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How to Cook Pasta in Microwave

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Do you need to make quick pasta for lunch or dinner? Microwaving pasta is an easy way to fulfill your hungry belly, and fresh cooked pasta are healthier than instant pasta meals from the frozen section.

Whether you are making tomato, cream or olive oil based, cooking pasta in the microwave is easy without needing a stove to boil pasta noodles and cook the sauce. 

How to cook pasta in microwave? Add single serving of dry pasta to the microwave-safe bowl and fill with water. Ensure the water level tops the pasta by a couple of inches.

Place the bowl on top of a microwaveable plate to catch any water from boiling over as it begins to cook.

Nuke on high power for 3 to 4 minutes and test for doneness. If needed, continue microwaving for 30 second intervals until the pasta is cooked through. 

Strain the pasta from remaining water and transfer to a serving plate or bowl. Pour hot sauce, sprinkle grated cheese, or add any of your favorite toppings before serving. 

From spaghetti to Mac and cheese, there are variety of pastas that you can cook in the microwave. It is an easy time saver that you can achieve within 5 minutes compared to stove top cooking.

The key is to boil the dry pasta noodles correctly and the rest is at ease. 

In this article, we are going to share the expert tips and time to cook pasta in the microwave efficiently. Answered below are frequently asked questions about microwaving pasta to perfect doneness every time.

Can you cook plain pasta in the microwave?

Yes, you can cook plain pasta in the microwave in under 5 minutes. It is the easiest way compared to using a stovetop to cook dried noodles.

The shape of the pasta noodle may affect the amount of water and cooking time based on the microwave wattage. Therefore, it is recommended to review the cooking instructions for the noodles and refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for the microwave appliance. 

How long should I microwave pasta?

Typically, a single serving pasta packet may take about 3 to 6 minutes of cooking time in the microwave. But if you are making more than 1 serving, it may take a little longer. 

Depending on the type of pasta noodle, the microwave time may vary.

  • Penne: 9 minutes
  • Fusilli: 6 minutes
  • Macaroni: 5 minutes
  • Spaghetti: 4 minutes
  • Angel hair: 3 minutes

These cooking times are based on single servings and starting with cold water. If you are using boiling water to cook pasta in the microwave, consider adding 1 tablespoon of oil and fill up the hot water that covers the noodle at least 2 inches or 5 cm above.

Coating with oil will help from glueing together as they cook in the microwave. The cooking time will be reduced and takes only 2 to 3 minutes in total. 

How do you cook hard pasta in microwave?

To cook hard pasta, stove top is not the only solution. Microwave is alternative way to cook and prepare a pasta dish in less than 10 minutes.

Add dry hard pasta to a deep microwaveable bowl and pour water to cover. Make sure all the pasta is completely submerged, place the bowl in the microwave and cook on full power for 3 minutes to start with.

Stir the pasta halfway through to ensure it does not stick together. Check the doneness, and if necessary continue to microwave for 30 second intervals until the pasta is cooked through.

Carefully drain the water away using a colander, and serve with your favorite pasta sauce and toppings. If needed, reheat the pasta sauce in the microwave for a hot and tasty combination. 

When the pasta is cooked but no water is left, then the pasta may not have hydrated all the way through. Therefore, add an extra 100ml of water and this will much depend on the pasta type you are using and how much moisture is required for proper doneness. 

Tips to cook pasta in microwave

Delicious and nutritious, pasta dishes are so easy to prepare when using a microwave. From cooking hard noodles to reheating pasta, it cuts meal prepping time in half.

Depending on the serving size, type of noodle and sauce type, the cooking time and process varies slightly. 

Here are tips to cook pasta in the microwave:

  • Add a microwave-safe plate under the bowl in case the water boils over and minimize the mess while cooking pasta in the microwave. 
  • Cover with a lid or plastic wrap to prevent from splashing.
  • Coat the hard pasta with olive or vegetable oil to avoid noodles from clumping with each other. 
  • Fill the water enough so the noodles are submerged at least 2 inches deep in the container.
  • Add additional 100ml water between the intervals to prevent pasta from burning or not cooking enough.
  • If available, use a microwave pasta cooker to cook the noodle more evenly in the appliance. 

Best way to cook pasta in microwave

The best way to cook pasta in the microwave is adding correct amount of water and applying the proper cooking time. The type of noodle, serving size and microwave wattage can totally change the game.

Review the pasta noodle cooking instructions to understand the suggested cooking time. 

Transfer desired amount of dry pasta into a microwave-safe bowl. Fill up with cold or boiling water and make sure the water tops 2 inches above the pasta.

If uncertain, place a plate that is microwave-safe underneath to catch any boiling water that spills over while nuking.

Microwave on high 100% power to cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Check the doneness and determine the cooking time based on the instructions.

If needed, increase with additional 30 second intervals of time until the pasta noodles are cooked through. 

Drain the extra water out and add heated up pasta sauce. Garnish with grated parmesan cheese and toppings to enjoy a delicious and fresh pasta meal.

Cooked pasta in microwave

Microwaving Pasta: Conclusion

Microwave makes cooking plain hard pasta easy breezy as well as reheating pasta sauce to pair together. 

The length of cooking time will based on shape of noodle, quantity being cooked and the microwave wattage. Generally, it takes between 3 to 10 minutes in total. 

Timing will also be impacted if you start microwaving the pasta with cold or boiling water. 

Always review the cooking instructions and adjust the microwave cooking time based on amount of noodles, type of pasta and wattage of the microwave. 

For more flavor, add salt before cooking the pasta. To prevent the noodles from clumping together, coat with olive oil before submerging in water. 

Check the doneness and stay close to the microwave to observe the water level so the noodles don’t get dried out or burnt. Be flexible and add more water to cook pasta thoroughly. 

It is super easy to cook pasta in the microwave. With a watchful eye, you can get the best results in less time than cooking on a stovetop.