Surviving dorm life is all about knowing how to make a lot out of a little. Your dorm room may be tiny (and shared!), but you’ll find creative ways to make it feel like your own. And the same goes for food: You may not have easy access to a state-of-the-art kitchen (or, um, any kitchen), but tasty food is still within reach.
In fact, all you need is a mini-fridge and a microwave to cook up a few ingenious dorm room meals. Once you’ve got those basic appliances—and some quick recipes, ideally those that require few ingredients—eating well can be at the ready, no stove or oven required. And we promise: There are more options available than a cup of instant ramen, which, let’s be honest, is usually not enough to quiet a growling stomach.
There are plenty of dorm-room recipes that contain all the nutrients you need to feel satisfied (namely, a mix of protein, healthy fats, and complex carbs) that don’t require extensive cooking and are actually pretty darn tasty. Take microwave fried rice, for example, which uses eggs, frozen veggies, and precooked, store-bought rice to deliver takeout-quality results. It only takes five minutes and zero chopping to make, and it definitely won’t leave you hungry. Along with plenty of other savory dinners—from a pasta dish to simple steamed eggs—you’ll also find that a lot of sweet yet nourishing treats are also totally dorm-room-friendly. French toast or chocolate chip granola bars, anyone?
Whether you’re in need of a speedy breakfast that you can take with you on your way to class or a bowl of mac and cheese that tastes as good as what Mom used to make, these 13 recipes have all you need to eat well in a dorm room. Many of them make use of pre- or partially-cooked ingredients that merely need to be finished in the microwave, and only a few require extra prep apart from the occasional chopping (a step which you might be able to skip by buying certain ingredients, like prechopped vegetables). Even without a real kitchen, these dorm room meals will make you feel like a real chef.