Learn how to microwave a baked potato in less than 10 minutes! No really, it's amazing! This cheat for a perfectly soft and tender baked potato was my go-to in college and is now the best way to cook a quick potato dinner for my family. And did I mention it's so easy?
After it's cooked, you can make it a loaded baked potato with all the fixings, or you can eat as the base of meal instead of pasta or rice. I use this method when I'm in a pinch. I prefer baking them in the oven, but sometimes life doesn't give me enough time. Insert Microwave. The whole family loves it and it saves me so much time.
We love a good side dish, especially when they are quick and easy like this recipe. Try our Smashed Potato recipe, Air Fry Garlic Bread, and Air Fryer Sweet Potato Cubes. One of our favorite meals is this potato recipe with Broccoli Salad, Tomato Basil Soup or this tasty Instant Pot Crack Chili Chicken.
This super easy side dish only requires a potato and water. Pick your favorite type of potato. You can have small or large potatoes, or you can use red potatoes or russet potatoes. For this recipe and the time suggested, russet potatoes work best.
How to Make Microwave Baked Potato
The biggest question is how long do you cook a microwave-baked potato? Follow these step by step process photos for the best results and length of time.
Add a washed and scrubbed potato to a microwave-friendly dish. We highly recommend it being glass. Add ½ inch of water to the potato. Too much water will make it soggy but not enough will dry it out.
Microwave for 3-4 minutes. Flip and microwave for another 3-4 minutes. Stab the potato with a knife to check if it's tender throughout.
Dress the cooked potato any way you'd like and enjoy this simple and delicious side dish.
Hint: Don't forget to pock holes in the potato! This makes a vent in the potato, steaming it throughout, and making sure it cooks evenly.
It has a higher chance of exploding in the microwave if you don't vent it properly.
There are so many different ways to cook a potato in the microwave. We prefer the glass dish and water method but here are more options.
- Paper Towel- Just like microwaving a tamale, wrap the potato in a damp paper towel. This helps keep the moisture in. Check out this paper towel potato recipe.
- Plastic Covering- You can follow the instructions as written but cover the stop with plastic wrap to help keep the moisture in. This also cooks the potato faster. Some people don't like this method because it microwave plastic.
- Wrapped in Plastic- After you poke holes in the clean potato, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and follow the cooking instructions. This traps the moisture in the plastic and keeps the potato from drying out.
To crisp up the outside, once you microwave the potato, you can put it in the air fryer or oven. This will keep a soft center while crisping the skin.
Depending on how often you are making baked potatoes, you can even purchase this bag specifically for this recipe. The bag is designed to go in the microwave while keeping it moist. We prefer just using the glassware we have on hand but this method also works.
How to Serve
Once your potato is cooked, you're ready to have a tasty loaded baked potato. Add your favorite toppings like butter, sour cream, chives, bacon, and cheddar cheese. Or you can eat it plain. We've also used this method to make a base for chili and curries.
You can rub olive oil and salt and pepper to the outside of the potato before cooking. This adds extra flavor.
Storing Microwaved Baked Potato
Store leftover baked potatoes in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. When ready to eat, heat in the microwave, oven, or air fryer until warm all the way through. Serve with your favorite toppings and soups.
Best yet, you can even freeze extra potatoes! Save them for when you are short on time and need a quick meal or dish. They freeze well in an air-tight container for 2 months. You'll have to reheat again making them a twice baked potato.
Do not overcook the potato! The ends will start to shrivel and harden when overcooked. It makes it hard to eat and it doesn't look appetizing.
Yes! This is a quick and easy way to prepare a baked potato and you can do more than one. Add 1 minute per side. Also, be sure that the potatoes aren't touch one another. This helps them to bake evenly.
Yes, in fact, this is my go-to method. I used it all the time in college and now as a time-saving hack. It makes for a soft and tender potato in a fraction of the time.
With this recipe, you will have a potato in about 8 minutes. If you are cooking multiple potatoes the cook time will need to be adjusted. Add and extra minute or two for every additional potato. Check how tender they are periodically.
In our opinion baked potatoes in the oven are better. The outside has the perfect crispness and the potato browns really nice. You don't get that with a microwaved potato. But, when you use the microwave you have a cooked potato in less than 10 minutes. This is a great recipe to have when your are in a pinch, or making dinner on a busy school night.
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
These are my favorite dishes to serve with Microwaved Bake Potato:
Microwave Baked Potato
- 1 potato we often use Idaho russets
- any fixings you'd like- butter, salt, pepper, cheese, sour cream, bacon bits, etc.
- Scrub your potato clean. Prick your potato with a fork a few times.
- Place potato in a microwave safe bowl and add water until the potato is in about ¼ -½" water. Microwave for 3-4 minutes then flip over and cook an additional 3-4 minutes. Insert a knife to check for doneness. The potato should be tender but not mushy. Microwave in 30-60 second intervals if needed until done.
- You can absolutely microwave your potato all by itself without any covering or water. The ends might dry out a little bit.
- Microwaving the potato in the water keeps it moist so that the ends don't dry out.
- Poking the potato with a fork helps the steam to vent out. If you don't poke holes, it will cook slower and have a great likelihood of exploding.
- Other cooking methods is wrapping in microwave-safe plastic wrap, or adding a microwave-safe cover to the top of the glass dish. It helps the potato stay moist.
- Place the potatoes in the oven or air fryer after being cooked to help crisp up the skin.
- Don't overcook the potato. The edges get hard and gross looking if overcooked.