How to Microwave Pasta

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// How to Microwave Pasta

Prep Time

1 min

Cook Time

12 mins

Free Time

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Purists might insist that boiling in salt water is the only way to cook pasta, but the microwave holds its own when it comes to perfectly al dente noodles. Not only is it faster than boiling water on the stove, but it's also more convenient and saves precious time in the kitchen.

Why use an Anyday? With the Anyday, you can cook perfect al dente pasta every time without having to constantly watch the pot — or even set a timer. While we love our lid for many reasons, we don’t recommend using it for cooking pasta in the microwave. The lid traps so much heat and steam that the starchy water can easily boil over in the microwave. Still getting spillover? Try less water or a lower power level until you get it right!

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What You’ll Need

What You’ll Need

The Medium Deep Dish

The best dish for 1-2 portions of grains, veggies, mac and cheese, ramen, and more.

The Anyhand Mitts

Handle hot Anyday dishes with care with these microwave mitts that double as trivets!
Try Anyday

Select your serving size and microwave wattage in the dropdown. The recipe will change accordingly.

1 cup (140g) penne pasta

Select your microwave wattage in the dropdown. The cook times in this recipe will automatically change accordingly.


To find your microwave’s wattage, look at the front panel, the side of the door, in the back, in the user manual, or Google the model number. If both an input and output wattage are listed, use the output.

Wattage translates to how powerful the microwave is. The higher the wattage, the faster your food will cook. The lower the wattage, the longer the cook time.

When in doubt, start with less time — you can always add more.

Microwave oven by power - 700w



The Medium Deep Dish


  • 1 cup (140g) penne pasta
  • cups (360ml) water


  1. Place the pasta and water in the Anyday and stir to combine.
  2. Cook in the microwave uncovered for 12 minutes, or until the pasta is cooked to your liking. Try a noodle and add more time if needed!
  3. Drain any excess water, if necessary.

Serving suggestions & tips

  • For a quick Cacio e Pepe style pasta, drizzle some olive oil, black pepper and parmesan cheese.
  • Jazz up buttered noodles by tossing with brown butter, parsley, and garlic powder.
  • Add frozen peas or other mixed vegetables to the dish a few minutes before the pasta is fully cooked.
  • For more microwave Pasta & Noodle recipes, see our full collection here.

Recipe notes

  • Most pastas indicate the cook times on the package. If in doubt, use those instructions as a cook time guide.
  • Is your pasta spilling over? Try less water or a lower power level until you get it right!
  • Want to try a different pasta shape? Make sure that water is completely covering the pasta.
  • Microwave ovens vary, even with the same wattages. Adjust cooking times as needed.

Microwave Match Up: Pasta

See for yourself— microwaving pasta is simply faster, start to finish.

Appliance Cook Time
Microwave in an Anyday dish 10-11 mins
Stovetop* 15-20 mins
Instant Pot (Pressure Cooker)* 20 mins
*Includes preheat time

Step-by-Step: Microwaving Pasta

Add pasta and water to the Anyday Dish.

Do not cook pasta with the lid!

Cook uncovered in the microwave.

Pasta is done when tender.

All You Need to Know About Microwaving Pasta

How long does pasta take to cook in the microwave?

Ingredient Water Cook Time
1 cup (140g) penne pasta 1 1/2 cups (360ml) water 9-10 mins
2 cups (280g) penne pasta 2 cups (450ml) water 10-11 mins
3 cups (420g) penne pasta 3 cups (675ml) water 12-14 mins
4 cups (560g) penne pasta 4 cups (900ml) water 15-16 mins
4 ounces (115g) noodles (spaghetti, linguine, bucatini, etc) 2 1/4 cups (500ml) water 10-12 mins
8 ounces (225g) noodles (spaghetti, linguine, bucatini, etc) 3 cups (720ml) water 11-13 mins
12 ounces (345g) noodles (spaghetti, linguine, bucatini, etc) 3 1/2 cups (840ml) water 12-14 mins
16 ounces (445g) noodles (spaghetti, linguine, bucatini, etc) 4 cups (900ml) water 14-15 mins
20 ounces (700g) noodles (spaghetti, linguine, bucatini, etc) 6 cups (1410ml) water 16-18 mins
Cook time calculated for 700w microwave

Cooking pasta in the microwave takes around 14-16 minutes depending on the type and amount of pasta. To tell if pasta is cooked through, take a piece out of the dish and taste it. The pasta should be tender but slightly firm, with no hard center.

How to tell when pasta is cooked through?

When cooking pasta, it is important to ensure that it is cooked through but not overcooked to the point of being mushy. To tell if pasta is cooked through, take a piece out of the pot and taste it. The pasta should be tender but still slightly firm, with no hard center. If the pasta is still hard or has a chewy center, it needs more cooking time.

How to cook fresh pasta in the microwave?

Fresh pasta is delicate and requires careful attention when cooking in the microwave. To prevent it from breaking apart, add fresh pasta and ½ cup hot water to an Anyday Deep Dish. Cook in the microwave uncovered for 1-2 minutes, watching closely to ensure it doesn't overcook or boil over. Discard any excess water and toss noodles with some olive oil to prevent sticking.

How do you make pasta not boil over in the microwave?

Microwaves are powerful and can cause the starch in pasta to create more heat and boil over. To avoid this, cook the pasta in the Anyday dish uncovered. This allows heat to circulate and prevents the water from boiling over.

How to cook frozen pasta like tortellini or ravioli in the microwave?

While you don’t want to use the lid when cooking dried pasta, we recommend steaming frozen tortellini or ravioli in the microwave with lid on. Place up to 10 oz of frozen tortellini or ravioli pasta in an Anyday Deep Dish and add ½ cup of hot water. Cover with the lid and microwave on high for the recommended cooking time in the package. Drain any excess water, or use it to start a quick sauce.

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