Easy College Recipes for College Students

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College life is busy! Finding time to cook is challenging, but it definitely has it’s rewards. These easy college recipes for college students will keep hunger at bay in no time at all!

Two teenagers sitting on the back porch eating chicken sandwiches

Whether you’re a parent trying to prepare a son or daughter to move away to college, or a college student trying to find things to eat besides cold cereal and pizza, these recipes are here to help!

Why College Recipes?

I have a son heading to college in this fall and another son will follow in a couple of years. A few months ago I set a day each week aside to have them prepare dinner. Sunday was the easiest day for us to do this. Each week they choose a meal they like to eat, and then I teach them how to make the recipe. We have been compiling the recipes in binders for them to take to college. As their mother, it is nice to know I’m not just sending them off with a random cookbook to college or with the hope they will find something to cook on Pinterest. By the time I drop them off at school, they will know how to cook all of the recipes in their custom-made cookbooks.

College Recipes in a three ring binder

Because it has been such a good experience for me to do this with my sons, I wanted to share the idea with those of you who are also sending kids to college. I have enjoyed this time with my sons in the kitchen. We talk, we laugh, we listen to music, and we eat. They are interested in how the ingredients in the recipes come together. I’m sometimes surprised by their questions about how something is made, especially when I’ve probably made the recipe hundreds of times during the years they’ve been growing up.

A Taste of Home

It’s comforting for me to know they will be taking a little taste of home with them with these college recipes. I hope they will provide some sustenance for them during their college years, and remind them of the fun times we had making them at home. I know it will be a happy memory for me!

A recipe binder or book with homemade recipes is a thoughtful high school graduation gift for a family member or friend. See my recommendations at the end of this post.

College Recipes for Students On The Go

It is healthier and less expensive to have things on hand to make at home than to buy fast food. College cafeterias often provide healthy food choices, but they are also very expensive. College students with basic cooking skills can save time, have more energy, and save money.

Easy College Recipes – Meals

The key is keeping it simple! These recipes are simple with basic ingredients, and they don’t take much time to make.

  • Zesty Italian Wrap

    Italian meats and cheeses wrapped in a flour tortilla

    A wrap full of delicious flavors! Meats and cheeses can be used in multiple combinations to suit your tastes. Throw in a little crunch by adding banana peppers, pickles, cucumbers, and lettuce. Click on title for full recipe.

  • Two Minute Thai Peanut Noodles

    Thai Peanut Noodles in a peanut butter sauce with peanuts and seasonings

    This was a staple for us in college. Start with a package of Ramen Noodles, add peanut butter, peanuts, and a few seasonings and you’ve got Thai food for dinner in about two-minutes! Click title for full recipe.

  • Big Kahuna Teriyaki Chicken Sandwiches

    Grilled Teriyaki Chicken with Ham, Pepper Jack Cheese, and Grilled Pineapple

    This recipe requires a BBQ grill, but a George Foreman grill or small Hibachi grill will work great. By the way, either of these is a great thing to have at college for burgers, hot dogs, grilled chicken, etc. These sandwiches are juicy with unique flavors. Click title for full recipe.

  • 15-Minute Beefy Noodle Skillet

    Pasta noodles with ground beef and cheese

    A great recipe for when you are really hungry. The beef and noodles will fill you up fast and give you energy for that late night study session. The recipe makes enough so you can have leftovers for lunch if you can keep your roommates from stealing it. Click title for full recipe.

  • Black Bean Soup

    Black bean soup with tortilla strips, avocado, cheese, and sour cream

    Soup is perfect for chilly autumn and winter nights. This recipe has only 3 basic ingredients. Cheese, sour cream, crushed tortilla strips, and sliced avocado can be added to taste. Click title for full recipe.

  • Chicken Tacos

    Cook up some chicken in a skillet, add some onions and seasonings and voila! You have chicken tacos in no time at all – and the whole apartment will smell amazing. Click title for full recipe.

