Two Dorm-Approved Dishes You Need to Make This Week


Mug cakes have been a huge Pinterest trend for the past two years, but I’ve resisted posting anything about them on Collegiate Cook for one critical reason: I don’t think they taste good. They’re just not worth the effort — or calories. Have a Swiss Cake Roll or some Ben & Jerry’s, if you want to treat yourself and can’t use more than a microwave, I reasoned. Or, better yet, make some no-bake Oreo or Cookie Dough Truffles.

Then a pocket-sized cookbook came along that changed my perspective completely.

I was sent an advance copy of Mug It! Easy and Delicious Meals for One, and approached it cautiously, giving it my usual skepticism mug-meal skepticism. Then I flipped through, and I saw that the recipes were pretty legit: Not too many ingredients, easy to make, less effort than making everything from scratch. So I tried a few, and found a new busy-morning breakfast: Microwave Chilaquiles.

Mug Chilaquiles (Photos: Nathan Davison)
Mug Chilaquiles (Photos: Nathan Davison)

In case you’re all chila-whaaat?!, chilaquiles are a traditional Mexican dish, where corn tortillas are quartered, fried and simmered with salsa or mole. They’re topped with avocado, sour cream, pulled chicken or scrambled eggs, making them like a breakfast-taco-meets-quiche, and the result is nothing short of phenomenal.

Mug Chilaquiles (Photos: Nathan Davison)

This version uses crushed tortilla chips, which — let’s be real — you’re even more likely to have lying around in your dorm. Stale chips are just as good as fresh ones, and even Doritos would work here, so use whatever you’ve got. You combine the chips, a beaten egg, a splash of milk (or water), some shredded cheese and salsa, then microwave it for 60-75 seconds, until the egg has set.

Mug It! features a full recipe you can proudly serve to your roommates (it’s that gourmet-tasting), and I’ve created a modified version at the bottom of this post that you can use. It uses the most minimal ingredients, proving that you can still have a decent breakfast even if your mini-fridge is nearly empty.

Mug Cake Recipes

I also tried the fudge brownie, only I omitted the cinnamon and vanilla extract — since most dorm bakers don’t have those readily available — and added semisweet chocolate chips instead of chocolate frosting on top. And it was goooood. Especially with a scoop of ice cream on top. It was basically like eating a fudgy, molten chocolate cake a la mode. Oh man.

Mug Brownie a la Mode

The book also features some great ideas for mason jar salads and a chocolate chip cookie, baked in a mug. I’ll be trying that recipe next.

What microwave meals have you enjoyed recently? Any hits? Colossal misses? We want to know!

Easy Mug Chilaquiles

Easy Mug Chilaquiles

Modified from Mug It's Chilaquiles recipe.


  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon pepperjack cheese
  • 4-5 tortilla chips, broken into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 tablespoons salsa


  1. Beat the egg and water in the mug. Stir in the tortilla chips, cheese and 1 tablespoon salsa.
  2. Microwave on high until the egg has set, about 60-75 seconds. Top with remaining salsa.
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1 Comment

  1. yami says: Reply

    what about the recipe for the fudge brownie?

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