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Collegiettes have a reputation of surviving on Ramen and Easy Mac, but there are other options out there that are just as easy to prepare—healthy, yummier options that will stave off the Freshman 15 and keep you full and energized.

“I was honestly pretty surprised by how good these meals tasted,” says Mary Morris, a senior at UNC-Chapel Hill. “When I think of microwave meals, I think of eating bad food. They were perfect when I didn’t have access to a kitchen to cook for myself.”

Cooking in your dorm can be a challenge, but we’re here to make it easier. We’ve collected the eight best microwave meals for roommate dinner dates, late nights or days when you don’t want to walk to the dining hall.



1. Kashi Three Cheese Ravioli Steam Meal

This two-person meal combines ricotta, Asiago and mozzarella cheeses with whole grain pasta for filling, delicious fare. Kashi also incorporated chickpea puree into this dish for added protein.

2. Smart Ones Angel Hair Marinara

At 200 calories, this meal is the ideal light lunch or dinner. Marketed by Weight Watchers, it is a fully balanced meal, containing whole grain angel hair pasta, zesty sauce, spinach, yellow squash and zucchini.

3. Smart Ones Four Cheese Pizza Minis

Reminiscent of Bagel Bites in middle school, this healthier, more grown-up version featuring mini pizzas is just as delicious (and fun).



4. Healthy Choice Café Steamers Asian Potstickers

Potstickers—a type of Chinese dumpling fried and served with broth—are usually complicated to make, but Healthy Choice provides this great alternative for those of us who don’t have culinary skill or kitchen access. This vegetarian dish is served on whole-grain white rice with peas, carrots and red peppers, and then covered with a sweet Asian-style sauce.

5. Lean Cuisine Sweet and Spicy Ginger Chicken

This veggie-filled meal has a spicy ginger sauce that doesn’t taste like all you did to make it was nuke it for a few minutes. At only 290 calories, it is a guilt-free lunch.



6. Lean Cuisine Chicken Club Panini

On a cool fall afternoon, a hot sandwich is just what you need. White chicken with crumbled bacon, tomatoes and crunchy sourdough bread makes this panini a five-star meal.

7. Joe’s Diner Mac ‘n Cheese

Tasting less like watery cheese and more like the real deal, this meal is the way to go when eating frozen mac and cheese. It is sold at Trader Joe’s, and it’s healthier than many other boxed competitors. It is only 360 calories per serving, but it doesn’t have the chemicals or artificial coloring of other brands.



8. Amy’s Kitchen Mexican Casserole Bowl

This gluten-free, vegetarian meal is full of organic vegetables and beans that will give you energy to make it through that long afternoon lecture.


Maybe you’ll eventually be able to expand your food arsenal outside of microwave meals and start using the dorm kitchen, but for now, the grocery store has entire aisles dedicated to delicious microwavable meals waiting to be eaten!