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Easy residence recipes

Photo of overnight oats with blueberries and toast
Image Credit: MmeEmil

Living in a dorm is one of many quintessential college or university experiences. Residence is a place to grow as a person, meet new friends, and test your independence. Part of being independent means making your own meals, but for residences that lack a full kitchen, this can sometimes be a struggle. Luckily, there are countless recipes that involve little or no appliances, and it can be surprisingly easy to whip up a nutritious meal or snack without a stovetop or oven. Here are some easy dorm room recipe ideas you can make with either a waffle maker, microwave, or no equipment at all.


Microwave meals are some of the easiest and quickest options when it comes to dorm room delicacies. While its uses are infinite, we’ve selected two classic microwave meals that only require a mug and a few simple ingredients.

Mac and cheese in a mug

In a mug, combine a 1/2 cup of macaroni and a 1/2 cup of water. Microwave for two to three minutes. Then, add a 1/4 cup of cheese, three tablespoons of milk, and some salt and pepper for good measure. Microwave for another 30 seconds, stir, and enjoy!

*Replace the milk and cheese with plant?based alternatives for a vegan twist on this classic!

Chocolate cake in a mug

Once again, in a mug, stir to combine all your ingredients. These include three tablespoons of flour, two tablespoons of brown sugar, two tablespoons of cocoa powder, a 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder, three tablespoons of milk, one tablespoon of canola oil, one drop of vanilla extract, and a few chocolate chips. Microwave for 45 seconds, allow to cool, and enjoy.

Waffle maker

A waffle maker can be an excellent investment for the hungry student. It’s compact, safe to use, and capable of cooking way more than just breakfast. Here are two creative ways to make a meal out of the humble waffle maker.

Waffle maker grilled cheese

For this recipe, assemble your sandwich with two slices of bread, a couple slices of cheese, and some butter on the insides and outsides of your bread. Press in your waffle maker for a few minutes and you’re done! Who needs a panini press?

*Replace your bread with gluten-free alternatives for a celiac-friendly lunch.

Waffle maker pizza

For this recipe, you’ll need two Pillsbury biscuits, mozzarella cheese, pizza sauce, and some pepperoni. Flatten out one biscuit and assemble with sauce, cheese, and a few slices of pepperoni. Cover with a second flattened biscuit and cook in your waffle maker for four to five minutes. Serve and enjoy with some extra pizza sauce for dipping.


Some recipes require no cooking at all, and that’s good news for students living in residence. Here are our ideas for easy no-bake recipes that make for excellent breakfast options for the student on the go.

Overnight oats

In a jar or Tupperware container, combine 1/3 cup of rolled oats, one tablespoon of chia seeds, a pinch of cinnamon, one tablespoon of maple syrup (or honey), one tablespoon of yogurt, and a 1/3 cup of milk of your choice. Let sit in the fridge for at least five hours or overnight and enjoy!

*Add different fruit, cocoa powder, or toppings to change up the flavour combinations of your oats.

Granola bars

In a small casserole dish or any other shallow container, mix together one cup of rolled oats, a 1/2 cup of creamy peanut butter, 1/4 cup of maple syrup (or honey), and three tablespoons of milled flax seed. Add any other mix-ins of your choosing, firmly press the mixture into your casserole dish or container, and refrigerate for at least one hour.

*For mix-ins, we recommend dried fruit, chocolate chips, or nuts.

While nothing can replace mom or dad’s cooking, these simple residence recipes can be lifesavers for students who need nutritious meals fast. Even if you’re working with minimal appliances or none at all, there is always something tasty and homemade that you can create from the comfort of your dorm room.