One of my favorite ways to celebrate Thanksgiving is in the company of my closest friends. Friendsgiving is a perfect way to express gratitude, but for college students, it's not that easy to create a successful Friendsgiving meal in your dorm. Dining hall food simply doesn't cut it when compared to a real Thanksgiving meal. It also can feel daunting to try to cook an entire celebratory meal on a low budget, so here's some easy options that cost next to nothing. 


platter, Fruit, fruits, cheese, cracker, crackers, display
Amber Holte

 Cheese platters are pretty much guaranteed crowd-pleasers, and best of all, they're incredibly simple to put together! All you need is a few cheeses of your preference, a couple different types of crackers, and maybe a fruity jam to spread on top. If you want to take your platter to the next level, add some grapes or maybe even some meat slices. 

pastry, dough, croissant, puff, bread, sweet, crescent roll, butter
Jedd Marrero

Rolls are a key factor to any respectable meal. Pillsbury Crescent rolls are one of my favorites, because they're so easy to make and can be customized in tons of different ways. If you're looking for something sweet, you can stuff the rolls with Nutella or Marshmallow Fluff. Or if you're looking for a more savory finish, maybe toss in some spinach and cheese. Even if you decide to leave them plain, these rolls are the perfect accompaniment to any meal. 


cereal, sweet, rice, wheat, oatmeal, meat
Rachael Guerra

One of the most important pieces of a successful Thanksgiving meal is the stuffing. This has always seemed like an overwhelming cooking process for me, but luckily, the brand Stove Top sells a tasty stuffing that can be made in the microwave. Even if this isn't the same as making it from scratch, at least there's the option of enjoying a Thanksgiving staple in just a few minutes. 

chicken, meat, turkey
Helena Lin

Probably the most iconic Thanksgiving dish of all time is the turkey. Believe it or not, turkey actually can be cooked in a microwave; all you have to do is cook it for about 10 minutes per pound. Still, this can feel like a lot. An easy solution is simply finding some thick-cut turkey at a deli. Luckily these slices can still be dressed up a variety of different ways. Sauces like gravy or cranberry sauce will always take turkey to the next level, regardless of who prepared it. 


milk, cream, dairy product, mashed potatoes, butter, dairy
Caitlin Shoemaker

One of the most beloved Thanksgiving sides is mashed potatoes. Luckily for dorm-dwellers, there are tons of instant mashed potato options retailing for about a dollar. All you have to do is pop your brand of choice into the microwave (and maybe add some butter, salt and pepper). If you can get your hands on some gravy, that would make a perfect topping too. 

macaroni, corn, cheese, vegetable
Kirby Barth

Another one of my personal Thanksgiving favorites is mac and cheese. There's the obvious instant Kraft option, but if you're looking for something more homemade-feeling, making mac and cheese in a mug is actually super easy. Mac and cheese is also something that can be easily made to feel more fancy; whether you add bacon bits or maybe some hot sauce, it's easy to make this dish a star. 


milk, cream, dairy product, rice, sweet
Emma Weir

There's nothing better than a homemade dessert. Luckily, you can still pull this off in a dorm. Simple creations like this chocolate mug cake make guests feel like you invested a ton of effort, without any of the actual time investment of traditional baking.

Claire Waggoner

Another seasonally-appropriate, easy-to-make dessert is an apple crumble. I've been making apple crumbles in my microwave for a long time simply because they're so easy, and I don't follow a very strict recipe. All a good apple crumble needs is chopped up apples, cinnamon, sugar, honey, granola, and a splash of lemon juice. To take this masterpiece to the best level, warm it up in the microwave for about a minute. 

Hopefully, some of these ideas can inspire you to bring a Friendsgiving celebration to your very own dorm. Or you can just save these ideas for a post-Thanksgiving holiday celebration, or any excuse to eat great food without relying on a full kitchen.