50 Easy Recipes for College Students
When you're on your own and cooking for yourself for the first time, you quickly realize that instant ramen alone isn't going to cut it. You need nourishment to fuel a day spent studying, going to class, working, etc. Full disclosure: I was a college student only a couple of years ago. This collection is made up of recipes that I think the average college student would realistically make; cheap and easy recipes made with few ingredients and no ultra-fancy cooking methods. But they're still delicious and (sometimes) healthy options you'll actually want to eat. Whether you're a college student yourself, or you know some recent grads who could use a little help (send this to them!), here are 50 easy recipes for college students.
Creamy Pesto Penne with Sausage
Delicious Avocado Sandwich
As a college kid with limited time and money, it can be difficult to incorporate fresh, healthy ingredients into your meals. This simple sandwich does just that — fresh tomatoes, avocados, and provolone cheese are drizzled in balsamic vinegar and sandwiched between bread slices of your choice.
Arugula and Hummus Mini Pizzas
Steamy Microwave Zucchini
No need to spend time over the stove for a fresh veggie side dish. Here, zucchini, celery, onion, and mushrooms are steamed in the microwave and tossed with melted Cheddar cheese. To mix it up, experiment with different types of cheese like reviewer Jim: "Shredded habanero cheese is great if you want some spice."
Creamy Blueberry Coconut Ricotta Bowl
This creamy breakfast bowl may look like dessert, but don't be fooled — it's full of protein to keep you full all morning. "The creaminess of the ricotta, crunch of the coconut and almonds, and sweetness of the blueberries and honey worked perfectly together," says Allrecipes Allstar Happyschmoopies. "I would eat this for dessert!"
Roasted Green Beans
Creamy Parmesan Polenta
Sriracha Scrambled Eggs
Scrambled eggs day after day gets old. Sriracha brings its signature tang and spice to liven up the party.
Inside-Out Grilled Cheese Sandwich
What could make this dorm-room delicacy all the more enticing? Cook it with cheese on the outside too. Reviewer Coleykim says, "The cheese on the outside of the bread had an amazing crunch and a different almost smoked tasting flavor and crunch that offset the melted cheese inside."
Toaster Oven Apple Crisp
Some days call for comfort, but making a family-sized dessert isn't ideal for a college student. Fortunately, this single-serve dessert — which is made entirely in the toaster oven — gives you all the joy of mom's homemade apple crisp without the leftovers. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Original Bar Cheese Spread
Prepared cheese sauce is the base in this bar-inspired snack. Horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, dry mustard, and garlic powder add bite. Just be sure to plan ahead of time, the ingredients need time to mingle in the fridge before serving.
Tomato Basil Salmon
Keep frozen salmon on hand for this simple, 5-ingredient dinner. Salmon fillets are topped with basil, tomato slices, olive oil, and Parmesan cheese, before baking in the oven. Serve over rice.
Garlic Roasted Broccoli
Steamed broccoli in a bag is, well, sad. Instead, try roasting it for a veggie that is tender on the inside, and caramelized on the outside.
Quick and Easy Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Believe or not, this healthy side dish comes together in just 30 minutes. Unlike many other sweet potato side dishes which tend to be overly sweet, this recipe uses garlic, basil, and thyme for a more savory, robust dish.
As the name recipe title implies, this chicken is ideal for when you need to throw dinner together in a pinch. Chicken is sautéed in a mixture of barbeque sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic powder.
Left Over Spaghetti Lasagna
When mom's homemade lasagna isn't an option, make this "lasagna" using leftover spaghetti and prepared sauce. The layers mimic that of traditional lasagna, but with shortcut ingredients.
"Make your own potato chips using your microwave. A tasty and easy alternative to store-bought potato chips (not to mention economical)!" says recipe creator Jessica. If you have one potato, vegetable oil, and salt, you have all the ingredients needed to make this homemade version of a classic snack food.
Mexi-Chicken Avocado Cups
Avocados are stuffed with a mixture of chicken, cilantro, and chili powder for a quick, easy, and healthy 10-minute dinner. This is a great way to repurpose leftover baked chicken from last night's dinner.
Eggs n' Fries
Frozen French fries are combined with scrambled eggs in this innovative breakfast that any college kid would be delighted with.
Portobello Mushroom Caps and Veggies
Large portobello mushroom caps make an excellent (and budget-friendly) alternative to steak. Each is sautéed, and topped with a flavorful mixture of garlic, onion, and green bell pepper.
