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6 Thanksgiving Microwave Hacks for Easy Meal Prep

microwave thanksgiving side dishes

Contrary to popular belief, the microwave isn’t just for heating up leftovers. In fact, it can be your best asset in simplifying Thanksgiving dinner. What’s one of the easiest microwave tricks to streamline Turkey Day meal prep? Microwave butter and herbs together in a small bowl to create a flavorful basting liquid. Use these Thanksgiving microwave hacks for last-minute additions and advance prep, creating a table-ready feast in less time.

Feast Frustration-Free With These Thanksgiving Microwave Hacks

Even the most experienced hosts need a few shortcuts to get a big dinner from prep to plate. Our favorite Thanksgiving microwave hacks can ready ingredients or add the final touch to holiday recipes for hassle-free hosting.

#1 – Soften Garlic Cloves

When you microwave Thanksgiving dinner ingredients, like garlic, it can make for faster preparation and more flavorful food. When garlic is softened, it peels more easily and releases its flavor faster, enhancing a variety of side dishes. 

Use this microwave cooking guide to soften garlic:

  • Trim the head off one clove of garlic.
  • Season with a drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper.
  • Place the clove in a microwave-safe bowl and cover it with a plate.
  • Microwave for 5-7 minutes on 50% power until the cloves are soft and slightly golden.

#2 – Toast Pecans

Toasting pecans for pies and toppings can enhance their taste, texture and aroma. Use one of the easiest microwave oven food hacks to check this task off your Thanksgiving planning guide with ease. Simply spread ½ cup of pecans on a microwave-safe dish and microwave for 4-6 minutes until they’re dark brown, with a toasted aroma.

#3 – Steam Green Beans

You can microwave Thanksgiving side dishes like green beans and no one will be the wiser. That’s because the microwave can effectively steam the beans, leaving them bright green and crispy, but tender. 

Follow these steps to microwave green beans:

  • Combine 1lb beans with 2 Tbsps. butter, ¼ cup water and a pinch of salt in a large, microwave-safe bowl.
  • Cover the bowl and cook the beans for 4 minutes.
  • Toss the beans and continue cooking 1 minute at a time until they’re cooked to your liking.

Thanksgiving microwave hacks

#4 – Cook Sweet Potatoes

Cooking sweet potatoes for side dishes and desserts can take up to an hour in the oven, using up valuable time and space. Fortunately, Thanksgiving microwave recipes for sweet potatoes can reduce their cooking time to mere minutes. Simply scrub the potatoes clean and prick them with a fork. Microwave up to 4 potatoes for 6-8 minutes, rotating them periodically until tender.

#5 – Prepare Herbed Butter

After mastering how to thaw Thanksgiving turkey, boost your bird’s flavor with an herb butter basting liquid. For one of the easiest Thanksgiving microwave hacks, cube 1 stick of butter and melt it in the microwave. Add your herb of choice, along with a pinch of salt, and continue microwaving in 30-second intervals until fragrant.

#6 – Melt Chocolate

A drizzle of melted chocolate takes almost any dessert from ordinary to outstanding. For one of the quickest Thanksgiving microwave hacks, place finely-chopped chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 30-second increments, stirring after each, until smooth.

Is a microwave malfunction halting your use of these helpful hacks? Your local appliance repair service can get it up and running in advance of Thanksgiving day. Call Lake Appliance Repair for fast and reliable service of any appliance!

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