30 Incredibly Easy Recipes for College Students
Sure, there are always exceptions—but the typical 18-year-old isn't exactly a wiz in the kitchen. College is a time to experiment with food and grow as a cook. Don't waste those precious years on fast food, takeout, and dining hall slop. We've compiled 30 recipes that are so easy, even a college student can tackle them with confidence. And don't worry: Plenty of them can be made in the microwave.
Make-Ahead Microwave Breakfast Sandwiches
If your mornings tend to be busy, grabbing an egg sandwich from the corner store or drive-through may be the only way to get a boost of energy before work.
Microwave Poached Eggs
Making a poached egg at home is easy thanks to your loyal kitchen friend, the microwave. That’s right: You can stop fretting about the size of the pot, the temperature of the water, or the merits of adding a splash of vinegar and just zap that egg instead.
Microwavable Keto Cheese Crisps
This keto-friendly snack only calls for one—yes, ONE—ingredient and comes together in about four minutes in the microwave. Cheez-Its won't know what hit 'em.
Microwave Blueberry Muffin
If there’s anyone who knows a thing or two about making breakfast in a microwave, it’s definitely college students—but Izy Hossack isn’t your ordinary college student, so it makes sense that her go-to breakfast in a microwave is far from ordinary, too.
Microwave Orange Chocolate Mug Cake
When you're home alone and craving a home-baked dessert, the mug cake is your friend. Dense, moist, and warm, like a steamed pudding, the single-serving dessert cooks in just a couple of minutes in the microwave. This one is loaded with citrus and a touch of dark chocolate. For best results, use a small orange; otherwise, the cake gets soggy.
Look no further for the ultimate, easy chili recipe. With just a push of a button, your weekday dinner is taken care of as the chili cooks away in the slow-cooker. Add chili to your next barbeque to top grilled sausages for an upgraded version of chili dogs.
Quick and Easy Nachos
This platter of goodness represents the lowest-effort end of the homemade nachos spectrum. Although this game day-perfect platter of beefy, cheesy nachos comes together quickly, it delivers the classic meld of flavors and textures that you want from everyone’s favorite appetizer.
Easy Taco Soup
In addition to being super simple, this easy taco soup recipe makes a lot of food, meaning you won’t have to worry about lunch or dinner for the next few days. Most of the ingredients are already in your pantry, so everything comes together quickly.
Easy Roasted Chicken Breasts with Tomatoes and White Beans
This simple baked chicken packs a ton of flavor atop a nice, toasty mixture of beans, tomatoes, and herbs. Since the chicken cooks on top of the vegetables, its juice add to the sauciness of the burst, roasted tomatoes, the buttery olives, and the tender creamy beans.
Easy Chicken Spaghetti
Give your traditional chicken casserole a break and serve this bright and lively chicken spaghetti. You only need a Dutch oven and a 9-x-13 baking dish to create this delicious meal, meaning there is less clean-up afterwards. Cook and shred your chicken in advance to save time.
Easy Huevos Rancheros Bake
You and your brunch crowd will love digging into the cheesy, spicy layers of this egg-topped casserole. Unlike tortillas, crisp corn tostadas will soften during baking but still maintain a good texture. You’ll find them at the supermarket near the tortillas.
Easy Chicken Fajitas
Make chicken fajitas a go-to weeknight dish. Our easy chicken fajitas recipe—which calls for fewer than 10 ingredients and comes together in just 20 minutes—is perfect for kids and adults alike.
Easy Taco Salad
Perfect for hectic weeknights, this easy taco salad recipe is something both kids and adults will love. The beauty of taco salad is that it’s entirely customizable to your favorite taco components, so feel free to stray from the recipe to accommodate whatever you’re craving and/or the ingredients you already have on hand.
If you've ever wondered how to make guacamole that's the perfect, creamy consistency, trust us, the food processor makes quick work of this crowd-pleasing dip. Our Easy Guacamole is just that—ridiculously easy.
Easy Chicken Parmesan
Comforting Italian classic? Check. Budget-friendly? Check. Super easy? Check, check, check. What more could you want from a chicken parmesan recipe?
Easy Greek Salmon Bowls
Heart-hero salmon teams up with protein- and fiber-forward quinoa to fill you up; spinach delivers a hit of iron, while green beans and cucumber up the veggie count. Great warm or at room temperature, this also makes a standout packed lunch.
Spaghetti and Easy Meatballs
Easy Vegetable-Ham Frittata
When it’s too hot outside to turn on your oven, your slow cooker is a lifesaver. Microwave leftovers about a minute, checking after 30 seconds.
Easy Oven Rice
For anyone who’s ever struggled with cooking rice on the stovetop (and no, it’s not just you…), this easy oven rice recipe is for you. Say hello to your new foolproof method for perfect, fluffy rice—every time. The only real “tricks” to nailing this baked rice recipe are avoiding over-stirring and fighting the urge to “peek” while the rice is cooking.
When we say easy, we mean easy. You don't even have to cook the noodles for this speedy yet impressive lasagna that always gets rave reviews. Lasagna is a family favorite, but this version is extra-special because it only requires 5 quick ingredients
Easy, Breezy, Not-Quite-Refried Beans
People think beans are boring. And they can be! But these beans are cooked down with smashed garlic and a knob of butter and a hearty splash of hot sauce. They're like refried beans, without the lard or the time commitment.
Enjoy the soup for breakfast, brunch, or any meal, especially if you’re feeling a bit run down (this is the chicken noodle cure-all of your dreams).
Easy Cinnamon Roll Pancakes
Pancake batter eliminates the need for actual dough. You can even use the stuff out of the box. No judgement here. It’s all about adding a buttery cinnamon filling to each and every pancake.
Super Easy Breakfast Pizza
This breakfast pizza recipe combines potatoes, thyme, and a little bit of hard cheese, but the star of the show is the freshest eggs you can possibly find.
Easy Breakfast Quesadillas
The best savory breakfasts can be broken down into four essentials: egg, meat, cheese, carb, and anyone who disagrees is probably selling a fake food product you don’t want to mess with.
Easy Party Pizza Sticks
If you’re searching for an easy and inexpensive appetizer for a crowd, the hunt stops here. These crispy, cheesy pizza sticks are the perfect snack to whip up for a Super Bowl spread, birthday party, or a casual family get-together. Besides being inherently kid-friendly, these tasty pizza sticks are endlessly customizable—just pile on your favorite toppings!
Easy Chicken Biryani
Flavored with fragrant, Indian spices, traditional chicken biryani is an incredible comfort food, but it typically requires cooking the chicken and vegetables separately, using several pans. Our simplified method delivers the classic, crave-worthy flavors with a little less effort and cleanup.
Easy Stovetop Mac and Cheese
Who needs a meal from a box when you can make something way tastier with the same amount of ease? Delightfully rich and cheesy, this hearty pasta dish is a staple for any home cook. Serve with Creamy Tomato Soup. Or serve with Green Salad with Simple Vinaigrette.