Living in a dorm room comes with unique challenges. If you are in a traditional college dorm, you don’t have a kitchen and your bathroom is down the hall and communal. If you hop in the shower and realize you forgot your razor, there’s no hopping out real quick to grab it, you’re just out of luck in regards to shaving this time!
Ok, so that might be a small inconvenience, but if you are trying to save money on your meals, being without a kitchen is a real challenge! You probably grew up watching (maybe helping) your mom cook on a stove top, with a crock pot, in the oven and with any number of other tools and appliances. You probably don’t have most (or any) of those things in your dorm room, so what’s a college student to do?
Well my friend, you have come to the right place! In my own quest for a healthier lifestyle in college, and my study of nutrition and diet, I came up with several recipes that are super simple and can be put together in a dorm room! And YES they are healthy meals and snacks!
All you need is a mini fridge, a microwave, some food storage containers, and the will to make it work!
6 Best Dorm Room Recipes
First thing, try to avoid the typical “broke college kid food” like Ramen noodles, Easy Mac and Chef Boyardee. They are highly processed and high calorie and carbohydrate foods. Second thing, use the following recipes as a starting point for some delicious, dorm room recipes.
1. Everything Tuna and Carrots
1 can tuna
1 TBSP mayo
Everything But the Bagel seasoning, to taste
2 cups baby carrots
Drain tuna and mix with mayo.
Add seasoning, as much as you want!
Dip carrots in tuna mixture and enjoy!
2. PB & J Box
1 egg, hard-boiled (in the microwave!)
1 cup red grapes
1 oz full fat cheese, sliced
2 TBPS Peanut Butter
This one doesn’t take much to explain. Eat the hard boiled egg and cheese on their own
Dip your grapes in the peanut butter (or don’t, you do you!)
3. Raspberry Peanut Butter Overnight Oats
1 cup raspberries
1/2 cup 2% milk
1 TBPS Peanut Butter
1/2 cup dry oats, uncooked
Dash of cinnamon
Combine oats, PB, raspberries, and cinnamon in a jar (like a Ball jar)
Top with milk
Let sit in container with lid overnight
Can’t have dairy? Substitute with soy or almond milk. Feel free to substitute your fruit with another type as well, and any nut butter works if you don’t like or are allergic to peanut butter.
4. Pita Sandwich
1 Pita pocket
1/4 cup lettuce
1/4 cup chickpeas
1 TBSP sunflower seeds (no shells) Red bell pepper slices
1 TBSP Tzatziki sauce
Fill the inside of the pita pocket with lettuce, chickpeas, seeds and bell pepper
Drizzle tzatziki sauce across the top.
Tip: If you are taking the pita to-go, leave the sauce on the side until ready to eat.
5. Turkey Roll Ups
4-6 slices of deli turkey
4-6 long, thick chunks of cheese, any variety
4-6 slices of veggies, any you choose. I like to use bell pepper or carrot slices.
1 Tbsp Avocado mayo
Spread a small amount of avocado mayo on turkey slices.
Wrap turkey around cheese and veggie slices
Tip: Use a toothpick to hold it together.
6. PB & Banana Roll Up
Soft taco size tortillas
Spread peanut butter on one side of tortilla
Place banana on top of peanut butter on one side of tortilla
Roll banana up inside tortilla and peanut butter
Feel free to take these ideas and run with them! If a recipe calls for something you don’t like or can’t eat, switch it up. These are my favorite easy meals that you can make in your dorm room that are easy to grab and go when you need to.
Looking for some more snacks? Here are some excellent options:
Nuts or nut butters (in single-serving amounts): Throw them in a baggie, or opt for readily-made single-servings packs – roasted & salted is generally fine by me. Choose a variety of nuts to get all the benefits – no one nut is better than another.
Hard Boiled Eggs: Did you know hard boiled eggs last a whole week? Make a dozen on the weekend (only peel them when you’re ready to eat them). Just be aware of the smell haha! Top them with Trader Joe’s Everything But the Bagel seasoning or grated Parmesan cheese.
Single-serving Cheeses: I LOVE string cheese and other single-serving cheeses like slices of cheese or round cheese in wax. So filling and tasty!
Jerky: Seriously one of my favorite filling snacks. So tasty and great protein. I love Trader Joe’s regular (not teriyaki flavored) turkey jerky and Epic “Strips”.
Chocolate Chips: I know, chocolate isn’t what first comes to mind when you think “healthy snack”, but chocolate has many health benefits, and just a few morsels will help curb your sugar cravings.
AND because I believe that everybody needs dessert sometimes, here are some delicious treats you can make in your dorm room as well!
*Tip: unless you have an actual freezer, avoid trying to store ice cream in your dorm room. It will not end well. Not that I know from personal experience or anything!
Chocolate chips & milk: toss a handful of chocolate chips in a glass of milk and grab a spoon!
Mug cakes: You can buy them in individual serving packs at most grocery stores and “bake” them in your microwave!
Greek yogurt: This is more of a healthy option, but greek yogurt is sweet enough to feel like dessert and it doesn’t require a freezer!
Dining Hall: I know, we’ve been talking about what you can make in your dorm room, but every once in a while you might just feel like running over to the dining hall for your ice cream fix! Just don’t go too crazy on the desserts while you’re there!