Microwave baked potatoes come out perfectly fluffy and tender every time - and only take about 10 minutes!
I’ve always had baked potatoes this way, made in the microwave. It never occurred to me growing up that they aren’t actually "baked."
I was well past college, well into my adult years before I ever realized that not everyone made potatoes this way.
But everyone should!
These potatoes are perfectly fluffy and tender and steamy and so delicious! And they are ready to go in about 10 minutes. 🙌
Which is perfect because who has time to heat up an oven and let a couple of potatoes roast for an hour?!
(You can also check out Air Fryer baked potatoes, which are a bit faster than the oven method and get a crispy crust, but still not quite as quick as these.)
Potatoes are a great pairing for so many dinners. Or they can be the main event at dinner, as in my cheesy chicken and broccoli baked potatoes or chicken hash over baked potatoes.
Plus, everyone can fix and top their microwave baked potato just as they please, so they work well for families with different tastes (aka picky eaters).
Now, I’ve got some notes and substitutions coming up on how to make microwave baked potatoes. Just tryin’ to be helpful. (I've made these A LOT and want to share all the details so you can get them perfect, too!)
If you want to jump on down to the recipe, simply scroll right on through the rest of the text. The recipe card is near the bottom of the page, above the comments section.
How to make microwave baked potatoes:
- Scrub the potatoes and poke each potato 5-6 times with a fork - I do it a few times on each side. Place potatoes directly onto the microwave plate.
- The time depends on the number of potatoes and the size of your potatoes. See just below for an easy-to-read list.
- When the time is up, get a towel or oven mitt and gently squeeze the sides of the potato. If it gives without resistance and starts to open up, it's ready. If it still seems a bit firm, microwave for another minute at a time until tender. If your potatoes are different sizes, remove the ones that are tender and continue cooking only the ones that need additional time.
- Carefully cut open your potato, add your favorite toppings and enjoy!
Let's talk specifics about the timing.
How long does it take to microwave potatoes?
- The exact timing will depend on your microwave power, potato size and the number of potatoes. Here's a general guide.
- For 2 medium-sized russet potatoes, start with 10-11 minutes of microwave time on 100% power. If the potatoes don't seem tender (give them a squeeze with an oven mitt; they should give readily), add another 1 to 2 minutes at a time.
- For 4 medium-sized russet potatoes, start with 15-16 minutes.
- For a single potato, start with 5-6 minutes.
- If your potatoes are especially large or fat - like the kind you'd get in a restaurant - you'll likely need an extra couple minutes of microwave time. Just put them back in the microwave and add more time until they get cooked through.
- It's not necessary to turn your potatoes over during the cook time; I usually don't because I'm busy doing something else for dinner. However, you certainly can and it can be helpful for larger or fatter potatoes to get them to cook evenly and a bit more quickly.
(Oh, and check out this post if you're looking for microwave sweet potatoes; the timing is just a little different.)
OK, let's really make these potatoes fun with the toppings! You know I love adding some toppings...
Topping ideas for baked potatoes:
- Butter, sour cream or Greek yogurt
- Shredded cheddar cheese, crumbled blue cheese, or feta or goat cheese
- Crumbled cooked bacon
- Chopped chives or fresh herbs
- Guacamole or diced avocado
- Salsa or pico de gallo
- Hot sauce or sriracha
- Sprinkle of paprika or other seasonings
So many possibilities!
Any way you serve them, I love that potatoes are perfectly portion controlled. I tend to get a bit crazy when piling pasta or rice on my plate, but a potato? The whole thing is mine.
(I love when I don't have to share!)
And I’m one of those people who eats the entire potato, skin and all. I take after my dad that way. I'm a serious potato lover, and these microwave baked potatoes measure up beautifully. 👌
I hope you give these a try - they make dinner so easy and you end up with perfect, fast microwave "baked" potatoes every time.
P.S. You can sign up for my free e-newsletter and get my free e-cookbook with 10 easy weeknight dinners!
P.P.S. This is my favorite potato scrubber (and it's less than $5!)
Microwave baked potatoes
These quick and easy microwave potatoes come out perfectly fluffy and tender every time!
- 1-4 medium russet potatoes
- Salt and pepper; butter, Greek yogurt or sour cream; shredded cheese, blue cheese, or feta or goat cheese; crumbled bacon; chopped chives or fresh herbs; hot sauce or sriracha; avocado or guac; salsa or pico de gallo; paprika or other seasonings, etc.
