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Best Microwave Meals For Students

Heading to university means providing for yourself as part of student life. Once you’ve got sick of fast food and opening tins, we thought you might like some simple recipes which can be made using just a Microwave Oven and a few utensils.

We’ve taken time to select three simple to prepare dishes that will hopefully inspire you to explore cooking for yourself. Below find two main courses and a dessert. We hope you enjoy them.

Microwave Chilli


½ small onion, finely chopped

1 fat garlic clove, crushed

knob of butter

½ tsp ground cumin

½ tsp paprika (sweet or smoked depending on preference)

pinch of chilli flakes or chilli powder

400g can chopped tomatoes, drained and juice reserved

400g can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

½ vegetable stock cube

2 squares dark chocolate

Soured cream, to serve (optional)

Corriander, to serve (optional)



Put the onion, garlic, butter and spices in a microwaveable container, give it a quick stir, then heat in the microwave on High for 30-40 secs. Leave to stand for 1 min, then add the chopped tomatoes, beans, stock cube and chocolate.


Cover with cling film and pierce 3 times. Place some kitchen paper on your microwave turntable, put the container on top and cook for 2 mins on High. Stir well and leave to stand for 1 min. If your chilli starts to dry out, add some of the reserved tomato juice, but remember that it won’t reduce as much in the microwave as it would on the hob.


Cover and cook on Medium for a further 2 mins. Give it a good stir and allow to stand for 1 min before serving topped with soured cream and coriander.

Here’s a tasty pasta option.

Microwave Penne Pasta


1 garlic clove, crushed, or pinch of garlic granules 

Small handful fresh basil or 1/4 tsp of mixed dried herbs

250g chopped tomatoes

25g bread, diced or torn (crusts are best but any bread will do)

85g penne pasta

2 tbsp vegetable or sunflower oil



Combine the garlic, herbs, tomatoes and a pinch of salt in a microwaveable bowl. Fold the bread crusts through then add the pasta, making sure it’s completely coated in the sauce so it doesn’t dry out. Cover the bowl with cling film then pierce a few times in the centre. Put kitchen paper on your microwave plate to absorb any spills then place the bowl on top and cook on High for 2 mins. Carefully peel back the cling film and stir well. Add 80ml water and stir again, then replace the film and leave to stand for 1 min.


Return the bowl to the microwave and cook on Medium for 4 mins. Remove from the microwave, peel back the film and stir well. Add a splash of water if the sauce is starting to dry out. Cook on Medium for another 4 mins. Add another splash of water if needed then stir the oil through to serve

And here is a tasty sweet option.

Peanut Butter and Jam Brownies – Microwave Style


75g butter , plus a little extra for greasing

50g peanut butter

1 egg

25g cocoa powder

50g plain flour

100g sugar

few tsp of jam



Add the butter and peanut butter to a microwave-safe bowl and cook on High for 30 secs to melt. Remove from the microwave and stir thoroughly. Allow to cool slightly then add the egg and stir to combine. Grease with butter and line a second microwaveable round dish (about 15cm wide) with cling film. Tip the peanut butter mix into the lined dish then sieve in the cocoa powder and flour and tip in the sugar. Mix gently to form a thick, sticky paste. Smooth the top of the mixture with the back of a large spoon.


Using a teaspoon, make crater-holes in the top of the brownie mixture and fill each generously with jam as it will melt and bubble down when cooked. Pop in the microwave for 3-4 mins on High. Remove and leave to cool for 15 mins (it will carry on cooking as it cools) then enjoy!

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