Popcorn

With Thanksgiving and Friendsgiving coming right around the corner, food is on everyone’s mind. For people with access to a kitchen, this is a fun excuse to flaunt your cooking prowess. For those in a dorm, it’s difficult to make something edible, let alone something you wouldn’t feel ashamed to share.

For this reason, we have compiled a list of dishes that you can easily make in your dorm that will make you the talk of Friendsgiving!

Vegetables

If you would like to bring a healthy dish on a budget, frozen vegetables are cheap and easy to prepare. Thaw a bag of a vegetable of your choice and place as much as you can into a microwave-safe bowl or dish. Add a tablespoon or two of butter and a pinch of pepper, mix and microwave for around four minutes. Most people won’t be able to tell they were frozen! Vegetables such as spinach could also be chopped and incorporated into other dishes such as mashed potatoes, if you want to seem more culinarily inclined.

Sweet potatoes

A holiday classic, the sweet potato is a holiday staple that is surprisingly good when prepared in a microwave. Clean a few sweet potatoes before poking them a few times with a fork. Microwave each potato for around six minutes or until tender, turning the potato every two minutes. Slice the potato up or serve it whole.

Bacon

This popular dish is as simple as it is satisfying. Place a paper towel at the bottom of your microwave. Place strips of uncooked bacon carefully on the paper towel and place another paper towel atop the strips of bacon. Microwave until the bacon is crispy. The one downside to this dish is that the grease from the bacon can be painful to clean, but it’s guaranteed to be well received!

Popcorn

This seems obvious, but plain popcorn is a great snack to bring to most occasions, including Thanksgiving. If you are asked to bring a dessert, mixing in candy or bringing one or two shake-on popcorn flavorings would be appreciated. Simply follow the instructions on the bag, and you should be good.

Mashed potatoes

While somewhat difficult to make properly, microwaveable mashed potatoes could make a fantastic side! Powder-based mashed potatoes can be tricky to make, as the water-to-powder ratio varies wildly from brand to brand. Pre-frozen mashed potatoes are generally easier and taste better, but they can be more expensive.

Either way, once you have the potatoes warm and ready, you can easily mix in bacon bits, pepper or vegetables to taste. The extra effort will definitely be noticed and appreciated by all.

The next two dishes require an oven/stovetop and basic cooking supplies, the availability of which varies from dorm to dorm. If your dorm has a public oven or kitchenette, the front desk will likely have pots, pans, and other cooking equipment to rent out for free.

Rolls

Simple, sweet and a compliment to nearly every meal, the roll is a great dish to bring to any event. I would personally recommend the Pillsbury dough as the most convenient and forgiving pre-made dough. Simply follow the instructions on the can and bake depending on the power of your oven.

Pasta

Pasta is not the first thing one thinks of at the mention of Thanksgiving, but it’s one of the easiest, cheapest and most filling dishes out there. All you need is a pot, some water and dry pasta. Add whatever seasoning your grandmother recommends to the water as its boiling, and boil until the pasta is tender to your liking.

Most boxes of pasta can make 4-8 servings of pasta, so it’s very easy and timely for large gatherings. If you bring a marinara sauce or grated cheese, everyone will love you forever. Pasta will also keep well if cling-wrapped or kept in an airtight container, so it makes for leftovers people can actually appreciate.

Finally, no matter what you make, putting it into a bowl or dish will make it seem a thousand times more appetizing. If you can borrow a nice-ish dish, even a few slices of cheese and some ham becomes an acceptable dish to bring to a party. Just remember that the food is secondary to your presence, and it’s really the thought that counts. Happy holidays!

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