Pasta penne with tomato sauce, basil and roasted tomatoes

Pasta is inexpensive, delicious and low-fat. If only you didn't have to wait for that big pot of water to boil before you could start cooking it! If you own a microwave pasta cooker, you don't. These plastic containers help you measure out the servings and the amount of water you need to cook al dente pasta in your microwave oven. There's even a snap-on colander top to drain the water after the pasta cooks. Just follow these steps and dinner will be on the table before you know it---with a minimum of clean-up.

Measure the amount of pasta you need to cook by placing pasta through the round hole that best matches the number of people you need to serve. The holes are found on the sides or top of the microwave pasta cooker, depending on which brand you have.

Fill the pasta cooker to the water level that corresponds with the serving size you chose.

Put the pasta cooker in the microwave oven with the top off, and cook on high according to the instruction chart provided with your microwave pasta cooker. As a general guideline, one serving of spaghetti should cook for about 12 minutes, two servings for about 13 minutes, three servings for about 14 minutes and four servings for about 15 minutes.

Remove the pasta from the microwave, snap on the strainer top, strain out the water and serve.


  • Because microwave ovens cook at varying degrees of power, it may take a few attempts with a microwave pasta cooker to determine the perfect cooking time for each serving size. Just start with the lowest recommended time on the cooking chart provided with your cooker, and add time as needed. Note the final time required on the cooking chart for future reference.

    Most microwave pasta cookers are dishwasher-safe, making for a fast clean-up.

    If you are making lasagna noodles, rinse them with cold water immediately after straining so that they don't stick together and tear before you separate them.