Many students at UC Davis are busy with class and simply don't have the time or energy to make an elaborate meal. Therefore, microwave meals are a popular option. Much of what passes as "microwave cooking" is actually reheating or thawing—but there are actually many foods that you can cook in the microwave that work pretty well. And if you're on campus, you can do your "cooking" in one of several campus microwaves.

See Also: Recipes

Note: Microwave heating times vary with each microwave.



  • Place paper towel on plate, layer bacon on top, cover with another paper towel. Microwave ~1 1/2 minutes.

Boneless Chicken Breast

  • One Breast: Cook 4.5-5.5 minutes on high. Cover with a sauce (BBQ, etc.) first if you want to preserve more moisture.
    • If frozen: set to defrost, heat for 5 minutes. Then cook as above.


  • Scrambled
    • Yogurt container method: crack an egg in to an old 3-4 inch diameter yogurt container. Beat with a little milk. Nuke 2 minutes. Voila, scrambled egg perfect for a bagel.
      • Alternative containers: small ceramic coffee mug.
  • Over-easy
    • Fork method: Use shallow ceramic or paper bowl. Spray bowl with Pam, or rub with butter (optional). Crack egg into bowl. Stab yolk with plastic fork, leaving fork inside the yolk. (The biggest problem with cooking unscrambled eggs in the microwave is that the yolk explode. This method keeps the yolk from leaking, but also lets it relieve pressure and thus not explode.) Cook on high for 43-53 seconds (800watt) with the fork still within the yolk throughout cooking.
    • "Eggie" Method: Walmart sells egg microwave devices called "Eggies". They are plastic "egg shaped" containers with a small hole at the top. This allows the egg to explode without making a mess. I recommend the "fork" method instead.

Louisiana Hot Links

  • Split in half lengthwise & microwave 2-3 minutes; veggies such as asparagus can be added, along with a sprinkling of Mrs. Dash (aka Molly McButter's stepmom)... no add'l water/oil needed.

Frozen Meatballs

  • Microwave 2 minutes... no add'l spices/water/oil needed.

Grains / Starches

"Baked" Potato

  • Pierce the skin, wrap in paper towel, nuke for 8 minutes or until done. It won't be as fluffy as it normally would be.

Yams/Sweet Potato

  • Same directions as above, reduce cooking time to 5-6 minutes. Results are better than potato.


  • Follow Directions on Container. Its recommended to boil the water separate from the ramen because it tends to overflow leaving a mess, and has an icky gummy texture.

Mi Kho (Vietnamese Dry Noodles) Tastes better than the name, and less MSG since its drained off.

  • 1-2 Cups of Shrimp Cup Ramen cooked according to directions and drained of soup. (You can drink the soup on the side, my dad likes it this way.)
  • 2 teaspoon of Soy Sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon of Lemon or Lime Juice (or more if you like it sour.)
  • a pinch of pepper or hotsauce (or more depending on taste. Recommend: use the kind with the chicken on the bottle.)
  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl and enjoy. Sip ramen soup on the side for lubrication.

Minute Rice

Regular Rice

  • Place 2 cups long grain rice, 3 1/2 cups water or stock, 1 1/2 teaspoons butter or oil, in a large bowl. Microwave on high, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Microwave on medium, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Do not stir the rice at any time during the cooking process. Season with salt and pepper and fluff with a fork.


Artichokes / Broccoli

  • Arrange plate of flowers, add a little water, cover with a paper towel, nuke 2-3 minutes

Green beans (frozen or fresh)/Asparagus

  • Submerge in water, heat for about 2-3 minutes, empty water, add olive oil and seasoning salt, heat for another 45 seconds.

Corn on the Cob

  • Place 4 ears of corn in dish with 1/4 cup water. Cover and microwave on High 6 to 8 minutes. Let stand 2 minutes and drain.
  • Or wrap each ear in waxed paper, place on paper towel and microwave 2 to 3 minutes per ear. Corn can be microwaved without husking; be very careful when removing husk to avoid steam burns.

