College food- it’s probably the farthest anyone can get from what could resemble home-cooked meals. But if you have access to a kitchen, a pot (or crockpot), and a few utensils and ingredients, you may be closer to homemade goodness than you think! Not only are these one-pot recipes incredibly easy (and highly rated), they’re also full of filling ingredients like meat and veggies, so one generous serving of chicken tortilla soup could fill you up after back-to-back classes. Heck, if you like savory things in the morning, you could even have a bowl for breakfast before back-to-back classes. Here are 10 one-pot meals any college student can make.
1. Greek Chicken & Lemon Rice
Did you ever think that getting that heavy cast iron skillet from Bed Bath & Beyond was a bit of an extravagant purchase? Well, after trying this one-pot Greek Chicken & Lemon Rice recipe, you’ll cast all of those doubts aside! Just pre-marinade several bone-in chicken thighs with plenty of seasoning (including lemon zest and freshly minced garlic) before cooking on each side in your cast iron pan. After removing the cooked chicken, sauté some chopped onions before adding uncooked rice, chicken stock, and more spices (including plenty of oregano). Leave it to simmer, add your chicken, and bake for ten minutes to get a meal that would impress any crush.
2. Chicken Pot Pie Noodles
Nine out of ten Americans agree that the best part of a fresh chicken pot pie is the filling (also, 67% of statistics are made up on the spot). So this recipe for chicken pot pie noodles is making our list of one-pot meals because it’s got that classic pot pie flavor without the hassle. As long as you’ve got a well-stocked spice cabinet, all you’ve got to worry about buying is a pound of chicken breasts, some fresh and frozen veggies, and a little butter and half and half. It’s Marie Callender’s, only better!
3. Swedish Meatball Pasta
Love spaghetti and meatballs but a little tired of the marinara and spaghetti noodles? This one-pot Swedish meatball pasta is a perfect substitute for the usual Italian supper. With its well-seasoned meatballs, creamy sauce (with parmesan) and egg noodles, even a small serving of this dish is sure to keep you fueled until morning. Plus, this recipe makes four servings, so you can bring it in a Tupperware the next day for lunch. Find the Buzzfeed tutorial here.
4. Beef Stew
With just a few vegetables you forgot to eat as snacks (and instead went after those Snicker’s bars), some pre-cut chuck roast, and a few cooking essentials, you’re well on your way to making a scrumptious, classic beef stew of your own. Plus, it’s even better when served as leftovers- just heat over medium-low heat before digging in. We know we’re not supposed to have favorites, but if we had to choose from all of the one-pot meals, this one would be our go-to. Here‘s the recipe.
5. Chicken Pozole
What’s better than chicken soup on a rainy day? Chicken soup that’s bursting with tons of unique flavor, of course! Pozole is a Hispanic staple that’s similar to the generic chicken soup but adds amazing touches like cabbage, cilantro, cumin, and hominy. Plus, you can place all of the ingredients together in the pot, set it to cook on low, and forget about it until the end of the day (when you’re really in the mood for a good meal). Yum! Here’s our favorite recipe.
6. Baked Potato Soup
Think crafting a delectable potato soup in 20 minutes is impossible? Think again! This one-pot soup starts with a rich potato base (the potatoes are roasted in milk), which takes about the same amount of time as an episode of The Last Man On Earth (so you can watch while you’re waiting). Then, pile on cheese and toppings to your heart’s content (there’s no such thing as too much bacon). Find the recipe here.
7. Chili Mac And Cheese
Mac and cheese are both deliciously comforting on their own, but who knew that together they could make a fantastic meal? The tangy veggies (like bell peppers and tomatoes) and southwest spices perfectly complement the richness of the cheese. If you’re still feeling a little skeptical, just trust us- when you’ve got yourself a hot bowl of cheesy, hearty, spicy goodness in less than half an hour, you’ll be happy. Just make sure to turn the stove off as soon as your pasta’s done… limp macaroni is no fun. Find the recipe here.
8. French Onion Soup
If pairing freshly toasted baguette slices with a wonderful French soup topped with Gruyere cheese doesn’t make your mouth water, we don’t know what will! Featuring sweet onions, thyme, and cooking wine, this soup’s got enough gusto to fly you to Paris (or… somewhere along the way). This also makes a delightfully decadent post-finals treat. Bon Appetite! Here is our favorite recipe.
9. Chicken Tortilla Soup
By now you’ve probably realized that we have a thing for chicken dishes. But, having been poor college students, we know the struggle of finding affordable protein sources that also taste great, and chicken is one of those Godsends that perfectly fits our needs! We love this chicken tortilla soup because it’s got a nice kick to it- perfect for battling that mid-semester cold- and the combination of chicken, stock, beans, veggies, and spices in this recipe are to die for. Serve with plenty of crisp tortilla chips on top!
10. Instant Pot Tuscan Soup
If you’re a fan of Italian flavors and effortless recipes, this Instant Pot Tuscan Soup recipe is the one for you. Packed with kale, garlic, and oregano, this soup’s as nutritious as it is satisfying! Because it’s made in an instant pot, this whole recipe takes maybe ten minutes total, so you can have tons of time to write those lab reports while enjoying a hot meal. Here’s where you can find the recipe.
Which of these one-pot meals looks the best to you? How do you find time to cook for yourself in college? Tell us in the comments below!
featured image source: https://unsplash.com/photos/al9eh9QkdPA
Anna Livia is a Junior Communications student at John Paul The Great Catholic University. Her hobbies include reading how-to guides on being an adult, exploring the many pockets around North Country (San Diego) and attempting whatever new pasta recipes appear on Pinterest. She hails form Los Angeles but aspires to live in Houston one day for a career in Magazine Editing (not to mention the low housing prices). Her perfect afternoon would include cats of any kind, hot cider, and Malcolm In The Middle.