Tuesday, December 7, 2021

23 Cheap and Healthy Recipes Students Can Make in Their Dorm Room

Hearing the words “college” and “food” together in a sentence conjures up images of ramen noodle cups stacked high or wrappers collected from various fast food places. 

Anything that can be prepared in an instant is the usual go-to for college students. But with a few quick recommendations, you can up your food game with these easy and healthy recipes made entirely in your dorm room.

No oven? No stove? No problem — let’s eat! 👩‍🍳

1. Egg-Topped Avocado Toast

What better way to start a day full of studying than with a perfectly poached egg on top of a bed of creamy avocados? This healthy open-faced sandwich is finished off with tomato, red onion, cheddar cheese, and bacon — a real breakfast stack!

Even better? It’s ready in just three steps and only needs a microwave. 😉 Dig in!

💰 Cost of ingredients: $
🌎 Cuisine: American
Time: 20 minutes

2. Keto Cucumber Sushi Rolls

No rice? No problem! Satisfy your sushi cravings with crunchy cucumbers stuffed with smoked salmon, cream cheese, and avocado. You only need a sharp knife and a spoon to make this healthy, ready-to-eat snack.

Still have leftover shrimp from Chinese takeout? That’s a great substitute for smoked salmon. Is seafood way over your budget? Bell peppers, carrot sticks, and tofu work great too! 

💰 Cost of ingredients: $$
🌎 Cuisine: American/Japanese
Time: 15 minutes

3. Microwave Egg Sandwich

Tip: First things first, learn how to microwave eggs so they won’t be undercooked!

Who would’ve thought that with just a microwave, you can have a hearty egg sandwich filled with Canadian bacon? A toasty English muffin becomes the ideal bed for a couple of slices of bacon, fluffy eggs, tangy salsa, and melted cheese. You could even add some spinach to increase nutritional value.

💰 Cost of ingredients: $
🌎 Cuisine: American
Time: 15 minutes

4. Sesame Chicken Slaw Salad

If you think salads are boring, this easy-to-make Asian-inspired chicken salad will change your mind. All you need to do is toss together shredded rotisserie chicken, sliced mandarin oranges, avocados, and romaine lettuce (or other leafy greens). 

Cut and assemble and you’re done! If you feel like getting fancy, you can top this with fried wonton strips or rice noodles with a roasted sesame dressing on the side. 

💰 Cost of ingredients: $$
🌎 Cuisine: Asian
Time: 20 minutes

5. Hot Pizza Dip

It’s hard to be healthy when something as good as pizza is right around the corner. But this delicious pizza-inspired appetizer uses cream cheese and part-skim mozzarella cheese to cut down on the calories. 

Pair this with whole-wheat breadsticks or crackers so you can eat this cheesy, indulgent snack guilt-free.

💰 Cost of ingredients: $
🌎 Cuisine: American
Time: 10 minutes

6. Quick and Easy Hummus

This delicious, no-fuss dip made with garbanzo beans, olive oil, garlic, and other spices will bring the taste of the Middle East right into your kitchen.

Plus, it’s ridiculously easy! Just put all the ingredients in a food processor (or use a plastic bag and wine bottle for a makeshift rolling pin) and serve with pita bread or carrot sticks. It’s a great snack for study sessions or an appetizer when guests are over. 👩‍🍳

💰 Cost of ingredients: $
🌎 Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Time: 5 minutes

7. Turkey Ramen Noodle Salad

Ramen noodles are cheap and filling — in other words, they’ll always be a pantry staple in college. But instead of just pouring hot water like usual, make things interesting by whipping up a turkey noodle salad.

You’ll be chowing down on the delectable textures of crunchy noodles, moist turkey meat, and various vegetables mixed with a great-tasting dressing made with the seasoning packet in no time! 

💰 Cost of ingredients: $
🌎 Cuisine: Asian
Time: 20 minutes

8. Pronto Vegetarian Peppers

Take a break from snacking on fast food and feast on sweet bell peppers stuffed with a medley of vegetables, including tomatoes, corn, green onions, and a mountain of Mozzarella cheese. Now that’s a vegetarian dish that can whet anyone’s appetite. Sign us up! 

💰 Cost of ingredients: $
🌎 Cuisine: American
Time: 25 minutes

9. Spinach Ricotta Lasagna

In the mood for a savory and cheesy microwave spinach lasagna? Pick out your largest mug at home and fill it to the brim with freshly-cooked lasagna sheets, savory spinach-ricotta mixture, and grated mozzarella.

Got 15 minutes to spare after a class or a part-time job? This is the perfect dinner to cap off such a tiring day. 

💰 Cost of ingredients: $$$
🌎 Cuisine: Italian
Time: 15 minutes

10. DIY Ramen Soup

When it starts to get chilly, warm up with a hot bowl of this ramen soup base which you can make from scratch. Layer the ramen noodles, chicken, chicken base, mushrooms, cabbage, carrots, and other ingredients in big, airtight jars then refrigerate. 

Packed full of hearty flavors, this delicious dish is easy, filling, and perfect for watching Netflix in bed.

💰 Cost of ingredients: $$
🌎 Cuisine: Japanese
Time: 25 minutes

11. Egg Fried Rice in a Mug

The next time your cravings hit and you’re about to order takeout from a Chinese restaurant, whip up a home-cooked version of this amazing egg-fried rice

Take a large mug and mix in your rice, vegetables, and seasoned egg mixture before you pop it in the microwave. In less than 10 minutes, you have yourself a proper lunch that won’t be too heavy on the wallet. 

