College Student Recipes

I have a little secret to tell you. Come in a little closer…a little more…ok. A crock pot can cook meals for you.

Yup! That’s right, you don’t have to cook, you don’t have to spend your monthly budget eating out, and you don’t have to buy premed frozen meals to eat in college. Mac and Cheese and Top Ramen do not have to be your go to foods after class.

A crock pot can be your ultimate lifesaver in college. So, when your parents take you shopping for college supplies, make sure one of these babies is on your must have list.

crock-pot-elumeMy crock pot was a hand me down and cost me nothing, but I have seen them at the goodwill on the cheap side, and they can be bought online for next to nothing. We are talking $20 or less for your own personal chef.

So, what is a crock pot you may ask. Well, other than a dream come true, google defines it as “an electronic cooker that maintains a relatively low temperature.”

The reality is that you can make almost any college student recipe in the cavity of your crock pot, flip on the temperature switch and let it sit all day while you are in class. When you get home, your dinner with be done and all you have to do is chow down.

Here are two of my favorite, go-to college student recipes for crock pots:

#1. Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches


1 pork butt/shoulder

1 bottle bbq sauce

1 bag hamburger buns

1 onion


My recipe is a version of this one found at

Pork butt or pork shoulder is the best cut of meat to buy for these tasty sandwiches. At my local grocery store I can usually buy one of these for about $13. Pick up a bottle of your favorite bbq sauce, I like a sweet and tangy taste to mine. At $5 on average, this bottle will last you a while. Also, before you leave the store grab some hamburger buns on the cheap $2 side. $20 later you have a meal that will easily last you a week.

  • To prepare the meat for the slow cooker, rise it off and pat it dry with a paper towel. Put it into the crock pot and season it how you like. A steak rub with salt and pepper usually turns out nicely but the spice combination is completely up to you, so you can be creative. I usually add some sliced onions to give it more flavor. Cover the meat and cook it on low for about 6-8 hours. Discard the onions and drain the liquid out if there is any. Take two forks and shred the meat. Next, add in your desired amount of bbq sauce  to make the dish come alive. Then you can toast up some of the hamburger buns, top your meat mixture onto the buns and go to town.

An easy tossed salad complements this dish well and is a cheap, but healthy and filling side dish.

#2. Whole Chicken with Brown Rice and Asparagus


1 whole chicken

1 lemon

1 bunch asparagus

1 bag brown rice


These college student recipes are so simple. Your main ingredient for this dish is a whole chicken, most can be bought for $5-$8 at your local grocery. You will also want to pick up one lemon, a small bag of brown rice, and a bunch of asparagus.

  • To prepare the chicken for the crock pot, take it out of the bag and rinse it off inside your sink. Most chicken will have their parts inside the chicken cavity, in a bag. You can just discard these. Be sure to get water throughout the whole chicken, in the cavity as well. Once cleaned well, pat dry and season to your liking. Also slice the lemon in half and out both halves inside the chicken cavity. This will help to keep the chicken extra moist and flavorful. Place this all inside the crock pot and turn on low. Cook it for 5-7 hours. You know the chicken will be done well there is no pinkness when you cut into it.
  • To make the brown rice, boil about 4 cups of water for every 1 cup of rice. Bring the water to a boil, add rice and reduce to a simmer for about 45 minutes. When its done, all the water will be gone and you can fluff it with a fork. It will be soft to the bite.
  • For the asparagus I like to broil it in the oven. Cut the end off your asparagus and wash and pat them dry. Lay one piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Spread out your stalks and drizzle them with olive oil and sprinkle some course sea salt on them. Remember, with sea salt a little goes a long way. Broil the stalks for about 3-5 minutes. They will be crispy when they come out.

Now you have two go to college student recipes for your new crock pot. Look out for more easy college meals coming your way soon. If there is any dinner you like in particular tell me in the comments box below and I will do my best to find you a quick and easy college recipe for it. Now go and chow down. Happy eating.

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Kait Freeberg

Kait Freeberg

Kait Freeberg is a junior at Cal Poly University, San Luis Obispo pursuing a degree in journalism. At school, Kait can be found interviewing people or hitting the gym. As the Colleges Against Cancer president, Kait helps to fight cancer and she educates her peers on the disease. Apart from school she works two jobs, enjoys traveling, and cooking for her roommates.