25 Things You Can Cook in Your Microwave

Cooking in your dorm room doesn't have to mean eating badly

Plate of quesadillas
Annabelle Breakey/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Having a microwave in your residence hall or in your dorm room is nearly as important as having a bed. You can cook ramen, reheat coffee... and what else, again? Don't let your usual routine prohibit you from cooking lots of tasty food in your dorm room microwave. Try these alternatives, for a bit of variety.

25 Things to Cook in Your Dorm Room Microwave

  1. Quesadillas. Easy, cheesy. Lay a tortilla down, sprinkle some cheese on it, microwave. Add salsa if you're feeling extra fancy.
  2. Taquitos. You can buy pre-cooked, ready-to-go taquitos in the frozen food section of the grocery store—and reheat them in usually less than a minute.
  3. Microwave dinners. They can be the diet kind, the healthy kind, or the made-for-large-appetite kind. And they can be tasty.
  4. Baked potatoes. Grab a potato. Wash it. Poke it a few times with a fork. Wrap it in a paper towel. Microwave it for a few minutes. You'll know it's done when you can easily poke the fork past the center.
  5. Popcorn. Perfect for a movie or a late-night study session.
  6. Pasta (and sauce). You don't need a stove to boil water. Get the water hot (as in boiling) in a microwave-safe bowl. Add pasta. Put back into the microwave until the pasta is as done as you'd like. Add pasta sauce (which can also be microwaved, although the heat from the pasta usually works just fine) and you're done.
  7. Oatmeal. Perfect for breakfast or a post-workout snack. Add brown sugar, dried fruit, and/or nuts—all of which you can keep on a shelf in your room—for some extra punch.
  1. Soup. Possibly one of the easiest things to microwave. Make sure to read the label, though, and see if you're supposed to add water.
  2. Frozen veggies. Feel like a healthy pick-me-up? Grab a bag of frozen veggies—whatever you like—and toss them in a bowl with a little bit of water. Microwave until they're hot.
  3. Nachos. Always perfect for late at night, and all you need is chips and cheese (plus any toppings you prefer, of course).
  4. Easy Mac. You can make a homey bowl of macaroni and cheese in under five minutes. Just make sure to check to see if you'll also need butter and milk before you start.
  5. Poached eggs. These sometimes require a special microwave egg poacher, but you can easily find them at the grocery store or a place like Target or Walmart.
  6. Bacon. Grab a plate, put down several paper towels, lay down a few strips of bacon, and cook until done. Added bonus: the paper towels absorb most of the fattening grease.
  7. Scrambled eggs. Cracking some eggs, putting them in a bowl, mixing with a fork, and cooking (sometimes mixing while cooking) is easier than you think. And feel free to throw in some of that bacon you also cooked, too, for some extra pizazz.
  1. Brownies/Cake. Several companies make a delicious brownie/chocolate cake-like product that you can cook in a microwave inside of the little tray that comes in the box. Look for them by the cake mixes.
  2. Pudding. All you need to make pudding is some milk and hot water. Follow the instructions, place the bowl in your fridge, and a short time later you'll have an instant classic.
  3. Hot chocolate/coffee. Easy to make, either from a mix or an individual bag (like a tea bag, but with coffee in it), and great for a late night study session.
  4. Rice. Several companies make rice that you can microwave in a bag. It can be tasty on its own (with butter, veggies, soy sauce, milk, and cinnamon, or even canned chicken) or as an addition to that leftover Chinese food you have from the other night.
  5. Beans. A can of refried beans along with some cheese and tortillas can make a tasty, filling snack or meal. Additionally, baked beans can be a great side with...
  6. Hot dogs. You can even cook 'em frozen. Just wrap them up in a paper towel and cook until hot.
  1. Fresh veggies. Many grocery stores offer things like green beans that you can cook right in the bag. Just make sure the bag says it's okay before you try it!
  2. Tuna melt. Make some tuna (tuna + mayonnaise = tuna), sprinkle some mozzarella cheese on it, and...voila! Tuna melt. You can easily transfer it to a piece of bread or use crackers to gobble it up, too.
  3. Hot fudge. Who said microwaveable things had to be meals? Grab some ice cream, heat up some hot fudge, and splurge to your heart's content.
  4. Frozen appetizers. You can buy these—ranging from little quiches to pigs in a blanket to spanakopita—in the frozen section of the grocery store. Microwave 'em up for a quick and tasty snack you can eat while reading or working at your computer.
  5. Mashed potatoes. If you're craving comfort food, grab some instant mashed potatoes. They're usually by the rice in the grocery store and can easily be made in a microwave. Add salt, pepper, and lots of butter for a nice big bowl o' happy.