Despite the level of embarrassment that I’m sure will hit me the moment I get back from Paradise (Tuesday!), I still decided to send this truth out there. The truth that once in a while, on some particular full-moons and/or… the night before a long trip away from home, there’s absolutely no excuse for my primitive behavior. And if that’s the kind of entertainment that delights you, here it goes.


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The night before we left for our vacation, I gathered all the usual suspects that an exhausted kitchen would hold… spaghetti, sausages, cheese, milk and butter, plus a few sprigs of herbs, and made dinner entirely out of… the microwave similar to the GE PEM31SFSS microwave my friend has. Spit away but there’s no amount of scolding you could transmit through your screens right now that’s more than what I already told myself. Believe me, I self-loathed. But look, not that any ingredients were any different than if it were cooked on stove-top. And it did save me a sink-ful of dishes to wash (a two-bowls dinner, really) and time for other much needed chores before departure. Disturbing to say, I was even secretly surprised by the legitimacy of melty deliciousness a microwave can pull off… but you see, the entire purpose of my snobbish existence just cannot get behind this idea… not officially at least. So hey, just so you know, officially… I disagree with this. However, it has proven to be much better than expected, so if you haven’t got a microwave but you’re wanting to make easy, quick, and delicious snacks and meals then it might be worthwhile looking at the Best Microwave guide to help you find the best appliance for your kitchen needs.

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Makes: 2 small servings


  • 1 1/2 cup (180 grams) of spaghetti, broken into short segments
  • 1 1/2 cup (355 grams) of water
  • 1/4 tsp of salt
  • 1 cup (240 gram)of half and half
  • 1/8 tsp of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 heaping cup (45 grams/1.6 oz) of shredded fontina cheese
  • 1/2 heaping cup (45 grams/1.6 oz) of shredded sharp cheddar, plus more for topping
  • 1/3 cup (20 grams/0.7 oz) of grated Parmigiano cheese, plus more for topping
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 4.2 oz (120 grams) of sweet Italian sausage meat
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely minced
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp of unsalted butter

Break the spaghetti up into short segments with your hands into a microwave-proof bowl. Add water and salt, then stir to combine. Cover the bowl and microwave on high for 4 min, then stir again with a fork. Cover and microwave on high again for 3 ~ 4 min (depending on the thickness of the spaghetti) until the pasta is al-dente and the water’s mostly absorbed. Add the half and half, grated nutmeg, shredded fontina and cheddar, and grated Parmigiano cheese. Mix evenly and season with salt and black pepper. Set aside.

Divide the Italian sausage, minced garlic, fresh thyme and unsalted butter into 2 mugs. Use a fork to mix them slightly, then microwave on high for 1 min. Break up the sausage meat with a fork (which shouldn’t be completely cooked yet) and return to the microwave for another 1:30 min. Divide the spaghetti and cheese mixture into the mugs and mix with the sausage on the bottom. Top with more shredded cheddar, Parmigiano cheese and freshly ground black pepper. Microwave on high for another 3:30 min until hot and bubbly (you might want to place a sheet of parchment on the bottom in case it over-spills).

Serve immediately.


  • Samie

    October 7, 2013 at 8:48 PM Reply

    Would it be possible to do this in an oven instead?

    • Mandy L.

      October 8, 2013 at 9:58 PM Reply

      Samie, you won’t be able to cook spaghetti in the oven. So you can cook the spaghetti on stove-top first, then bake everything else in the oven in the same steps. Although I haven’t done that so I’m guessing the time and temperature may have be to adjusted as well.

    • dani

      December 7, 2015 at 8:41 AM Reply

      this was great – i’ve made several versions of it and cooking the spaghetti in the mic went just fine. i’m just curious – is there a reason so many said not to try it.

  • Heather P @The Owl with the Goblet

    October 7, 2013 at 9:43 PM Reply

    I’m in trouble now. This looks to easy to make such an indulgent dish in the microwave! Love this idea!

  • Todd @ HonestlyYUM

    October 7, 2013 at 11:52 PM Reply

    Genius. Pure genius!!

  • charlotte

    October 8, 2013 at 7:54 AM Reply

    When my brother first moved out to go to university, he phoned to ask if he could cook spaghetti in a microwave. I said dubiously: “I guess so, I don’t see why not.” So he threw a handful of spaghetti in the microwave…

    Yeah, they had to clear his floor at residence….

  • Sofia

    October 14, 2013 at 4:13 AM Reply

    I don’t have a microwave and this must the be 1st time ever I’ve ever desired one. But I’ll resist, cook the pasta first and put in the oven! You got it spot on with the gooey cheesy mess, can only be yummy.

  • experimental cook

    October 23, 2013 at 1:18 PM Reply

    This looks seriously good for a midnight snack or a Saturday night home-alone dinner. I will oil the inside of the cup and a bit of the outside so that it will be easier to wash later.

  • Megan

    March 5, 2014 at 6:20 AM Reply

    I love this! And I really wish I had not read that I could make cheesy spaghetti in the microwave! Genius!

  • Rebecca

    September 29, 2014 at 10:33 AM Reply

    Is there a substitute for the half & half?

    • mandy@ladyandpups

      September 29, 2014 at 1:12 PM Reply

      Rebecca: you can use either heavy cream, or maybe whole milk (but the result may not be as creamy).

  • dee

    June 18, 2015 at 12:44 PM Reply

    I have no shame. Bookmarked.

  • Teri Justis

    September 12, 2015 at 10:19 PM Reply

    all sound good and portion control. Thank you will be trying all

  • LindaM

    September 13, 2015 at 7:26 PM Reply

    Thanks for sharing. It just occurred to me that I could make several ahead and either take for lunch or pop in the microwave when I get home late. Sure beats those Styrofoam cups of mac and cheese
    (not that I ever make those nasty things. I can make a pot of it for the price of one!

  • Ash

    September 16, 2015 at 5:16 AM Reply

    Why spaghetti? I’m going to try this, but with yellow cornmeal in place of the pasta. I think this is a brilliant way to make grits or creamy polenta! With spaghetti? NO thanks.

  • Nic

    July 20, 2016 at 2:06 AM Reply

    My 16 year old and my husband loved it. The only thing I added was mini meatballs that I made. Great quick meal. Easy cleanup was the bonus.

  • Trena

    August 29, 2016 at 5:16 AM Reply

    Made this for my son tonight and he lovedddddddd it!! Thank you for this quick and easy go to mean for us serious pasta lovers. What made even more perfect is i just happen to have the ingredients already.

  • Leslie

    September 1, 2016 at 6:10 AM Reply

    Thanks, going to try it

  • Linda Forslund

    September 13, 2022 at 8:24 AM Reply

    What size cup should I use?

    • mandy@ladyandpups

      September 15, 2022 at 12:51 AM Reply

      Linda, I think I used a typical about 10cm tall coffee mug.

  • Linda Forslund

    September 16, 2022 at 1:53 AM Reply

    Thank you

  • Sunnie Robinson

    October 1, 2022 at 12:31 PM Reply

    Evaporated milk can sub for cream as long as it doesn’t need whipped.

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