Here’s a selection of easy vegan recipes for every meal of the day to make in your college dorm kitchen, needing only inexpensive ingredients and basic kitchen supplies.
Being vegan in college can be a challenge. At some colleges, dining-hall food designates nothing more than a little corner for vegan options. Back at the dorm, communal kitchens can seem barren and sad, with minimum supplies. Even in this day and age, with so much interest in plant-based diets, the college lifestyle doesn’t always cater to vegans.
However, fear not! With a little inspiration, basic equipment, and common ingredients, it’s not only possible to be vegan in school, but enjoyable! For every meal of the day, here are some simple, versatile, and tasty recipes you can make right on your communal stovetop or in the microwave.
Requirements for vegan college dorm cooking:
- Must be quick to make
- Simple ingredients and simple instructions
- Utilize only a stovetop, microwave, and refrigerator
- Can be easily meal-prepped, because finding time to cook every night can be hard, especially if you have a big exam or major paper coming up
Basic equipment for your dorm kitchen:
- Skillet – perfect for any stovetop recipes
- A fairly large pot for boiling pasta and making soups
- Medium saucepan
- Colander or strainer for pasta and washing veggies
- Cutting board
- Sharp knife for cutting veggies
- Wooden spoon
Apple Pie Oatmeal: Feeling like having breakfast and dessert all in one go? This simple and delicious oatmeal is the perfect route to take. A warm and filling combination of apple, cinnamon, oats, and almond butter will be sure to keep you satisfied.
Strawberry Almond Overnight Oats: Oatmeal that you can make the night before? Sign me up. This deliciously rich combination of oats, almonds, and strawberries (or any fresh or frozen fruit of your choosing) will allow you to snooze your alarm a few extra times and still enjoy breakfast.
Vegetable Tofu Scramble With Lots of Variations: There’s nothing better than waking up to a savory, customizable, and delicious breakfast in the morning. A tofu scramble can do no wrong— and honestly, it’s good for any meal of the day.
Deliciously Offbeat Ways to Make Avocado Toast: Avocado toast is the gold standard of breakfast foods. Small embellishments like crispy chickpeas, browned mushrooms, or even jalapeños will be sure to spice up your morning.
Peanut Butter Granola Energy Balls: A quick and easy grab-and-go breakfast. Enjoy with plant-based milk, coffee, or a fruit smoothie from your campus’s juice bar.
These vegan lunch ideas also work as light, fresh dinners.
Super-Easy Vegan Lentil Tacos: These simple, nutrient-dense tacos will be sure to fill you up, and all you need is a saucepan or microwave to make them.
Easy Corn and Pinto Bean Salad: Packed with color and protein, this salad is a perfect side for lentil tacos, or it can stand on its own as a quick and refreshing lunch.
Chickpea Salad & Sandwich Spread: A high-protein tasty spread that goes well on anything — bread, greens, or even tortilla chips!
Hot & Cool Layered Black Bean Taco Salad: A flavorful mix of beans, salsa, and your favorite vegan cheese. A close relative to nachos, but with a fresher and healthier vibe.
Easiest, Cheapest Ramen Noodle Vegetable Soup: This isn’t just your average Top Ramen. This veggie-packed ramen meal is a college classic made fresher. A warm noodle soup with tofu, scallions, and any greens you’re feeling! Perfect for studying indoors on a cold Sunday.
Big BBQ-Flavored Tofu Sandwiches: Bring BBQ into your dorm life with this savory and filling sandwich. Bold flavors and crispy tofu are a match made in heaven.
Jamaican-Inspired Rice and Red Beans: This traditional island dish is a warm, filling meal you can make in just 30 minutes. It’s crazy how delicious easy can be.
Super-Easy Chickpea Curry (Chana Masala): A warm and comforting curry dish that is sure to leave you coming for second helpings, maybe even thirds!
Spicy Peanut Noodles with Zucchini & Tomatoes: This meal is proof that a simple meal can be unique and flavorful. This recipe is absolutely worth trying out and putting on your rotation.
Vegan Smashed Potatoes: You can’t get any easier and more versatile than this. Use a microwave to soften potatoes, and add whatever toppings you want. Try the pizza potato variation! The bite-sized food of your dreams.
Classic Vegetable Chili (with lots of variations): A perfect recipe for meal prep. Warm, comforting, and savory; this easy chili will keep you cozy during study sessions.
Looking for more vegan recipes you can make in your dorm? Here are resources for vegan living in college:
- How to Be Vegan in College: The Complete Guide
- One Green Planet’s Favorite Tips for Eating Vegan in Your College Dining Hall
- The Top 10 Vegan-Friendly Campuses
College Vegan by Heather Nicholds* is another helpful resource
Jess Mendes is 2021 graduate of SUNY-New Paltz with a major in Digital Media Management, and a minor in Creative Writing.
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