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College Cuisine - Easy Microwave Meals Students Can Make In Their Dorm Room

Updated on November 2, 2013

Skip the Freshman 15... And Other Reasons To Cook In Your Dorm

Are you looking to avoid the dreaded freshmen 15? Did you run out of meals last week? Move into an apartment and get rid of your mandatory meal plan? Really sick of meatloaf Monday, chicken patty Tuesday, and other boring dining hall options? Whatever reason has led you running from the dining hall toward your mini-fridge, these easy recipes will help you become a seasoned dorm-room chef in no time.

Are you a college student?

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Omelet Toppings:

Not Sure what to put in your omelet? Try some of these delicious combos:

Cheese - Don't limit yourself to standard American. Cheddar, swiss, feta and many other cheeses make delicious omelet additions.

All-American - Diced ham (deli meat works great), cheddar cheese and tomato

Meat Lovers - Domino's Pizza meets the omelet. Ham, sausage,bacon, pepperoni.... any meat you have on hand is a go with this omelet! Make sure your meat is ready to eat or pre-cooked before adding it to the omelet.

Veggie Delight - Like the meat lovers, this is an anything goes affair. Tomatoes, spinach, olives, mushrooms, peppers, onions, and broccoli are all great options.

Greek Omelet - My personal favorite is made with tomatoes, spinach, olives and feta cheese.

A few easy fixins

Grilled Cheese or Quesadilla - This one is pretty self explanatory put a few slices of your favorite type of cheese between two slices of bread or tortillas, and heat until the cheese melts. You can also add some deli meat or veggies for extra variety. Worried cooking for one will mean the veggies go bad before you eat them all? Make a visit to the salad bar, and buy just enough veggies for the meal you are cooking.

Omelets or Scrambled Eggs - Even the culinary challenged can mix up some eggs, cheese and veggies. If you’re unsure how to flip an omelet, just scramble everything together with a spatula and call it a day! For a healthier twist try egg whites or liquid egg beaters.

Chicken - Perdue's new "Oven Ready" chicken products take all of the guesswork out of cooking chicken - these pre-seasoned chicken breasts can be cooked in the bag. Sure to impress any dates. Other easy options included chicken nuggets or chicken patties. Top a chicken patty with diced tomatoes and some mozzarella for an easy chicken parm.

How often do you cook in the microwave?

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But, I Only Have A Microwave?

Don’t worry I haven’t forgotten about the kitchen-less set. There are many options for those poor souls living in traditional housing with no kitchen access. First, consider all of the food that is specifically manufactured to be heated in the microwave – tv dinners, steamfresh meals, Betty Crocker’s Warm Delite desserts and more. In addition to these products especially designed for the microwave, almost any prepared food can be heated in the microwave instead of the oven or stovetop. These heat and eat options, include soup, chili, oatmeal, eggs, veggie burgers, canned veggies, popcorn, and Ramen noodles. If you’re looking for something a bit more creative, here are a few more options:

Steamed Veggies – The microsteam bags put out by Ziploc and Glad, give you no excuse for not eating your veggies! All you do is chop up the veggie, stick it in the bag and microwave. I haven’t tried cooking anything other than veggies in these myself, but according to the directions you can steam just about anything in them including meat and fish!

“Baked” Potatoes- whether your prefer sweet potatoes or the traditional white starch, you can easily make a baked potato in the microwave. Just pierce a few holes in the surface with a fork then cook for 3-8 minutes depending on the size of the potato.Just like the oven- baked classic these are delicious topped with butter, sour cream, salsa, cheese or veggies. This great article offers step-by-step directions and specific cook times for microwaving potatoes.

Chili Cheese Dip- This hot dip is sure to be the talk of the party, and with only three ingredients it is very easy to prepare. Layer softened cream cheese, turkey chili (without beans), and shredded cheese in a microwave-safe dish. Cook for about three minutes until the mixture is hot and the cheese is melted. Serve with chips.

Ham & Cheese Roll-Ups - These ham and cheese roll-ups have been a favorite of mine since I was a child! This budget friendly classic requires only deli ham and a slice of cheese, my favorites are swiss or cheddar. Center the cheese in the middle of the piece of ham, top with spinach or broccoli if desired then roll up. Heat in the microwave until hot, about one minute.

Do you have any favorite microwave recipes?

