Do you live in a dorm without access to a kitchen or kitchenette? Are you stuck eating dining hall food every day and rummaging through your snack bin at midnight, only to find stale Cheez-Its and apples? Put that mini-fridge and microwave set to use! Here are three easy DIY meals I made freshman year that you can make in your dorm room microwave—and they're plant-based, too!

Norah Lee

1. Macaroni and Cheese with "Ham"

This is the recipe I made most often because one little box of pasta can go a long way. It's so simple, too! I bought all three ingredients from Amazon Fresh, and even had the groceries delivered to my dorm. This meal doesn’t take long to make, and you can personalize it however you want.


- Small box of macaroni pasta

- Shredded cheese

- Plant-based bacon or ham (All Y'alls Foods Vegan Bacon Bits)


This recipe takes about seven minutes to prepare.

First, pour the pasta into a microwave-safe bowl along with enough water to barely cover the pasta. After microwaving it for around six minutes, check that the pasta is cooked to the softness of your liking. Drain the water, and sprinkle some cheese and the other toppings on top before microwaving for one more minute—a foolproof hack for that melted cheese and toasty ham taste.

2. Plant-based Meatball Sandwich

I fancy meatball sandwiches, so here's how to make a plant-based alternative. After recently converting to a meat-free lifestyle, I’ve been trying all different kinds of non-meat “meat” items. One of my favorites is a plant-based meatball, and wedging them in between two slices of bread with some hot sauce really beats those Ritz crackers I mentioned earlier.


- Sandwich bread or bun (personally, I LOVE Trader Joe's vegan brioche bread)

- Plant-based Meatballs (from the brand Gardein)

- Buffalo sauce (If you want to make your own, you can microwave hot sauce, butter, salt, and pepper in a bowl)


This takes about seven minutes to prepare.

Begin by microwaving your meatballs for five minutes. Then, place the warm meatballs on two slices of bread. Finally, douse the meatballs with hot sauce, and assemble your sandwich. This tastes amazing- whether it's meat or plant-based.

3. Naan Pizza

Naan is so delicious—why not make it into a little pizza? You can put any toppings you want on pizza (including pineapple), and even reuse the shredded cheese and ham from the previous recipe. It beats spending money at a pizza place, and making your own in a few minutes is more fun. This is by far the easiest recipe to execute.


- Naan bread (sourced from the local Berkeley Bowl)

- Shredded Cheese

- Topping of choice (vegan meat, small vegetables)


This takes about five minutes to prepare.

All you have to do is place your toppings on the naan and give it a little five minute whirl in the microwave—or at least until everything is as warm as you like it. This pizza is also sauceless to save the hassle of tomato sauce exploding everywhere (I am an avid sauceless pizza consumer).

I hope these easy DIY recipes give you some flexibility for your dorm room dinners. Have fun with these three simple yet satisfying ideas!