Cooking in a college dorm is certainly a challenge, but we’re here to tell you that making food in your dorm is way easier (and cheaper) than it seems. Here are 7 of our best dorm-friendly meals (some don’t even need an oven!) so you can come to school fully prepared. Plus, having food around always helps you make new friends.
(If you’ve arrived here from How Not to Look Like a Freshman–welcome! Eating well will help you avoid the freshman 15, one easy way not to appear like a freshman.)
**7 Great Dorm Room Meals**
1. Cashew Chicken. Jonesing for Chinese takeout? Put down the menu; step away from the phone. This cashew chicken dish is just as good, much less greasy, and can be made in the microwave! (Fortune cookie sold separately.)
2. Sweet Grain Breakfast Bowl. This gluten-free, vegan breakfast has the added benefit of needing no help from the oven. It may seem like you don’t have time to eat breakfast before you jet off for class, but this healthy, tasty, one-bowl breakfast comes together in a flash. Plus, it will prevent embarrassing stomach grumbling in lecture.
3. Brie and Pear Panini. This sandwich requires a toaster oven!), but it only uses five easy ingredients. Creamy brie and just-sweet pear on toasted bread will liven up your lunch in no time.
4. Chips and Hummus. This is the perfect thing for entertaining party guests, or for snacking on yourself after class. We hear it makes a good low-effort dinner, too… And it’s really no cook – you don’t even need a microwave.
5. Chocolate Bark. Ok, so this isn’t as much a meal as it is an all-purpose snack, dessert, or even breakfast on the go (don’t tell your Mom). The beauty of this treat is its simplicity and versatility. Pop some chocolate in the microwave, mix in your favorite snacks, and freeze.
6. Falafel Pita Pockets. These falafel with a creamy cucumber dressing are a cinch to throw together, can provide lunch or a light dinner all week long, and can all be made for under $10. If that’s not a perfect dorm room meal, I don’t know what is.
7. Grilled Cheese. Nothing is simpler or more satisfying than a grilled cheese sandwich. But don’t underestimate its greatness and flexibility! We’ll be the first to tell you it warrants a recipe (or two, or ten) of its own. Which means you can eat it practically every day, so long as you balance out the cholesterol with some baby carrots.
Cara is the founder of Small Kitchen College and Big Girls, Small Kitchen.