Image from Pexels

Image from Pexels

When you’re in college, you don’t always have hours of free time to prepare extravagant meals. Between class, homework, clubs, work, and socializing, we all come to the realization that it’s pretty hard to idolize Rachel Ray in college. Cooking for 1 can be difficult, and if you’re in a dorm (in this instance I’d strongly suggest getting a meal plan rather than cooking every day), a kitchen might not always be accessible. That being said, you need to have some quick and easy recipes under your belt that aren’t too complex for your time-savvy college life needs. Check these out!


Numbers 1 and 2 come from this website. Visit it for 8 more suggestions on easy college breakfasts!

1. Egg Pita Sandwiches

1/2 tablespoon of butter

2 eggs, scrambled

1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1 whole wheat pita bread, sliced in half

Heat a skillet or frying pan to medium heat and melt the butter in the pan. Add the eggs and stir until cooked. Sprinkle on the cheese and scoop the eggs into the pita bread. (For a healthier option, you can fill your pita with eggs, hummus, tomatoes, onions, or peppers!)

2. Fruit Smoothie

1 cup fresh or frozen fruit of your choice

1 cup milk

1/2 cup orange juice

1/2 cup vanilla yogurt

1 tablespoon honey

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

3. Toast with Toppings

1-2 slices of bread

1 tablespoon butter

1 sliced banana (or any other fruit)

1 tablespoon honey

After toasting the bread, top with butter, banana, then drizzle honey over top.

4. Make your own oatmeal

1 cup milk or water

1/2 cup oats

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

Handful of your fruit of choice

In a pan, bring liquid to a boil, add oats and turn down to medium heat. Once more liquid has been absorbed, add the vanilla extract and pinch of salt. (You can also add other spices like cinnamon or nutmeg.) Stir until it is at a consistency you like, pour it into a bowl, and add fruit.


1 and 2 come from Fitness Magazine. Check it out for 5 more easy, healthy lunches! 3 and 4 come from the University of New Hampshire Health Services. For more, click here!

1. Grilled Cheese with Turkey and Tomato with Vegetables on the Side

2 slices of bread

1 slice cheddar cheese

2 ounces sliced turkey

1 sliced tomato

Cooking spray or butter

Vegetable of your choice

Ranch dip

Make a sandwich with the bread, cheese, turkey, and tomato. In a greased skillet, toast sandwich for about 3 minutes on each side, until the cheese is melted and the bread is golden brown. Serve with your choice of finger-food vegetables and ranch dip.

2. Chili and Chips

1 cup canned turkey or vegetarian chili

1 1/2 cups frozen broccoli

3 tablespoons shredded cheddar cheese

1/4 cup crushed corn chips

Mix together chili and broccoli and microwave for about 5 minutes. Top chili mixture with shredded cheese and crushed chips.

3. Pasta, Chickpea, and Spinach Salad

8 oz spiral pasta

2 tablespoons lemon juice

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons garlic, minced

4 cups baby spinach leaves, chopped

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

2 oz feta cheese, crumbled

Fill a saucepan with 3/4 water, bring to boil, and add pasta. Turn down to bubbling and cook for 8-10 minutes. While pasta is cooking, mix lemon juice, olive oil, and garlic for the dressing. Add spinach, chickpeas, and feta cheese. Drain the pasta, and mix in with everything else.

4. Clean-The-Fridge Soup

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 teaspoon garlic, minced

3 cups chicken broth

1/2 cup mixed veggies

1/2 cup pre-cooked beans (or 1.4 cup cooked meat)

1/2 cup leftover cooked pasta or rice

Put oil and garlic in a large saucepan, and cook veggies for about 5 minutes. Add broth and bring to a boil. Add other ingredients and warm through.


Recipes from Minnesota State University recipe collection. Check it out for 20+ more easy recipes!

1. Chicken Stir Fry

Bell peppers, red onion, spinach, tomato, carrots, or garlic, chopped

Soy sauce or bottled Thai red curry sauce

1 chicken breast, chopped

1 cup brown rice

Cooking spray or butter

Cook brown rice according to package, set aside. Heat a frying pan to medium heat and grease. Saute the chicken with soy or Thai sauce, set aside. Saute the vegetables and garlic until tender, and add soy or Thai sauce halfway through cooking. Add the chicken to the pan and add more sauce if necessary. Serve with brown rice.

2. Barbecue Chicken Pizza

Pillsbury pizza crust dough

2 cups chicken breast, diced

1 1/2 cups barbecue sauce

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet or pizza pan with cooking spray.  Unroll pizza crust and press into pan. Combine the chicken and barbecue sauce in a bowl, and spread over the pizza crust. Sprinkle cheese on top. Bake for about 18-20 minutes. (You can also add your favorite vegetables on top!)

3. Taco Salad (this recipe is for 4, but it looked so good and everyone loves leftovers, right?)

1 medium onion, chopped

1/2 lb lean ground beef

2 tablespoons taco seasoning

1 can of kidney, pinto, or black beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup frozen corn

6 cups chopped or shredded lettuce

2 medium tomatoes, sliced into wedges

1/2 cup shredded Colby Jack cheese

1/2 cup of your favorite salsa

4 tablespoons sour cream (optional)

Cooking Spray

Spray a large frying pan with cooking spray and turn to medium heat. Add onion and beef and cook until beef is brown. Add taco seasoning, beans, and corn. Mix well. Lower heat and simmer mixture for 5 minutes. Divide lettuce onto 4 places and spoon 1/4 of the meat mixture onto each plate over lettuce. Top with tomato wedges, shredded cheese, salsa, and sour cream.

4. Meatball Pita

10 precooked meatballs

1 can fire-roasted tomatoes, Italian style (optional)

Whole grain pita pockets (approximately 5 halves)

1/4 cup mozzarella cheese (optional)

Slice the meatballs in half. Stir meatballs and and diced tomatoes together in a microwave-safe bowl, then heat for about 4 minutes. Fill each pocket with 3/4 cup of the mixture. Top with mozzarella cheese.



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the author

Allison Capley is an editor, college life writer, and a member of James Madison University’s class of 2016 in Harrisonburg, Virginia. At JMU she studies Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication, with a minor in Health Communication. Allison’s favorite hobby is horseback riding. In the future, she aspires to live life to the fullest and obtain a career in medical and pharmaceutical writing.

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