How to Cook Meatloaf in the Microwave

Meat loaf sliced on cutting board.
Image Credit: bhofack2/iStock/Getty Images

Microwave cooking provides a convenient solution when you don't have time to cook using your traditional oven. High frequency electromagnetic waves produce friction, which reduces cooking time for many types of foods, including meatloaf. Although your meatloaf will take a slightly different shape when you cook it in the microwave, it will be just as flavorful as always. Following a few basic steps can help you prepare a meatloaf in just 20 minutes.

Step 1

Put the meatloaf mixture in a microwave safe tube pan. Don't use metal pans in the microwave. Microwaves can't penetrate metal and will bounce off the pan. If the waves hit the sides of the microwave, damage to the oven may occur.

Step 2

Arrange the meatloaf in a circle if you don't have a tube pan. Turn a small glass upside down and place it in the center of the circle to help the meatloaf retain its shape as it cooks. Keeping the meatloaf in a circular shape will help it cook evenly and allow microwave energy to reach the meatloaf from the top, bottom and sides.

Step 3

Cover the meatloaf loosely with a microwave-safe lid, plastic wrap or wax paper. Don't use aluminum foil. Because aluminum is metal, it can cause arcing, which looks like small bolts of lightning inside your microwave. Arcing can damage the walls of your microwave.

Step 4

Place the pan in the microwave oven and cook the meatloaf at medium-high temperature for five minutes.

Step 5

Change the heat setting to high after five minutes and continue cooking for 15 minutes.

Step 6

Remove the meatloaf from the microwave oven after 15 minutes, and cover it with a lid or aluminum foil. After five minutes, use a meat thermometer to check the temperature. You can safely serve meatloaf if it is at least 160 degrees F. If the meatloaf is not 160 degrees F, return it to the oven for two or three minutes longer and check the temperature again.

Things You'll Need

  • Microwave safe pans

  • Small glass

  • Microwave safe lid, plastic wrap, or wax paper

  • Aluminum foil

  • Meat thermometer


If your microwave doesn’t have a turntable that automatically rotates foods, make a quarter turn in the pan's placement every five minutes. Rotation ensures that food cooks evenly.


Don’t check the temperature of the meatloaf immediately after removing it from the microwave oven. Food continues to cook for a short time after microwaving, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. Checking the temperature too soon may result in an inaccurate reading.