Ranch Beans

    • 1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
    • 1 3/4 cups canned vegetarian baked beans
    • 1 3/4 cups canned red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
    • 2 Tbs. ketchup
    • 2 Tbs. molasses
    • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
    • Place all ingredient in a bowl and cover with wax paper. Cook on HIGH for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Any frozen vegetables with a dash of Mrs. Dash!

Main Dish Recipes

Mac, Cheese, & Meat

  • Combine EasyMac with water in CoHo mug as directed on package; after 2 minutes, add 4-5 frozen meatballs cut in half and microwave 2 minutes longer.

Salmon Filet

  • Sprinkle with Mrs. Dash, cover and microwave 4-6 minutes... add diced/frozen vegetables before cooking if desired.



  • Peanut butter one side of several graham crackers. Layer, peanut butter side up, on the bottom of a casserole dish. Sprinkle with miniature marshmallows, chopped salted peanuts (optional), and semi-sweet chocolate chips. Top with more graham crackers (peanut butter side down). Microwave uncovered High 1-2 minutes or until marshmallows are melted. Cool for at least 15mins.


  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts
    • Place ingredients (except nuts) in bowl; do not mix. Microwave on high for 2 minutes. Beat with electric mixer until smooth. Fold in nuts. Pour mixture into buttered 8x8 dish. Refrigerate 15-20 minutes until set. Cut into squares.

Peanut Brittle

  • 1 1/2 cups dry roasted peanuts
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 pinch salt (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • Grease a baking sheet, and set aside. In a glass bowl, combine peanuts, sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Cook in microwave for 6 to 7 minutes on High; mixture should be bubbly and peanuts browned. Stir in butter and vanilla; cook 2 to 3 minutes longer. Quickly stir in baking soda, just until mixture is foamy. Pour immediately onto greased baking sheet. Let cool 15 minutes, or until set. Break into pieces, and store in an airtight container.


Strawberry Liquers

  • 2 lbs. frozen strawberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 cups vodka
    • In large microwave bowl add strawberries with juice, sugar, cloves, cinnamon sticks (broken). Heat on medium high 10 minutes, until sugar is dissolved, stirring once. Continue cooking on low for 30 minutes, stirring twice. Add vodka, cover and let stand 3 to 4 days. Strain before serving or pour in bottles. Refrigerate.


  • In large bowl, combine 4 cups water and 8 tea bags for 8 minutes on high, turning bowl 1/2 turn every 4 minutes. Remove tea bags and add sugar to taste (same as regular tea). Put in one gallon container and add warm water.

Hot Cocoa

  • 5 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 dash salt
  • 3 tbsp hot water
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
    • Combine sugar, cocoa, salt and hot water in 1-quart measuring cup or coffee mug. Microwave on high for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes or until boiling. Add milk, stir and microwave an additional 1 1/2 to 2 minutes or until hot. Stir in vanilla, blend well.

General Ideas

  • Package a handful of frozen veggies in a disposable container with either a chicken breast, salmon, or some other meat and top it off with some seasonings. These are easy to make ahead of time and store in your freezer. Grab one on your way out the door, and by lunchtime it's partially defrosted and ready to zap!


  • Be careful when using older microwave ovens which may not adequately protect you from exposure to microwaves. Excessive microwave exposure can cause serious health problems, which is why the Soviets banned the use of microwaves in 1976.
  • Do not heat milk in the microwave if you are giving it to a baby. Because microwaves can heat unevenly, the milk can get very hot, even if it seems to be lukewarm. Overheating can also change the chemical structure of the milk.
  • Do not microwave metal unless you want to risk damaging your microwave, or the metal is included in a commercial microwave-safe product. When metal is microwaved, it gets really hot and sparks, and, depending on the shape, may cause arcs of electricity.
  • Do not microwave things in plastic dishes if you want to avoid toxins being released into you food.

A little bit of lemon / lime juice [ tablespoon ] in some water microwaved really helps cut the crud. When done right nastyness comes off with an easy swipe of a paper towel