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8 Healthy Dorm Room Recipes That Are Nutritious and Affordable

dorm room recipes

Heading off to college is full of big transitions. You’re living away from home and learning to do your laundry. You’re also saying goodbye to delicious home-cooked meals.  

45% of college students have financial insecurity when it comes to their food budget. They have access to plenty of dining options on and off-campus. Yet, these can be expensive and are often full of fat and preservatives. 

Making your own meals is the perfect way to solve this problem and save more money. Healthy dorm room recipes allow you to maintain a more balanced diet. They also keep up your energy and help to avoid weight gain.  

Your dorm room comes pre-stocked with a fridge and a microwave. So, ready to make meals and snacks in the comfort of your dorm room?  

Read on for 8 easy, affordable, and healthy recipes to try out. 

1. Overnight Oats

Overnight oats are one of the easiest dorm room meals to make ahead of time. This breakfast favorite is full of protein and fiber, helping you to stay full. Oats also lower the risk of high blood pressure and cholesterol. 

To make this recipe, it’s best to use dry old-fashioned or steel-cut oats. Then add in milk, greek yogurt, cinnamon, vanilla, and chia seeds.

A little maple syrup or honey will sweeten up the oats as well. You can also make this dairy-free by using coconut or almond milk and yogurt. 

Mix all the ingredients then divide the oat mixture in small mason jars. Then store these in your fridge for at least 5 hours. This makes it easy to grab on-the-go to your first class of the day.  

You can also top the oats with fresh fruit like bananas, strawberries, and blueberries. A scoop of almond butter adds extra protein and flavor as well. Overnight oats last in the fridge for about 5 days.  

2. Caprese Avocado Toast

This healthy dorm food offers a hearty and delicious meal for breakfast or lunch. Use mashed avocado, olive oil, lemon juice, a dash of hot sauce, salt, and pepper. Then spread this onto a piece of whole-grain toast or bread.

Top it with sliced tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, arugula, and a balsamic glaze drizzle. You can also add a hard-boiled egg on top of the toast for some extra nutrients.  

3. Meatless Burrito Bowl

Maintaining a healthy diet is one of the top stressors for college students. When trying to eat healthy college food, it’s a good idea to go meatless at least once a week. Plant-based diets are full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.  

A homemade burrito bowl is a better option than chowing down on tacos or burritos at Taco Bell. These are easy to make using microwavable rice pouches. Opt for brown rice or an ancient grain for added nutrients.  

Top your rice bowl with healthy ingredients like canned black beans and corn. Avocado, fresh tomatoes, onions, and jalapenos are also great additions. Then add salsa and a dollop of sour cream or sprinkle of cheese for added flavor. 

This recipe is also easy to turn into tacos using healthy lettuce wraps. 

4. Mac and Cheese in a Mug

This is a healthier option than Kraft mac and cheese which is loaded with preservatives. All you need for this recipe is pasta, milk, and shredded cheese. 

Add about an ounce of noodles and 3/4 cup of water into a mug. Then microwave it on high for 3 and a half minutes. Drain the noodles then stir in about 4 tablespoons each of both the milk and cheese. 

A trick is to also add some cornstarch into the mix. This will produce a thicker and creamier sauce. After mixing in the ingredients microwave the mug again for about a minute.  

You can use whole-grain pasta with added protein for a healthier alternative. This is the perfect comfort food to curl up with during a study session to boost your grades

5. Salmon or Tuna Salad

Fish is always good healthy food for college students. Canned salmon or tuna is low in fat and packed with protein and omega-3 fatty acids. This makes it a top food for boosting your brain function

You can find many brands that use low-mercury fish and sustainable fishing methods. Rather than mayo, mix the canned fish with greek yogurt.

Add in some lemon juice, salt, pepper, and mashed avocado. Mix all the ingredients and enjoy with whole-grain crackers or bread.  

6. Pinwheel Sandwiches

Pinwheels are a great option for an easy lunch. Use whole-grain wraps and add a smear of cream cheese or hummus. 

Then fill the wrap with spinach, avocado, sliced cucumber, and tomatoes. You can also add some all-natural deli-sliced turkey and crumbled feta cheese. Then roll up the wrap and cut into bite-sized circles.  

7. Apple “Nachos”

Apples are always a healthy and easy snack idea. This apple nacho recipe is perfect for when a sweet tooth craving strikes.  

Start by cutting up an apple into thin slices. Then add a chocolate and peanut butter drizzle. Use a microwave to heat dark chocolate chips and peanut butter until melted.

Top your nachos off with coconut flakes, granola, sliced almonds, and chia seeds. 

8. Loaded Potato

This healthy dorm room food recipe can be made with either a regular potato or a sweet potato. 

Start by putting the potato in the microwave for about 8 to 10 minutes. Once cooked,  add toppings like sour cream, cheese, and chives.  

For a Mexican-style potato, add salsa, guacamole, and black beans. You can even throw in some microwaved broccoli for extra nutrients. 

The Best Healthy and Delicious Dorm Room Recipes

College students have many extra expenses, including textbooks and leisure activities. These dorm room recipes offer a nutritious and easy way to eat more affordable meals.

Making your own meals can help cut costs so you can save more money for all the essentials. These helpful tips also offer more advice on making extra money while in college.   

About the Author

Christopher Manns

I was born in the UK, grew up in Canada and have lived in the USA since the 90s. I love my family, water sports, ice hockey, skiing and soccer. When I'm not helping people save money on textbooks, I'm travelling with my wonderful family and playing sports.