8 Hotel Room Food Ideas To Stay Healthy When Traveling

While it’s fine to treat yourself now and again, especially while on vacation, traveling can throw your healthy lifestyle totally off balance. Finding healthy hotel room food ideas is often overlooked for the easier high-calorie restaurant meals and high-fat and sugary snacks while out and about. 

However, with a bit of pre-planning, you can cook yourself some nutritious meals and keep your diet on track. What’s more, you don’t need a full kitchen to create easy hotel meals. 

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You can enjoy plenty of hotel room food ideas with only a small fridge, microwave, and kettle. However, if you’re lucky enough to have a stove pot in your room, you’ll have a wider choice of hotel room food.

Whether you’re a frequent traveler tired of eating junk food while on business trips or planning an extended backpacking adventure and worry about your nutrition, we’re here to help. Read on to learn how to cook in a hotel room and the quick, easy, and healthy meals you can make. 

girl cooking in a hotel room

Oatmeal

We kick off our hotel room food ideas list with one of the most straightforward meals anyone can create. You don’t need any culinary skills whatsoever, and the required ingredients are minimal. 

To make basic oatmeal, you simply need oats and milk.

However, if you don’t have a fridge in your room to keep milk fresh, it’s also possible to make oatmeal using water instead. It won’t be as creamy, but it works!

What’s more, oatmeal is incredibly versatile; you can eat it plain with honey, add banana or fresh fruits, or give it some extra flavor with peanut butter and/or jam. Oatmeal is also incredibly filling, so if you eat a bowl of hot oats for breakfast, you’ll be full until lunch. 

What you need:

  • Microwave or kettle
  • Bowl and spoon
  • Instant oats 
  • Milk or water
  • Sweetener and toppings if desired

Here’s how to make oatmeal in your hotel room:

  1. Buy a bag of instant oats (rolled or steel-cut oats take longer to cook). Alternatively, you can buy single-serve instant oatmeal sachets and pots that are already flavored and require water only.
  2. If using a microwave: Add water or milk to the oats at a ratio of 2:1 (oats/liquid), and cook in a microwave-safe bowl for 1.5 – 2 minutes. Check the oats are softened; if not, cook for another 30 seconds.
  3. If using a kettle: Add boiling water to the oats at a ratio of 2:1 (oats/liquid). Cover and leave for a few minutes.
  4. Add any toppings of your choice. 

Top tip: If you have a fridge in your room, you can make a cold version of oatmeal known as “overnight oats.” You prepare it the night before by combining oats and milk/water at the ratio of 2:1 and then putting it in the fridge to set. 

The oats will have soaked up the milk and softened in the morning. You can then add a banana and some honey or peanut butter and enjoy!

microwaved oats with banana

Microwave Scrambled Eggs

Many people do not know that you can cook eggs in a microwave and make a pretty decent version of scrambled eggs. Making scrambled eggs with a microwave is one of the best hotel room food dishes you can do as it takes between 1 to 2 minutes only.

To make your scrambled eggs healthier, you can add some veggies. For example, if you have a freezer compartment in your hotel room fridge, you could buy a pack of mixed frozen veggies and add a handful.

Alternatively, you can chop a fresh tomato and an onion and add some spinach leaves.

What you need:

  • Microwave
  • Bowl and fork
  • Eggs (1 to 3)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Optional veggies

Here’s how you can enjoy an egg breakfast in your hotel room:

  1. Crack the eggs in a bowl, add salt and pepper and mix with a fork until the yolks and whites are thoroughly combined.
  2. Add any veggies or fillings and mix to combine.
  3. Cook in the microwave for 60 seconds.
  4. At this point, parts of the egg mixture will be cooked, and others will be uncooked, so mix again, then cook for another 30 seconds (or longer if needed). 

Tofu Salad Wrap

All you need for this quick, easy, and nutritious lunch is a chopping board, knife, and a plate. If you buy the ingredients just before, you don’t need a fridge either, making it one of the most accessible hotel room food ideas.

