Afterward, give it a quick stir. Keep an eye out for any foam coming out of the bowl – if you see some, stir earlier if needed. And if you need to transfer the bowl, be sure to use protective gear like oven mitts or a kitchen towel.

Step 3 – Continue microwaving in 2-minute intervals, making sure to stir between each one until the pasta is soft and cooked through. Depending on your microwave strength, this process should take 4-8 minutes more. But watch closely, should the pasta absorb all the water before it’s fully cooked, add 2 more tablespoons of water. 

Step 4 – To achieve a delicious pasta dish, simply incorporate these easy steps: First, use oven mitts or a kitchen towel to remove the bowl from the microwave. Next, stir in a delicious combination of milk, cheese, and any extra add-ins that may be desired. 

Step 5 – For a delicious and creamy cheese sauce, use your microwave in 30-second intervals. Start by microwaving on high power for 30 seconds, then give the cheese a good stir. Repeat this process in 30-second intervals, stirring between each one, until the cheese is melted to perfection and a creamy consistency has formed. This should take about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes in total. To make the sauce even creamier, add 1 or 2 tablespoons of milk and cheese. 

Step 6 – For optimal enjoyment, it is recommended that you consume this mac and cheese right after microwaving it to ensure a piping hot sensation. If you need to reheat it, don’t forget to add an extra splash of milk to retain its deliciousness and optimal texture.


Why your noodles are not tender yet?

If you are wondering why your noodles are still too firm, despite cooking them for the recommended time, there might be a few possible causes. If you used a non-wheat-based pasta noodle, such as brown rice or chickpea, the cooking time and water ratio might need to be adjusted. Gluten-free alternatives have not been widely tested, and therefore their cooking behavior might be different from that of traditional wheat-based pasta. If you decide to experiment with gluten-free noodles, please let me know how it turns out, as I am curious about their taste and texture.

If you used regular noodles, there might be other factors that affect their tenderness. Sometimes, the amount of water used might not be enough to fully hydrate the noodles during cooking, especially if the heat is too high or uneven. To fix this, add a bit more water, cover the container with a lid or a microwave-safe wrap, and microwave the noodles in short intervals, such as 30 seconds, until they reach the desired texture. Be patient and check on the noodles frequently, as overcooking them can lead to mushy or clumpy noodles that are hard to swallow. With a bit of trial and error, you should be able to achieve a perfectly tender and delicious noodle dish every time.


In conclusion, it is not only possible to make macaroni and cheese in a microwave but the results can be delicious if done correctly. While stovetop recipes will take more time, microwave recipes can produce an edible meal in minutes. If you are looking for a hassle-free lunch or dinner option that requires minimal effort, why not give this easy microwave macaroni and cheese recipe a try?

With its creamy sauce, cheesy topping, and light crunchiness, it is sure to satisfy your hunger any time of day. There is no denying that using the stovetop method may be preferred for more complex recipes; however, the microwave can prove itself to be an incredibly valuable kitchen tool when you are in a rush or have light requirements from your dish. Next time you have a craving for macaroni and cheese, consider whipping up a bowl of this simple microwavable dish!


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