Students Cannot Live on Top Ramen Alone: 5 Great Recipes for Surviving Dorm Life

Let’s be honest here: shared kitchens are often pretty nasty. With college students coming in and out, there’s really no knowing what spilled all over the stovetop. On top of that, no one wants to deal with it going up in flames when you turn it on. For that reason alone a lot of students prefer to stick to what they can make in their dorm room. Appliances like microwaves, mini-fridges, and toasters are dorm room essentials, and you’d be surprised by what you can do with just a mini-fridge and a microwave. In fact, countertop microwaves are good for more than just popcorn and top ramen, you can make entire meals in them. So if you’re a college student who’s run out of ideas for what to make, we’ve put together these five easy and delicious dorm recipes to enjoy.

5.) Cake in a Mug

cake in a mug dorm recipes

The cake in a mug is one of the classic dorm recipes that you didn’t know you needed. Imagine enjoying all of the chocolatey goodness from the inside of your cozy dorm. This would be perfect for a roommates-night-in. It requires all the basic baking ingredients but most of them don’t need to be refrigerated so they’re easier to find storage space for. They probably won’t last long anyway since you’ll want to make this every night (just watch out for the Freshman 15).

  • In a large coffee mug, combine 4 tablespoons of flour and sugar and 2 tablespoons cocoa.
  • Then add one egg, 3 tablespoons each of milk and oil, a splash of vanilla and a small handful of chocolate chips (it’s optional, but why wouldn’t you?).
  • Then microwave on high for 3 minutes and either tip out onto a plate or dig right in with a spoon.

Not a fan of chocolate? Try out these delicious dessert recipes for people who hate chocolate.

4.) Western Omelet

dorm recipes omelet

Like we said earlier, you can do so much with a good countertop microwave oven, like make omelets. Technically, this isn’t an omelet at all since it’s not fried. Don’t expect the consistency to be the same. But it’s still tasty and gets in all the protein and vegetables that you want without any of the oil. If you want to add vegetables, you may want to steam them in the microwave for about five minutes before you mix them into your omelet so that they aren’t still raw and crunchy.

  • Crack eggs into a microwave safe dish and whisk them with some milk, salt, and pepper.
  • Stir in anything else you want, including herbs, spices, vegetables, cheese, sausage or bacon.
  • Microwave on medium heat for one minute, then take it out and stir.
  • Then putting it back in for another minute, take it out, stir and continue until the omelet is cooked.

3.) Microwave Risotto

dorm recipes risotto

College life is busy and sometimes we only have 30 minutes to whip up dinner. Other times we get a rare chance to take our time and make a delicious meal to reward ourselves for all of our hard studying. This recipe is great for when you have a little bit of extra time on your hands. You can make this delicious risotto when you want to impress someone, they won’t even know it was microwaved!

  • Start by chopping up one onion and one clove of garlic very fine and put it into a microwave-safe dish.
  • Cook it on high for at least three minutes and then set it aside.
  • Then heat up about 1 ½ cups of vegetable broth (you can use a mix for this) for about two minutes.
  • Stir it in with the onions, garlic and about a cup of uncooked risotto rice then cover the dish tightly and cook it on high for about six minutes.
  • Then stir in either ¾ white wine or ½ white grape juice or apple juice and a quarter cup of wine vinegar and cook it for another ten minutes or until almost all the liquid is boiled off.
  • Then stir in about ¼ cup of grated parmesan cheese and enjoy!

If you want to simplify it, you can use onion and garlic powder instead of the real stuff.

2.) Teriyaki Chicken

teriyaki chicken dorm recipes

Believe it or not, chicken can be cooked completely safely in the microwave. The downside is that unless you have a high tech microwave oven with a fancy grilling feature, it won’t have the best texture. You wouldn’t get any of the crispy skin or satisfying browning that you would get in an oven or frying pan. That’s why it’s best to stick to cutlets: boneless, skinless chicken breasts. To make this chicken teriyaki:

  • Stir together about a quarter cup of soy sauce with a few tablespoons of ketchup, garlic powder, and sugar.
  • Dip your chicken in and put it in the microwave covered for 6-8 minutes on high.
  • Make sure to cut into it to check that the center isn’t pink before you eat it.

Besides making being a healthful dinner on its own, these chicken breasts are also a good way to make a salad or pasta dishing more filling and impressive.

1.) Tuna-Broccoli Pasta

broccoli pasta dorm recipes

This recipe uses all of the basic things that you can cook in a microwave and throws them all together. You’ll definitely impress your roommates with this tasty pasta. All you need to put this dorm recipe together is tuna, pasta, broccoli, and olive oil. If you want some garlic bread to go along with it, pop some bread in your toaster and spread some garlic butter on it.

  • Put water into a large microwave-safe container and put it in the microwave on high for 5 minutes.
  • Then toss in the pasta and put it back for another 10 minutes or so on the highest level. This may depend on the specific brand and shape of pasta you use, or if you use whole wheat pasta but as soon as you’ve got it right you’ll have a whole new world of dorm cooking opened up.
  • Steam the broccoli by cutting it into small pieces and putting it into a microwave safe dish with a few tablespoons of water for about 6-8 minutes.
  • Now toss the broccoli, pasta and a can of tuna in a little olive oil (just enough to coat it), garlic powder and pepper and sprinkle very liberally with parmesan cheese and you’ve got all the food groups covered.

Now that you’ve mastered these dorm recipes, you’ll never want top ramen again.

Have any dorm recipe favorites? Let us know in the comments!

Your Ultimate College Dorm Room Checklist (+ Where To Shop) Your Ultimate College Dorm Room Checklist (+ Where To Shop)