15 Back to School Recipes & Tips for Better Tasting Dorm Food

published Aug 26, 2013
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

It’s often hard to find edible, let alone healthy, food in college. Without a real kitchen and extra cash, what are you supposed to do? While these 15 tips and recipes are not always the most gourmet ways of cooking (ahem, microwave), they will at least help you eat something a little bit tastier and on your own time (the dining hall isn’t always open, you know). 

1 / 15
Chocolate Peanut Butter Mug Cake – Yammie’s Noshery (Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Pro Tip: Take as many of the ingredients as you can for these recipes and ideas from the dining hall (if your school allows it). This will obviously save you time, money, etc. All that good stuff. 


  • 1 Chocolate Peanut Butter Mug Cake – Yammie’s Noshery – Yeah, cake in mugs are kind of ridiculous, but when you’re craving something sweet this peanut butter chocolate one should do the trick. 
  • Scrambled Eggs in the Microwave – They won’t hold a candle to the ones on the stovetop, but might be better then the cold eggs sitting in the cafeteria
  • 3 Overnight Oats – This is so easy to do, plus great for when you’re on the go in the morning. 
  • Steam Broccoli in the Microwave – Sneak some veggies from the cafeteria and make something a little healthy as a snack or to add to microwave pasta. 
  • 1 Make Instant Ramen Taste Better – Radical Possibility – If instant ramen is inevitable in college, you might as well switch it up every once and awhile. 
  • 2 Grilled PB&J – Everyday Occasions – The easiest trick of them all! Grilling your PB&J is life changing. If you don’t have a panini press at school, I’ve heard of people “grilling” it with their clothing iron. That’s right. 
  • One Bowl Microwave Macaroni and Cheese – Minimal effort involved. 
  • 4 Three-Ingredient Cereal Bars – Undressed Skeleton – Take your favorite cereal from the dining hall and use it to make these easy breakfast bars. 
  • Roast” Garlic in the Microwave – Mhmm das right, you can even “roast” garlic if you want to live it up. 
  • 1 Brew a single cup of coffee – Instructables – Because sometimes you just want one cup of coffee and it’s like 2am and everything else, including coffee shops, are closed. 
  • Make Foamed Milk in a Microwave for Coffee – Because if you’re going to go through all the trouble of making that single cup of coffee at 2am, you might as well make some milk foam for it too. 
  • 3 Ramen Noodle Trail Mix – May Squared – This recipe techincally requires a stove, but you could just throw all the ingredients together into a bowl and call it a day. 
  • Make Polenta in the Microwave – Get fancy with your study group. 
  • Toast Nuts in the Microwave – Necessary snack item made better with a microwave. 

Related → College Eating: 5 Ways To Spice Up Cafeteria Food

(Images: As Linked)