Little effort, big flavor: Cooking a Thanksgiving dinner in your microwave


Most college students lack the culinary skills and proper equipment to make a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. By following this simple guide you can wow your dorm room friends by cooking an entire Thanksgiving feast in your microwave. For those of you who shrieked at the word microwave, fear not, because the FDA says that microwave cooking is even more efficient than conventional ovens. Not only does it use less energy, it is also cooking your food in a smaller amount of time, which allows your food to hold on to more vitamins and minerals.


Turkey – $12.99

Yes, it is possible to safely roast a turkey in your microwave. The USDA suggests placing the turkey in an oven bag and cooking for ten minutes per pound until it reaches an internal temperature of one hundred and sixty-five degrees.

You can dress it up simply with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper.

A three pound turkey breast roast is the perfect size for a microwave and can be found at Safeway for $12.99.


Turkey Gravy – $1.49

Trader Joe’s Gravy can be heated straight from the container.


Cranberry Sauce – $1.99

Combine twelve ounces of fresh cranberries, which you can find at Trader Joe’s for $1.99, with one and a quarter cups of sugar and half a cup of water in your microwave for ten minutes stirring half way in between. You can substitute the water with orange juice or add a splash of rum for a little zest.


Cornbread Stuffing -$3.99

Trader Joe’s Cornbread Stuffing Mix includes a combination of breads, seasonings, and dried up vegetables that almost tastes homemade. Heat up water  in the microwave and add to stuffing mix with melted butter until fluffy and moist.


Candied Sweet Potatoes – $4.99

Pre-cut and pre-skinned sweet potatoes in microwavable bags can be found in Trader Joe’s produce section for $4.99. Heat brown sugar and butter separately until thick and add to cooked sweet potatoes for a quick and easy side dish.


Steamed Greens – $1.99

In a covered microwavable dish combine minced garlic, salt, pepper, and butter with a bag of baby spinach on sale at Trader Joe’s for $1.99 and cook for about two minutes.


Pumpkin Pie – $4.99

It is frozen and a dollar cheaper than Trader Joe’s fresh baked pie. This is the one thing you do not have to microwave, just let it defrost while you are cooking up your dinner and you will have a pie with a smooth filling and a flaky crust for dessert.