Super-easy recipes to make in a microwave, from sweet sticky rice to sponge cake.

By Maria Yagoda
August 11, 2015
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Whether you're in the mood for savory or sweet, microwaves will make you the snacks of your dreams—all without laborious prep, multiple devices, or a bunch of dish-washing later.

For dessert, we love Richard Blais' brown-butter sponge cake, Andy Ricker's sweet sticky rice, and, when we're extra tired, a giant bowl of Nutella fondue. But we're also obsessed with all of the the easy savory snacks in this round-up, like hot dog nachos (we're serious), vegetable crisps, and beer and cheese dip. Read on for the most delicious things you can make in your microwave.

Credit: Art © Wendy MacNaughton

Making jerky at home is gratifying, especially when you use a microwave to cut marinating and drying time to about three hours.

Most cakes are leavened with baking soda or powder, but here Richard Blais uses a siphon to add air to batter. Then he squirts the batter into paper cups and microwaves each for just 45 seconds.

Credit: Photo © John Kernick

Many traditional recipes for sticky rice require steaming the grains for up to an hour, but for the super-easy adaptation here, chef Andy Ricker cleverly suggests microwaving the rice for only about 15 minutes instead.

Instead of croutons, this salad gets its crunch from crisp little chorizo bites made in the microwave.

Spiked with English ale, dry mustard powder and a pinch of cayenne, this warm, gooey Welsh rarebit-type dip goes great with pretzels, crackers and, especially, sliced salami.

Credit: © Abby Hocking

These crisp, delectable chips, which have way more vegetable flavor than commercial versions, cook quickly in the microwave.

Rich and creamy, this fudge sauce gets a boozy hit from bourbon.

“If you’ve ever made brown butter in a skillet,” says Food & Wine Culinary Director at Large Justin Chapple, “then you know it can go totally wrong in just two seconds.” Here, he makes it in the microwave for a nearly instantaneous sauce.

A fine layer of white chocolate gives both green and red grapes a creamy crunch. The orange curd dipping sauce could not be simpler; it's hard to imagine a more elegant use of the microwave.

The next time you have a leftover rind of Parmesan cheese, don’t throw it out. Take a tip from chef Richard Blais and use it to make crispy, crunchy, crazy-easy cheese crisps.

Transform shredded white cheddar into lacy all-cheese crackers—no flour necessary.

Credit: © Abby Hocking

These next level hot dog nachos from Food & Wine’s Paige McCurdy-Flynn are drizzled with sharp cheddar beer cheese that takes less than 2 minutes to cook in the microwave.

Use this flavored syrup to make the Blueberry-Maple Caiprissimi cocktail.

Make a perfectly moist, single serving of cake in no time at all.

Serve the creamy, nutty fondue with little biscotti for dipping.