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How To Cook Pasta In The Microwave

My son asked me earlier how to cook pasta in the microwave, and to be honest, the question amused me.

It wasn’t something I had ever considered doing – I mean, surely cooking pasta the normal way was the only way?

Anyhow, that was the basis for this post, I decided that I would indeed try out making microwave pasta – and share the results with you here.

Why Use A Microwave?

After my initial dismissal of using a microwave for cooking something that really doesn’t take long to cook the ‘traditional way,’ I realised that actually there are valid reasons to make pasta in a microwave vs a saucepan.

I mean, you could use the same argument about microwave porridge.

One reason could be, perhaps someone doesn’t actually have access to a stove top? There are a number of scenarios where I can imagine this to be the case.

I’m sure there are more reasons why, but I figured one was enough 🙂

How To Cook Pasta In The Microwave

What You Need



Microwaveable bowl – a deep one is best as the water will boil up

Microwave 🙂 

pasta in water before putting in water

Place the pasta in a microwaveable bowl. Make sure it is deep enough to hold the pasta with room for water to fill up, and completely cover the pasta.

Use cold (tap) water. You can alternatively use boiling water, either from the kettle, or by boiling it in the microwave first. Personally I find it much easier to just use cold water and I find it doesn’t change the taste or texture.

Pour the water over the pasta until it is completely covered.

Set the microwave off on full power for 3 minutes longer than the pasta packet states. So for example, if the packet says 8 minutes, set the microwave off for 11 minutes. The exception to this is if you have already boiled the water, then you can just cook it for the time stated on the packet.

microwave pasta

When the microwave is finished, carefully remove it from the microwave and using a colander, drain the water away.

Top with your favourite pasta sauce (which can also be heated up in the microwave!)  

Related: How To Clean A Microwave

Can You Cook Spaghetti Pasta In A Microwave?

As you can see from the pictures, I used fusilli pasta for this – but you can also use spaghetti. Just break them up so that they fit into the microwaveable bowl.

How Long Does It Take To Cook Pasta In The Microwave?

How long it takes is dependent on what the pasta packet says. Take the time on the pasta packet and add 3 minutes to the cooking time.

For times when you are making more than 1 serving it might take a little longer. Just check that the pasta is cooked through before draining the water like you would on the hob. If it needs further cook time, just pop it back in the microwave, checking on it every 1 minute. 

I wouldn’t recommend trying to cook too much pasta at the same time as it can clump together and not cook through properly. 

And that’s it! Experiment complete. A great simple alternative to cooking pasta when you don’t have any other options other than a microwave.

Related: How To Make Scrambled Eggs in a Microwave

microwave pasta next to some Italian cheese

How To Cook Pasta In The Microwave

Yield: 1
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Using a microwave is a handy alternative to making pasta, especially if you don't have access to a stove!


  • 100g pasta (dry)
  • 400ml water (approx)


  1. Add dry pasta to a deep microwaveable bowl.
  2. Pour water to cover, make sure all the pasta is completely covered.
  3. Place the bowl in the microwave and cook on full power for the amount stated on the pasta packet + 3 minutes.
  4. If you are cooking more than 1 serving at a time I recommend stirring the pasta half way through to make sure it isn't sticking together.
  5. Once the microwave has finished, check the pasta is cooked through. If necessary, cook for a little longer, checking on it every minute (you don't want it to go soggy!)
  6. Carefully drain the water away using a colander.
  7. Serve with your favourite pasta sauce (which can also be heated in the microwave!)


If when the microwave has finished there is no water left, the pasta might not have cooked through. This happened to me the first time - it was edible still but the next time I added an extra 100ml of water - it very much depends on the pasta type you are using.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 158Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 13mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 2gSugar: 1gProtein: 6g

Did you make this recipe?

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Sunday 8th of May 2022

What should the power be


Monday 17th of January 2022

I’m going to try this, but what about salt? I’ve accidentally cooked pasta without salt a couple times and really noticed the difference.


Wednesday 29th of December 2021

This is an amazing recipe. For someone who lives in a situation that doesn't have a stove / oven - all of my meals are via microwave and this has been incredibly helpful. Pasta comes out perfect.


Thursday 18th of November 2021

Some other reasons to cook pasta in the microwave: stove/cooker not available or unusable, shared kitchen, safer method for younger children, less cleaning (cooking area, cookware, utensils), kitchen renovation, hotel stay, and more. I do it on occasion and haven't found any better microwave method, nor have any of the other chefs I've known &/or worked with (we'll serve you fancy-schmanzy stuff stacked up high and then go home to make quick Pantry Surprise in the microwave).

Penne pasta

Thursday 30th of September 2021

Thank you for confirming this is an option, but that's fusilli not penne

Liana Green

Friday 1st of October 2021

You are quite right - I'm not sure why I put penne pasta! I've edited the post to correct it now, thanks for pointing it out, I appreciate it :)

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