5 Easy Recipes For College Students

Students living in the dorms have it good, they get their meals cooked for them and cleaned up for them. But for those of us that move off campus after freshman year, we have to learn to fend for ourselves.

For many of us, learning to cook has never exactly been a top priority since our parents took care of things at home. Living on your own for the first time might also be the first time you learn to cook, so it can’t hurt to start simple.

As your chef skills progress, you could be cooking filet mignon by the end of the year, but until then, here are five easy meals for first-time cooks.

  • 1. Pasta with Italian dressing, tomatoes, basil & parmesan:

Basically all you have to know how to do here is boil noodles, which you should probably know how to do by college to be honest.

  • What you need: Angel hair pasta, tomatoes, basil leaves, grated Parmesan cheese.
  • Method: First cut up tomatoes into small chunks while the noodles are boiling. Next, drain the noodles, and put a light serving of Italian dressing on the dish. Once the dressing has soaked in a bit, sprinkle the tomatoes and Parmesan cheese over the dish, and finally add in basil leaves.
  • 2. Shake-N-Bake chicken: 

If you like breaded, baked chicken, this is the easy route to making it. Instead of hand-rolling the chicken in breadcrumbs, Shake-N-Bake does it for you to make a great, hearty meal.

  • What you need: chicken breasts, a box of Shake-N-Bake in your favorite flavor (Italian, BBQ, etc.), cookie sheet, oil, and an oven.
  • Method: Roll chicken in cooking oil and seasoning mix. Next place chicken on cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.
  • 3. DiGiorno pizza: 

This is about as easy as Kraft Mac-and-cheese. We’ve all made a Digiorno pizza before. If you want to save money on pizza and especially delivery, buy a Digiorno for $5-$7 and cook it yourself. You’ll save money and feel more accomplished; it’s the perfect combination.

  • What you need: Digiorno pizza, cookie sheet, and an oven.
  • Method: place pizza on cookie sheet and cook for about 30 minutes at 450 degrees.
  • 4. Homemade nachos: 

Nachos are easier to make at home than people think, and you have more options with cheeses, chip shapes, and other condiments.

  • What you need: cookie sheet, aluminum foil, Tostitos tortilla chips, shredded cheese, beef, and taco seasoning. Optional condiments: salsa, lettuce, sour cream, etc.
  • Method: Spread foil out on cookie sheet and spill chips out onto the foil. Sprinkle shredded cheese generously over the nacho chips. Make sure the oven is set to cook at about 200-250 degrees. It may take a little longer to cook, but the chips burn easily, so you would rather wait the extra 10 minutes. Cook for about 10 minutes, but there’s really no set time limit. Depending on how much cheese you use the time varies for the cheese to melt thoroughly.
  • 5. The classic grilled sandwich:

This grilled sandwich could be a grilled cheese, a meaty dish, or even a peanut butter and jelly, but either way it’s easy. A good ole’ grilled cheese is an essential meal in college; it will get you through more things than you think. Grilling your sandwich is a good way to enhance the average turkey sandwich, or even a peanut butter and jelly can be delicious off the grill.

  • What you need: White bread, American, co-jack or cheddar cheese, assorted meats you like for sandwiches, and a frying pan or a George Foreman grill.
  • Method: Make sure the grill or stove is at a medium heat setting, you don’t want to toast your bread too much. Assemble your grilled cheese or sandwich, and place on the grill or pan. Monitor the sandwich to ensure the cheese doesn’t become to liquefied and the bread is grilling on both sides.

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Madeline Fetchiet

Madeline Fetchiet

Madeline Fetchiet is a sophomore at Michigan State University, studying journalism and philosophy of law. Aside from reporting, Madeline enjoys tae kwon do, reading, writing, researching and traveling, and can be considered a music enthusiast. Madeline currently works as an intern for thecollegehelper.com, and is a banquet server at Travis Pointe Country Club in Ann Arbor, MI. Perfecting the storytelling side of reporting is something she looks forward to in her future career as a journalist.
Madeline Fetchiet

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