5 Great Recipes for Surviving Dorm Life

Contrary to popular belief, you don't have to survive on nothing but ramen. Try these five tasty dorm recipes that you can make in no time.

Let’s be honest here: shared kitchens are often pretty nasty. With college students coming in and out, there’s 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 if they can find good dorm recipes.

Appliances like microwaves, mini-fridges, and toasters are dorm room essentials, and you’d be surprised by what you can do with them. Countertop microwaves are good for more than just popcorn and top ramen — you can make entire meals in them.

If you’re a college student who’s run out of ideas for what to make, try these five easy and delicious dorm recipes.

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 dorm recipe would be perfect for a roommates-night-in.

This recipe requires essential baking ingredients, but most of them don’t need to be refrigerated, so they’re easy to store. They probably won’t last long anyway because you’ll want to make this every night (just watch out for the Freshman 15).


  • 4 tbsp. flour
  • 4 tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tbsp. cocoa
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tbsp. milk
  • 3 tbsp. oil
  • Vanilla
  • Chocolate chips


  1. In a large coffee mug, combine flour, sugar, and cocoa.
  2. Add egg, milk, oil, and a splash of vanilla.
  3. Add a small handful of chocolate chips (optional).
  4. Microwave on high for 3 minutes.

You can dump the cake onto a plate or dig right into the mug 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 delicious egg breakfasts. Technically, this isn’t an omelet because it’s not fried. Don’t expect the consistency to be the same. However, 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, steam them in the microwave for about five minutes before you mix them into your omelet so that they aren’t raw and crunchy.


  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Omelet toppings


  1. Crack eggs into a microwave-safe dish. Whisk them with some milk, salt, and pepper.
  2. Stir in anything else you want, including herbs, spices, vegetables, cheese, sausage or bacon.
  3. Microwave on medium heat for one minute, then take it out and stir.
  4. Put it back in for another minute, take it out, and stir. Repeat 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 also make this delicious risotto when you want to impress someone. They won’t even know you microwaved it to cook it!


  • 1 onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup risotto rice
  • 3/4 white wine OR 1/2 white grape juice OR 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 1/4 cup wine vinegar
  • 1/4 grated parmesan cheese


  1. Finely chop one onion and one clove of garlic and put it into a microwave-safe dish.
  2. Cook it on high for at least three minutes. Set it aside.
  3. Heat the vegetable broth (you can use a mix for this) for two minutes.
  4. Stir it in with the onions, garlic, and uncooked risotto rice. Cover the dish tightly and cook it on high for six minutes.
  5. Stir in white wine, grape juice, or apple juice. Add the wine vinegar and cook it for another ten minutes or until almost all the liquid is boiled off.
  6. Stir in grated parmesan cheese and enjoy!

If you want to simplify this recipe, you can use onion and garlic powder. Add the powder to the heated vegetable broth.

2. Teriyaki Chicken

teriyaki chicken dorm recipes

Believe it or not, chicken can be cooked 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 and boneless, skinless chicken breasts.


  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp. ketchup (or two packets of ketchup)
  • 2 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 3 tbsp. sugar (or three packets of sugar)
  • 1 chicken breast cut into strips


  1. Stir the soy sauce, ketchup, garlic powder, and sugar together.
  2. Dip your chicken in the mixture. Put it in the microwave covered for 6-8 minutes on high.
  3. Cut into the chicken to check that the center isn’t pink before you eat it.

Besides making being a healthy dinner on its own, these chicken breasts are also an excellent way to make a salad or pasta dishes 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 impress your roommates with this tasty pasta.

If you want some garlic bread to go along with it, pop some bread in your toaster and spread some garlic butter on it.


  • 1 can of tuna
  • Pasta
  • Broccoli
  • Water
  • Garlic powder
  • Pepper
  • Parmesan cheese


  1. Put water into a large microwave-safe container and put it in the microwave on high for 5 minutes.
  2. Toss in the pasta and put it back for another 10 minutes or so on the highest level. Cooking time may depend on the specific brand and shape of pasta you use or if you use whole wheat pasta.
  3. 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.
  4. Toss the broccoli, pasta, and a can of tuna in a little olive oil (just enough to coat it).
  5. Add sprinkles of garlic powder and pepper.
  6. Sprinkle liberally with parmesan cheese.

Now that you’ve mastered these dorm recipes, you’ll never want instant noodles again. Try these recipes to impress your roommates or eat better food in your dorm room.