  • Easy Monte Cristos

    Ham and cheese baked in a crescent roll served with raspberry sauce

    Wrap ham slices and cheese in crescent dough and bake in the oven for a delicious breakfast or lunch. Dip in raspberry or peach jam to make it even better. Click title for full recipe.

  • Fresh and Easy Lemon Spaghetti

    Spaghetti Pasta with a light lemon sauce

    You can never go wrong with pasta. This spaghetti is light and fresh. It will put a spring in your step for the rest of the day. You can make this recipe in about 15 minutes. Click title for full recipe.

  • Chicken Crescent Roll-Ups

    Shredded chicken filling in a crescent roll coated in bread crumbs

    Leftover chicken from another meal or canned chicken canned be used for the filling in these crescent roll-ups. You can use half a can of crescent roll dough for these Chicken Crescent Roll-Ups and the other half for our Easy Monte Cristos. Click title for full recipe.

  • Make Ahead Breakfast Parfaits

    Breakfast parfaits with layers of yogurt, fresh fruit, and granola

    This grab-and-go parfait is great for breakfast, lunch, or for a quick snack. Make them up on the weekend when you have some extra time and you’ll be set for the week ahead. You can use your favorite yogurt flavors, fresh or frozen fruit, and any kind of granola you like. Click title for full recipe.

Easy College Recipes – Snacks

Trust me, the best roommates are roommates that can cook! Sharing a homemade snack is the fastest and easiest way to make friends in college. Whip up some of these recipes for a weekend movie night or study session and you will be the most popular person on campus!

  • Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

    Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies with a glass of milk

    Two favorite cookies in one – peanut butter and chocolate chip. They must be eaten with a glass of cold milk. I hear it cures homesickness. Many college campuses deliver cookies with milk to students now, but for the cost of one or two of those cookies, you could have four or five dozen to share or to store in the freezer. Click title for full recipe.

  • Oven Nachos

    Oven Nachos with chicken, cheese, tomatoes, olives, and onions

    A batch of these nachos with chicken, cheese, and other toppings just takes a few minutes to throw together. You just layer it all on a cookie sheet and bake it in the oven. Serve with sour cream, salsa, or guacamole.

  • Ham and Pickle Roll Ups

    Dill pickles rolled in ham with a cream cheese spread

    No baking or cooking, and only 3 ingredients. This snack takes about two minutes to make. Spread some cream cheese on a slice of ham, place a pickle in it and roll it up. That’s it! Yet, they are so good! Click title for full recipe.

  • Peanut Butter Popcorn

    Microwave popcorn with a peanut butter coating

    Start with two bags of popped microwave popcorn. Heat peanut butter, corn syrup, and brown sugar in a saucepan until melted and then pour over the popcorn. It’s that simple. Perfect for a movie night in! Click title for full recipe.

  • Chili Cheese Dip

    Chili and cream cheese combined in a dip for corn or tortilla chips

    This dip tastes so good, you would never guess it is made with only two ingredients. College recipes don’t get any easier than this. We also call it Queso dip. Serve it with tortilla or corn chips. Click title for full recipe.

High School Graduation Gifts

Give a creative and personal gift to a high school graduate! A compilation of your favorite family recipes that they can take to college and beyond will be a priceless gift. Even better, make a memory! Invite a high school graduate over and teach them how you make some of your favorite recipes. It will be a gift that will keep on giving throughout their life.

I recommend a three-ring binder with plastic sheet protectors for recipes for college students (as pictured above). Recipes can easily be printed on-line. All of our recipes are printable, as are most recipes found on cooking websites and Pinterest.

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About the author

Echo Blickenstaff

Echo lives in Pleasant Grove, Utah with her husband, Todd, who works in advertising, and her four kids: two girls and two boys. She deploys her accounting degree as the blog’s resident problem solver. In her time outside the kitchen, Echo loves to get away from the phones and busy schedules and spend quality time with the family. Anywhere’s great – but getting out into nature in the mountains or on the beach – is the best kind of getaway.

More about Echo Blickenstaff

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