If your room does not have a sharp knife to chop veggies and you cannot source one, you can buy a bag of pre-cut salad instead.

What you need:

  • Plate
  • Bowl for mixing
  • Chopping board and sharp knife
  • Chilled firm tofu (can swap for pre-cooked chicken breast if you prefer)
  • 1 soft tortilla
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 Tomato
  • 1 Red pepper
  • Pre-washed, pre-cut lettuce
  • Condiments such as mayonnaise or sweet chili sauce (you might be able to get condiment sachets from the hotel restaurant)

Here’s how to make this simple wrap:

  1. Chop up the tofu/cooked chicken and mix with salt, pepper, and the condiment of your choice.
  2. Slice the tomato and red pepper. 
  3. Mix the salad vegetables with the tofu, then spoon it onto the center of the tortilla wrap and roll it up. 

Falafel & Hummus Pita

A falafel and hummus pita is another healthy and tasty no-cook lunch that you can put together in just a few minutes. However, finding pre-cooked falafels and hummus may be tricky, depending on the country you are traveling in. 

In the USA, Canada, and most parts of Europe, you will find ready-to-eat falafels in the chilled section of a supermarket.

If you cannot find hummus, simply use mayonnaise or another condiment. Opt for a bag of ready-to-eat salad to make it even easier and reduce the tools needed to make this pita.

What you need:

  • Knife to cut the pita
  • Spoon for the hummus
  • Plate to serve
  • 1 pack of pre-cooked falafels
  • Hummus 
  • Pre-washed salad bag

Here’s how to put together this super simple hotel food meal:

  1. Slice open the top half of the pita.
  2. Spread a layer of hummus on the inside.
  3. Slice the falafels into halves or quarters, and half fill the pita.
  4. Fill the pita with salad, squashing it down to reach all the gaps. 

falafel hummus pita

Chickpea Burrito Bowl

Although this one calls for a few extra ingredients, you only need a microwave, chopping board, and knife to make it, which many hotel rooms with kitchenettes provide. 

The recipe uses chickpeas, which are high in protein and nutrients, and it features some colorful raw vegetables. However, remember that microwavable rice packets are not available in all countries.

What you need:

  • Microwave
  • Chopping board and sharp knife
  • Bowl and spoon
  • Microwavable cooked rice 
  • Can of chickpeas
  • Can of sweetcorn
  • One tomato 
  • One red onion
  • Avocado (optional)
  • Taco seasoning 

Using the above ingredients will give you two portions. Here’s how to make it:

  1. Drain the chickpeas and mix in the taco seasoning.
  2. Slice the tomato, red onion, and avocado.
  3. Drain the sweetcorn.
  4. According to the pack’s instructions, heat up the rice in the microwave (usually 1 – 2 minutes).
  5. Empty the warm cooked rice into a bowl and top with the chickpeas and vegetables.

Pasta Salad 

You can cook pasta in your hotel room if you have a microwave, kettle, and a few other utensils. Of course, some pasta dishes are not the healthiest but one of the best hotel room meals you can make is a pasta salad. 

With a pasta salad, you can add whichever salad vegetables you want and choose the ratio of pasta to salad. What’s more, you can prepare two or three portions to have lunch sorted for a few days.

Just be mindful of the salad dressing you choose, as many are high in sugar/fat. 

What you need:

  • Kettle
  • Microwave
  • Colander to drain the pasta.
  • Fresh pasta is best as it requires less cooking time, but uncooked pasta can also work. If available, opt for whole wheat pasta.
  • Salad vegetables of your choice (sweetcorn, cucumber, tomato, pepper, etc.)
  • A protein such as cooked chicken breast, tuna, or mixed beans
  • Salt and pepper.
  • A low-sugar salad dressing.

