Believe it or not, midterm season is right around the corner, and it is tough. You’re up working till late at night, cramming in last-minute revisions or catching up on readings. Your stomach grumbles with hunger. Nothing is open, the dining hall closes unnecessarily early, the restaurants nearby are too far away, and takeout is ridiculously expensive.

Hang in there! I’ve taken the liberty of writing up seven insanely easy dorm room recipes that will knock your socks off and save you from starving while you study. Let’s dive right in! 

#1: Ramen Noodles

There’s nothing quite like ramen. It satisfies your cravings, warms your insides, and makes you feel like a chef, even though all you did was pour water into a cup. Now, we all know that ramen isn’t necessarily good for you. It’s loaded with preservatives, GMOs, sulfates, sodium, and more.

Of course, while we wish we could cook ramen from scratch, it’s unrealistic. What if I told you there was a packaged ramen that was both good for you and shockingly easy to make?

The answer: Public Goods Ramen! This ramen comes in original, sesame, and spicy sesame flavors! It’s super easy to make and can be delivered to your dorm! All you have to do is boil some water in a saucepan, drop the noodles in, drain the water, and add a sauce packet! Of course, you can add whatever toppings you'd like; the more, the merrier! I like to add a half-boiled egg, some sesame seeds, chopped veggies, and some scallions on top for an extra kick! You can even drizzle on some sriracha or hot sauce for spice lovers. 

#2: Pasta Salad

Pasta salad is a great, healthy, and satisfying dinner. You get your dose of carbs from the pasta, vitamins and minerals from the veggies, and protein from the tuna, making it a very balanced meal! I’ve been making it since I was a kid, and it's never failed!

This insanely easy dinner comes together in minutes! Start with 2 cups of boiled penne pasta (or the pasta shape of your choice); the crazier, the better! Throw in 1/3 cup of boiled or canned corn, one tin of flaked tuna (preferably in water rather than oil to minimize the fat), lots of freshly torn lettuce, a handful of cherry tomatoes, and a boiled egg or two if you’d like! Toss it all together and add that dreamy dressing made of a drizzle of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice, 1 tbsp of mayo, 1 tbsp of yogurt, and a dash of salt and pepper. 

Enjoy this pasta salad on a picnic in the park or even in your dorm for a little study break! It’s extremely portable as long as it has been chilled beforehand—you don’t want the dressing to become warm! 

#3: Mac and Cheese

Nothing screams "comfort food” quite like mac and cheese. It’s hot, melty, and oozing with cheesy goodness. The best part is that it’s ready in minutes! My favorite brand of mac and cheese is Annie's because it uses minimal preservatives and additives and is packaged super sustainably! If you prefer making your own, here is a simple recipe you can make with a microwave and a mug! 

The first thing you’ll need is a mug of your choice. Try using one reserved for soups and savory foods, so your coffee doesn’t taste like cheese! Then add some dried macaroni to your mug and some water (preferably cold), and microwave it for a few minutes. Feel free to go longer than the recipe states if your pasta is not cooked to your liking (all microwaves are different, so your cook time may vary from the recipe's.) 

Next, add your milk, cheese, and butter (if using), and microwave for a little longer to create your sauce! Garnish with some dried herbs and pepper, and voila! A gourmet mac and cheese recipe in the microwave, perfect for those cold, later winter nights.

#4: Bibimbap

While saying the word "bibimbap" is a lot of fun, eating it is even better! Bibimbap is a simple Korean dish you can throw together in your dorm in minutes. All you need is rice, chopped vegetables, the protein of your choice, and a little gochujang paste! 

The easiest way to cook rice is to buy precooked rice and microwave it for a few minutes. You can buy these at any grocery store; the ones at H-Mart are the best! Although, if you have the time and prefer homemade rice, make a cup or two in a rice cooker or on the stovetop and let it cool.

Arrange your rice in a bowl and top it with your favorite veggies. You can buy a pre-cooked array of veggies from H-Mart, which even comes with some gochujang paste! Arrange the vegetables in any way you like—the more abstract, the better. Throw on your proteins (e.g., cooked beef, tofu, or chicken) and a fried egg, drizzle on your gochujang, and toss it all together! 

#5: Microwave Shakshuka 

Shakshuka is a delicious Middle Eastern dish with tomatoes, spices, and eggs. It's the perfect comfort food for a hearty meal with minimal effort. This tastes amazing with a slice of crunchy white or wheat toast and some butter! Here is a super simple microwave recipe.  

First, grab yourself a microwave-safe bowl. Add a little spritz of cooking spray, pour in your tomato sauce, spices and chickpeas, and stir it very well. Make a nice deep well in the center of your sauce mixture, and crack in a single large egg. You can cook this egg to your desired consistency and firmness. Usually, I cook it for around 1 minute, because I like my yolk a little runny, but do whatever suits your tastebuds best! 

After your egg is cooked, top it with chili-garlic olive oil or any sauce you choose. Serve with a crisp slice of bread and butter, and you have a delicious easy dinner (which could also double as a breakfast) on hand whenever you want it! 

#6: Grilled Cheese

We all love an oozy, melty grilled cheese. It's the perfect warm dinner for a cold rainy day! Serve this with a side of hot tomato soup for the perfect pairing; this Tastemade recipe is delightful!  Here is the ultimate easy grilled cheese recipe that will satisfy all your cravings and impress even the biggest grilled cheese connoisseur. 

Start by choosing two slices of your favorite bread. I've recently been loving sourdough for my grilled cheese, but this recipe works with any kind of bread you have! Lather up both bread slices with lots of good quality butter—make sure you get those edges, too!

Now for the start of the show...cheese! I like combining shredded and sliced cheese for the perfect balance. Put two slices of cheese on one slice of the bread, followed by 2 tablespoons of shredded mozzarella cheese for that ideal ooziness.

Heat your pan to about medium-high heat, and add a bit of butter. Let it melt until it starts bubbling. Then, close up your cheesy sandwich, and spread about 1 teaspoon of mayo on the upward-facing side. I know you must be wondering—why mayo? Mayonnaise gives the grilled cheese a super crunchy exterior, which butter doesn't do! 

Place the sandwich on the pan, mayo side down, and while it sizzles away, mayo up the other side. Cook each side for about two to three minutes, and then your oozy grilled cheese is ready! Cut it into triangles and enjoy! 

#7: Pav Bhaji 

As they always say: best for last! This super simple, rich, creamy Pav Bhaji is perfect for those late nights, especially when it's cold outside! All you need is some instant Pav Bhaji (my favorite brand is Haldiram's, which you can buy at Patel Brothers) and some pav bread. If you like Hawaiian rolls, you can use those! Otherwise, Patel Brothers also sell super bouncy and light pav bread, which accompanies the bhaji perfectly. 

First, cut your pav bread horizontally, and spread a little butter on each side. Then, toast the bread in a pan or sandwich maker such as this one from Dash. Heat the pav bhaji mixture, drizzle on some butter and lime, and serve your pav bread on the side. It’s a criminally easy meal and so delicious!

And there we have it! These seven insanely easy dorm room dinners will surely knock your socks off. I hope you enjoy making these recipes for yourself and your friends. You'll definitely be the designated chef of your group if you serve up some of these tasty delights—especially during finals season. 

Happy studying!