💰 Cost of ingredients: $
🌎 Cuisine: Chinese
Time: 9 minutes

12. Bacon Breakfast Hash in a Mug

Getting ready for a big day? Start the morning with crunchy potato hash loaded with bacon bits and fluffy eggs. Yum, yum!

You can even coat your frozen hash brown with olive oil, seasonings, and herbs — it’s sure to be one of the best, most filling dishes you can ever make in your dorm room.

💰 Cost of ingredients: $$
🌎 Cuisine: American
Time: 10 minutes

13. Microwave Salmon

Every day is the perfect day for tender, flaky salmon! If you’ve managed to spot some salmon on sale, that’s a sign to make this dish. Generously season your fillet, pop it in the microwave, and your dinner is ready in an instant. 

If you want to make this dish even more luxurious, serve it with a side of steamed veggies or mashed potatoes and Sriracha mayonnaise (or swap the mayo for Greek yogurt). Chef’s kiss! 😘

💰 Cost of ingredients: $$$
🌎 Cuisine: American
Time: 7 minutes

14. Mac and Cheese in a Mug

The great thing about this homemade mac and cheese is that it doesn’t come out of a box (goodbye mysterious, non-nutritious, yet delicious cheese powder). Cook the pasta in the microwave and add all the cheese you can handle.

It’s super tasty and customizable — you can literally put anything you want. But pro-tip, make this when you’re cleaning out your fridge since you can add leftover broccoli, bacon, or chicken. 

💰 Cost of ingredients: $
🌎 Cuisine: American
Time: 10 minutes

15. 15-Minute Meatloaf

Missing home? This flavorful, 15-minute meatloaf made of beef and onion soup mix gives you a taste of your mom’s cooking when you need it the most.

Finish it off with a simple ketchup glaze, serve a nice, crisp salad on the side, and there you have it — a spectacular home-cooked dinner.

💰 Cost of ingredients: $
🌎 Cuisine: American
Time: 15 minutes

16. Deli Roast Beef Sandwiches and Mashed Potatoes

Busy athletes and stressed-out students have one thing in common: a huge appetite. Satisfy your rumbling tummies with hearty tender roast beef sandwiches and creamy mashed potatoes

Store-bought roast beef and gravy piled high on toasty buns is a match made in heaven. It’s definitely a good pick-me-up meal that’ll leave you satisfied to the last bite. 

💰 Cost of ingredients: $$
🌎 Cuisine: American
Time: 10 minutes

17. Dressed-Up Meatballs

A bottle of sweet and sour sauce and frozen meatballs are all you need to recreate this hearty, flavorful dish in minutes. 

Load up these sticky and tangy meatballs with garlic, onions, bell peppers, and carrots scooped over hot white rice. It’s the best thing to eat when you take a well-deserved break from studying.

💰 Cost of ingredients: $$
🌎 Cuisine: Asian
Time: 20 minutes

18. Barbecued Onion Meat Loaves

Ground beef? Check. Onion soup mix? Check. Favorite barbecue sauce? Check. Step up your game with these mini barbecued onion meatloaves

Just follow a simple recipe using seasoned stuffing, onion soup mix, (yes, again!), and if you want, swap the stuffing for crumbled Ritz crackers or other flavored biscuits. Easy, affordable, and filling — what more could you ask for?

💰 Cost of ingredients: $
🌎 Cuisine: American
Time: 25 minutes

19. 10-Minute Risotto Cups

Yup, you read that right: risotto in a cup. You start off with a basic risotto recipe that calls for butter, onion, garlic, Arborio rice, broth, and white wine. Then, choose other fresh ingredients to mix into the dish, such as mushroom, cheese, bacon, and butternut squash! Who knew something so fancy could be easy?  

💰 Cost of ingredients: $$$
🌎 Cuisine: Italian
Time: 10 minutes

20. Mocha Overnight Oats

Toss some fruit, oats, brewed coffee, and milk in a jar, stick it in the fridge, and you’ll have a tasty all-in-one breakfast tomorrow morning. 

Overnight oats are so versatile that you can mix and match your toppings. You could add peanut butter or sliced almonds instead of fruits, or if chocolate isn’t really your thing, skip the cocoa powder and coffee. You won’t get to eat this right after you make it but trust us — the wait will be worth it.

💰 Cost of ingredients: $
🌎 Cuisine: American
Time: 6 hours 

21. Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

No lie — this is an easy and affordable dessert fix for when you’re craving a Reese’s cup. Take some oats, crispy rice cereal, peanut butter, and chocolate chips and make yourself some chewy, nutty, and chocolatey granola bars.

Savor these decadent treats with a cup of hot coffee in the morning or munch on them during a long lecture. 

💰 Cost of ingredients: $
🌎 Cuisine: American
Time: 40 minutes

22. Healthy Apple Crisp

Apple pie is the quintessential American dessert! This dorm-friendly apple crisp recipe can bring this warm, gooey treat to you and your roommates.

Sliced apples covered in sugar, lemon juice, and cinnamon topped with some old-fashioned crumble — what’s not to love? Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream and it’s game over! 

💰 Cost of ingredients: $
🌎 Cuisine: American
Time: 10 minutes

23. Microwave ‘Bake’ Berry Oatmeal Cobbler

Ever heard of baking a berry and oatmeal cobbler in the microwave? It’s a delicious, no-fuss fruity dessert recipe that’ll surely leave you wanting more. 

This cobbler combines oats, brown sugar, flour, butter, cornstarch, and juicy berries before popping it in the microwave. Make it even tastier by finishing off with a dollop of creamy Greek yogurt on top. Sounds delicious, right?

💰 Cost of ingredients: $$
🌎 Cuisine: American
Time: 15 minutes

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