dorm room dining

Posted : October 2, 2006
Last Updated : February 13, 2020

dorm room dining

When it's too cold (or hot) to trek across campus to the dining hall or when your budget is finally seeing the effects of pizza delivery, it's time to look into dorm room dining options.

The Basics

With just a few essential cooking utensils, you can whip up a pretty tasty meal in the convenience of your own dorm. Here are the must-haves for dorm room cooking:

  • Mini-fridge. A fridge is essential, especially if you want to stay semi-nutritious since many healthy foods require refrigeration.
  • Microwave. At most schools, microwaves are the only appliances allowed that will heat up your food. Many schools prohibit hot plates, rice cookers, toaster ovens, etc. Check with your school for a list of items that are not allowed.
  • Microwavable bowl. Pyrex and plastic are good for going into the microwave. Be sure to stay away from metal.
  • Potholder. Needed for removal of hot bowls from microwave.
  • Plates and cups. You only need a couple of each. Stick with non-breakable dishes. Be sure to wash after each use to avoid unwanted visitors.
  • Cutlery. Keep it simple. You only need a couple of knives, forks, and spoons. Throw in a whisk if you're feeling adventurous.
  • Can opener. Needed for the easiest of meals, such as soup and tuna.
  • Cutting board. Since the restroom counters aren't very sanitary, be sure to pick up a plastic cutting board. has some great suggestions of kitchen tools for dorm rooms, but you can also find other dorm room essentials at Amazon.

Easy Meals

As a college student, you don't have a lot of time to cook. And with the list above, you obviously have to keep the cooking pretty simple anyway. Check out these easy meals for the dorm room:

  • Omelet. Yep, you can fix an omelet in a microwave. This is where that whisk comes in handy too. Crack two or three eggs in a large, microwavable bowl. Add cheese, ham, peppers, etc. for extra flavor. Whisk. And then zap it for about three minutes. Fold in half, and you're good to go!
  • Bean burrito. For this tasty meal, you just need a few tortillas, a can of refried beans, salsa, and shredded cheese. Spread the beans over the tortilla and top with salsa and shredded cheese. Heat until the cheese is melted. Enjoy with microwavable rice.
  • Pasta alfredo. Put one quart of water and 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a microwavable dish. Add a lid and heat for twelve minutes. Add pasta. Heat for eight minutes. Make sure the pasta is tender. Drain water from pasta and add alfredo sauce. Stir and heat for another two minutes.
  • Tuna sandwich. Mix one can of tuna with mayo. Add chopped pickles for flavor. Add lettuce and tomato, if desired. To stay on the healthier side, forgo the chips and opt for a side of snow peas. Yum!
  • Soup. Vegetable. Chicken noodle. Potato. Cream of mushroom. There's a wide variety from which to choose! Pair with a sandwich for a more fulfilling meal.


For those late night hunger pains, keep these healthy snacks on hand:

  • Fresh or dried fruit
  • Nuts
  • Yogurt
  • Rice cakes
  • Peanut butter and crackers
  • Pretzels
  • Granola bars
  • Popcorn

To avoid the freshman fifteen (or sophomore, junior, or senior fifteen, for that matter), don't store junk food in your dorm room. If you are craving chips or a candy bar, it's better to buy from the vending machine every once in a while than to have a readily available stash under your bed.

Dorm room dining is doable and can be quite tasty! For a wide variety of options, you may even want to invest in a cookbook of microwave recipes. Bon appetit! USA, LLC

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