You can’t really have Friendsgiving without food, but — here’s a pleasant surprise — you can have Friendsgiving without an oven. As luck would have it, the two aren’t mutually exclusive. Got a microwave? That’ll do the trick.
Yep! That little food-warming wonder can get the job done. A zap here, a zap there, and hello, impending food coma.
See, you don’t actually need a Viking six-burner gas range to cook up a killer Friendsgiving dinner. You don’t need a range at all. It’s not like we’re reinventing the wheel by suggesting a microwave menu. People who live in dorms lack microwaves. Some people live in tiny homes and refuse to sacrifice valuable square footage for a clunky stove. And, well, others simply prefer the more instant gratification a microwave brings to the table (get it?).
So, if you’re rolling without an oven this Friendsgiving, don’t feel obliged to overpay for a catered meal. Instead, check out the following microwave-friendly recipes we rounded up.
APPETIZER: Deviled eggs
If you already have boiled eggs in the fridge, you won’t even need your microwave for this super-simple, yet forever popular, app. Although there are many iterations of deviled eggs you can make (Sriracha, anyone?), the most classic version just requires a hard-cooked yolk, mayo, mustard and relish. Easy peasy. And if you don’t already have boiled eggs on hand, no worries — your microwave has your back.
APPETIZER: Cardamom grapes wrapped in blue cheese
What do you get when you take grapes, roll them around in softened cheese, and coat them in cardamom-infused pistachios? An appetizer you don’t need a microwave to make, that’s what. Badum tish. We’ll be here all week.
But really, these bite-size morsels look impressive, taste delicious and don’t have to go in the oven. If you want your microwave to earn its keep, you can use it to soften the blue and cream cheeses the recipe calls for.
ENTRÉE: Turkey meatloaf
If a Thanksgiving turkey and your mom’s signature family dinner dish had a love child, it would be this hearty microwave turkey meatloaf from Key Ingredient. Yes, y’all, you can make meatloaf in the microwave. What a time to be alive!
ENTRÉE: Microwave jumbalaya
We can tell by the way you wield the microwave that you aren’t afraid to go against the grain. So, when we say you don’t even have to serve turkey on Friendsgiving, some may balk — but not you. You’d take a shot of Jameson and make this microwave jambalaya from Jam and Clotted Cream instead. And you’d be brilliant for doing so, because chorizo.
SIDE DISH: Shredded Brussels sprouts, apple & walnut salad
While your microwave is logging overtime, don’t forget you’ll need something light and healthy to complement that main dish. This recipe combines shredded Brussels sprouts, apples and walnuts for a salad packed with texture and flavor. Prep it and stick it in the fridge while your microwave does the rest of the heavy lifting.
SIDE DISH: Creamy mashed potatoes
When cheese is life (and when isn’t it?), you need at least one side smothered in the stuff. This recipe from Monique Kilgore at Divas Can Cook calls for straight up cream cheese mixed right into the mashed potatoes, and we’re not mad at it.
While Kilgore’s instructions specify using the oven, you can easily splice the recipe with one for microwave mashed potatoes — we like this version from Food Network.
SIDE DISH: Steamed green beans
When you’re giving thanks this year, add steamed green beans to the list. This classic side veggie is made far quicker with the use of a microwave, per Baking Mischief. And we could all use an easy way to sneak more veggies into our lives (and on our Friendsgiving tables).
DESSERT: No-bake key lime pie in a jar
Take a trip to the Florida Keys this Friendsgiving without ever leaving home. Or using an oven. How? Say hello to no-bake key lime pie in a jar. This refreshing treat is guaranteed to be a hit, which is even more impressive when you consider how easy it is. The only heating required is a little melting of butter.
Whether you feel like your microwave has pulled more than its weight or you’re mildly concerned about radiation by this point (you’re fine, seriously), you can lean on your fridge for the dessert course. This recipe for no-bake whipped pumpkin pie only requires chilling.