How to Microwave Pasta

Experimenting in the Vegan Kitchen: Cooking Pasta in the Microwave

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It isn’t easy to cook pasta properly in the microwave. It can be a challenge getting it to come out just right.  Too long and it’s mushy.  Not long enough and it’s crunchy.  Pasta can be cooked in the microwave with a little patience and practice.

I made my first attempt about a year ago and it came out okay.  So, a few weeks ago, I decided to make some quinoa spaghetti.   Thinking I’d have less clean up, I decided to microwave it.  I couldn’t find my notes from the first time, so I followed the directions on the package.  The results were not pretty.  The spaghetti was gunky and  I ended up with twice the mess I would have had if I had boiled it on the stove like a normal person.

I think we’ve established I’m not normal.  Plus, I am on a mission!   These noodles aren’t going to beat me, no sirree!

I am determined to master microwaved pasta.  So, I made another attempt.  I found the directions that came with my microwave pot and followed those.  The results were much better this time.

Are you ready to microwave some vermicelli, rotini, or macaroni?  Don’t let those packaging writers lead you astray like they did me.  I’ll show you how it’s done, then give it a go.

Instructions for Microwaving Pasta

1. Combine 2 1/2 cups of water with 2 cups of pasta in a microwave safe container.

Mix dry pasta with water
Mix dry pasta with water

2. Place a plate in the microwave and put the bowl on that.

3. Cook on high for 5 minutes.

4. Stir mixture.  Then, microwave for another 5 minutes.

Quinoa Pasta with Hot water
Stir together, then return to the microwave.

5. Take the bowl out of the microwave.  Stir pasta again.

6. Then, cover with a lid with the vent holes closed (if it has them).

Cover the pasta for 5-10 minutes
Cover the pasta for 5-10 minutes

7. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes.

8. Drain if necessary.

The end product...cooked Fusilli
The end product…cooked Penne


The noodles weren’t nearly as soggy as my earlier attempt.  I did have to rinse them a little to get some of the goo off.  But, other than that they were thoroughly cooked and they tasted great.

I’m not sure if the brand or type makes a different.  These were different brands but similar blends:  quinoa/corn.  My messed up batch was spaghetti, this time I tried penne.

Have you microwaved pasta before?  What type did you use and how did it turn out?  Did you master this art the first time or did you have to work at it until you got it right?

Some Tips for Better Results

I learned a couple of things that will make my next attempt much easier.  I’m going to share those tips with you.

  • Select a microwave safe container that is tall as the pasta will expand.


  • Place a plate under the container in the microwave.  The water will boil and there will be a slimy goo that seeps over the edge of the container.  This will save you some cleanup time.  It’s easier to wash a plate than to clean the inside of your oven.
  • You are going to have to adjust the cooking time depending on the wattage of your microwave.  Mine is 1250 watts which was perfect.  I would start with the recommended time, then add 2-3 minutes until sufficiently cooked.
This is the residue that seeped over the pot
This is the residue that seeped over the edge of the pot

Now if I could just figure out how to lessen the mess, it would really be a success!

I mixed my noodles with some steamed vegetables. Dinner is served!

My dinner of penne and veggies
My dinner of penne and veggies

If you’re interested in getting a microwave steamer pot, you might like to read my review of the Nordic Ware Microwave Rice Cooker and Steamer.



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