- Scrub the potatoes. Poke each potato 5-6 times with a fork - I do it a few times on each side. Place potatoes directly onto the microwave plate.
- Microwave on high. The time depends on the number of potatoes and the size of your potatoes. For 1 medium-sized potato, start with 5-6 minutes. For 2 medium-sized potatoes, start with 10-11 minutes microwave time. For 4 potatoes, start with 15-16 minutes in the microwave. When the time is up, get a towel or oven mitt and gently squeeze the sides of the potato. If it gives without resistance and starts to open up, it's ready. If it still seems a bit firm, return to the microwave for another minute at a time until tender.
If your potatoes are different sizes, remove the ones that are tender and continue cooking only the ones that need additional time.
It’s not necessary to turn your potatoes over during the cook time. However, you certainly can and it can be helpful for larger or fatter potatoes to get them to cook evenly and a bit more quickly.
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Serving Size:1 potato
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 110Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 0mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 2gProtein: 3g
How high can YOU stuff them?!
This took way more than 10 minutes (more like 35) and not as fluffy as she says
Yikes! I wouldn't put anything in the microwave for 35 minutes! I've made this hundreds of times and for 2 small to medium potatoes, 10-11 minutes is all I need. Even with 4 medium to large potatoes, they're usually all done in 15 minutes. Sorry yours didn't work out - not sure what happened there.
Possible microwave wattage difference?
Older microwave verses newer?
I thought/wondered that too Tonya! That's a pretty major difference, but could be the issue.
1000 watt or higher will cook any potato in 8 minutes.
Excellent info - thanks James!
I just keep them in for 4 minutes.
I use LARGE( almost a pound each) potatoes, 4 minutes then turn potato over, 4 minutes more, leave in microwave another minute or so, perfect. 1250 watt Panasonic.
I LOVE a big potato too 😊 Thanks for the info James - that's helpful!
Darlene Frances Zuffanti
I too make my bake potatoes this way and they are very delicious and easy and quick love love love
Isn't it the best? SO very fast and easy! 😊
Potatoes should only take 10 min or less to cook through. Perhaps your microwave oven is a lower power.
Worked perfect! Did 2 medium potatoes and one little one (for my 2 year old) 10 minutes and done! Thanks for posting!
I'm so happy to hear that Cressa - thanks for sharing! These potatoes happen AT LEAST once a week in our house! 😊
I do this too but I wrap each potato in a damp paper towel. Keeps them from drying out!
Great tip Deborah! I've never felt like my potatoes dried out, but I'm gonna try this next time just to see!
I've done potatoes in the microwave, the oven, and the crockpot. I've even cut them in half lengthway and baked them in a toaster oven. I've baked red potatoes and white potatoes. I've baked them wrapped in foil and not wrapped. Baking in the oven, wrapped or unwrapped, is the only way to get the fluffy texture, we all love.
Sounds like you are a potato lover like me! I do adore a baked potato in the oven, but I also really love the microwave version and mine always turn out so tender and fluffy - plus it saves me so much time!
I've always, after scrubbing & stabbing, put them in a large bowl with a little water. Come out steamy & fluffy
Oh I'll have to try it that way! Thanks for sharing Rick!
I keep trying to cook a baked potato in the microwave but the center of my potato always comes out hard, even if it's hot. I don't know if I am cooking it to long or to short I have tried both ways.
It sounds to me like your microwave is either too low, or you aren't cooking it long enough. Either way, I'd advise cooking a couple of minutes, then allowing the part of the potato that was actually heated (about a centimeter to an inch in) to heat up the middle for about a minute. Simply repeat till your potato is done. I hope this solves your problem.
Make sure your poking your potatoes two to three times on each side. If you already do this, poke deeper to the center. Hope this helps.
From a very old lady who was microwaving potatoes when microwaves were still 3 feet wide:
Scrub it very thoroughly, let it get wet; take a big gob of butter and rub it in thoroughly; do NOT EVER poke it!! (drys it out); wrap it in about 18" WAX paper, yes a long piece so you can roll it; twist the ends hard, then microwave according to size and number of potatoes. Moist moist moist!!
I'll definitely have to give it a try this way Joyce! 😊
I microwave potatoes bake them in the oven, in foil on the grill, but the microwave always works best.
If I have several to cook like last weekend I wrap them in saran wrap after washing and poking holes and rubbing a little olive oil on each one. Microwane on high for 10 min and let sit then put the stakes on with indirect heat after turning the stakes at 10 min I start the potatoes again for another 10 min. And let sit until I sear the steaks on hi heat.
