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Easy Recipes for College Students

By Melanie Saunders on Jan 21, 2022

Tags: Gluten-Free

Young adults heading off to college are often learning how to do common household duties for the first time. Basic tasks like laundry, cleaning, and cooking can be tricky to get right and require a bit of trial and error.

Some college students have grown accustomed to having a parent or guardian cook for them throughout childhood, and upon moving into a dorm room, aren’t sure where to start in preparing meals for themselves.

But healthy recipes for college students can be simple! Today, we’re providing guidance on equipment and ingredients for college students to use, plus recipes for jam-packed days.

College Student Snacking on the Grass

Basic equipment to have on hand

With such limited space, college students don’t have the luxury of keeping every kitchen gadget on hand. Basic kitchen equipment can be used for a variety of recipes.

Mini-fridge

Keeping perishable items cold is a must, and since many dorm rooms don’t come with refrigeration, it’s helpful to have your own. Choose a refrigerator that is compact enough to squeeze in a tight space.

Microwave

Ideal for late night study sessions and mornings on-the-go, a microwave is a life saving meal prep tool for busy college students.

Utensils, bowls and plates

No need to go overboard! A simple set of forks, knives, and spoons will do. Opt for a plastic set, which will last longer and not chip as easily as porcelain or ceramic.

Portable blender

Perfect for days on the run to class, a portable blender quickly makes nourishing smoothies, sauces, and soups from scratch.

4 easy recipes for college students

Now that you have the equipment to rock dorm room meal prep, now all you need are a few simple recipes!

Pizza quesadilla

A pizza quesadilla is great for times when you’re craving pizza but looking for an alternative to a greasy by-the-slice!

Basic ingredients include whole wheat tortillas, a jar of pizza sauce, and your choice of cheese. Lay 1 tortilla flat on a microwaveable plate and top with pizza sauce and cheese, plus any toppings. Try breaking Sea Salt Beef Chomps sticks up into small pieces for a pepperoni-like pop of flavor.

Better-for-you ramen

Noodles are a college food staple known and loved by busy students. But the flavor packets that come with most ramen noodles are filled with sodium … not exactly the most nutritious option.

However, ramen can easily be made healthy with a couple of simple ingredients! Try swapping the flavor packet with a soy sauce / sriracha sauce combo. Then, heat up a bag of mixed veggies in the microwave (like this one), and add to your ramen! For an extra serving of protein, enjoy a Chomps stick of any flavor on the side.

Pesto and Turkey Sandwich on Board

Pesto and turkey sandwich

Pesto, meet turkey … and turkey, meet pesto. If you’re a college student who stocks their lunch with a plain old sandwich, listen up! You can add variety to even the simplest sandwich by adding dressing.

Pesto is a great sandwich addition because it goes perfectly with most types of meats, cheeses, and toppings. Purchase a jar of pre-made pesto and spread a small amount on both sides of the bread. Then include any other ingredients, like turkey, sliced tomato, and microwaveable bacon for a made-in-the-dorm-room-style BLT.

Overnight Oats with Blueberries

Overnight oats

For students who are accustomed to having ample space in their kitchens at home, moving to a small dorm room with no kitchen can be a major adjustment. Especially for those who love breakfast and cooking morning favorites like pancakes, french toast, and hashbrowns.

Overnight oats are an excellent solution for the college student whose favorite meal of the day is breakfast. This overnight oats recipe includes ½ cup rolled oats, ½ cup of milk, 1 tablespoon of chia seeds, and a teaspoon of honey. Toppings like bananas, strawberries, or blueberries help add flavor.

Bacon mac ‘n cheese

Who doesn’t love a cozy bowl of macaroni and cheese?! College can be stressful, and sometimes eating a favorite comfort food can be a nice study break. Evol mac & cheese is pre-portioned and packed with 13 grams of protein to keep you full.

If you love the taste of bacon on top of mac and cheese but are looking for an easier swap, Chomps meat sticks are a tasty bacon substitute. Just break any flavor of Chomps stick into small pieces and stir into cooked mac and cheese.

Resources for more college recipes

For dorm room chefs looking to try even more recipes, there are several websites that provide information for those navigating campus kitchens.

Spoon University

We love that this website is written by real college students and provides an approachable food community. With recipes for the microwave, 5 ingredients, snacks, and more, there’s something for every occasion a college student may encounter.

Budget Bytes

College students don’t always have much money to spend on groceries, and that’s okay! Delicious recipes can be made cheap, and Budget Bytes caters to shoppers who want to eat well but not break the bank.

Cooking in College by Declan & Erica

This blog is a great resource for couples who are living together for the first time, or those who are living with roommates and looking to combine kitchens! Declan and Erica are masters of savvy grocery shopping and live off of just $10 per day of food.

 

Chomps snacks with Stationery

College students, your focus should be on getting good grades, hanging out with friends, and soaking in the best 4 years of your life … not spending tons of time cooking! We hope this guide to easy recipes for college students was helpful and leaves you feeling empowered to try new recipes from the comfort of your dorm room.

And for those times when you’re stuck with what to cook or snack on? Chomps meat sticks are the perfect go-to college snack option!

About the author

Melanie Saunders

Melanie currently resides in Chicago and is a proud University of Iowa graduate (plus, a former member of the Hawkeye Marching Band!) She has always been an avid writer and pursued journalism throughout her time in high school and college, which led to a career in communications/marketing. When not at her computer, Melanie enjoys taking walks around the neighborhood, reading books, cooking healthy meals, and watching Cubs baseball.

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