Dorm Recipes: escape cafeteria food with these simple recipes

Don’t do it, don’t order the pizza. You can do much better, but how can you feed yourself in your ill-equipped and un-culinary dorm room? Here are some tasty and nutritious recipes that you can make with minimal ingredients and equipment!



If I were to open a restaurant that sold just one thing, that thing would probably be oatmeal. You just can’t go wrong with the homey, nutty wholesomeness of oatmeal. Microwave oatmeal is certainly a dorm friendly meal. If you don’t have a microwave, you can try overnight oats: the night before, combine 1/2 a cup of oats with a serving (3/4 cup)of your favorite yogurt and any other toppings you fancy, let them ruminate and mingle overnight, and in the morning you will have a nourishing bowl of oats.

Microwave Poached Eggs

image by Food {link to}

image by Food {link to}

Since poaching eggs is complicated (even after you master Julia Child’s technique for perfect eggs every time) my family typically uses a microwave egg poacher. Though I have not tried this easy technique, which does not require any fancy equipment, the method is the same and it is very promising! Poaching eggs is one of the healthiest ways to cook them. You can probably get some eggs at your campus convenience store. Have your eggs on toast, a salad, or even on oatmeal (you do not know oatmeal until you appreciate its savory side).

Microwave Baked Apples

image by Fat Free Vegan Kitchen {link to}

image by Fat Free Vegan Kitchen {link to}

The only downside to baked apples is baking them: it takes so long! Instead, cook that apple you snatched on your way out of the dining hall in the microwave. Carve the core of the apple out from the top down to make a well, and fill it with some sweetener, nuts or granola, and butter. Microwave it for 3 to 5 minutes, and you will have a lovely treat.

A Banana with Peanut Butter


Life couldn’t be simpler when you are snacking on a banana and peanut butter. If you don’t mind making life a little bit more complicated and you need a quick meal, put that banana and peanut on a happy couple of bread slices for a perfect sandwich. If you have time to kill or are desperate to get into the kitchen, grill your peanut butter and banana sandwich. For the sake of everyone’s sanity, we’ll stop there, but the possibilities are, in fact, limitless.

Hummus and Vegetables

image by My Fitness Trainer {link to}

image by My Fitness Trainer {link to}

Hummus is a wonderful snack, and it makes raw veggies so much better, they can be a bit boring all alone. Pick up some carrots, cucumber slices, or celery sticks to dip in your hummus, or top a salad with hummus instead of dressing for added protein and tastiness.

Steamed Vegetables

If you have vegetables, a bowl, some plastic wrap, and access to a microwave, you can steam those vegetables. Campus meal-plan hack: put vegetables from the salad bar in a to-go box and use them from recipes later!


Tuna, deli, PB&J, veggie, and just about any type of sandwich can easily be assembled in a dorm room. To keep things interesting, you could learn from one of my favorite movies and make a grilled cheese with an iron (follow the link for the fire-safe directions, don’t actually use Johnny Depp’s technique). I am determined to try this one before the end of the year.

When you need an escape from cafeteria food, with a bit of ingenuity and some simple ingredients, you can whip up a healthy snack or meal even in the culinary barrenness of your dorm room.

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