Your coffee mug can take you on an incredible culinary adventure.
Sometimes, it can feel like you spend all your money on food and all your time cooking. While everyone likes a nice meal, it can get exhausting.
If you’re strapped for cash, sick of preparing complicated meals, and tired of doing a ton of dishes once you’ve finished eating, then microwave mug meals are for you. All you need is a handful of simple ingredients and a coffee mug and you can prepare an astounding variety of meals and help you save money on food to boot .
What’s so great about mug meals?
Learning to prepare meals in a mug can be a real game changer for a few reasons. For one thing, there’s a mug recipe for just about any occasion. Whether it be breakfast, lunch, dinner, afternoon snack, or a late night craving, the chances are strong that you can make what you’re looking for in a mug.
Another benefit is that they’re incredibly easy and quick to make. You can cut down on the time you spend preparing food and spend more time enjoying it. Even easier, you can teach your kids to make their favorite foods in a mug so they can handle snack time for themselves.
On top of that, mug meals are a much healthier alternative to fast food. If you need a quick meal and you don’t have a lot of time to waste, you’re better off taking five minutes to make real, delicious food in your own kitchen rather than going to a fast food restaurant, waiting in the drive-thru, and eating processed food loaded with fat, calories, and questionable ingredients.
Finally, microwave mug meals are cheap, like mind-bogglingly cheap. All the recipes we’ve rounded up here cost less than $2 per serving. Imagine if every time you craved pizza you spent $2 and five minutes making it yourself instead of spending $20 and waiting 45 minutes for a delivery. That’s how much time and money you stand to save by learning more about microwave mug meals.
Below are a few of our favorite recipes to get you started. Give them a shot and experience the savings for yourself. If nothing listed here is to your liking, that’s fine; just Google your favorite food + “mug meal” and we can almost guarantee that some enterprising home chef out there has already created a recipe for it.
Below are five mug meal recipes that we think will blow you away. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert: it’s all there. Not only will we list the recipe for you, but we’ve also calculated the cost of each recipe to show you just how affordable they are. Most of our pricing information came from products listed on Walmart.com, but the prices should be comparable no matter where you shop as long as you’re on the hunt for bargains.
Our favorite breakfast mug meal recipe
Breakfast is supposed to be the most important meal of the day, but it’s also the easiest to skip. While the pervasive myth that skipping breakfast leads to weight gain and health problems has more or less been disproven, treating yourself to a tasty breakfast can definitely help get your day off on the right foot.
1. Omelet in a cup
Source: Land O’Lakes
Two eggs, a little butter, and a handful of toppings are all you need to make a delicious omelet in the microwave as you’re running out the door. If you have three minutes and a craving for a breakfast that’ll keep you going until your lunch break, this recipe is for you.
- 1 tsp butter
- 2 large eggs
- Any toppings you want (cheese, onion, peppers, ham, bacon, sausage, salt, pepper)
Add the butter to the coffee cup. Crack the two eggs on top and then beat everything together with a fork until mixed.
Microwave for one minute to get the eggs started and then add in your toppings, doing your best to distribute them evenly. Microwave for an additional 30 seconds to one minute or as long as it takes for the egg to cook through. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper to taste, grab a fork, and dig in!
For less than what you’d pay for the cheapest breakfast sandwich at McDonald’s, you can have a delicious breakfast at home.
Our favorite lunch mug meal recipe
Unless it’s a special occasion, we rarely have time to savor our lunches. Take some of your time back with this quick and easy lunch mug meal recipe that takes only five minutes to make.
2. Microwave mac and cheese in a mug
Source: The View from Great Island
Mac and cheese is the perfect savory treat, and since you can only make as much as you can fit in a mug, following this recipe prevents you from overindulging. We suggest you stick with the proportions laid out below to start. With a single portion contained entirely in a coffee mug, you don’t have a lot of room for variation.
- 1/3 cup uncooked macaroni elbow noodles
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/2 cup finely shredded cheese
Combine the uncooked macaroni and the water in a mug and microwave for two minutes. Don’t worry if the water boils over.
Remove the cup from the microwave, stir the contents, and microwave for a third minute.
Remove, stir, and microwave for a fourth minute or until all water has been absorbed.
Once all the water has been absorbed, stir in the milk and shredded cheese. Microwave for 30 seconds to one minute or until everything has melted. Stir together and eat.
