21 Surprisingly Appetizing Meals You Can Make In Your 130-Square-Foot Dorm
Student Life

21 Surprisingly Appetizing Meals You Can Make In Your 130-Square-Foot Dorm

Avoid the freshman 15 and develop skills to propel you into adulthood at the same time!


Starting college is hard and it's even harder if you're used to your parents making home-cooked meals for you. The adjustment to a meal plan can either be the first time you've experienced the freedom to eat what you want (hello freshman 15) or it can become nauseatingly familiar after the first couple of weeks.

Regardless of where you stand with the dining hall and meal plans, it's important to be able to make food on your own for the times when you can't (or shouldn't) be eating pizza for the third time that day. Here are 21 foods that are delicious and easy to make, even if your dorm space is extremely limited.

All these recipes were saved on my Pinterest so not to toot my own horn but follow me if you want more food-related ideas.

1. Chili

Grab a crock pot, toss everything into it, and let it sit all day. Perfect for bringing to a Super Bowl party or for warming up on cold winter days. Check out some recipes here.

2. Mac and Cheese

While it's best on the stove, it can also be made in the microwave. Pop it in a microwave-safe bowl with just enough water to cover the pasta and stir with a fork every 2 minutes until the pasta is cooked. Then don't drain the water and add milk, butter, and the cheese packet. For even tastier mac and cheese, add fresh ingredients. My favorite is ham, peas, and breadcrumbs.

Bonus points if you offer your roommate some of it. They may forgive you for leaving your clothes all over the floor and, let's be real, boxes of mac and cheese are big enough for two.

3. Grilled cheese

The number 1 reason I chose to get a waffle iron freshman year was to make grilled cheese. Add whatever ingredients you want but make sure to spray the waffle iron well so that your sandwich doesn't stick to it.

Bonus points: get the microwavable tomato soup to dip your sandwich in.

4. Waffles

Once you have a waffle iron, it's also worth making waffles once in a while. Eat them with chicken tenders from the dining hall for quick chicken and waffles or add any other ingredients for a fun spin off the traditional breakfast. If all else fails, buy butter and syrup and eat them the old-fashioned way.

5. Cinnamon rolls

While we're on the topic of waffle irons, grab some cinnamon rolls from the roll and pop them in the waffle iron to warm them up before drizzling frosting on them.

(You can also make cookies by popping cookie dough on the iron and waiting for it to cook a bit)

Check out this Buzzfeed link for 2 more waffle recipes. I'm done with the waffle iron now I swear.

6. Smoothies

Got to get your veggies in somehow, don't you? Snag some kale from the salad bar in the dining hall and mix it with berries, yogurt, and orange juice for an on-the-go Vitamin C boost.

I got this personal-size blender with a bottle I can take with me from Amazon and I love it.

7. Overnight oats

Instant oats, milk, yogurt, fruit, and anything else you want to add, these overnight oats are so easy to make and grab on your way out in the morning.

8. Breakfast sandwiches

This summer I made four of these at once and then stuck them in the freezer and pulled them out on days when I was running out to go to class. They're even easy to make if you don't have access to a stove because you can cook the eggs in the microwave. Recipe here!

9. Energy balls

For on-the-go breakfast or a quick afternoon snack, these energy balls are perfect and easy to make. Plus there's no oven required.

Learn how to make these 7 using this link.

10. Crock pot lasagna

For those days when dining hall spaghetti just won't cut it. Recipe here.

11. Deconstructed tacos

Add whatever you want to the basic recipe and take it with you wherever you go.

12. Stuffed avocados

Many stuffed avocado recipes require baking but here's one that doesn't if you don't have access to an oven. An avocado is a delicious source of protein that can also serve as a boat for carrying a variety of ingredients.

13. Pizza bagels

Who needs an oven when you have a microwave? Check out this and other microwave meals at HerCampus

14. Chicken pot pie

For more meals in mugs (including the cheeseburger in the cover photo), check out this Refinery29 article.

15. Chicken fried rice

Grab a frozen packet of fried rice from the grocery store, heat it up in the microwave, and add shredded chicken from a rotisserie chicken or from the dining hall. You can also substitute shrimp, beef, or keep it vegetarian. Quick, easy Chinese food.

(Also, frozen dumplings can be heated in the microwave to complete the meal.)

16. Quesadillas

Add a protein and some vegetables for a yummy meal that's nowhere near as greasy as the dining hall version

17. French toast

Add an egg or some meat for an extra protein boost. Instructions here.

18. Butternut squash risotto

A meal your mother would be proud of you for making. Check out this and more dorm meals over on Buzzfeed.

19. Better ramen

Please don't eat cup of noodles and just make this for yourself instead. Full recipe here.

20. Microwave enchiladas

Make everyone on your floor jealous with this recipe. Plus they're gluten free!

21. Salad

Plus if all else fails, you can always just toss a bunch of ingredients on a salad. Here are 15 different options for chopped salads that are easy to make!

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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