Prison-Hacked Recipes For You to Enjoy While You Binge-Watch Season 2 of ‘Orange is the New Black’

This image was removed due to legal reasons.

Is your Apple TV tingling? Season 2 of the Netflix original series "Orange is the New Black" premieres on Netflix at midnight on June 6. All of the episodes will be available at once, so essentially, you’ll be in a prison of your own making—a prison made of your couch and whatever goodies you have to sustain yourself for the 13-hour binge.


In her book "Orange is the New Black" (which the show is based on), Piper Kerman talks at length about the various prison-hacked recipes the prisoners enjoyed:

"Extracurricular prison cooking happened primarily in two communal microwaves that were placed in kitchenette areas between the Dorms; their use was a privilege the staff constantly (and with great enjoyment) threatened to revoke. Remarkable concoctions came out of those microwaves, especially from homesick Spanish and West Indian women. This impressed me deeply, given the limited resources these cooks were working with—junk food and poly-bagged chicken, packets of mackerel and tuna, and whatever fresh vegetable one could steal from the kitchen," Kerman wrote. "Contraband food was irresistible—one did not readily pass up the simple novelty of eating something other than institutional food, cooked with a measure of love."


With that in mind, we'd like to present you with some jailhouse junk food options. All of the ingredients and supplies can be purchased from a convenience store, jacked from a cafeteria, or, if you're reading this from inside the Big House, purchased at the commissary.


This is the exact recipe Kerman includes in the book. She gave LA Weekly some more precise instructions and measurements, but pshhh, that's no fun.

INGREDIENTS: Graham crackers, four pats (tablespoons if you’re fancy) of margarine or butter, an entire thing of Laughing Cow cheese, a squeeze bottle of lemon juice, a vanilla pudding cup, and a container of powdered non-dairy creamer

SUPPLIES: Fork, Tupperware container, ice and a bucket (you can substitute your freezer for this one)


Instructions, per the original "Orange is the New Black:"

1. "Prepare a crust of crushed graham crackers mixed with four pats of margarine stolen from the dining hall. Bake it in a Tupperware bowl for about a minute in the microwave, and allow it to cool and harden.


2. "Take one full round of Laughing Cow cheese, smash with a fork, and mix with a cup of vanilla pudding until smooth. Gradually mix in one whole container of Cremora (non-dairy creamer), even though it seems gross. Beat viciously until smooth. Add lemon juice from the squeeze bottle until the mixture starts to stiffen. Note: this will use most of the plastic lemon.

3. "Pour into the bowl atop the crust, and put on ice in your bunkie's cleaning bucket to chill until ready to eat."


That was the only proper recipe listed, but she talks about a lot more off-the-menu options. We've reverse-engineered a few of them for your penitential pleasure.



Kerman references making deviled eggs a few times in the book. We reverse-engineered them based on her clues.


INGREDIENTS: Boiled eggs (in Kerman's case, taken from the salad bar and hidden in the ice machine), packets of mayo, mustard, and pickle relish, hot sauce

SUPPLIES: Fork, knife (can be plastic), spoon, plate, bowl


1. Cut the eggs in half, lengthwise. Remove the yellow yolks and put them in the bowl. Put the egg white halves on the plate.


2. Use the fork to mash the yolks together with mustard, mayo, and a little bit of pickle relish. Add dashes of hot sauce to taste.

3. Using the spoon, put a yolk-sized amount of your mixture into each egg white. Top with a dash of hot sauce and a small amount of pickle relish.



Cheesey chicken chilaquiles were Kerman's friend Rosemarie’s specialty. Kerman and her fellow inmates would use hair nets or plastic baggies to smuggle cooked chicken out of the cafeteria. Ideally, you will purchase a roasted chicken, although we can’t tell you how to live your life or where to get your chicken.


INGREDIENTS: Leftover chicken, squeeze cheese, corn chips, Sazon or other Latin spice mix, onions, whatever other veggies and herbs you can get your hands on

Supplies: Fork, knife, bowl, plate, a microwave


1. Crush up the chips and mix them in a bowl with water until the mixture is soft (but not mushy). Microwave it in 15-second increments if you add too much water.


2. Chop up the onion. (Kerman notes that this is difficult—but not impossible—to do with a plastic knife.) Put the onion in the other bowl and add a generous amount of Sazon. If you’ve got another pat of margarine lying around, throw that in too.

3. Fry the onions in the microwave by microwaving the bowl for 2-3 minutes, stopping to stir the mixture halfway through cooking time.


4. Pile the leftover chicken, the fried onions, and any other veggies you can find into the bowl with the chilaquiles in it. Add Sazon to taste.

5. Top with a generous ribbon of squeeze cheese, any herbs you have, and maybe some more Sazon.



This recipe is well-known outside of prison. But this is the prison version.

INGREDIENTS: A snack bag of Fritos, pickled jalapenos, squeeze cheese or shredded cheese, canned chili or beans, Sazon or other Latin seasoning



1. Open the bag of Fritos.

2. Heat up the canned chili or beans (so they'll melt the cheese later)

3. Put as much of everything you want in the Fritos bag.

For more prison recipes, check out these vegan OITNB-inspired goodies, or read this anonymously written but surprisingly thorough PDF of tried-and-true "prison cuizine." Thrillist attempted to make "pruno," or prison wine, but it took a week to ferment and tasted totally disgusting, so if you can get your hands on the real stuff, go with that.


Happy viewing!

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