20 Easy Meal Ideas College Students Can Whip Up In Their Dorms

20 Easy Meal Ideas College Students Can Whip Up In Their Dorms

College students, don't just settle for the same cup noodle every night for dinner. While instant noodles are definitely a college staple that deserves to be recognized, we want to provide you with 20 cool meal ideas that are all easy to make, easy to store, and easy to enjoy. Just because you're dorming doesn't mean you shouldn't get to enjoy delicious food!

1. Overnight Oats

One of the trendiest foods out there on social media currently, overnight oats are perfect for college students looking for ways to create tasty morning meals. Requiring no cooking at all, it's as easy as it is delicious! All you really need to do is mix rolled oats with milk or yogurt before topping it off with your favourites like fruit, chocolate chips, or honey. Leave it in the fridge overnight and voila! There are so many great recipes to follow online too!

OvernightoatsElla Olsson on Unsplash

2. Microwave Mac and Cheese

Who knew you could create comfort in a microwave? When you're a college student, the microwave will easily become your best friend when it comes to making meals. If you're feeling a bit down and need a pick me up, how does microwave mac n cheese sound? Just combine macaroni, water, and a little salt in a microwave-safe bowl, microwave until tender, then mix in your favourite cheese blend and milk while it's still hot.

Inna-Safa-L4Wylhzll18-UnsplashPhoto by Inna Safa on Unsplash

3. Avocado Toast

Yes, avocado toast is incredibly basic, but who said basic meant bad? Nutritious, yummy, and easy to put together, avocado toast is any college student's go-to breakfast. With no cooking required, it's hassle-free, which is extra nice for those days when you just don't have any time. You can now wake up late without worrying what to eat for breakfast.

Douglas-Bagg-7Go11Y7Bznw-Unsplash (1)Photo by Douglas Bagg on Unsplash

4. Veggie Wraps

Just because you're in college and need easy to put together meals, doesn't mean you have to eat unhealthy! Veggies wraps are the perfect example of this. Quick, customizable, and loaded with veg, it's an easy way for students to combine health with delicious taste. Just fill a whole wheat wrap with some veggies of your choice, a spread like hummus or cream cheese, and add in cheese or sliced turkey to your liking.

Sara-Dubler-Oncljovtyfm-UnsplashPhoto by Sara Dubler on Unsplash


5. Microwave Omelette

Microwaves are a lot more capable than just reheating your food! Need proof? Make a delicious breakfast omelette straight in the microwave. Just whisk together some eggs, milk, salt, and pepper (your usual omelette fixings) before pouring it into a microwave-safe mug and adding in additional toppings like cheese, vegetables, or sausage. It just takes a minute or two for your meal to be ready!

Igor-Miske-N0U8Blrb -G-Unsplash (1)Photo by Igor Miske on Unsplash

6. Salad in a Jar

Eating from a jar might sound a bit strange at first, but hear us out. It's all about convenience with dorm meal prep! By making your salad in a jar, it keeps things fresh, easy to store, and portable! Those are arguably 3 requirements necessary for college students. Fill the bottom of the jar with your favourite dressing, layer with vegetables and topping, and shake to enjoy.

Correen-Bvyhxixlw C-UnsplashPhoto by Correen on Unsplash

7. Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich

Sometimes we all just want a sweet treat ready at a moment's notice when we're craving it. That's where peanut butter and banana sandwiches swoop in to save the day. When you're a college student, it's all about cheap eats that taste good - this is perfect for that. Savory and sweet, no one can explain how slices of banana on peanut butter spread whole grain bread could taste so good.

Sandwich-5932966 1280Image by Muhammad Ragab from Pixabay

8. Greek Yogurt Parfait

Great for on the go snacking or as a quick breakfast in the morning, a Greek yogurt parfait hits the spot every time. When you have to run across campus for class, college students don't always want something too heavy in the morning. That's why this meal is perfect. Providing a healthy source of protein and fiber while still being light and filling, the best part is, you can make your parfait out of your favourite fruits and toppings.

Niclas-Illg-Urtkjdrhqlk-UnsplashPhoto by Niclas Illg on Unsplash

9. Instant Noodle Stir Fry

Would this list make sense if we didn't add some form of instant noodle to it? The savior of many college students around the world, instant noodles are affordable and filling, making them an iconic dorm room food. But instead of just doing the regular "boil the water, pour it in" cooking method, let's spice things up. If you're lucky enough to have a stove top to work with, elevate your noodles by stir-frying them with a healthy mix of vegetables and protein, adding in some soy sauce and garlic for an extra kick of flavour.

Pui-Bear-Zpvzke86Mt8-UnsplashPhoto by Pui Bear on Unsplash

10. Rice and Bean Bowl

Keep things simple with a bowl of rice and beans - Chipotle at home, anyone? Just cook up some instant rice and mix with some canned beans before adding on your preferred toppings. Perhaps a touch of salsa might give it some extra kick, alongside some spices like cumin and chili powder if you have it on hand. If you're really lucky or bougie enough, toss in some cheese and avocado for the final touches; those two ingredients make everything taste better.

