How Long to Microwave Cup Noodles for an Instant Meal

Cup Noodles are, if you ask us, one of the greatest inventions ever made.

From students in their first year of college, to families who have just moved to a new home, there is nothing more convenient than a meal which is instantly activated by adding some hot water.

How Long To Microwave Cup Noodles featured image

In this article, we will be discussing the best ways to cook some Cup Noodles, and finding out whether you should cook them in the microwave or not.

If you’re planning to eat lots of ramen because you’re going off to school this year, check out our list of the best dorm microwaves so you can be prepared!

Pair your Cup Noodles with the following:

Crispy Frozen Egg Rolls in the Air Fryer
Start with frozen egg rolls and turn them into something magical with the help of your air fryer. A crispy outer shell, flavorful interior, and easy cooking method make this a perfect combo.
Frozen Egg Rolls in the Air Fryer
how to cook frozen egg rolls in the air fryer dinners done quick featured image
Air Fryer Frozen Vegetable Spring Rolls Recipe
Crispy vegetable mini spring rolls cook perfectly from frozen in the air fryer. Serve with your favorite dipping sauces or pair with other Asian-inspired dishes for a full meal.
Air Fryer Frozen Spring Rolls
how to make frozen spring rolls in the air fryer dinners done quick featured image
Bibigo Dumplings in the Air Fryer – Quick & Easy!
Enjoy Bibigo dumplings fresh from your air fryer in about 10 minutes. These frozen dumplings turn out juicy, delicious, and perfectly cooked!
Bibigo Dumplings in the Air Fryer
how to cook bibigo dumplings in the air fryer dinners done quick featured image

Can You Microwave Cup Noodles?

The short answer here is ‘no’. 

You shouldn’t, technically, place Cup Noodles in the microwave… at least, not while still in its original packaging.

The reason for this is that the packaging for most Cup Noodles is made from styrofoam. When heated, the chemicals and toxins from the styrofoam cup may leak into the noodles, which you will then be consuming.

Styrofoam consumption has been linked to some serious illnesses and medical complications, including cancer. 

Some Cup Noodles packaging, or the packaging for similar brands, are microwave safe. This will be stated on the packaging itself, meaning that it will be suitable to be heated in the microwave.

Check out our guide on how to identify the microwave safe symbol.

However, if this fact has not been stated, you should never heat Cup Noodles in the microwave. It is simply not worth the risk, and there are so many other ways that you can successfully cook some Cup Noodles.

How Long Does It Take To Make Cup Noodles?

Water Heating MethodHeating TimeTotal Time
Kettle (Stovetop)4½ – 6 Minutes8 – 9 Minutes
Kettle (Electric)4 – 5½ Minutes7 – 8 Minutes
Microwave (1000W)3 – 3½ Minutes6 – 7 Minutes
Keurig (or similar)1½ Minutes5 Minutes
How long it takes to make cup noodles using various water heating methods

This chart assumes an average cook time of 2-3 minutes required for the noodles to soften. Note that kettle times may vary based on how full the kettle is, and microwave time varies by wattage. The Keurig uses the Hot Water setting at a 10 ounce fill.

Using Water From A Kettle

Depending on how full the kettle is when you begin to boil it, you will probably need to wait around 5 minutes for the water to heat up completely.

Then, once you pour the water into the noodles in the cup and seal the lid, it will take a further 2-3 minutes for the noodles to soften.

In total, it would take around 8-10 minutes to make Cup Noodles using boiling hot water from a kettle, as it is intended.

Using Heated Water From A Microwave

You could use the microwave to boil water to add to the Cup Noodles, and it would take you less time. In a 1000W microwave, water will begin to boil within 3-3½ minutes.

You can then pour the boiling water into the Cup Noodles, and wait a further 3 minutes for the noodles to soften.

In total, it would take around 6 minutes to make Cup Noodles while boiling the water in the microwave.

We don’t recommend this method, however, as it is highly possible that you could seriously injure yourself if you take a cup or a bowl filled with boiling water out of a microwave.

