My son is moving out of the college dorms and into his first apartment. I admit that my first thought was – he is going to starve to death. His specialties are cereal and frozen pizza. So we have spent the summer learning basic cooking skills and compiling easy meal ideas. There are hundreds of cheap and easy college recipes for students to try.
College Recipe from Home
First, we adapted a few of my son’s favorite meals to make them student friendly.
Wild Rice and Hamburger – This meal is based off of a favorite family recipe.
- Brown ground beef in a large skillet and drain. If desired, cook chopped onions and green peppers with the meat.
- Add a box of instant wild rice and cook according to box directions. Serve with corn bread and a salad for a cheap meal.
Football Pasta – I have made this easy recipe for dozens of high school football pasta suppers and it was always well received by the players. This makes quite a bit, so it may be best for a dinner party with friends.
- First, brown one pound ground beef or ground sausage and drain.
- Stir in one jar of spaghetti sauce, 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, and 4 cups cooked and drained pasta of any type.
- Pour in casserole dish and top with 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese.
- Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. Serve with bread and a salad for a complete meal.
Mac and Cheese College Recipe Ideas
My daughter could eat boxed macaroni and cheese every day. Luckily for the rest of us there are lots of ways to dress up that cheap box of macaroni and cheese.
Mac and cheese with tuna – My husband and I lived off this old-standby when we were first married.
- Simply make the macaroni and cheese according to package directions
- Add one can of cream of mushroom soup, one can of drained peas, and one can of drained tuna
- Top with plain potato chips if desired
Other add-in ideas for mac and cheese include chopped tomatoes, diced ham, and mushrooms. You can also add Velveeta and a dash of extra milk to make creamier.
More recipe ideas for college students:
- Tortillas – Fill with peanut butter and apple slices. Butter one side, fold in half, fill with cheese plus leftover chicken, ham, or taco meat and fry till golden brown. Fill with cheese or butter and sugar, roll and microwave on high for 15 to 30 seconds.
- Eggs – fried, scrambled, or sandwiches. Omelets with ham, cheese, bacon, tomatoes or whatever desired. Serve with toast.
- Pancakes – Sweet, easy, and filling. Mix up a batch using biscuit mix, serve with syrup and bacon.
- Baked potatoes – Microwave in a Ziploc or shopping bag for 3 to 4 minutes. Top with butter, sour cream, dried onions, broccoli, cheese, ham, or whatever is on hand.
- Peanut butter – PB sandwiches with jelly, marshmallow fluff, bananas, bacon or chocolate chips.
- Ramen Noodle recipes – Ramen noodles are a college staple. There are hundreds of college recipe ideas using Ramen noodles on the internet. Some of our favorites include Chicken and Ramen noodle soup, Tex-Mex Ramen, and Ham and Cheese Ramen.
- Burgers – Plain or try mixing in dry onion soup mix or make meatloaf burgers by adding egg, chopped onions, worcestershire sauce, and bread crumbs. Ground pork is a good cheap alternative to ground beef. Either fry in a skillet or grill.
- Tomato soup (or chicken noodle) and grilled cheese sandwich.
- French bread pizza – Make with French bread, hoagie buns, or brat rolls. Spread on jarred pizza sauce and any toppings you wish. Top with parmesan or mozzarella cheese and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until cheese melts.
If you are still struggling for supper ideas, check what’s in the fridge. Myfridgefood.com takes what you have in your kitchen from beer to bacon and ketchup and gives you recipes. This awesome website is a great resource for college students or anyone needing fresh ideas.