Dragne-Marius-Edzsufqhbay-Unsplash (1)Photo by Dragne Marius on Unsplash


11. Tuna Salad

You hated it as a kid, but now, it's your favourite thing to whip up as a college student. It just goes to show you, food out of a can, can taste delicious! They just need some extra help. By mixing together canned tuna with mayonnaise, some mustard, celery, onions, and maybe even pickles, you've built yourself the most delicious sandwich filling, cracker dip, or lettuce wrap stuffing. There are so many different ways to enjoy it, it's a pretty versatile food!

Grooveland-Designs-8Kktiumkhxu-UnsplashPhoto by Grooveland Designs on Unsplash

12. Microwave Sweet Potato

For those days when you really don't want any cooking involved, nothing works better than a simple microwaved sweet potato. Just pierce it a couple of times with a fork before throwing it in the microwave; it just needs about 5-7 minutes for it to become soft and ready to eat! Whether you like it plain or topped off with butter, salt, and pepper, it's totally up to you. You might be surprised by how filling it is.

Sweet-Potato-1248078 1280Image by 소영 구 from Pixabay

13. Canned Soup Over Rice

If you personally don't define soup as a whole meal, we've got the perfect solution for you. Listen up college students, if you ever need to make a meal more filling, the answer is...add some rice. It'll work wonders, especially with instant rice options that make it so accessible! Just heat up your favourite canned soup and pour it over some cooked instant rice for a comforting meal that'll warm you up during colder nights or after a rough day at school.

Kelly-Common-4N1Kpd04Ls0-UnsplashPhoto by Kelly Common on Unsplash

14. Quesadillas

It's time to highlight the power of the microwave again - let's whip up some quesadillas this time! Of course, make sure you have a microwave-safe plate. Just build your tortilla up with loads of cheese and your favourite fillings like precooked chicken, beans, or vegetables, before tossing it in the microwave. The greatest thing about quesadillas is that the cheese does all the work for you! Once it's melted, it holds the whole thing together and is immediately ready for eating.

Mikey-Frost-Jzaa V8Ucgs-UnsplashPhoto by Mikey Frost on Unsplash

15. Mug Brownie

When the peanut butter banana sandwich just doesn't cut it, we've got the ultimate dessert idea for you college students stuck without an oven: the mug brownie. With plenty of different recipes online to try, you can easily find one that fits the ingredients and limitations you have. But if you're feeling extra special or just need a pick me up, we suggest loading it up with a scoop of ice cream for the finishing touch.

Courtney-Rose-Gn9Dee3Ertg-UnsplashPhoto by Courtney Rose on Unsplash

16. Instant Oatmeal

Keep things plain and simple with some instant oatmeal that is both easy to store in a dorm and filling to eat in the morning. We're not saying you have to eat it plain though, level it up by adding in some milk, cut up some fresh fruit, or even add in a spoonful of peanut butter for an extra depth of flavour. There are so many ways you can make this instant food even more delicious, even if you're stuck in a dorm room.

Aneta-Pawlik-Cl2535Ovwda-UnsplashPhoto by Aneta Pawlik on Unsplash


17. Spaghetti Squash

But if plain and simple doesn't scream your name, here's a fancy dinner meal you can try whipping up in your dorm. Ever heard of spaghetti squash? As a healthier alternative to pasta, scraping the flesh of a halved squash gives it a noodle-like consistency. So just give it a quick microwave before topping with some store-bought pasta sauce and some meatballs if you really want to take things up a notch. Health is wealth folks!

Viviana-Rishe-Q70Dt-Fiz4S-Unsplash (1)Photo by Viviana Rishe on Unsplash

18. Chicken Salad

Another delicious meal made out of canned protein, this time we're swapping out the tuna for chicken. By mixing it with some mayonnaise, diced apples, cranberries, and chopped nuts, you're able to transform that bland and boring canned chicken into a sweet and savory mix. Whether you're going the healthy route and adding it to your salad, the portable route by throwing it in a sandwich, or the snacking route by having it with some crackers, it tastes good no matter how you pair it.

Chicken Salad With EggsT. Bjornstad on Wikimedia Commons

19. Microwave Baked Beans

Okay, okay. Eating canned beans for dinner might not sound the most appetizing, but we've got ways to turn it into something more tasty. Hey, the British love baked beans so let's give it an honest shot! You can enhance this simple meal by tossing in some chopped bacon, diced onions, sausage bits, or shredded cheese. Just think of it as a budget chili - sometimes that's all college students have to work with.

Boston-Baked-Beans-671041 1280Image by pixel1 from Pixabay

20. Ramen Noodle Salad

To finish things off, we're giving instant noodles another shout out. But this time, we've got a unique twist! No, this time we're not just telling you to stir-fry it, we're telling you to consider making it into a salad. Before you argue that eating ramen cold sounds terrible, just listen to this. Mixing the cooled ramen noodles with a dressing made from soy sauce, sesame oil, and the seasoning packet before adding in sliced veggies sounds pretty good, right? It's a fun spin on the classic dorm food that is definitely worth a try.

Salad With Ramen Noodle (17923012143)pelican from Tokyo, Japan on Wikimedia Commons