Categories: Recipes

10 Recipes Every College Student Should Know By Heart

Most college students aren’t destined to be the next Wolfgang Puck or Top Chef. However, knowing how to cook will get you a long way the next four years…and beyond. There will be plenty of days when the dining hall won’t be your destination of choice for food, so instead of spending money on eating out, have a repertoire of meals you can prepare for yourself with ease. These 10 college recipes are simple, manageable and absolutely delicious; perfect for every collegiate to have in their arsenal. Learn them before summer is over, then wow your friends (and family) this school year.

1. The Best Grilled Cheese

Because are there any college recipes easier (or more essential) than grilled cheese?


  • Sliced bread (Peasant’s bread at Price Chopper is the BEST for grilled cheese)
  • Seriously Sharp Cabot Cheddar
  • Sliced Granny Smith apples or sliced heirloom tomatoes
  • Unsalted butter


  1. Heat up a small frying pan with a slice or two of butter.
  2. Create your grilled cheese on a cutting board. Add 5-10 slices of cheddar, 4-6 slices of apple and/or tomatoes, and both pieces of bread.
  3. Once the butter is melted and pan is hot, carefully place assembled grilled cheese onto pan.
  4. Add a slice of butter on the top of sandwich.
  5. Cover with a plate (so the cheese melts).
  6. After one side is golden brown (2-4 minutes), flip grilled cheese.
  7. Cook for another 2-4 minutes until golden brown on the other side.
  8. Cut into halves or triangles, and enjoy!

*Dip in Campbell’s tomato soup for the full experience*

2. Roasted Broccoli

Because vegetables are necessary for every college student. Plus, these are delicious.



  • 1 head of broccoli
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper


  1. Peel and finely chop the garlic on a cutting board.
  2. Heat up olive oil to coat a medium frying pan.
  3. Chop the broccoli into bite sized pieces (leave ¾ inch of stems on).
  4. Add garlic into hot pan and cook for 1 minute.
  5. Add the broccoli and stir.
  6. Add ½ tsp. salt and freshly ground pepper.
  7. Stir occasionally over 10-15 minutes until broccoli is slightly browned.


3. Spaghetti & Meatballs

The perfect comfort meal…for those nights when your really missing home.


  • 1 Box of your favorite pasta
  • 1 Jar of your favorite pasta sauce
  • 1.5 lbs of ground beef
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • ½ onion
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 c. breadcrumbs (plain or Italian style)
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • ½ tsp. salt


  1. Put a medium sized pot of water filled ¾ way on high to boil.
  2. Finely chop garlic and onion.
  3. Heat a medium sized frying pan with canola oil (just enough to coat pan).
  4. Add ground beef into a medium sized bowl and incorporate the chopped garlic and onion, egg, breadcrumbs, and salt and pepper; and mix.
  5. Roll the mixture into 1-2 inch balls.
  6. Place meatballs in hot frying pan and cook the meatballs on all sides (2-4 minutes/side) until they aren’t pink.
  7. While the meatballs are cooking, add pasta to boiling water; cook for about 10 minutes.
  8. Combine sauce and meatballs in a saucepan until sauce is heated through.
  9. Drain cooked pasta.
  10. Serve the pasta with a healthy amount of sauce and meatballs on top (in addition to some parm).

4. Pesto

You know…for pasta, sandwiches, chicken, to lick right off the spoon…



  • 2 c. washed & dried fresh basil leaves
  • ⅓ c. olive oil
  • 2 Tbs. water
  • ¼ c. chopped walnuts
  • ¼ c. grated parmesan cheese
  • Salt & pepper
  • 4 garlic gloves
  • 1 Tbs. lemon juice


  1. Finely chop garlic.
  2. Roughly chop walnuts.
  3. Grate parmesan cheese.
  4. Combine all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth (1 minute).

5. Cucumber Salad

The most refreshing salad to ever grace your palette.


