25 Easy Recipes for College Students

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It's back to school season for a lot of you and sometimes instant ramen just won't cut it, so I've got some go-to easy recipes for college students that'll be ready in no time.

I know how busy weekdays can be for college students. You're running between classes, trying to finish all of your papers, and somehow still find time to make dinner before practice or an event. While boxed mac & cheese and instant ramen are great lifesavers from time to time, they get boring. These recipes are just as easy to make and taste way better, in my opinion.


Avocado Toast 5 Ways from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin) / Easy Recipes for College Students


Avocado Toast

Avocado Toast is hands down the best breakfast, lunch or dinner. It's easy to make and with a few tips and tricks above, you'll be set for life! The best part about avocado toast is its versatility, there are endless ways to customize it to your liking. Whether you want to add some protein or keep it vegetarian, the possibilities are endless.

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins

These pumpkin muffins are an absolute crowd pleaser. They are just sweet enough to satisfy any sweet tooth but are also the perfect grab and go breakfast idea or snack. These freeze great too so you can pop one out whenever the mood strikes and quickly warm it up.

Zucchini Feta Frittatas from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)

Zucchini Feta Frittatas

These Zucchini Feta Frittatas are truly our favorite breakfast item these days. Easy to prep, easy to heat, and EASY to eat. You could easily swap the zucchini for another veggie. And the feta for another kind of cheese. But the flavor combo below is really something else! It feels a little greek / mediterranean and I am here for it! 

Fried Egg Sandwich with Tomato Confit from www.whatsgabycooking,com (@whatsgabycookin)

Fried Egg Breakfast Sandwich

If this Fried Egg Breakfast Sandwich with Tomato Confit was what every weekend breakfast looked like… I WOULD NOT BE MAD. There are a few components to this dish – some of which are really easy to make ahead of time and freeze so you can whip it out whenever needed. 

Easy Recipes for College Students

The Ultimate Bagel Breakfast Sandwich

My perfect bagel sandwich comes plenty of cheese, avocado, crispy bacon and heirloom tomato slices. It’s easy to make for yourself, or easy to make if you’re feeding a crowd. Serve them up in your kitchen, or individually wrap them up in parchment paper and take them on the go! They are good at room temp or warm.

Blueberry banana smoothies from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)

Banana Blueberry Smoothie

Banana Blueberry smoothies appear on the regular in the WGC kitchen. They are loaded with superfoods to get me going in the morning and keep me energized and happy throughout the day!

Perfectly Soft Scrambled Eggs from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)

Perfectly Soft Scrambled Eggs

Soft scrambled eggs are one of the easiest breakfast ideas once you nail down the method. Here are ALL of my tricks and tips!

Yogurt Bowls

These yogurt bowls are the perfect quick and easy breakfast. Use your favorite kind of yogurt for the base, some granola for a little crunch, and whatever fruit you have on hand. The topping combinations are endless so you'll never get bored of this breakfast.


Castelvetrano Greek Pasta Salad from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin) / Easy Recipes for College Students

Castelvetrano Greek Pasta Salad 

Pasta salads are one of my go to easy lunch ideas. This one’s got cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, castelvetrano olives, red onions, and really good feta.

Chickpea Chopped from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)

Easy Chickpea Chopped Salad 

This Greek inspired Chickpea Chopped Salad is one of my favorite make-ahead and easy recipes for college students that’s packed with protein, veggies and a bright lemony dressing! 

Havarti Quinoa Salad with Cilantro Vinaigrette

This is one of my favorite easy lunch ideas for work that can be prepped ahead. Big chunks of creamy havarti, the most addictive cilantro vinaigrette plus quinoa and veggies! It’s perfect.

Asian Chicken Slaw

If I could eat this every day, I totally would! It’s 90% vegetables, 10% chicken and all of it is tossed in an addictive peanut soy sauce dressing. It’s one of my favorite easy recipes for college students because it only gets better with time.

DIY Chipotle Burrito Bowl from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)

DIY Chipotle Burrito Bowl

One of your fav fast casual meals, made from the comfort of your own home! Everything is combined into one big bowl which makes it the perfect quick and easy meal during the week for lunch.

Mexico City Inspired Happy Hour Menu from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)

Crispy Cheese Quesadilla

Get ready for your new favorite way to make and eat a quesadilla! These inside out Crispy Cheese Quesadillas are true perfection! 

Pesto Farmers Market Salad with Grilled Chicken from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)

Pesto Farmers Market Salad with Grilled Chicken

It’s packed with protein and pickled red onions and it’s perfect when you’re on the go! (no need to reheat, the chicken is great chilled)

Greek Chicken Stuffed Pitas

Another one of my favorite easy recipes for college students that also uses a rotisserie chicken as a grocery store shortcut. Shred the chicken up, and then toss it with the homemade tzatziki. Stuff the chicken mixture, avocado, feta, red onions, and cucumbers in a pita pocket, and you’re on your way to a delicious and easy meal that took almost no time to throw together.