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    • DeborahNeyens profile image

      Deborah Neyens 3 years ago from Iowa

      Great idea for a hub. There are so many more options these days than when I was in college. Fortunately, I worked in a restaurant so I got at least one decent meal a day.

    • profile image

      ElleBee 4 years ago

      I love tuna fish and crackers! Which is strange only because I would never, ever, ever eat a tuna fish sandwich (okay maybe not quite so many never evers but...). I hate mayonnaise but I like canned tuna w/o mayo on saltines :) Haven't had it in a while, might need to be my lunch one day this week.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      I ate lots of canned tuna fish and crackers when I lived in the nurse's dorm after college. Peanut butter is also great to have on hand! Fresh fruit is an obvious winner also. No cooking involved!

    • profile image

      ElleBee 5 years ago

      @SuzieHQ - Yes these are definitely great ideas for anyone cooking for one or in a small space. The chili cheese dip is a family favorite! My stepmom usually makes it for gatherings and everyone loves it! Good with tortilla chips or with crackers.

      @MillionaireTips - Yes, definitely good for those of us who don't want to cook in addition to those who just don't have full kitchen access!

      @Vespawolf - Yes, these are definitely good for when you're cooking in a hurry! Glad you enjoy quesadillas and omelets, they are definite favorites in my house as well - and as you said perfect for low carb diets.

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 5 years ago from Peru, South America

      These are great idea for anyone in a hurry! We often make quesadillas and now, omelettes since my hubby's on a low carb diet. Great microwave dishes, too. Voted up!

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 5 years ago from USA

      These are great ideas not only for the college student, but also for us lazy people who would rather not take the time to cook every day. Voted up.

    • Suzie HQ profile image

      Suzanne Ridgeway 5 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi ElleBee,

      What a great list of ideas that are so useful for singles, apartment living and more!! I love omelets and always creating new creations for us with leftovers. Loved your microwave suggestions, chili cheese dip sounds like a winner to me!! voted up, useful and interesting.

    • profile image

      ElleBee 5 years ago

      @Teaches - Yes convenience foods definitely make it easier for students, especially those who don't cook well.

      @LindaCee - There's nothing to stop you from trying these ideas now! We love the microsteam veggie bags in my house! They make things super quick, and let us steam the veggies while focusing on other parts of the meal that reqire more attention.

    • lindacee profile image

      lindacee 5 years ago from Arizona

      Great ideas for college students or anyone that likes using a microwave. When I was a student, boxed mac n cheese and TV dinners were all the rage -- home microwaves were kind of in their infancy. Certainly wish I'd had one to try out your yummy ideas! My husband and I use the micro to steam veggies and make the occasional baked potato or quesadilla.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      With all the new convenient food products out there, college life can be much more sustaining. I have had the steamed veggies and potatoes before and they are not too bad. Good suggestions for helping students to eat well.

    • profile image

      ElleBee 5 years ago

      Yes I love my microwave for potatoes too. Thanks for the vote up Nell!

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Great ideas! and I am glad you mentioned just the microwave, I tend to 'bake' my potatoes that way too! these ideas are really good for college students, easy to make, and voted up!

    • profile image

      ElleBee 5 years ago

      Thanks cogerson. Glad to know these tips will be helpful for someone :)

    • Cogerson profile image

      Cogerson 5 years ago from Virginia

      Great tips for my college kids....I current have a junior and freshman(though she is claiming she is already a sophomore due to her AP credits)...that can use this helpful advice. Thanks for sharing the ideas....and know that I am sharing them as well. Voted up and useful.

    • profile image

      ElleBee 5 years ago

      I agree that Ramen are a college staple - at least in legend, I think I ate more ramen growing up than I did in college, haha - but I'll have to go back and add them in :)

    • Esmeowl12 profile image

      Cindy A. Johnson 5 years ago from Sevierville, TN

      What? No Ramen noodles? They're a college staple!

    • profile image

      ElleBee 5 years ago

      Free meals sounds like a great perk of working in the kitchen! As an RA I got a discount on my meal plan, but it amazed me that some of my residents didn't even know you could heat up soup in the microwave let alone how to "cook" with it.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I was lucky; I got a job in the dorm kitchen and could eat for free whenever I was hungry. And I was always hungry! Great suggestions!