Healthy Dorm Cooking Hacks for College

Last Updated on January 15, 2024 by Ellen Christian

One of the challenges of healthy dorm cooking is the limited number of ways you can cook in a dorm room. You don’t have a full-size refrigerator or a full-size stove in your dorm room so many people don’t even think that healthy dorm cooking is possible. 

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Healthy Dorm Cooking Hacks for Back To College

Healthy Dorm Cooking

Most of the time, college kids purchase meals from the cafeteria. However, if it’s the end of the month and you’ve used up your meal plan, you may need to do a little bit of healthy dorm cooking on your own.

If you’re interested in healthy dorm cooking, you have a number of different options depending on whether you want to learn to cook or not. If you enjoy cooking or want to be able to make your own meals, it’s not at all difficult to make healthy microwave recipes in a dorm. 

Healthy college meals

Here are a few cheap healthy college meals you can make in a microwave or without cooking. Why not try this overnight oats recipe.

Healthy Dorm Cooking Hacks for Back To College

Dorm food essentials

When you’re shopping for groceries for your dorm, it’s best to buy in smaller quantities so that food doesn’t go to waste.  It makes more sense to purchase two or three pieces of fresh fruit rather than a whole bag.

 You can purchase half a dozen eggs rather than a full dozen.  Since you probably don’t have a freezer available to you, look for canned tuna or chicken if you want to add meat to your menu that week.

You should also try to keep oats, rice, canned fruit in natural juice, honey, peanut butter, bread or crackers, boxed or canned soup that is low in sodium, and yogurt or milk.

Healthy Dorm Cooking Hacks for Back To College

Healthy dorm cooking must-haves

Of course, you’ll want to have a few basic small appliances for your dorm room. This makes cooking much easier. What you choose to buy will depend on the types of recipes that you like to cook. You may want to double up with your dorm partner so you don’t both buy the same thing.

Air Fryer

An air fryer is such a versatile small appliance. You can easily use it in your college dorm room to make dinner. Check out these air fryer recipes for college students.

Keurig Coffee Maker for easy college breakfast recipes

Not only does it make coffee, which is a basic necessity in my book, you can also use it to make oatmeal.  Purchase quick-cooking oats and add them to your thermos.  Then add the appropriate amount of hot water from your Keurig, cap the thermos and go take a shower.  When you’re back, uncap the thermos and empty the oatmeal into a bowl. You can add honey and a handful of raisins or freeze-dried berries and you are set for breakfast.

Plus, there are a number of instant rice or pasta cups that can be made by simply adding water. Watch the sodium content as many are quite high. But, it is an option. 

a breakfast sandwich on a plate

Hamilton Beach Breakfast Sandwich Maker

I have this sandwich maker and it’s amazing. You can use it for so much more than eggs. Start with an English muffin or biscuit, add a slice of fresh mozzarella and a slice of tomato and you have a healthy lunch. 

Add microwaved egg and bacon if you want a heartier meal. Add a piece of fruit or some popcorn for a snack too! Check out my favorite breakfast sandwich recipe.

It’s a great healthy dorm cooking idea for breakfast or even lunch.

soup in a white bowl with a spoon

20 oz Lunch Crock Food Warmer

Can you say soup and chili? They are perfect in a lunch crock food warmer! There is nothing better on a cold day than a hot cup of soup. There are so many different canned soups that you’ll never run out of ideas.

You can even do chili from a can the same way. Look for healthy choices that are low in fat and low in sodium. Split pea is one of my favorites.

One of my favorite cheap dorm meals is soup with bread or a roll. And, if you happen to have it, you can always grab a bag salad or carrot sticks from the store as well. It’s relatively cheap and filling. Healthy dorm cooking doesn’t need to be complicated.

a woman holding a glass of fruit smoothie

Single Serve Blender

Smoothies make an amazing breakfast.  Just add Greek yogurt, a banana and whatever fresh fruit you have on hand to your blender. Choose a personal blender where the blender top doubles as the cup and it will be easy to make before class.

Healthy Dorm Cooking Hacks for Back To College

Healthy dorm cooking cookbook

Finally, if you want to try a few more recipes, it would be a good idea to pick up a dorm room cookbook. The 5-Ingredient College Cookbook and Cooking Through College are both fantastic choices to start with.

See, finding healthy dorm cooking ideas isn’t as difficult as you thought.  So, do you have any other healthy dorm cooking hacks that work for you?

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