We report the microwave synthesis and characterization of Au and Pd nanoparticle catalysts supported on CeO2, CuO, and ZnO nanoparticles for CO oxidation. The results indicate that supported Au/CeO2 catalysts exhibit excellent activity for low-temperature CO oxidation. The Pd/CeO2 catalyst shows a uniform dispersion of Pd nanoparticles with a narrow size distribution within the ceria support. A remarkable enhancement of the catalytic activity is observed and directly correlated with the change in the morphology of the supported catalyst and the efficient dispersion of the active metal on the support achieved by using capping agents during the microwave synthesis. The significance of the current method lies mainly in its simplicity, flexibility, and the control of the different factors that determine the activity of the nanoparticle catalysts.