Comfort food from the comfort of your dorm

Michael Clement, Design Editor

Too cold outside to make the walk to the nearest dining hall? I’ve got something to warm you right up.

Graphic by Michael Clement

Throughout my experience living in Quinnipiac University residence halls I know the feeling all too well when it starts getting dark around 5 p.m., and it’s so chilly out that you’d rather stay inside. It’s especially tough when you have to attend online classes around dinnertime as well.

The solution? Make use of your kitchen if your dorm has one! Cooking for yourself might feel like a burden to those with a busy schedule, but I recommend it for a number of reasons. For one, I find it cathartic to put together a quick meal when I am working remotely for my internship during the day and have class at night. It’s a great divider and de-stresser because it gives me a reason to be away from my computer screen.

Below are a few cheap and easy-to-make recipes for some of my favorite comfort foods to eat as temperatures begin to drop. If you’re someone who likes to cook, I recommend investing in an Instant Pot or pressure cooker because it simplifies the cooking process. These recipes can be made with or without an Instant  Pot, so no stress if you don’t have one readily available.

Pulled Pork

Graphic by Michael Clement

This is my favorite recipe by far because it is so simple yet so delicious. I made it for dinner one night for my family earlier this year, and they raved about it for the rest of the week to the point where my mom requested me to make her some more on her birthday.

You can alter the recipe toward your personal preferences, but my philosophy is that the pork should be made sweet with a little kick to accompany the flavor of the barbecue sauce.

You’ll need:

-Pork loin or shoulder

-Barbecue sauce

-Brown sugar


-Red pepper flakes



-Medium-sized onion

-Olive oil


-Hamburger rolls

In a large bowl, soak the pork in a warm salt bath for about 10 minutes. This will make the meat more tender when it comes out of the oven or pressure cooker and pulls out any bacteria.

Remove the pork and pat down any excess moisture with a paper towel. Then season both sides to your liking. I use a mixture of brown sugar, cinnamon and red pepper flakes to make it sweet yet spicy.

Before you put your pork in the oven or pressure cooker, you’ll want to sear as much of the outside of the pork as you can. You can do this by adding some olive oil to a pan, setting the burner to a high heat and rotating the pork every three minutes until the outside is golden brown.

If you are using a pressure cooker or Instant Pot, add in chopped onions and a cup of liquid so the meat does not burn (I use broth but water also works) and then the pork. Set your pressure cooker to high and cook for about 25 minutes and allow it to depressurize for another 15 minutes.

If you are using an oven, preheat it to 300 F. Put your pork and chopped onions onto a baking sheet. Let it cook in the oven for about three hours (or until you’re able to pull it apart with a fork).

Add your barbecue sauce once the meat is cooked and make a sandwich or some nachos with it and some cheese of your choice. Enjoy!

Mac and Cheese

Graphic by Michael Clement

Do I need to say more? I regularly practice the belief that there is no such thing as too much cheese, so I like to load up on it. This recipe will have you saying goodbye to your favorite boxed mac.

You’ll need:

-16 ounces elbow macaroni

-1/4 cup butter

-1/3 cup flour

-1/2 teaspoon salt

-1/4 teaspoon pepper

-4 cups milk

-2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

-1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

-1/2 cup bread crumbs (optional)

Preheat the oven to 375 F and spray a baking dish with non-stick spray.

Cook the macaroni, drain it and set the macaroni aside on the baking dish.

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium and stir in flour, salt and pepper until mixture is thickened and bubbly.

Remove the saucepan from heat and add 1 ½ cups of cheddar cheese until melted.

Pour mixture over macaroni and add remaining cheeses (you can also add more than the recipe calls for like I do — cream cheese, for example, makes for a richer batch) and stir.

Bake for 30 minutes and enjoy!

Chicken Noodle Soup

Graphic by Michael Clement

This is a staple for the fall and winter season, so it’s only right that I share my recipe for it. It’s perfect for cold nights and pairs well with grilled cheese or some potato chips.

You’ll need:

-2 cooked and shredded chicken breasts

-4 chopped carrots

-6 chopped celery stalks

-Black pepper


-8 oz. of egg noodles

-4 cups chicken broth

-6 cups water

-Large chopped onion

-Canola oil

In a large pot, add oil and sauté the onion and vegetables for about seven to 10 minutes.

Add in broth, water and chicken and season with pepper and salt. Bring the pot to a simmer and let it sit for 20 minutes.

Add in egg noodles and cook for another seven to eight minutes until noodles are tender.  Stir occasionally. Enjoy!