  • 1 Japanese cucumber (longer and skinnier than most cucumbers)
  • 1 tomato
  • ½ red onion
  • Salt & pepper
  • Italian or balsamic dressing


  1. Slice cucumbers (⅛ inch thick).
  2. Chop bite sized tomatoes.
  3. Finely chop red onion.
  4. Combine ingredients in bowl.
  5. Toss with a dash of salt & pepper.
  6. Pour with dressing when ready to serve.

6. Easy Mac & Cheese

The epitome of college recipes; and it can do no wrong.


  • 1 Box of favorite pasta
  • ½ c. whole milk
  • 1 c. shredded cheddar cheese (Vermont Cabot)
  • Salt & pepper


  1. Boil water for pasta and cook pasta for 10-15 minutes.
  2. In a saucepan, melt whole milk and cheese with salt and pepper until creamy and smooth (5 minutes of constantly stirring on medium heat).
  3. Pour desired sauce over bowl of pasta.

7. Yogurt Parfait

For those on-the-go mornings.


  • Plain Greek yogurt (Cabot)
  • Any berries of your choice: (blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries)
  • Granola
  • Honey


  1. Place 1-2 c. plain Greek yogurt in bowl.
  2. Carefully add desired fruit in bowl (don’t add too many).
  3. Sprinkle granola on top.
  4. Lightly drizzle bowl with honey.

8. Caprese Sandwich

Who knew such a simple lunch could be so darn delicious.

See Also



  • Fresh mozzarella (3 slices)
  • 5 Basil leaves
  • ½ tomato
  • Balsamic dressing
  • Ciabatta bread


  1. Slice mozzarella in ¼ inch slices.
  2. Slice tomato as thinly as possible.
  3. Assemble cheese, tomato, and basil on bread.
  4. Drizzle with balsamic dressing.

9. Avocado Toast

Do it for the Insta.



  • 1 avocado
  • 1 shallot
  • Lime
  • Salt & pepper
  • Toasted whole wheat toast


  1. Open avocado and place meat in a bowl.
  2. Finely chop the shallot and add to bowl.
  3. Slice lime in half and squeeze juice into bowl.
  4. Put bread in toaster.
  5. Add salt and pepper.
  6. Mash with fork, spoon, or masher until desired chunkiness.
  7. Generously spoon onto toasted bread.

10. Fruit Smoothie

Breakfast, post-workout snack, dessert, late-night-hunger-pain-killer; smoothies are perfect all day, every day.


  • 1 c. frozen blueberries
  • 1 banana
  • ¼ c. plain yogurt
  • ½ c. OJ
  • Honey
  • ¾ c. milk (Almond, whole, 2%, or coconut)


  1. Combine all ingredients into blender.
  2. Blend until smooth.
  3. Garnish with fresh fruit and mint leaves.

These college recipes have a lot of opportunity to improvise, so figure out what works best for your cooking skill, budget, and most importantly, your taste buds!

What other college recipes do you think every student should know by heart?? Share in the comments!

Featured image source:
Emma Lemay

Emma LeMay is an avid journaler, aspiring world traveler, and loyal Earl Grey drinker. She plans on double majoring in public relations & advertising and minoring in journalism at Marist College.

Recent Posts

The Ultimate Guide To Eating at UConn

There are nine dining halls at the UConn Storrs campus! It’s basically a city, so these options are so great…

19 mins ago

15 Awesome Websites To Keep You Organized In College

College can become hectic sometimes which is why it's crucial to take advantage of all the help staying organized in…

3 hours ago

The 10 People You’ll Meet On Campus At FSU

If you’re a student at Florida State University or have been lucky enough to grace your way through our campus,…

15 hours ago

10 Ways To Eat Like An Adult In College

There’s no doubt that all college students eat a similar diet during their college years. We can identify that diet…

19 hours ago

What Not To Do Your First Week Of College

Attention freshmen heading off to college in the coming weeks: get ready for the ride of your life. Entering college…

23 hours ago

20 Hacks To Look Stylish AF On A College Budget

Looking cute on a college budget is hard. I have high-end taste but a low-end budget. Throughout my experience as…

1 day ago