5 Veggies You Didn't Know You Could Cook in the Microwave

By , Sarah Kellner
Microwaves are obviously the speediest (and therefore easiest) way to cook. But it turns out that shorter cook times can also help to preserve more of your veggies' natural nutrients. In fact, other cooking methods may deplete the nutritional value so much that your green beans basically lose all their green... metaphorically speaking, of course.

Some people believe microwaving vegetables zaps them of their vitamins and minerals. However, the main culprit of nutrient drain is actually water.

Conventional methods of boiling and steaming vegetables can cause them to lose more than half of their nutrients. Vitamins B, C and polyphenols--which have been linked to preventing cancer and cardiovascular disease--are especially vulnerable to solubility. Heat from cooking breaks down the thick cell walls of some plants, releasing nutrients as they are softened.

Because microwaves work by heating the moisture within food, the natural juiciness of vegetables works in your favor. After reading about these five microwavable veggies, you may never use your stove to cook them again!

Corn on the Cob
You're having a barbecue and your whole family is over. The neighbors' kids are playing in the yard. Everyone's having a great time, but the grill is too full of burgers to fit the sweet corn. Never fear--the microwave is here!

Here's the best part—you can even leave the husk on! It will insulate the natural juices and steam the ear on its own.

Microwave each ear for four minutes, carefully remove with a paper towel or mitt, take off the silk and husk, and voila! So moist, you won't even need butter!
If you're reading this during fresh corn season, don't forget to pick up some extra and freeze it. Microwaving is also a great method to enjoy ears of corn during the winter months.

When it comes to sophisticated vegetables, artichokes are totally in vogue. Whether you put them on a pizza, in a dip, with a remoulade or simply seasoned, artichokes are packed full of antioxidants and dietary fiber. They are also an excellent source of iron and copper, which are essential to red blood cell formation—which is especially important for women.

To cook artichokes in a microwave, rinse them and trim the pointy tips from the leaves. Remove the entire stalk.

Cut each artichoke in half. Rub the cut edges with lemon to prevent browning. Sprinkle a bit of salt on each cut side, and then place this side down in a microwave-safe bowl.

Pour a combination of ½ cup water and 1/3 cup olive oil into the bottom of the dish. This will add extra tenderness and flavor. Squeeze a bit more of the lemon on top.

Cover the dish with plastic wrap--this seal allows the artichoke to steam. Microwave for 7 minutes per large artichoke, or until tender.

Sweet Potato Chips
No deep frying, no guilt! Scrub one large sweet potato clean and remove any dark spots. Cut off the ends. Using a mandoline or slicer, create chips using the thinnest blade.

Toss these chips in a bowl with:
1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. ground pepper

Coat each chip well. Don't be afraid to get your hands in there! Place chips in a single layer on a piece of parchment paper or flat tray. Microwave for 3½ to 4 minutes until crispy, keeping an eye out for however well done you like your chips. Repeat in batches. Serve with a healthy dip, or on their own!

Although kale is all the rage among foodies right now, raw kale just doesn't sit well with everyone's palate.

However, kale is called a "superfood" for a reason. This leafy green is high in vitamins A, C and K, dietary fiber, manganese, calcium, copper, potassium and health-promoting phytonutrients. It is a good source of iron, magnesium and other minerals, too. All these credentials make it hard to ignore! And a microwave can make kale even easier to incorporate into your family meals.

Be sure to begin with fresh kale. Cut off the thick stems, but keep the thin, tender ones and all the leaves. Place in a colander and rinse under cool running water, flipping and thoroughly removing any dirt. Shake a couple of times to remove excess water.

Chop leaves and remaining stems into bite-sized pieces. Place in a microwave-safe bowl and toss with a little salt and lemon juice.

Cover with a paper towel and microwave for about one minute per cup. The kale should be fully wilted when it's done.

Did you ever think you could make your own bread and butter pickles in less than ten minutes? Get ready to have your mind blown!

2 cups vinegar
1½ cup sugar
¼ cup pickling seasoning mix
½ of a white onion.
4 medium cucumbers

Slice the cucumber and onion into rounds. Toss everything together into a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high until the onions are translucent-about 8 minutes. Store for up to three months in the refrigerator, and enjoy!
Every microwave is different, so cook times can vary. Play with the recipes, make them your own, and enjoy all the time you're saving by using that handy dandy microwave!

