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A baked brie is welcome at all fancy gatherings, like Christmas or New Year’s Eve, but it’s not too bougie for the Super Bowl either. Heck, it’s not even too bougie for a Thursday afternoon, if you ask me. As its title would indicate, baking a baked brie seems like a necessary step, but that, my friends, is crap. You can make it quick, easy, and game-day casual by microwaving your brie.

1. Plate your cheese

Wheel of brie in a microwave-safe bowl.

Credit: Allie Chanthorn Reinmann

While brie en croûte—the kind wrapped in puff pastry—needs time in the oven, not all baked bries are wrapped. They’re just warmed up until they’re hot, melty wheels of cheese, and it doesn’t take much to make that happen. Grab any old wheel of brie or camembert and free it of any wooden container and plastic overwrap. Place the brie on a microwave-safe dish or bowl. I like those wide ceramic soup bowls that have flat bottoms and tall sides, but a plate with an edge works just as well. The idea is to keep any runny cheese from escaping off onto the table, so steer clear of flat surfaces, like cheese boards, slates, or cutting boards with no rim. 

2. Heat it in bursts

Put the plate or bowl of brie in the microwave and heat it for 20 seconds. Check on the cheese to see how melted it is by prodding it gently with your finger. It’s likely still firm in the center, but starting to soften on the edges. Give it another 20 seconds in the microwave and check again. You’ll keep heating the cheese until the center feels slightly soft, about a minute and a half.

Microwaves vary slightly, and a 13-ounce wheel of cheese will take longer to warm than a six-ounce one, so check frequently to help ensure you don’t overdo it. After one minute of heating, I usually start checking the cheese every 10 or 15 seconds until I’m satisfied. 

3. Add toppings and serve

Once the brie feels ready, serve it immediately. You can dress it with some toppings, like chopped nuts, dried fruit, bacon jam, honey, Crunchwrap Supreme toppings, or keep it plain. Grab the nearest chip, carrot, apple slice, or pretzel and smother it in a scoop of gooey dairy. Before you know it, the half-time show will be over and you’ll need to microwave another wheel. Luckily, the next round will be ready before the commercials come on.

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