Side shot of brunette female looking inside microwave and smirking

Tyler's Ultimate College Cooking Collection: All the Best Microwave Recipes

It’s the ultimate cookbook for college students! Check out all our favorite College Cooking videos for easy recipes you can make in your microwave.

Fans of the CollegeXpress YouTube channel know all about our classic College Cooking series. From breakfast to dinner, from appetizers to desserts, CX team member Tyler can cook anything in the microwave—a skill all college students should have when a stove or oven just isn’t an option! For easier viewing, we’ve collected all your favorite College Cooking videos below. Bookmark this page and you’ll never go hungry again!

Poached eggs

Poached eggs may seem too fancy or complicated, but they’re actually super easy to make in the microwave. All you need is an egg and a bowl with some water!

What you’ll need

  • Egg
  • Water
  • Microwave-safe bowl

How to make

  1. Place 1 cup of water into bowl
  2. Crack egg and place into bowl with water
  3. Place bowl in microwave and set for 15 seconds
  4. Take bowl out of microwave and check to see if the egg has become white
  5. Repeat steps 3–4 until egg is ready
  6. Serve on toast for a balanced breakfast

Breakfast bars

These chocolatey oatmeal bars are easy to make as long as you have a little extra space in your mini fridge. Make them the night before for a quick, delicious treat the next morning.

What you’ll need

  • 1 stick butter
  • 2 cups oats
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • A few microwave-safe bowls/dishes

How to make

  1. Place butter in bowl and melt in microwave for about a minute; set aside
  2. In a separate bowl, mix oats and brown sugar with a fork; break apart any clumps of brown sugar so it’s evenly distributed
  3. Add canola oil and melted butter to oat mixture; continue to mix until it becomes a solid clump of dough
  4. Put dough in another microwave-safe dish, patting down so it’s nice and even
  5. Microwave for 3 minutes
  6. Add chocolate chips on top of microwaved mixture
  7. Microwave at 30% for four minutes; make sure it’s set to 30% to avoid burning the chocolate and setting off any fire alarms! (“Don’t make people mad,” as Tyler says)
  8. Spread melted chocolate evenly across the top of the oats
  9. Put dish in the fridge to cool; wait at least 20 minutes or leave overnight
  10. Cut up and enjoy!

“Crispy” chips

We put “crispy” in quotes because let’s face it—nothing gets really crispy in a microwave. If you have an Air Fryer at your apartment, you’ll get a much better crunch.

           

What you’ll need

  • 1 potato (we used a sweet potato!)
  • Bowl ice water
  • Seasonings (we used garlic, dill, and salt)
  • Microwave-safe plate and bowl
  • Parchment paper

How to make

  1. Slice potato thinly
  2. Transfer slices to ice water, then place on plate lined with parchment paper
  3. Microwave 2 minutes
  4. Flip slices over
  5. Put plate back into microwave for and cook 2 more minutes
  6. Transfer slices to clean bowl
  7. Add desired seasonings
  8. Stir and enjoy!

Quesadillas

With just a few ingredients, this recipe is easy to assemble and quick to cook. It makes a yummy dinner or late-night snack for busy students!

What you’ll need

  • 1 tortilla
  • 1 cup of rotisserie chicken (or other protein)
  • About a cup of salsa
  • Shredded cheese
  • Bonus: Spices (try crushed red pepper flakes)
  • Microwave-safe plate

How to make

  1. Place tortilla on plate
  2. Fill one side of tortilla with protein—make sure to spread evenly
  3. Sprinkle cheese over protein (add as much as you like)
  4. Add a few spoonfuls of salsa on top (and sprinkle spices if desired)
  5. Fold tortilla in half, pat it down, and center on plate
  6. Place in the microwave and cook for 2 minutes.
  7. Remove and use remaining salsa to dip

Bread

You don’t need to be a baking champion to make delicious homemade bread! This recipe takes some time but will impress your friends.

           

What you’ll need

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 packet active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 ½ cups flour
  • 1 cup water
  • Microwave-safe bowl
  • Glass loaf dish
  • Cooking spray
  • Whisk
  • Cooking rack (for cooling)

How to make

  1. Melt butter in microwave
  2. Combine butter, yeast, sugar, and salt in separate bowl, plus water
  3. With a whisk, start mixing current combination
  4. Add ½ cup flour and mix; repeat process until all flour has been added
  5. Spray loaf dish with cooking spray
  6. Move dough to loaf dish and spread evenly
  7. Cover dish and let it rise (should take about an hour)
  8. Microwave for about 4 minutes and check for an internal temperature of 200 degrees Fahrenheit; could take less or more time depending on microwave power
  9. Transfer from loaf dish to a rack
  10. Wait for bread to cool and enjoy!

