15 Easy Recipes For College Students On A Budget


When you actually have to start preparing your own meals for yourself it is a complete game changer. You don’t have your parents making your lunch in the morning before school or cooking dinner for the family right after school, and you won’t be able to rely on the dining hall for your entire college career. So, it’s important to have a couple recipes up your sleeve, but with a crazy class, work, and social schedule it’s difficult to find enough time in the day to prepare a meal. Not only that but as a college student, funds are low. Recipes that have a couple ingredients that are easy to obtain and easily reusable in other recipes are key. Here are a bunch of easy recipes for college students and you can afford them on a budget:

1. Penne with Marinara and Sausage

This recipe only requires penne pasta that you will boil, marinara that you will top the pasta with, and sausage that you will cook for about eight minutes. A balanced meal of carbs and protein is created when these ingredients are combined.

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2. Chicken and Cheese Quesadilla

This also another recipe that is a good balance between protein and carbs. Place a tortilla on a skillet with butter underneath, throw some cheese and already cooked chicken strips on followed by another tortilla, and then flip over when the cheese has melted a bit. You can see why this makes the easy recipes for college students list.

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3. Avocado Toast

This is a simple breakfast toast that you can try if you are tired of peanut butter, butter, or jelly on your toast. All you have to do is mash up an avocado and spread it on a toasted piece of bread. You can also add other ingredients on top to add some flavor if you want. Seriously, it’s an easy recipes for college students.

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4. Baked Potato

Did you know you could bake a potato in the microwave? I didn’t! You cook the potato on high for about 5 minutes per side, and then once it is cooked you can add your favorite toppings!

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5. Mac & Cheese and a Hot Dog

This is another meal that is a good balance between carbs and protein. You can cook the hot dog on a skillet or in the microwave easily, then whip up some mac and cheese from a box (my favorites the Kraft kind), and you have a pretty filling meal.

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6. Grilled Cheese

A grilled cheese is one of my favorite go to lunch meals especially on a cold day. All you need is two pieces of bread and a slice of cheese that you throw on a skillet to crisp. If you would like to add some protein, ham also goes really well in a grilled cheese.

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7. Pizza

You can make a mini pizza on an English muffin, or go crazy and buy some pizza dough to make your own full pizza. This is a great activity to do with your friends, and then it feeds all of you! You can each have designated sections and top it with your own personal favorites so everyone gets what they want.

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8. Breaded Chicken

Chicken, though not my favorite kind of meat, is a healthy choice. You can make it more yummy by breading the chicken and acting like its chicken strips! All you need is chicken, eggs, and bread crumbs, and you can cook it on a skillet or in the oven if you have access to one.

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9. Tacos

This is another recipe that would be fun to do with a group of friends. You need some beef and taco seasoning to cook with, and you need to heat some tortillas up to put your taco meet in. You can also purchase guacamole, salsa, corn, etc to top your tacos if you would like, and you have yourself a little fiesta!

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10. Penne with Butter and Broccoli

This is a simple meal where you can easily get some greens in you because it’s important to get all five food groups in you. All you need is penne pasta, butter, and broccoli. You will cook the pasta and vegetable separately, but once mixed together with butter you have a delicious simple meal that took you 10-15 minutes.

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11. Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Sandwich

This is a great recipe to ensure you have a filling breakfast. You have a lots of protein to keep you going throughout the day, but all squished on to one delicious sandwich. Simply scramble some eggs, crisp some bacon, and place it between two pieces of toast along with cheese, and you’re ready to start the day.

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12. Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich

This is perfect combination for lunch that will make you feel like a kid again! It’s honestly my go to when I am feeling a bit hungry around lunch time, and all you need is bread, peanut butter, and your favorite type of jelly. You can also toast it for a bit of crunch! This might be the easiest recipe on the easy recipes for college students list.

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13. Tuna Crackers

I know not everybody likes to eat fish or particularly likes tuna, but it is full of protein and will help keep you going till the end of the day. You mix tuna with mayo, and place it on your favorite type of cracker.

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14. Rice with Sausage and Peppers

I believe this to truly be the completely balanced dinner because you have your grain, your protein, and your vegetable. You cook all of them separately, you can maybe cook the sausage and peppers together, and then combine them when done. The juice from the peppers and sausage will give the rice some flavor too!

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15. Taco Spaghetti

This is another way to get a balanced meal of carbs and protein. Cook some spaghetti and taco meet separately, but combine towards the end. The taco meat will act as a sauce for the spaghetti and fill you up so you aren’t starving an hour later.

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These are basics recipes that include a couple ingredients or ingredients that you can recycle into other recipes. You can also add your own personal touches to spice some of these basic recipes up. I would really love to hear what you guys will create! Anyways, enjoy these easy recipes for college students.
These are the best easy recipes for college students who need to save money!
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Comments, Questions & Rants

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Mary Simmonds

Hey everybody! I am a junior studying English Writing while double minoring in Creative Writing and Music. I love to read, write, ski, travel, sail, and sing. I spend the majority of my time with my family and friends, but my "me" time consists of lots of reading and writing. I hope to one day be a published author and possibly work for a publishing house as an editorial assistant because who doesn't want to read for a living! That being said, I prefer to read science fiction & fantasy, romance, and historical fiction; and I enjoy reading about fairytales, folklore, and myths. Some of my favorite series are The Selection series by Kiera Cass, Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling, and the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer.

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