How’s how to make healthy hotel room pasta salad:

  1. Choose your pasta portion size and place it in a bowl or microwavable tub.
  2. Boil water in the kettle. Pour it over the pasta covering it completely. Add a pinch of salt.
  3. Cover the bowl and microwave on high for 3 or 4 minutes longer than the suggested cooking time on the packet.
  4. While the pasta is cooking, prepare your salad by chopping the vegetables. Combine in a bowl with the protein of your choice, add salt, pepper, and salad dressing and mix well.
  5. Drain in a colander once the pasta is cooked to your liking and cool it down using cold water. 
  6. Mix the pasta with the salad, adding more dressing if needed. 

Microwave Baked Potato

Potatoes are filling, versatile and low in fat. Although you can’t beat the crispness of an oven-baked potato, cooking it in the microwave is a fab alternative for hotel eating.

Microwaving a potato is also super quick, so you won’t have to spend hours waiting for your dinner to cook. 

Once cooked, you can top it with baked beans if you want some protein, or to keep it low calorie, simply add a few lashings of low-fat butter and serve with a packet of pre-washed, pre-cut salad.

What you need:

  • Microwave
  • Sharp knife
  • Plate
  • Knife and fork
  • One medium to large baking potato
  • Salt and pepper
  • Low-fat butter or margarine
  • Can of baked beans (optional)
  • Pre-packed salad bag (optional)

Here’s how to make this hearty and comforting ​​hotel room food:

  1. Wash the potato, then stab or prick it multiple times all over. 
  2. Cook in the microwave on full power for 5 minutes.
  3. Turn over and cook for another 5 minutes. 
  4. Once fully cooked, cut open the potato, season with salt and pepper, and mash it up a little using a fork. Add butter or margarine.
  5. If using baked beans, empty the beans into a microwavable container and heat for 1 to 2 minutes. Pour the beans over the potato. 

microwave baked potato

Butternut Squash And Chickpea Curry

It’s totally possible to cook a nutrient-rich curry in a microwave but be warned that it may make your hotel room smell. Of course, you won’t be making the sauce from scratch but will be using a readymade sauce that you only need to heat up.

Likewise, you can cook the butternut squash in the microwave. 

This recipe also calls for cooked microwaveable rice. If you cannot source this, you could swap the rice for a pita or naan bread instead.

What you need:

  • Microwave
  • Chopping board and knife
  • Large bowl
  • Plate and spoon
  • Jar of curry sauce (any variety works)
  • 1 small butternut squash or bag of pre-cut squash
  • Spinach
  • Can of chickpeas
  • A packet of cooked, microwave rice (or pita/naan bread)

Here’s how to enjoy a healthy curry from cooking in a hotel room:

  1. Chop the butternut squash into small squares (to reduce cooking time).
  2. Add a little bit of water to the bowl and cook in the microwave for 5 minutes. Cover the bowl with a plate or cling film or cook in a microwave-safe tub with a lid to trap the heat.
  3. Prick with a fork to see how tender the squash is. If needed, cook for a few more minutes.
  4. Once the squash is cooked, put aside and cook the spinach in a covered bowl or tub for 30 seconds to one minute.
  5. Put the spinach aside and heat up the curry sauce. Heat for one minute, stir, then heat for another 30 seconds. Stir again to ensure there are no cold patches. 
  6. Drain the chickpeas and add to the sauce. Add the squash and spinach and mix to combine.
  7. Heat up the pre-cooked rice for 1 to 2 minutes, then serve on a plate with the curry.

Final Thoughts On Hotel Room Meal Ideas

We hope these hotel room food ideas inspire you to stay healthy on your next trip. Cooking in a hotel room doesn’t require much equipment, nor does it consume much of your vacation time. Learn more about how to stay healthy when staying in hotels.

Plus, you need minimal ingredients for all of these easy hotel meals, making them both nutritious and low-cost. 

Want more travel recipes? Read one of the following guides:

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