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How to Cook Pasta in the Microwave

How to Cook Pasta in the Microwave

Last Updated on 18th July 2023 by

While most people will cook their pasta in a pot of water on the stove, you can use the microwave to cook pasta too. When I found out how to cook pasta in the microwave, I was really amazed I had never learned this method before.

I thought it was so cool that I wanted to share it on this site and show you how to do it. You might think you’d get low quality pasta or pasta that is not cooked properly when you prepare it this way, but that’s really not the case. Once you know the method, you may prefer to cook your pasta in the microwave because it’s simple and quick it is.

How to Cook Pasta in the Microwave for One

Now, you’re going to need a microwave safe bowl for this, and most people just keep bowls made for microwaves that are large enough for one person. So, I’m going to show you a method for how to make pasta in your microwave for a single serving.

You start with half a cup of pasta noodles and you’ll need some water as well. You will need a microwave safe bowl as well.

Put your pasta into a large bowl that’s microwave safe. You want enough room for the pasta to expand, so make sure it’s large enough. Then, put enough water in the bowl to cover the pasta completely and then have about an inch of water left over.

You’re going to go by the directions on the box of pasta or bag of pasta but just add a few minutes to it. How long does it take to cook pasta in the microwave? Just add 3 or 4 minutes to whatever the cook time is on the box of pasta.

Once it is microwaved, you can drain out the excess water from the bowl. Then, just season and serve. It’s really that simple, and this method for how to cook “fresh” pasta in the microwave ensures that the pasta is cooked all the way and saves you some mess. Instead of dirtying up a large pot, you can simply use the bowl you’re going to eat out of.

How to Cook Bowtie Pasta in the Microwave

You can cook all sorts of different types of pasta in the microwave. The cooking method doesn’t really change that much even when you’re cooking bow ties, macaroni, spaghetti, or something else.

Just follow the same method I gave you up above to cook your pasta, and I think you will be pleased with how it turns out. If you’re looking for how to cook farfalle pasta in the microwave or bowties or some other pasta, just add a few minutes to the cook time that’s listed on the pasta’s packaging.

How Much Time Does It Take Pasta to Cook in the Microwave?

The most important part about cooking pasta in a microwave is that you cook it long enough. If you simply cook it as long as the packaging instructions tell you to, it won’t be cooked all the way. It simply won’t be done, and it will be tough and not very palatable. The cooking time is vitally important, and just make sure that you add a few minutes to the cooking time already on the packaging. Usually, three or four extra minutes is enough.

If you are making a lot of pasta at once, I suggest breaking it down into batches and cooking each of them separately. If you do try to cook a lot of pasta in a large bowl at once in the microwave, then you will probably need to add a few more minutes to the cooking time to make sure it cooks all the way through.

Of course, you need enough water in the bowl to cook the pasta thoroughly. Make sure there’s enough water to cover more. Adding that extra inch of water I told you about above is a fast and effective rule, but sometimes it’s necessary to add a little bit more.

Be aware that cooking pasta in the microwave is not ideal. You’re going to end up with dry pasta, usually. To help with that, it’s best to have a wet sauce over the pasta rather than to try to top it with something dry. Having a wet cheese sauce or roux or pasta sauce on your microwaved pasta will help hydrate the pasta and keep it from tasting to dry.

How to Cook Pasta in the Microwave Oven

If you’re searching for how to use a microwave oven to cook pasta, this is a common misconception that it is different from a conventional microwave. Microwave oven is just a longer name for a microwave. So, you just use the same cooking instructions I already gave you.

One thing to bear in mind is that not all microwaves cook the same. Some have a lower standard cooking temperature than others do. Be aware of that and be prepared to cook your pasta for a little bit longer if it comes out not quite done. It’s a good idea to test your pasta after it’s done cooking in the microwave, tasting one piece to see if it is cooked all the way through. It’s better to test it at this point than to wait until you bite into the dish after it’s been seasoned and sauced. It’ll be much easier to fix partially cooked pasta as soon as it comes out of the microwave.