Buffalo chicken dip

This one is a CollegeXpress Team favorite with a sweet soundtrack to boot. You won’t stop singing about or eating this buffalo chicken dip!

    

What you'll need

  • 8 oz. cream cheese 
  • 1 can chicken 
  • ½ cup buffalo sauce
  • ½ cup blue cheese dressing
  • ½ cup shredded cheese
  • Microwave-safe bowl
  • Favorite chips or crackers for dipping (or the bread from the previous recipe!)

How to make

  1. Add diced-up cream cheese and chicken (drained) to the bowl
  2. Add buffalo sauce and blue cheese dressing
  3. Mix ingredients together while shredding the chicken
  4. Top with shredded cheese
  5. Cook in microwave for 3 minutes
  6. Dip and enjoy!

Pizza

Yes, it’s possible to make pizza in the microwave. It may not be the crispiest pie, but it will do in a pinch!

           

What you'll need

  • 1 pita crust
  • 1 cup pizza or pasta sauce
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  • Handful pepperonis
  • Microwave-safe plate

How to make

  1. Spread sauce all over pita bread
  2. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top of sauce
  3. Add as many pepperonis as you like
  4. Microwave pizza for 45 seconds to 1 minute (or until cheese is melted)
  5. Let cool for a minute and enjoy!

Mac and cheese

We aren’t talking about the boxed stuff (which is super delicious, we know). Level up your mac and cheese game with this quick and easy “homemade” recipe.

    

What you'll need

  • 1 cup favorite type of pasta
  • ¾ cup water
  • About ¾ cup shredded cheese
  • Microwave-safe bowl

How to make

  1. Add pasta to a bowl
  2. Add water to the bowl
  3. Heat in the microwave for 2 ½ minutes
  4. Check to see if water is still in the bowl
  5. If water is still there, heat for another 2 minutes
  6. Repeat steps 4–5 until water is completely absorbed
  7. Add cheese to bowl and heat for 30 more seconds
  8. Stir and add in any spices you like and enjoy!

Chocolate chip cookies

Who needs an oven when you can make delicious chocolate chip cookies in the microwave? This recipe is perfect for your sweet tooth or a last-minute party food.

    

What you’ll need

  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • ¼ tablespoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • Chocolate chips (as many as you like)

How to make

In one bowl:

  1. Melt butter
  2. Add egg, vanilla, and sugar
  3. Mix it all together

In a separate bowl:

  1. Add flour, baking soda, and salt

Final steps:

  1. Pour the liquid ingredients in with the dry
  2. Mix until a nice, thick batter forms
  3. Add chocolate chips; stir again until evenly distributed in batter
  4. Shape batter into 7 separate cookies on a microwave-safe plate
  5. Cook in microwave for 3 ½ minutes
  6. Let cool and enjoy!

Cupcakes

Just like cookies, it’s possible to make cake in the microwave too! Check out this easy recipe for a giant cupcake.

    

What you'll need

  • 1 box of your favorite cake mix (plus the ingredients it requires)
  • Small bowl or mug
  • Wax paper (optional)
  • Frosting, sprinkles, and any additional decorations you want to add
  • Microwave-safe bowl or mug, plus bowl for mixing

How to make

  1. Follow the instructions on your box of cake mix and mix in a bowl
  2. Line your bowl or mug with wax paper (optional but recommended)
  3. Pour cake mix in
  4. Microwave for 2 ½ minutes
  5. Decorate cupcake with your desired goodies and enjoy!

Halloween dirt cups

This recipe doesn’t use a microwave, but it’s easy and fun nonetheless. These delicious Oreo dirt pudding cups are perfect for a Halloween party dessert.

What you’ll need

  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 package chocolate pudding
  • Oreos
  • Gummy worms
  • Mixing bowl, plus clear cups for serving

How to make

  1. Mix milk with pudding powder
  2. Bring the mix to a boil while stirring (for cook-and-serve pudding—though instant pudding also works and is easier!)
  3. Once pudding has thickened, remove from heat
  4. Layer pudding, Oreos, and gummy worms in clear cups
  5. Enjoy!

Loving these videos? Find even more fun and helpful content on the CollegeXpress YouTube and TikTok channels!

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