Sarah Kellner writes for Home Depot on cooking and home appliances. To view Home Depot's selection of microwaves that you might want to consider for your veggie cooking creations, click here.

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JAMER123 3/26/2021
Did lots of canning, freezing when I was still home and we lived on the farm. No microwave at the time but now I do most my foods in the microwave and air fryer. Report
RYCGIRL 12/19/2020
wow! good to know! Report
Sweet potato chips make great dog treats too; just skip the salt & pepper. Report
thanks Report
Thank you - I am going to try the pickles after I have shopped this week. Report
I'm going to make the pickles-sounds easier than what I do now Report
I fix all veggies in microwave-saves on time and clean up. I have never tried the pickle receipe. I am going to try it when I get my fresh pickles from the garden this year. Report
I use microwave for veggies in a plastic steamer - corn; artichokes; spaghetti squash (cut in half covered w/ wax paper sitting in a little bit of water); broccoli, green beans, red skinned potatoes (poke a couple holes); cabbage, baby carrots, cauliflower, diced peppers & onions & regular baked potatoes poked but not steamed. Of course, I also do popcorn in a plastic bowl w/ a vented cover using regular popping corn & oil. I am a big fan of this method; I just don't stand really close when it's running. Those who fear it never worried about radiation while watching TV or flying in jet planes. Report
I'm going to try those sweet potato chips! Report
Thanks for sharing.... Report
Great information. Report
Yum Report
Wow, the only one I knew was the corn, thank-you Report
Also quinoa, barley, lentils... Report
Great article. Report
Awesome, thank you! Report
Thank you Report
I knew all of this except for the pickles Report
thanks Report
Not a microwave fan. Report
Microwaves are constantly flying through you, right now, via existing in the universe, travelling through the vacuum of space. (The Big Bang was detected by via CMB (cosmic *microwave* background) radiation.) Also wifi is essentially microwaves too, but NOT in a metal box (which blocks microwaves to a great extent, plus in a microwave cooker, it's WAY less concentrated

I've cooked corn in a microwave, & artichokes, though I don't cut them in half, & steam for 10 min; & I save the oil's calories for actual dipping.

Usually roast sweet potatoes; will try microwave of thinner slices, maybe finishing off with a quick broil. Wonder if kale chips could be microwaved?? Will try the pickles too. Report
I have done corn on the cob, but sweet potatoe chips sound awesome. Can't wait to try them. Report
What the frig Report
Not sure about the pickles. Report
Never cooked corn any other way! Report
Great ideas except for the pickles! Report
great ideas-except for the pickles. just put in the frig. Report
Would have bern interested in asparagus recipe. Report
This blog was useful despite the ‘plug’ for Home Depot- but it certainly stirred up a lot of microwave controversy. Now I w Report
Other than the article being mistitled, there is good information here Report
I like my veggies with a little crunch and use a microwave steamer to lightly cook them. They taste so much better that way. Report
definitely must try the sweet potatoes Report
Great ideas, thank you Report
Wow! I learned something new. Thanks for these tips. You can be assured that I will try some of these. Report
I have done corn in the microwave for years. But I think that I will have to try the sweet potato chips! Thanks for the suggestion :) Report
You have to time it carefully - find directions, but spaghetti squash works well in the microwave. Have to put some holes in it with fork so it won't explode, too! Report
This was a fun read. I'd like to see more microwave food prep articles. Report
The sweet potato chips sound great! Report
I'm certainly going to try the sweet potato chips! Yum! Report
And think not, you can direct the course of love;
for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course.
- Khalil Gibran Report
great article Report
I probably would use the microwave with non organic foods for him but never on mine. It just seems to go against the whole thing of clean food. That should apply to how food is prepared also. Report
Wow! I never knew you can cook corn in the microwave. Report
I'm interested in trying the pickles. Report
Thanks for the info! Report
Good information, gotta try the pickles! Report
Will be cooking my corn in the microwave from now on.... Report
liked the blog can do WITHOUT the plug for Home Depot. Would rather have the hardware stores in my city that I had growing up.Would put homedepot to SHAME. As for punching the wall I would personalle be ashamed if I did NOT put my fist through the first go. I cannot allow the comment about cancer and micowave ovens to go unchallenged - microwave radiation is NOT IONIZING and I know what I am talking about!! One of the big real reasons more people are getting cancer and dementia is that they are living LONGER. PERIOD, Report
Wow the pickles really surprised me! Report