Cost: Under $1.50
Technically, microwave mac and cheese already exists in the form of Easy Mac and other similar products. However, who wants to eat cheese powder and noodles in a plastic cup when they could have gooey, cheesy, homemade mac and cheese just as easily?
Our favorite dinner mug meal recipes
For our dinner recipes, we’ll give you our top two favorites. Both, technically, qualify as Italian food, which is why we picked them; there’s nothing better than melty, gooey cheese piping hot out of the microwave. The first is more casual and snacky, while the second is about as close as you can get to authentic Italian when all you’re working with is a mug and a microwave.
3. Microwave mug pizza
Source: Bigger Bolder Baking
Nothing in the world is more beloved than pizza, and nothing could be easier than this recipe for pizza in a coffee mug. Whether you’re enjoying a quiet night solo in front of the TV or you’re craving a slice of pepperoni at three in the morning, this recipe should be just what the doctor ordered.
- 4 tbsp flour
- 1/8 tsp baking powder
- 1/16 tsp baking soda
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp milk
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp marinara sauce
- 1 tbsp shredded mozzarella
- 5 mini pepperoni
Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in the mug.
Add milk and oil; mix into a batter.
Spoon in your marinara sauce and spread it on top of the batter.
Sprinkle in your cheese, pepperoni, and any other toppings or spices (such as basil and oregano) that you enjoy.
Microwave until your pizza rises and the toppings are bubbling, about one minute and 20 seconds in most microwaves. Remove from microwave and enjoy!
Cost: Under $1
A buck for the delicious taste of pizza in a mug: even your local pizza shop hawking slices for a buck apiece can’t beat that!
4. Solo microwave fettuccine alfredo
Source: Genius Kitchen
Fettuccine alfredo is a decadent Italian treat that you can find everywhere from the frozen foods section of your grocery store to the most upscale Italian restaurants in the world. Who can say no to piping hot noodles in a creamy, tangy cheese sauce? This mug recipe lets you make a beautiful fettuccine that will satisfy any craving for this classic dish.
- 2 oz. cream cheese
- 1⁄4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
- 1⁄4 cup milk
- 1 cup pasta (any flat pasta works, not just fettuccine)
- 1 1⁄2 cups water
Combine noodles and water in a large mug.
Microwave for two minutes and stir. Repeat this cycle as necessary until the pasta is cooked to your liking.
Drain the noodles.
Combine cream cheese and milk in a separate container. Microwave for one minute, and then stir until smooth.
Stir parmesan cheese into the cream cheese/milk mixture to finish your alfredo sauce.
Toss noodles in alfredo sauce and dig in!
Trust us: if you’ve been shelling out for pre-packaged frozen meals just to get your fettuccine fix, you won’t want to miss this recipe. It tastes so much better, isn’t full of preservatives like most processed, pre-packaged meals, and it takes less time to make.
Our favorite dessert mug meal recipe
In our book, dessert is a meal, and we refuse to entertain any opinions to the contrary. If you have a sweet tooth, then you know how important it is to have some kind of snack in the house to satisfy sudden cravings. This dessert recipe is simple, cheap, and so fast to make that you won’t believe how good it is when it comes out of the microwave. If it can stop you from jumping in the car in the middle of the night to go buy a pint of Ben & Jerry’s to get your sugar fix, even better.
5. Chocolate chip mug cookies
If the thought of warm, melty chocolate chips coming out of the microwave doesn’t make your mouth water, nothing will. This dessert would make a great introduction to baking for a young child, but you could also keep it as your little secret as well.
- 2 tbsp melted butter or oil
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp vanilla
- 6 tbsp plain flour
- 3 tbsp milk
- Chocolate chips
Add the butter to your mug and melt it in the microwave.
Add the sugar and vanilla to your melted butter and stir to combine.
Mix in the flour, and then add milk and stir to combine.
Add your chocolate chips. Stir some into the batter and add a few on top for good measure.
Microwave for one to two minutes, depending on how cooked you like your chocolate chip cookies.
Cost: Under $1
All it takes is a mug, some common ingredients, and a little bit of ingenuity and you can make pretty much anything in your microwave. Of course, to really make these recipes a success, make sure you know how to save money on groceries. Then, give these recipes a shot and see how much you can save for yourself!