College is great, except for when you are starving and the dining hall is just too far away. I'll just start by saying thank goodness for microwaves. Defrostable dinners have saved me on many occasions. However, I wanted to see if it is possible to cook a real dinner in the microwave in about 5 minutes. Sometimes, frozen mac & cheese is the solution, but other times, I actually want real food. To expand my dorm dinner repertoire, I decided to test some microwave dinner hacks from Buzzfeed's Tasty. 

A few weeks ago, Tasty posted one of their compilation cooking videos to Facebook. All of the recipes looked easy and delicious, so I figured I'd give them a try. Here are the results of the recipes I made in the dorm kitchen: 

Mac & Cheese

Parker Kerth

Mac & cheese is a college staple. Frozen, boxed or fresh, you really can't go wrong. Defrosting a frozen pack only takes about five minutes and making some from a box only takes about 15 minutes from start to finish. However, sometimes it is just better to melt some cheese and make your own. Making it on the stove can take time and be a bit messy, so I was more than excited to try it in the microwave. 

Unfortunately, I was not thrilled with the results. I followed the measurements in the original recipe exactly but I had to stir the pasta in the water several times before it was all cooked-ish. Even still, it did not get to be the size of properly cooked pasta. I added the milk and cheese and put the mixture back in the microwave. It worked, but was not very cheesy. I had to add more cheese and microwave again. It worked but once the bowl cooled, the cheese did not stay creamy and did not taste as good. 

As fun as it is to make your own mac & cheese, I would stick to the stove or defrost a pre-made version. 

You can find the full recipe here.  


Parker Kerth

Eggs are great. They are good for you, and pretty easy to make. Scrambled eggs are a late night staple for me, but I was looking to up my game and start making some omelettes. Making a good one on the stove takes time so I was excited to try one in the microwave. 

The prep was pretty easy. Add eggs, add vegetables and meat, mix, and microwave for 2 to 3 minutes. Each step went well and was easy. However, the result was less than desirable. The eggs were fully cooked but were spongy and very chewy—not two words I like to use to describe food. 

I would save this as an emergency only hack. Eggs cooked on the stove are much better, all around. 

You can find the full recipe here.   


Parker Kerth

Nachos. Need I say more? Nachos are a great snack at any time of day. They are pretty easy to make in the oven, and under the broiler they take about 5 minutes total. This recipe said I could make them in 4 minutes in the microwave, so it was worth a try. 

Assembly was pretty easy as nachos generally are not complicated, and I put them in the microwave. I was a bit skeptical about putting corn chips in the microwave and my fears were affirmed. The cheese melted, but almost too much. The chips were soft, but then got cold and hard quickly. The nachos looked good and tasted decent. 

If you are in a nacho pinch, the microwave can help you, but the oven is a good go-to for any cheesy snack needs.  

You can find the full recipe here.  

For all of the 5 minute Tasty recipes, click here.