If you are going to attempt this, be sure to wear oven mitts to protect your hands, and move very slowly and carefully, so you do not tip the water.

Heating The Cup Noodles In The Microwave (In a Bowl)

If you don’t want to waste time heating the water and noodles separately, but your Cup Noodles packaging isn’t microwave safe, you could tip the dry noodles into a bowl and cover with water, and then place in the microwave.

It will take, roughly, around 4-5 minutes for the noodles to completely soften while using this method.

However, the noodles may not soften consistently using this method, and you may be left with some harder noodles in your bowl.

This is, however, probably, the most convenient method to use, as you can simply eat the noodles straight out of the bowl once it has finished cooking.

Heating The Cup Noodles In The Microwave (In The Cup)

Heating The Cup Noodles In The Microwave (In The Cup)

Once again, we want to state that you should only place a Cup Noodles container in a microwave if it clearly states that it is microwave safe.

If you pour some water into the Cup, and heat it up in the microwave, it may take around 4-5 minutes to completely cook.

In reality, this will take around the same amount of time as if you were to empty the dry noodles into a separate bowl and fill with water.

So, while we don’t recommend either methods, it would be safer to use the bowl method than place a Cup made from toxic materials in a microwave.

How To (Safely) Microwave Cup Noodles

  1. Place the dry noodles and seasoning in a microwave safe bowl or mug
  2. Add water to the bowl, making sure to cover the noodles completely
  3. Cook on high for 3 minutes, stopping to stir every 1 minute
  4. Remove container from microwave and place a lid or piece of foil on top
  5. Allow to sit for 2-3 minutes so noodles soften completely and cool slightly
  6. Mix together and enjoy

Note: If you are following this method, make absolutely sure that the dry noodles are covered in water before placing them in the microwave. If they’re not, they could potentially catch fire.

While this method will safely work for you to microwave your Cup Noodles, the best option in our opinion, is still to boil some hot water and pour it onto the noodles before leaving them to soften.

We understand that this may seem time-consuming, but, in reality, it only takes around 5-10 minutes (depending on heating method) to cook the noodles in this manner. This prevents you from having to dirty another container and is generally less cumbersome.

Final Thoughts

If you ask us, there’s nothing wrong with the intended method of cooking Cup Noodles. Why fix something if it’s not broke, right?

However, if you’re going to attempt to cook Cup Noodles in the microwave, please don’t place the styrofoam packaging in a microwave. It can cause detrimental effects on your health, and it isn’t worth the risk!

We hope you found this article helpful. Happy cooking!

How Long To Microwave Cup Noodles featured image

Microwave Cup Noodles

Learn how to safely prepare and for how long you need to microwave Cup Noodles!
No ratings yet
Prep Time 1 minute
Cook Time 6 minutes
Total Time 7 minutes
Course Lunch
Cuisine Japanese, Soup
Servings 1

Equipment

  • Microwave
  • Bowl or mug safe for microwave use
  • Lid or foil

Ingredients
  

  • 1 Cup Noodles
  • 10-12 oz Water

Instructions
 

  • Place the dry cup noodles and seasoning in a microwave safe bowl or mug
    1 Cup Noodles
  • Add water to the bowl, making sure to cover the noodles completely
    10-12 oz Water
  • Cook on high for 3 minutes, stopping to stir every 1 minute
  • Remove container from microwave and place a lid or piece of foil on top
  • Allow to sit for 2-3 minutes so noodles soften completely and cool slightly
  • Mix together and enjoy

Notes

  • Cook time is based on a 1000W microwave. For lower wattage, increase time and for higher wattage, decrease time
  • Depending on the size of your bowl, you may need more or less water – just make sure the noodles are covered completely
  • Set a fork or chopsticks on top of the foil to ensure a better seal so noodles steam
  • Feel free to add in other toppings such as sliced meats, green onions, or an egg!
Keyword cup noodles, instant noodles, microwave cup noodles, microwave soup, ramen noodles, soup
Tried this recipe?Mention @TheDinnersDoneQuick or tag #dinnersdonequick!
Katie Vine