Having the best microwave-friendly dinners on-hand can be a game-changer for college students. You can store them away in the fridge or on your pantry until you are ready to eat or need a meal in a pinch. This makes it easy, reliable, and cheap. Plus, with the best microwave-friendly dinners, you don’t have to worry about the ingredients going bad as quickly as fresh.

Since you likely have a mini fridge, you also want to ensure your groceries don’t take up much space. I consider these 5 items the best microwave-friendly dinners for college students. They saved me so many times, so I hope they do the same for you.

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1. Instant Mac and Cheese 

best microwave-friendly dinners: mac and cheese
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Instant mac and cheese is a college staple. All you need to add is water and place it in the microwave for a few minutes and you’ll have fresh-tasting mac and cheese. The packs come with four single serving sizes, which is perfect for a dorm snack. That way, you won’t have to worry about wasting it as you would when you make a whole box. You can get them at your local grocery store or Walmart, which we’ve linked above. Other brands besides Kraft make products like this, so you can pick the choice of instant mac and cheese nearest to you.  

2. Instant Ramen 

best microwave-friendly dinners: instant ramen
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Cooking instant ramen in the microwave is easy and can be very filling. You can choose from different kinds, like Cup Noodles, Maruchan, and Nongshim. Each one is different from the next in terms of flavors and ingredients. Nisin’s Cup Noodles includes added veggies whereas Maruchan is just noodles with a packet of flavored beef or chicken seasoning to add to it. Nongshim is a spicy ramen if you like food with a bit of kick. They sell instant ramen at Walmart, Publix, and Winn Dixie. You can always order in-bulk online from Amazon as well. Check your local grocery store to see what brand of ramen they have. I, personally, lived on Nongshim in college because I don’t mind the spiciness and it always satisfied me.

3. Pizza 

best microwave-friendly dinners: pizza
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They have one serving size pizzas or small, personal pizzas, so you won’t have to worry about saving the rest in your tiny freezer. A good example is the Celeste brand of pizza for one, which you can get on Instacart and at your local grocery. Now microwaving pizza takes skill if you want to avoid sogginess. If you want to ensure you have a crispy crust, you can get a microwave crisper with a flat surface that will effectively crisp your food up. If you don’t eat all the pizza, then reheating the pizza will be no problem. Add a mug of water to the pizza plate for around 30 seconds, which will help prevent a soggy slice of pizza. What college kid doesn’t love pizza? That’s what makes it one of the best microwave-friendly dinners for students.

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4. Chef Boyardee 

best microwave-friendly dinners: Chef boyardee
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There are many Chef Boyardee dinners you can choose from. My favorite is the classic spaghetti and meatballs, but you can choose ravioli with beef or cheese, beefaroni, and even lasagna. You can buy a couple of cans so that you will have a variety of different kinds of pasta to eat. It’s worth noting that you will need to get a can opener for this dinner unless you buy the plastic container versions from the store. They are smaller, so go with what you believe is best. I always go with the can because I can get filled with it as compared to the container size. Chef Boyardee usually has deals where you can get 10 for $10 depending on the grocery store, but they are very affordable regardless.

5. White Castle Sliders 

best microwave-friendly dinners: white castle
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Last, but not least, I recommend the White Castle sliders. You can choose to get sliders with cheese, or without, depending on your preference. I suggest taking them out of the box before storing them in the freezer. That way, you can conserve space in your mini fridge/freezer. All you need to complete this meal is condiments like ketchup, mustard, and whatever you like on your burger. It’s quick to heat up and is filling, whether by itself or with a side of chips. Pick them up from your local grocery store in the frozen section.