Spaghetti in the Microwave

Spaghetti in the microwave

The Spruce

  • Total: 35 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Servings: 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
602 Calories
12g Fat
80g Carbs
42g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 602
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12g 15%
Saturated Fat 5g 24%
Cholesterol 73mg 24%
Sodium 212mg 9%
Total Carbohydrate 80g 29%
Dietary Fiber 5g 17%
Protein 42g
Calcium 170mg 13%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This recipe not only cooks in the microwave oven, but you can reheat it in that appliance too. Try it the next time you're in a hurry for pasta!

It's surprising that you can cook pasta in the microwave, but it makes sense if you think about it. You can find products on late-night television now that promise you can cook pasta in a container with hot water. Pasta doesn't technically need to be cooked in rolling boiling water; it just needs to rehydrate in hot water. That's why this recipe works.

Here's how to cook pasta in the microwave oven: make sure the pasta is covered with liquid and that it's not sticking together. You do need to stir the casserole a few times while it's cooking, so the spaghetti absorbs the liquid properly. And standing time is important; the food finishes heating, and the pasta will absorb more flavor.

Serve this dish with a green salad tossed with mushrooms, grape tomatoes, and an intense Italian vinaigrette.


  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 (28-ounce) jar spaghetti sauce
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
  • 8 ounces spaghetti pasta (broken into pieces)
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (grated)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Spaghetti in the microwave ingredients
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  2. In a 3-quart microwave-safe casserole, place beef, onions, and garlic, crumbling beef to break into small pieces.

  3. Microwave on high for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring once to break up meat.

    Cooked ground beef
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  4. Microwave on high for 2 more minutes until the beef is browned and thoroughly cooked. Drain off any excess fat, if necessary.

    Draining beef fat
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  5. Add spaghetti sauce, water, basil, and uncooked spaghetti in the casserole dish.

    Uncooked spaghetti, tomato sauce, beef and basil in a casserole dish
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  6. Mix gently to combine.

    Mixing uncooked spaghetti, beef and tomato sauce
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  7. Cover with microwave-safe plastic wrap, venting one corner, and microwave on high for 5 minutes.

    Uncooked spaghetti, sauce, beef covered with plastic wrap
    The Spruce
  8. Stir well. Cover casserole again and microwave on high for 8 to 10 minutes longer. Stir well.

  9. Sprinkle with cheese, cover again, and microwave on high for 7 to 8 minutes longer until spaghetti is tender.

    Spaghetti with Parmesan cheese in a bowl
    The Spruce
  10. Let stand 4 minutes before serving; don't skip this step! The food has to stand so the heat distributes evenly and there are no super hot spots you could burn yourself on.

    Spaghetti in the Microwave
    The Spruce
  11. Serve and enjoy.