Kielbasa with Peppers and Potatoes
This hearty, nutritious dinner is made with just four ingredients: smoked kielbasa sausage, red potatoes, red bell pepper, and yellow bell pepper. Serve over rice or quinoa.
What says comfort quite like this iconic casserole? Ground beef and cream of mushroom soup are topped with a layer of tater tots and sprinkled with Cheddar cheese. It's the perfect study break.
Quinoa is a protein-packed and fiber-rich addition to any diet, but it can be a bit...bland. This method for dressing up quinoa (without overpowering it) is a total game changer.
No-Egg Blueberry Mug Cake
Polish Link Sausage and Cabbage
Mild cabbage and spicy kielbasa were made for each other. What's the secret ingredient in this Polish dish? A can of beer.
Scrambled Eggs in a Mug
If you're running late for class, this is the breakfast you need to make. Crack an egg into a microwave-safe mug, beat, add milk, beat again, and microwave for 90 seconds. Bon appétit!
Quick and Easy Mini Salsa Pizzas
Whole-grain English muffins are topped with tomato salsa (yes, salsa), turkey bacon, and shredded Italian cheese. Bake under the broiler for five to 10 minutes, and you have a lunch or dinner that's even faster and easier than ordering pizza.
Individual Microwave Brownie
Horseradish Pork Chops
Beef and Rice
By adding a little ground beef for protein to a pre-packaged rice mix, you have a filling, delicious, and cheap dinner that's ready in just 45 minutes.
Extra Easy Hummus
Fast and Easy Tofu Lo-Mein
Takeout is convenient, but it can break a budget fast. Using packaged ramen noodles, frozen stir-fry vegetables, and tofu, you can make your own lo-mein to eat throughout the week.
Easy Tuna Casserole
Meatball Sub Casserole
Using shortcut ingredients like frozen garlic bread, prepared spaghetti sauce, and frozen meatballs, you can turn this favorite sub into a hearty casserole.
Simple Ranchy Breaded Fish Fillets
Tilapia is a budget-friendly way to sneak more seafood into your diet, and this recipe amps it up with Italian-seasoned bread crumbs and Ranch-style dressing mix.
Ground turkey is a leaner alternative to beef, but still satisfies your hamburger hankering. Dry onion soup mix brings the flavor here.
Yummy Pork Chops
Italian-style salad dressing and soy sauce make an unlikely pairing, but they combine beautifully as a sauce for pork chops: "I'm a college student and I like to learn new recipes to cook for my friends. The entire time I was cooking I was afraid that the Italian dressing would be too overwhelming but it was perfect! The mix of dressing and soy sauce evened out nicely," says reviewer Kristian.
Momma's Sloppy Joes
Did you know this cafeteria classic can be made using condiments you likely have on hand? Beef or turkey can be used in this recipe.
Healthy Peanut Butter Mousse
Aimee's Quick Chicken
American Chop Suey II
No-Self-Control Cookie (Single-Serving Cookie)
Whether you're penny pinching, or just don't need dozens of cookies on hand, this recipe yields just one cookie — yes, you read that right. It calls for micro-amounts of ingredients, like just 3 tablespoon all-purpose flour.
Four-Ingredient Red Curry Chicken
Curry doesn't have to be complicated or expensive. You can find cream of coconut, red Thai curry sauce, and dried rice stick vermicelli noodles in the international aisle or at Asian supermarkets.
Simple Beef Stroganoff
This is an easy, classic recipe that's good to learn how to make while in college. It uses budget-friendly ingredients, and can be easily customized to suit your taste.
Baked Italian Chicken Dinner
Protein? Check. Vegetables? Check. Carbs? Check. This 5-ingredient dinner will fuel you all week long.
Spaghetti Carbonara I
While shortcuts and new takes on traditional recipes can be fun, sometimes it pays to know how to make a classic recipe. Fortunately, spaghetti carbonara is as easy as it gets.
Easy Peezy Sweet Toasted Cheese Sandwich
Switch things up by using Hawaiian rolls in place of the more traditional white bread for your next grilled cheese sandwich. And forget standing over the stove, this recipe comes together in the toaster oven.
Salted Chocolate-Peanut Butter Vegan Nice Cream
This dairy-free nice cream tastes like a peanut-butter cup, but in ice (nice) cream form! It's the cure to your late-night cravings.
Microwave Baked Potato
Avocado Toast (Vegan)
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