4 Authentic Prison Recipes For Your Inmate Themed Party

by John Cheese

Nobody likes parties more than a Modern Rogue. Maybe Andrew W.K., but I'm not entirely sure he's human. This may make me a dork among thieves, but I'm a sucker for theme parties. Invite me to a regular get-together, and I'll be like, "Sure, I'll stop by if I get the chance." But tell me it's a 1940's gangster party, and I'll be wearing a zoot suit before you finish the sentence. In fact, I might show up in that outfit, regardless.

One thing you have to try at some point in your life is a prison theme. They're cheap as hell to pull off, and it gives you an excuse to treat your friends like dirt. For instance, if one of them gets too hammered, you (the warden) can take away their booze and put them on lockdown. If you've got the funds, you could go a step further and play a game of "see who can escape from handcuffs the fastest". We sell all kinds of stuff that can teach you how, if you're interested.

But the most important part is the food. The only rule is: you can't buy anything that you couldn't get from prison commissary -- you can find those lists with a simple Google search. If you wanted to go a step further, you could implement a rule of "no utensils," forcing your guests to improvise methods of preparing their own snacks. It really depends on your personal level of evil. The rest is all up to your imagination and budget. You could print out laminated ID cards, assign uniforms, build an actual prison from scratch.

One area I can definitely help out with is the food. My brother has first-hand experience (don't worry, he's reformed), so he invited me to his house to teach me how to make some classic prison dishes. Keep in mind that you don't have to follow these recipes exactly. Prison cooking is all about making do with what you have access to. Using our own commissary list, we loaded up with this pile of garbage ...


... and turned it into ...

Peanut Butter, Oatmeal No-Bake Cookies

This is the simplest recipe on the list, but it takes the most time. I'll explain why in a minute. What you'll need is:

  • 3/4 cup of peanut butter
  • 2 packs of instant oatmeal (we used maple & brown sugar flavored)
  • 2 teaspoons of sugar
  • 1/4 cup of hot tap water
  • 1/2 cup of raisins (optional)

The short directions are: mix all that crap together. But you'll actually be better off to mix the oatmeal and hot tap water, first, and let it sit for a few minutes. Then mix in the rest of the ingredients, and ... well, that's it.


The reason this takes so long is because after they're made, they need to lose their moisture. Otherwise, you'll just have a bunch of gloopy blobs that you can't pick up. Since prisoners don't have access to a refrigerator, they just have to let them air-dry, which takes a minimum of three hours. When we made our batch, they were still runny even after that much time. I'm pretty sure we could have doubled the drying time and still not quite hit the mark.


Because of that, you'll probably want to make these first thing in the morning, several hours before your party starts. And if you happen to cheat and put them in the fridge, we won't tell anyone. Thieves' honor and all that. They'll darken as they dry. Here's what ours looked like after three hours:


Prison Burritos

For this next one, you're going to need a metric buttload of stuff. Again, you don't have to use this exact list, because the principle is to use whatever you can get your hands on. But if you don't put ramen noodles in it, you're removing the most "prison" part of a prison burrito. Here's what we used:

  • 1 cup of crushed Doritos
  • 2 cups of refried beans
  • 1 package of cheesy rice (precooked)
  • 1 jar of knock-off Cheez Whiz
  • 1 can of cheap chili
  • 1 package of ramen noodles (any flavor)
  • 1 summer sausage
  • 1 can of chicken
  • 1 can of roast beef
  • 1 package of pepperoni
  • 1 package of soft tortilla
  • 1 jar of BBQ sauce
  • Sliced jalapenos (for garnish)

The first thing you'll want to do is start your ramen. My brother insists that the best way to do it is to slam them on the ground, but I think that's just him being mad at ramen, for having to eat them all those years:



Once they're crushed under the weight of your hatred, soak them in hot tap water. Prisoners aren't allowed to have boiling water, because that can be used as a pretty nasty weapon. Set the ramen aside (it doesn't matter how much water you use -- we're going to drain that off in a bit, anyway).

While that's soaking, put the chicken and beef into a bowl and add diced summer sausage. If you're a stickler for authenticity, replace the bowl with a box (considered contraband in most prisons) and don't use a knife to cut the sausage. Use your ID:

Mix all that crap together and set it aside.


Now, drain the ramen noodles, add the seasoning and stir well. Add the precooked rice to this and mix again. Lay out your tortillas, and spread a teaspoon of the knock-off Cheez Whiz down the center of each one.


Now, it's just a matter of layering: Refried beans. Ramen/rice mix. Chili. The meat mixture. Pepperoni. Jalapenos. Crushed Doritos. BBQ sauce:


Oh, I know. I made the same face.

If at any point you want any of this heated up, you're going to have to get creative. Some minimum security and work-release prisons allow inmates to have a hot plate. However, most of them don't. The way they get around that is to fill a bowl with hot tap water and then place another bowl with the ingredients into that. But if you want to use a stove or microwave ... again, thieves' honor.

The last step is to roll it all up. If you're making these in an actual prison, chances are, you're not making them for yourself. It's far more lucrative to make a bunch of them and sell them to other prisoners for better/more commissary items. In that case, just use the newspaper that you prepared it on as a wrapper, like so:


Prison Nachos

I recommend serving this one with a shot of Pepto-Bismol. It's not spicy ... it's just really salty and made with junk food that's so fatty, you could wring them out and fry other foods with the grease. Of course, the same "doesn't have to be exact" rule applies here, too. If the final product is too salty or fatty for you, remove some of the worst culprits from the list, or add a bland filler to tone it down. We used:

  • 1 bag of tortilla chips
  • 3 Slim Jims
  • 20-30 pepperoni
  • 3/4 cup of diced summer sausage
  • 1 can of chicken
  • 1/2 cup of diced cheddar
  • 3-4 cups of knock-off Cheez Whiz
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1 can of chili
  • Sliced jalapenos (for garnish)

Dice the Slim Jims, pepperoni, summer sausage and cheddar cheese. Add the can of chicken. Plop in your big ol' blobs of knock-off Cheez Whiz and 1/2 cup of water, and mix all of that crap really well. The purpose of the water is to thin it down a bit. If you're cheating and using a stove or microwave, you could probably get by without it, because the processed cheese will thin as it heats. But I'm totally telling Chad Prisonchef that you did that. Thieves' honor only goes so far, man.


Pile up the chips and start spooning out a liberal amount of prison slop-dip on top. Then add a layer of the canned chili and top it off with sliced jalapenos:



Look, I'm going to be straight-up honest with you. I wouldn't make hooch. I wouldn't drink hooch. I wouldn't proclaim to have even an associate degree in hoochology. But Brian and Jason decided to make their own in the video I'm about to show you, and I can attest that neither of them are dead. At least not as I type these words.

Before I show you how they did it, I want to give you a warning: The first half of this video is showing you how prisoners make "pruno" ... which is a prison wine that can straight-up put your ass in the hospital or outright kill you.


That said, if you're an adult of legal drinking age, and you want to know how Brian and Jason made their hooch -- NOT the pruno -- here's how:


Like this article? Check out "The 6 Craziest Things People Have Made In Prison" and "How To Create Your Own Signature Cocktail".

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