7 Meals You Can Make in the Microwave

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You’re on the go. You have meetings and classes and work and even more things scribbled on the pages of your planner. Nighttime rolls around, and you realize that unidentifiable grumbling noise is, in fact, coming from your tummy. Here’s your dilemma—you have work in an hour but still need to show yourself some grub love. You don’t have time to prepare a dinner from scratch, so your eye wanders to the nifty little machine conveniently located on your countertop—your microwave. Jackpot.Your microwaveable meals don’t have to be limited to Lean Cuisines and TV dinners, though. A variety of products that are yummy and full of nutrients can be created quickly. Get ready for a seven-day menu of munchy meals that you can enjoy on the go!

For any busy Her Campus collegiette, one item that is a great investment is a solid and sturdy microwave-safe container. You can find one at Target, and Tupperware also sells a variety of different kinds of microwave-safe dishes on their website. One great buy is their “Vent N’ Serve” set of two containers for less than fifty bucks.

Meal Preparation

For the preparation of these meals you will need:

  1. Microwave-safe container
  2. Cutting board
  3. Potato peeler
  4. Vegetable scrubber
  5. Dishes that are microwave-safe
  6. A casserole dish
  7. One large bowl
  8. Mixing spoons
  9. Cutting knives (preferably not butter knives)

Sunday Night: Rice and Beef Stew

Prep time: 5 Minutes

rice and beef stew winter food dinner supper

Ingredients

  • One pouch Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice (either Whole Grain or Original)
  • One can Dinty Moore Beef stew (7.5 oz)

​Directions

Rice (as directed by Uncle Ben’s pouch instructions):

  1. Squeeze pouch to separate rice.
  2. Tear to vent.
  3. Heat on HIGH for 90 seconds.
  4. Remove from microwave using Cool Touch area on untorn side

Stew:

  1. Pour entire contents of can into the microwaveable-safe dish, covered. Heat for three minutes or until hot.
  2. Pour the bag of rice onto a large dish and then pour the beef stew on top.

Enjoy!

Monday Night: Chili Dogs

Prep Time: 5 Minutes

chili dog street food junk food hot dog potato chips lays picnic table

Ingredients

  • 1 pack Ball Park Beef Franks (contains 8)
  • 1 pack of hot dog buns
  • ¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 15 oz. can Hormel Less Sodium Chili with beans
  • Mustard (optional)

Directions

Hot dogs:

  1. Wrap 2 franks individually in paper towels and heat for 30-35 on high.

Chili:

  1. Pour the can’s contents into a microwave-safe bowl and cover with a paper towel.    
  2. Heat for 90 seconds or until hot.
  3. Place two hot dog buns onto a plate and place the franks inside of the buns.
  4. If desired, squirt mustard onto the hot dog. Use a spoon to dish out the chili on top of the franks.
  5. Sprinkle cheddar cheese on top.

Enjoy!

Tuesday: Baked Potato Casserole

Prep Time: 15-20 minutes

baked potato casserole one dish meals dinner supper food home cooked meal

Ingredients

  • 3 Russet potatoes
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Butter or Margarine
  • Chives (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon Hormel Bacon toppings

Directions

  1. Using a potato peeler, peel three medium-to-large potatoes.
  2. After the potatoes are peeled, rinse them under warm water for 15 seconds. Scrub away any dirt with a vegetable brush.
  3. Using a fork, poke holes into the potatoes about six times all over to help them vent while in the microwave. If you skip this step, your potatoes will explode.
  4. Place the three potatoes inches apart on a large dish. Microwave the potatoes for 7 minutes. If the potatoes still feel hard, microwave for additional time until they are to the desired tenderness.
  5. Let the potatoes cool for 1-3 minutes.
  6. Once the potatoes have cooled, cut them into medium-sized chunks as if you were preparing mashed potatoes.
  7. Pour the potato chunks into your casserole dish.
  8. Place 1 teaspoon of butter or margarine and mix throughout (optional).
  9. Measure out ¼ cup of sour cream (or more depending on how much you desire) and using a spoon, mix it in with the potatoes until covered.
  10. Measure out ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese and spread it throughout the casserole dish.
  11. Sprinkle your bacon bits and chives on top of the potatoes.

Enjoy!

Wednesday: Strawberry Vinaigrette Salad

Prep Time: 7 Minutes

Ingredients

  • Half of a head of Iceberg lettuce
  • ¼ cup shredded cheese
  • 5 strawberries
  • ½ cup of Wishbone Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing
  • Chopped Walnuts (Optional)

Directions

  1. Wash and rinse your head of lettuce thoroughly.
  2. Using a sharp knife, cut your head of lettuce in half on your cutting board. Place the unused lettuce in a large Ziploc bag. The remaining lettuce, cut into medium-sized pieces.
  3. Wash and rinse your five strawberries. On your cutting board, cut the “heads” of the strawberry (the end with the leaves) off. Continue to slice your strawberry into horizontal slices.
  4. Place your chopped lettuce into your large bowl and toss in your strawberries. Mix in ¼ cup of shredded cheese and chopped walnuts (if desired).
  5. Pour ½ cup of Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing. Using your mixing spoon, toss your ingredients.