Chicken Shawarma Bowls from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin) / Easy Recipes for College Students

Chicken Shawarma Bowls

1000% fully obsessed with these Chicken Shawarma Bowls!! You're gonna want them on the regular dinner rotation from here on out… they are THAT good!

Cheesy Chicken Sausage Pasta Bake from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)

Cheesy Chicken Sausage Pasta Bake

Cheesy Chicken Sausage Pasta Bake is truly one of the most comforting and easy weeknight meals to put together. You know I love a recipe that only has 4 steps in the directions. Speaking my language! 

Ground Chicken Tacos from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)

Ground Chicken Tacos

This taco meat has been on my meal prep list for the past few months, and every week it’s always one of the first things in my fridge to be finished. The best part is that it couldn’t be easier to make. All you’ve got to do is whip up the ground chicken taco meat, char some of your favorite tortillas and serve it up with a few kinds of cheese, salsa and guacamole so everyone can DIY their perfect taco. Simple right?

Creamy Lemon Cacio e Pepe from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)

Creamy Lemon Cacio e Pepe

I’m obsessed with Cacio e Pepe – but this creamy lemon version is truly next level. Imagine the creamy Pasta a Limone that you’ve maybe had at an Italian restaurant before… but with ALL THE PEPPER AND CHEESE. Omg it’s truly a marriage of recipes that I can get behind. This recipe needs to happen in your kitchen STAT.

Chicken Fajita Cobb from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)

Chicken Fajita Cobb

Imagine your fav chicken fajitas from your local Mexican restaurant but served over a bed of greens with one of the famous WGC dressings! You'll love it.

Tomato Basil Gnocchi from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)

Tomato Basil Gnocchi

This Tomato Basil Gnocchi comes together in one pan within 20 minutes – which is why this is one of my favorite easy recipes for college students. And rather than boiling the gnocchi it’s sautéed so it has a crispy outside. Trust me, you’ll never want to make gnocchi the traditional way ever again.

BBQ Chicken Quinoa Salad

Layers of quinoa, grilled corn, black beans, shredded BBQ chicken, diced avocado, BBQ sauce and a little cheese give this salad about 324 dimensions.

McCarthy Chopped Salad from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)

McCarthy Chopped Salad

It’s my spin on the McCarthy Cobb. Spoiler alert: it’s delish. Cubes of cheddar, chicken, beets, avocado, lettuce… you name it.

Vegetarian Mushroom Kale Larb Bowls from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)

Vegetarian Mushroom Kale Larb Bowls

A vegetarian larb bowl loaded with kale, mushrooms, coconut rice and all the toppings your heart could ever desire! 

As a college student, it’s important to have quick and easy recipes that are also affordable and nutritious. If you are looking for easy recipes for a college student, save this post and never wonder what to make again.

Stuck in a dinner rut? Looking for new delicious dinner ideas?  Check out my roundup of 50+ easy dinner ideas here.

DIY Chipotle Burrito Bowl from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)

DIY Chipotle Burrito Bowl

Author: Gaby Dalkin
5 from 1 vote
One of your fav fast casual meals, made from the comfort of your own home!
Prep Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Mexican, Tex Mex, Southwestern
Servings 4 people


For the Chicken

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken thighs (or 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts)

For the Rice

  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 cup white basmati rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped cilantro
  • kosher salt to taste

For the toppings

  • 1 cup pinto beans warmed
  • 1 cup frozen charred corn warmed
  • 1 cup guacamole
  • 1 cup pico de gallo
  • ½ - ¾ cup finely shredded monterey jack cheese


For the Chicken

  • Combine the vegetable oil, chopped chipotle peppers in adobo, garlic powder, cumin, dried oregano, and black pepper in a small bowl and stir to combine.
  • Place the chicken in a large zip top plastic bag and add the marinade. Zip the bag and mix the chicken into the marinade. Place it into the fridge and let it marinate for at least 1 hour.
  • Heat an indoor or outdoor grill to about 400 degrees F (medium high heat). Remove the chicken from the marinade and season with salt and pepper. Place the chicken onto the grill and grill 5 to 6 minutes per side, until the chicken is cooked. Remove the chicken from the grill and let rest for 10 minutes. Chop the chicken into small bite sized pieces and use as needed.

For the Rice

  • In a heavy saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Once hot, add the white rice and lime juice and sauté for 60 seconds to toast the rice.
  • Add the water and bring the rice to a boil. Cover and reduce the heat to low and cook until the rice is tender and all the water is absorbed.
  • Add in the cilantro and fluff rice with a fork.

To assemble

  • Arrange equal parts of the white rice and chopped grilled chicken in 4 bowls. Top with equal parts of the pinto beans, corn, guacamole, pico and cheese. Season with salt and pepper as needed and serve immediately.


This is the perfect party food. Set out everything in order just like you'd see at the restaurant and let everyone create their own dish.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 719kcal | Carbohydrates: 76g | Protein: 41g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 0.05g | Cholesterol: 139mg | Sodium: 728mg | Potassium: 1012mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 692IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 335mg | Iron: 4mg
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