When I was in University and living in the dorm, I always found I’d look up from the books right at the point when the cafeteria would be closing. Of course I’d be starving, and my first year I had no car.

There’s a little known fact about living in the dorm room that no one will tell you before you go for the first time – you will be hungry. Without access to mom’s kitchen, there is a lot you’ll have to do without. But armed with a microwave? You’d be surprised at what you can whip up to satisfy those dinnertime or midnight cravings.

Here are a few dorm room recipes you can whip up right in your microwave, and you’ll be shocked at how great they taste:

Mac & Cheese in a mug

 A dorm room staple, mac and cheese is one of those dishes that we survive on when we’re studying. Instead of the usual box of artifical mac and cheese, try this mac & cheese in a mug. It’s cheesy and delicious.


A large mug or bowl

Whole grain elbow macaroni


Cheddar-Jack Shredded Cheese

Splash of milk



In a microwave safe mug or bowl, put 1/3 cup whole grain elbow macaroni and 1/3 cup + 1/4 cup water. Microwave for 6 minutes, stirring at 4 minutes, 2 minutes, and 1 minute. 

Add 1/3 cup cheese and 2 tablespoons of milk. Stir.

Return to the microwave for 30 to 45 seconds to melt the cheese. 


Microwave Eggplant Parmesan

Eggplant Parm in a microwave? You bet, and it’s as delicious as you’d find at your local pasta hotspot.


1 large Italian Eggplant (peeled and sliced 1/2-inch thick)
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/4 cup Olive Oil
3/4 cup Panko Breadcrumbs
1/2 cup Freshly Grated Parmesan
1 1/2 cups Tomato Sauce
1 cup Whole Milk Ricotta
1 cup Fresh Mozzarella (thinly sliced)
1/4 cup Basil Leaves (torn)
Salt to taste
Freshly Ground Black Pepper



Turn the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the breadcrumbs and parmesan and spread in to an even layer on a sheet tray. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until golden brown and toasted. Make sure you check the breadcrumbs after about 5 minutes, moving the edges in and the center out for even toasting. Set aside.
Arrange the slices of eggplant in a single layer on a paper towel lined microwave safe plate. Season your eggplant with salt, about 1/2 teaspoon total and freshly ground black pepper. Cover with another paper towel. Microwave at 1100W for 3 minutes. Work in batches to cook eggplant.
Brush the cooked eggplant slices with olive oil and arrange on a single layer and seal the plate with plastic wrap. Microwave again at 1100W, about 4 minutes. Repeat with remaining eggplant.
In an 8×8 pan, spoon 1/3 of the tomato sauce down. Place 4 slices of eggplant down followed by some ricotta, then mozzarella and basil. Season the cheese very lightly with salt then repeat the process 2 more times, ending with sauce on top. Top with the toasted parmesan breadcrumbs and microwave at 1100W, until the cheese is melted and bubbly, about 5 to 6 minutes.
Microwave Nutella Cake
Who doesn’t love Nutella? On toast with a banana it’s one delicious breakfast, but as part of a cake? It’s 2 minutes to heaven in a mug. 


1/4 cup self-rising flour
1/4 cup white sugar
1 egg
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, or more to taste
2 tablespoons chocolate-hazelnut spread (such as Nutella®), or more to taste
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract



Stir self-rising flour, sugar, egg, vegetable oil, milk, cocoa powder, chocolate-hazelnut spread, salt, and vanilla extract together in a large mug until batter is smooth.

Cook in microwave oven on full power until the cake has risen in the mug and is set in the center, 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 minutes.


Dorm room starvation won’t be a problem for you when you have a small microwave in your room. Check out all of Best Buy’s small kitchen appliances and pack a few in your car before you head off to University.

Want to cook in your dorm room? Pick up a small microwave and the sky’s the limit
Dorm doesn’t have a fridge? No problem – Take a bar fridge along with you
Another great dorm room staple – the slow cooker – will serve up a hot meal after a long day

Shelly Wutke
Editor TV & Home Theatre
I'm a Vancouver freelancer and tech enthusiast. When I'm not writing you'll find me on my farm with my alpacas, chickens, and honeybees. Visit my website Survivemag