Also be careful when taking your pasta in the microwave, as the bowl and the pasta can be very, very hot. There may be steam coming out of the pasta as well, and you want to make sure that you’re not burnt. It’s a good idea to use an oven mitt to grab the bowl and remove it from the microwave just to protect yourself from burns.

How to Cook Pasta in the Microwave
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Microwave Pasta Carbonara

This Microwave Pasta Carbonara is perfect for those times when you're craving comfort food but short on time. This recipe brings you the classic flavours of an Italian carbonara: creamy sauce, crispy pancetta, and perfectly cooked pasta, all made conveniently in your microwave. It's quick, easy, and surprisingly delicious.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time20 minutes
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: microwave cooking, pasta carbonara, quick and easy
Author: Pauline


  • 1 cup of small pasta (penne, macaroni, or similar)
  • 1 cup of water
  • salt to taste
  • 4 slices of pancetta or bacon, diced
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • black pepper to taste
  • fresh parsley for garnish


  • In a microwave-safe bowl, combine pasta, water, and a pinch of salt.
  • Microwave the pasta on high for about 10-12 minutes, or until al dente. Make sure to stir every 2-3 minutes to prevent sticking. Be aware that cooking times may vary depending on your microwave and the type of pasta used.
  • While the pasta is cooking, place the pancetta or bacon in a separate microwave-safe dish. Microwave on high for 3-4 minutes, or until crispy.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, Parmesan cheese, and a pinch of black pepper to create the sauce.
  • Once the pasta is done, carefully remove it from the microwave (the bowl will be hot). Drain the pasta, reserving a tablespoon of the pasta water.
  • Quickly stir the hot pasta and the reserved pasta water into the egg and cheese mixture. The heat of the pasta will cook the egg slightly and create a creamy sauce. Add the cooked pancetta or bacon and stir again.
  • Garnish with fresh parsley and serve immediately.


  • This recipe serves 1. If cooking for more, adjust the ingredients proportionately, but cook pasta in batches to ensure even cooking.
  • Remember to stir the pasta frequently while microwaving to prevent it from sticking together.
  • Be very careful when removing dishes from the microwave as they will be very hot.
  • The key to a creamy carbonara is the addition of the hot pasta to the egg and cheese mixture. This heats the egg just enough to create a rich, creamy sauce without scrambling it.
  • Remember to reserve some of the pasta water. The starchy water helps the sauce cling to the pasta and gives it a silky texture.
  • Feel free to add more cheese or black pepper on top before serving, according to your preference.

Is it a good idea to cook pasta in the microwave? It may come out a little dry and you might have some difficulty making sure it cooks all the way through, but it does work. I think this works well as a quick and easy way to make pasta, especially if you just making pasta for one. There’s a lot less mess to deal with, and you’ll make the pasta faster.


Is it safe to cook pasta in the microwave?

Yes, it is perfectly safe to cook pasta in the microwave, as long as you do it correctly. This means using a microwave-safe dish, adding enough water to completely cover the pasta, and ensuring the pasta is evenly spread out in the dish.

What is the recommended amount of water for microwaving pasta?

A general guideline is to use two cups of water for every one cup of pasta. However, it’s always better to have too much water rather than too little when cooking pasta in the microwave to avoid it drying out. Just remember to stir the pasta a few times during cooking to make sure it cooks evenly and doesn’t stick together.

Does pasta cooked in the microwave taste different from pasta cooked on the stove?

If done correctly, pasta cooked in the microwave should taste just as good as pasta cooked on the stove. However, it may have a slightly different texture, as microwave cooking can sometimes make pasta a bit more chewy. To avoid this, be sure to add enough water and don’t overcook it.

4.6/5 - (28 votes)

I'm Pauline, a mother of four grown children, my passion for cooking stemmed from the joy i get cooking for my family. I love to try new dishes, especially when dining out but creating and sharing my own recipes is my favourite thing to do!

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