If you hadn't yet discovered Pinterest by the time you were in college, your dorm room meals probably looked a lot like Ramen noodles, popcorn, and TV dinners — if you were fancy. Jump forward a few years and the mug cake hit it big, literally popping up in microwaves everywhere in every flavor combination imaginable. It made people think: If you can bake a cake in a microwave, you can do anything.
Up until now, it's been dry, flavorless leftovers, overcooked oatmeal, and mostly half-cold pizza slices turning up in those few minutes spent in the microwave. With a little imagination and the right ingredients, though, you can turn up any meal of the day with the push of a button. Once you get into the swing of this true art, nothing can come between you and your trusty 1500 watt.
Think eggs for breakfast, nachos for lunch, fish for dinner, and cookies for dessert. If you had learned this in college, you could have avoided those bank overdrafts on late-night pizza delivery. Eh, hindsight is 50/50.
It's time to look into the bright, promising future. Here are a few ways your microwave can be the one-stop-shop appliance of your dreams.
Mac And Cheese
This is an obvious one. Less of the artificial ingredients from boxed macaroni, more of the real, gooey stuff. Taste test this recipe from The Kitchn if you know what's good for you.
Crispy Potato Chips
No deep fried, bagged, and tasteless chips here. This recipe from The Kitchn takes the classic potato chip to a new level. You'll never go back to the name brands.
Believe it or not, fish can be done in a matter of minutes in the microwave. Smells pending, keep a careful eye on this one from Savory Sweet Life so as not to overcook it. You'll be amazed at this quick, weeknight dinner option.
Mom's Caramel Popcorn
This stuff puts kettle corn to shame. Level up your game and impress your movie night date with caramel popcorn from A Farmgirl's Dabbles.
No one has time to stand over the stove and watch an egg cook in the early morning hours, which is why this one-minute omelette from The Kitchn is a lifesaver. Season and fill your tummy for morning meetings.
When your sweet tooth hits, nothing will quite take care of it like the sweet, tart flavor of a lemon bar. These guys are underrated, and with this recipe from Mom On Timeout, you can whip them up in a flash.
Berry cobbler that your grandmother used to make was an investment in berry picking, time to make the crumble, and bake time. This version from Domestic Fits hits that nostalgic note in less time, with less effort.
If you haven't melted cheese onto tortilla chips in this lifetime, you definitely haven't discovered the wonder of the microwave. Do it right with this full-on nacho recipe from I Am A Food Blog.
One-Minute Moist Chocolate Cupcake
Having a bad day? Chocolate cupcake for one, please! Skip the trip to the bakery, and ease your worries at home with this recipe from Domestic Fits.
Banana Bread In A Mug
Bananas, like the microwave, are capable of so much. They serve as the base in many desserts, breads, smoothies, and more, including this quick banana brad in a mug from Pass The Sushi. Got overripe bananas? Just do it.
Easy Peppermint Bark
Peppermint bark doesn't have to be reserved for the holiday season. If you love it as much as you say you do, you won't skip out on this microwave version from Sweet Savory Life.
Chocolate Chip Cookie In A Mug
This is just a no-brainer. What are you waiting for? The recipe from The Comfort Of Cooking makes it as easy as 1, 2, 3: mix, microwave, mmm.
Very Vanilla Mug Cake
Sugar and vanilla equals afternoon delight. No one in their right mind would say no to an afternoon slump pump involving few ingredients and a vanilla bang. Try it from Table For Two.
Blueberry Banana Oat Cakes
A quick breakfast concoction or an afternoon snack, Blueberry Banana Oat Cakes from Averie Cooks are healthy, filling, and delicious. Limited ingredients and limited cook time are a win-win.