I let them rest on a tented tray in their juices for 5 min while everyone prepares their own potatoes to tast some even use the ashu from the steak in place of butter.
Cooking times always very because of size potato wattage of microwave and sometimes barometric pressure meaning your altitude. Bon appétit!
Ah, steaks and potatoes - such a classic combo! Love that you have the timing down so well - sounds like a great dinner!
I had to scroll a long, long time and read 5 ads to read “put in microwave”.
Blogs are becoming ridiculous.
Hi Regina, You should definitely stay away from blogs then and find your free information and recipes from other places. 👍
Haha. Nice one! Mic drop!
Hi, would you happen to know how many watts your microwave is?
My current microwave is 1200 watts. My last one was 1000 and it was about the same timing for potatoes. Hope that helps!
Thanks for this. I needed mashed potatoes for a shepherd's pie recipe, but had less than 1/2 hour to prepare them from raw. This post made me confident I could micro them and mash them in time to get the whole entree in the oven to bake. It worked great and my family loved their dinner. Saved the day. Thanks! 🙂
Oh I'm so happy to hear that Sarah! Thanks so much for sharing! ❤️
Kathryn, what a gorgeous idea! We absolutely love potatoes! Definitely need to try these!
I'm such a potato lover too! I hope you enjoy them this way - it's so quick and easy! 🙂
Kathryn, nice idea! This potatoes look absolutely delicious! I need to try it!
Thanks Alina! I hope you love them!
I wrap the potatoes in paper towels and wet them to keep the skins from drying out and getting hard.
Great tip! Thanks for sharing Ann! 😊
Do you have specifics for if you peel the potato? I ask because I'm paranoid about bad spots on the potato but I still want the fluffy center.
Hi! I don't recommend peeling the potatoes before putting them in the microwave. I scrub mine really well and if there's a particular spot or small growth, I cut that out. Otherwise, I keep the peel on when cooking these. I hope that helps!
I love microwave potatoes! Yummy and no animals are harmed in the making. I'd love if you had vegan versions of your potato recipes.
Great recipe. Easy to follow. They tasted delicious and made the house smell wonderful. Thanks!
So glad this was helpful! 😊
Please dont eat potato skins.They are poisonous.
Not all potato skins. Only if it has green skin, or 'eyes' starting to grow (the little sprouts). Otherwise, if you scrub the potato skin and remove the 'eyes', the skin is actually the most nutritious part of the potato!
Yes, the skins are super nutritious!
timothy d moore
kathy i dont have a comment but i would like an answer- i crushed and split my frontal lobe and have not much memory,wife of 36 yrs left me and my money went with her so i dont eat out very often, im sorry now my question- i got the potato but are things i can copy that only take 15-20 min to make,i have air frier, after 20 min i will wonder away so i dont use oven and im so tired of soup and sam. sure would like some different things i can make quick? u seem like a real honest lady so i might ask you? dont have credit card. tim moore
I'm sorry to hear you're having trouble, Timothy. I have a collection of 15-minute chicken recipes that might be helpful for you: https://www.familyfoodonthetable.com/category/chicken-recipes-under-15-minutes/ And you could also do small things like prepping extra baked chicken or rice, chopping extra vegetables, etc. to meal prep a little. And also using timers and reminders when you have something cooking. Hope that helps and take care.
I have cooked potatoes in the microwave many times for different reasons but for eating in place of a “baked” potato, I find the flavor is not as rich. What I will do is start the cooking in the microwave, until the potato is just beginning to soften. Then I move the potatoes into my toaster oven preheated to 425 degrees. Leave it/them baking for about 10 to 15 minutes. The roasting of the peels permeates the whole potato, a complete flavor as if you had fully baked them for 45 - 55 minutes in the oven from the start. However, if you need them in a hurry, go with the microwave start to finish.
Thanks so much for sharing Patricia! I'm definitely going to try finishing mine in the toaster oven when I make them this week!
Made this tonight, absolutely delicious. But I just added extra cheese, ham and mayo. I know it is not healthy but it tastes really nice 🙂
I'm so glad you enjoyed it! And that sounds like a yummy combo!
I’ve done microwave baked potatoes often. I scrub, then wrap with wet paper towel and put in ziplock bag ( only close it 4/5 of the way or it will blow! ) Microwave.
I like to flip once.
As a one dish meal, try opening, slightly mashing then add taco meat. Add your other toppings when you serve. Fast fun meal.
Thanks for sharing Jan! And agreed - love some taco stuffed potatoes!!
very clear and good article easy to understand. Thank you