10 Easy student meals

Updated July 20, 2017

Cooking in a student halls of residency can be difficult, especially when rules restrict bringing kitchen appliances to school. But the typically allowed microwave can do more than heat up last night’s leftovers. Have an extra 20 minutes in the morning before class starts? Want something more creative than a bowl of ice cream and jelly for dessert? Here are 10 easy ways to cook while at university.

Yogurt parfait

Instead of grabbing that often sugar-packed cereal bar, spare a few minutes and fix yourself a fresh treat: yogurt, fruit and granola are all you need for a quick breakfast or healthy dessert.

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Nothing spells healthy more than a bowl of porridge for breakfast. It's full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and protein too! Though you’ve probably seen this cooked over a stove, the microwave way is easier and quicker. If it’s too plain, add sugar, drop in some blueberries or sliced bananas, or even add ice cream for a cool and refreshing mix.

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Scrambled eggs

There's nothing more satisfying and nutritious than some scrambled eggs on brown toast and helping of HP sauce. Make it yourself at home, sprinkle a little cheese, salt and pepper and be on your way to class.

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Cheese toastie

With a portable toastie maker, this one’s a no-brainer. But a microwave also does the trick in making this quick and easy lunch. You can even add some bacon bits or sliced tomatoes for more flavour. On a diet but can't resist the melted cheesy goodness? Here's a tip: use whole-grain bread, low-fat cheese and margarine.

Related: Make a toastie in a microwave


You can go plain and simple or fancy schmancy on this one, great for a study break or movie munchies with your friends - and way cheaper than Nandos. Instead of the typical crisps and salsa, make your own warm yet still crispy snack by sprinkling some cheese on nacho chips and heating it up in the microwave. If you’re craving a bigger burst of flavour, adding guacamole, chives, olives, sour cream and diced tomatoes will do the trick.

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Though many student unions include a salad bar, you may be turned away by less than fresh greens and lumpy dressing that looks like it has seen the day of light just a little too long. Do it yourself with your own ingredients, freshness guaranteed.

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Orange chicken and broccoli beef bowl for one? No thanks. You’re sick of ordering in Indian takeaway, but you just want some plain old rice. It’s possible to make, even without a rice cooker. All you need is rice and water, but add some seasoning, microwaveable sautéed vegetables or precooked meat if you wish.

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If those Pot Noddles aren’t curbing your evening hunger and you have some extra time before beginning that eassy, try cooking your own pasta instead. Be sure to have pasta sauce, spices and parmesan cheese on hand.

Related: How to cook pasta in a microwave

Caramel popcorn

Give microwaveable popcorn a twist by making and drizzling your own caramel sauce, great for those movie nights in the common room with the rest of your hall. That bowl of sweet and salty goodness will probably be gone even more the opening credits are finished rolling!

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Chocolate covered strawberries

Chocolate covered strawberries always seem to make people's eyes light up after dinner. These are also very popular when Valentine's Day is near. Your microwave makes this yummy dessert possible in a few steps. Melt chocolate, drizzle over strawberries or other fruits such as blueberries, bananas and raspberries for a decadent treat.

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About the Author

Alice Wen is completing her bachelor's degree in print/digital journalism and international relations at the University of Southern California. She has been involved with her university newspaper, "The Daily Trojan," as well as the US-China Today online newsmagazine and Annenberg TV News.