How to Cook Pasta in Microwave – (Quick Pasta)

Are you planning on making pasta for dinner but do not know how to? Well, just learn how to cook pasta in the microwave. It is one of the easiest and fastest ways to cook pasta.

The reason why I started cooking pasta in the microwave is the same. I am used to microwaves and love how convenient they are. I wanted to find a way to make pasta in the microwave as well.

So, I started experimenting with different ways to cook pasta in the microwave and finally found the best way. If you are ready, let’s begin making pasta in the microwave.

Can you cook pasta in the microwave?

Yes, you can cook pasta in the microwave. Pasta needs to be heated up to 135 degrees F to cook. And a microwave can do that job easily.

The process of cooking pasta is pretty straightforward. You just need to boil the pasta. And this is easy to do in a microwave.

All you will need is a large bowl and water. You can pour hot water into the bowl and then put the pasta in it. Or you can use cold water and let the microwave warm it up.

How do you cook pasta in the microwave?

To cook pasta in the microwave:

  1. Get a large microwave-safe bowl that is big enough to hold the pasta after it expands.
  2. Add ½ cup of uncooked pasta to the bowl.
  3. Fill the bowl with water. Ensure that the water tops the pasta by a few inches.
  4. Add a little bit of oil to the water. It prevents the pasta from sticking to each other.
  5. Microwave the pasta on high heat for 3 minutes, more than suggested on the packet. 
  6. After the microwave intervals, take out the bowl and check if the pasta is done.
  7. If the pasta is still slightly stiff, microwave it for 1-minute intervals until fully cooked.

Cooking pasta in the microwave seems like a difficult task. But if you follow the instructions correctly, it will not be as difficult for you.

Remember one tip that can help you microwave pasta perfectly when making pasta. Look at the back of the pasta packet. And microwave the pasta for 3 minutes longer than what the instructions say.

For example, if the packet says to cook the pasta for 10 minutes, microwave it for 13 minutes. Because the instructions behind the pasta packet are for cooking pasta on the stovetop. But pasta takes longer to cook in the microwave than on the stove.

Is it safe to cook pasta in the microwave?

Yes, it is safe to cook pasta in the microwave as long as you follow the proper instructions. 

There is nothing inherently dangerous about cooking pasta in the microwave. However, if you cook the pasta in a non-microwave-safe bowl, it can cause a fire hazard.

Similarly, always have a bigger bowl to cook pasta in the microwave. After cooking, pasta expands in size, and if the bowl is too small, the pasta might spill in the microwave.

Lastly, never microwave pasta with its packaging. The plastic and cardboard that are used to pack pasta are not microwave-safe. And microwaving cardboard or plastic can be lethal for your appliance.

How long does it take to cook pasta in the microwave?

The amount of time it takes to cook pasta in the microwave depends on the type of pasta. For example:

  • Dried ribbons of pasta such as spaghetti, linguine, and tagliatelle take 11-13 minutes.
  • Shorter, thicker penne and bow-shaped pasta take 13 to 15 minutes.
  • Fresh pasta such as tortellini and ravioli takes around 6 to 8 minutes to cook in the microwave.

If you are unsure how long the pasta will take to cook in the microwave, looking at the packaging can save you. Most pasta packets have instructions on the back about the cooking time. Cook the pasta for 3 minutes more than the instructions and your pasta will be done.

How do you know when pasta is done microwaving?

When the pasta is done cooking in the microwave, the most obvious sign would be its texture. Uncooked pasta usually has a hard texture and is difficult to bite into. On the other hand, cooked pasta is soft.

To check if the pasta is cooked or not, you can poke the pasta with a fork. If it is soft and easy to poke, then it is done. Or you can bite into it to see if it is cooked. 

Another thing you can do to check the doneness of pasta is by checking its internal temperature. When the internal temperature of pasta reaches 135 degrees F, it is done.

So, while making pasta in the microwave, keep a food-grade thermometer by your side. And check the temperature of the pasta after taking it out of the microwave. Once it reaches 135 degrees F, add the sauce and cheese and serve it.

How to cook penne pasta in the microwave?

To cook penne pasta in the microwave:

  1. Put penne pasta in a big microwave-safe bowl.
  2. Add water to the boil. Make sure the water is a few inches above the pasta.
  3. Add a little bit of oil and salt.
  4. Microwave the pasta for 14 minutes on high heat.
  5. After 14 minutes, check the pasta for doneness.
  6. If it is not cooked yet, microwave for 1-minute intervals till it is fully cooked.

Usually, penne pasta needs to be cooked for 11 minutes on a stovetop. But as you need to cook pasta in the microwave for 3 more minutes, the penne pasta would take around 14 minutes to cook in the microwave.

How to cook thin spaghetti in the microwave?

To cook spaghetti in the microwave:

  1. Put spaghetti in a big microwave-safe bowl.
  2. Add more water than is needed to cover the spaghetti.
  3. Add oil and salt to taste.
  4. Now microwave the spaghetti pasta for 13 minutes.
  5. After 13 minutes, check the spaghetti for doneness. If it is uncooked, microwave for 1-minute intervals till it is done.

Thin spaghetti pasta is one of the quickest pasta to cook because of its thinness. However, just like any other pasta, you need to cook it for 3 more minutes than is recommended. 

Tips to Cook Pasta in the Microwave

Cooking pasta in the microwave looks like an easy task. But even if you forget one step, you can mess up the entire process.

But don’t worry. Here are some of my best tips for cooking pasta in the microwave.

  1. Always get a bigger bowl to cook the pasta. As pasta gets bigger after cooking, a smaller bowl will cause the pasta to spill in the microwave.
  2. When making pasta, add a little bit of olive oil to the water. It prevents the pasta from sticking to each other.
  3. You can also add salt while microwaving the pasta.
  4. Different types of pasta take different amounts of time to cook. So check the time recommended to cook the pasta before putting it in the microwave.
  5. Cook the pasta for 3 minutes more than what is recommended. The recommended time is for stovetops and microwaves to take more time to cook the pasta.
  6. After you take out the pasta from the microwave, bite into one pasta. It will help you check its doneness.
  7. Check its internal temperature with a food-grade thermometer if you cannot eat the pasta. If it is 135 degrees F, then the pasta is done.

Final Words

Now you know how to cook pasta in the microwave. But before you start doing anything, remember one thing. Always use a big bowl to make pasta in the microwave.

Pasta gets bigger when it is cooked. And a smaller bowl will cause the pasta to spill in the microwave.

Furthermore, read the cooking instructions on the pasta packet. And cook the pasta for 3 minutes, more than is recommended on the packet.

So, turn on the microwave and start cooking pasta.