Enjoy!

Thursday: Bacon Monterey Jack Panini

Prep Time: 10 minutes

flatbread panini bacon monterey jack panini sandwich grilled cheese and bacon sandwich lunch dinner

Ingredients

  • Two slices of Panini bread
  • 1/3 cup Shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 5 Strips of Tyson Hickory Bacon
  • Mayonnaise (optional)

Directions

  1. Line a dish with one paper towel sheet. Place five slices of bacon, evenly spaced, on top of the paper towel. Place another paper towel sheet on top of the bacon strips. Cook the bacon strips for 4 minutes or until fully cooked.
  2. Take two slices of Panini bread. On the bottom slice, place the strips of bacon. Sprinkle the Monterey jack cheese on top. If desired, spread mayonnaise on the top slice.
  3. Place this sandwich in the microwave for 25 seconds to further melt the cheese.

Enjoy!

Friday: Bean burritos with Ranchero sauce and Nachos

Prep Time: 15-20 minutes

mexican food bean burritos with ranchero sauce and nachos dinner lunch
 

Ingredients

Burritos:

  • Two flour tortillas
  • ½ cup Bush’s black beans, drained
  • 1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons salsa
  • Shredded lettuce (the other half of the head of iceberg lettuce)

Ranchero sauce:

  • 1 cup buttermilk ranch dressing
  • 1 tablespoon Cumin

Cheese Dip:

  • 1 can (10 oz.) RO*TEL Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies, undrained
  • 1 lb. (16 oz.) VELVEETA Pasteurized Prepared Cheese Product, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • Tortilla chips

Directions

Ranchero sauce:

  1. In a small bowl, pour one cup of buttermilk ranch dressing.
  2. Measure out one tablespoon of Cumin powder and mix it in the bowl with the dressing. Mix both until blended

Burritos:

  1. Wrap two of the two tortillas in a paper towel and microwave for 15 seconds.
  2. Place ½ cup of black beans in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 45 seconds.
  3. Spread the sour cream evenly on both tortillas, laid flat.
  4. Sprinkle ½ cup of shredded lettuce onto each tortilla.
  5. Spoon out ¼ cup of black beans on each tortilla.
  6. Spoon out one tablespoon of salsa onto each tortilla.
  7. Sprinkle the shredded cheese on each tortilla, still laid flat.
  8. Sprinkle a spoon full of the ranchero sauce onto each tortilla.
  9. Rap the tortillas up and cut in half.

Cheese dip:

  1. Cut your block of Velveeta up into ½ -inch cubes.
  2. Place the cheese cubes and the can of RO*TEL Dice tomatoes and green chilies in your large casserole dish.
  3. Cover this dish with a paper towel and microwave on HIGH for five minutes or until the cheese is melted and the mixture is well blended. Stir after three minutes.
  4. Pour the mixture on top of a plate of tortilla chips.

Enjoy!

Saturday: Pizza Bagels

pizza bagels bagels with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese

Ingredients

  • Two Bagels, pre-sliced
  • 6 tablespoons Cup of Ragu Pizza Sauce
  • 1 Cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tablespoons of Kraft grated Parmesan cheese
  • One package pre-sliced Pepperoni

Directions

  1. Spoon out about 3 tablespoons of Ragu pizza sauce and spread it evenly on each bagel slice.
  2. Sprinkle about ½ cup of shredded mozzarella cheese on each bagel slice.
  3. Sprinkle a tablespoon of Parmesan cheese on both bottom bagel slices.
  4. If desired, place pepperoni slices on each bagel (Microwave the pepperoni slices for one minute before putting them on the bagel).
  5. Microwave the bagel slices for one minute and fifteen seconds or until cheese is melted.

Enjoy!

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About The Author

Ngozi Ekeledo has four major loves in life: reading, writing, laughing and sports. She is a junior in the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, yet despite being in the Midwest, she’s still a Southern girl at heart. She’s majoring in Broadcast Journalism, minoring in Sociology and pursuing an Integrated Marketing Communications Certificate. She is currently the Marketing Director for the Northwestern News Network and serves as a reporter for Sports Night, her campus’s sports TV show. She is also a writer for North By Northwestern (her campus’s online publication) and is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists and Alpha Kappa Psi. When she isn’t busy bouncing around in a bubble of journalism, she can be found dishing out sarcastic quips, longing for her mom’s homemade mac n’ cheese or playing impromptu Friday night basketball games with her crazy, yet entertaining friends. After college, she hopes to pursue a career in sports journalism and one day work her dream job at ESPN. Hopefully Erin Andrews , Linda Cohn and Rachel Nichols will be on board for her round table, The View-esque sports TV show idea.