college student recipes

No seriously, you can make a grilled cheese with your iron.  Actually, all you need is a little non-stick spray, aluminum foil, two pieces of bread, butter, cheese, and an iron.  And you could add other things to it too like turkey, chicken, spinach, tomato, avocado, etc.

But I am getting ahead of myself.

First, plug in your iron and put on medium-high setting.  Next butter one-side of each piece of bread.  Put cheese in between the un-buttered sides. 

Iron Grilled Cheese

Take a piece of aluminum foil that’s big enough to cover your bread and spray the area where you’re going to put the buttered bread. 

Iron Grilled Cheese

Then put the buttered bread in that area of the aluminum foil and cover completely. 

Your iron should be hot.  Now place down (but don’t press too hard) on the aluminum foil for 3-5 minutes.  Do this to both sides. 

Iron Grilled Cheese

Be careful when you open up the aluminum, but your grilled cheese should be perfectly toasted and melted! 

Iron Grilled Cheese  Iron Grilled Cheese  Iron Grilled Cheese 

If this isn’t a college student recipe, I don’t know what is!  Ha…

BTW, I also made a sandwich with cheese, chicken, and fresh spinach.  Delicious! 

Iron Grilled Cheese with Chicken and Spinach  Iron Grilled Cheese with Chicken and Spinach

And in case you’re worried, this does not ruin your iron as long as you make sure your sandwich is fully wrapped in aluminum foil.

Iron Grilled Cheese

Yes, you could just open a can of chicken noodle soup, but let’s be honest.  It’s not the same.  So I thought this recipe would help ease anyone who is homesick, actually sick, or just craving some delicious soup.  It’s my college student recipe that will take only 20 minutes to make.

  • 6 cups of chicken stock (homemade broth is ideal, but you can use bouillon cubes and follow the label’s directions)
  • 1 cup of frozen mixed vegetables (or whatever veggies you like — I used what was in my freezer — corn and peas and put in 1 cup of each)
  • 2 cup of pasta noodles (or 1 cup of cooked rice — making microwaveable rice is easier if you don’t have access to a stove to cook the pasta)
  • 1/2  cup cooked chicken, chopped (get the chicken meat from your dorm kitchen) or you can also quickly cook a couple of chicken breast on your George Foreman grill
  • Salt & pepper

Heat the chicken stock until boiling.  Then put the uncooked noodles in and cook until soft.  Don’t drain!  Your pasta will have a great chicken flavor by combining these two steps together.  Then add the frozen mixed vegetables until they’re thawed and cooked (about 5-7 minutes).  Now add the chicken.  Add salt and pepper and then serve. 

20-minute Chicken Noodle Soup  20-minute Chicken Noodle Soup


I love this “college student” recipe because you can use up whatever veggies you have remaining in your freezer — anything works.  As a side note, I love frozen veggies because they’re always ready and fresh.  They never spoil.  It’s a great “cheat” in cooking. 

  • 2 cups of cooked brown rice
  • 2 cups of veggies (in the photo, I had lima beans)
  • 2 TBSP of light soy sauce
  • 1 can of tuna, drained (I always buy the tuna in water, not oil)
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1 TBSP chopped walnuts (OPT)

Cook your rice according to your package directions.  Mine was 1 cup of water (or broth) for 1/2 cup of brown rice.  Heat the water and rice until it boils, then reduce to a simmer with a lid.  Then let sit for 30-40 minutes.  Remove from heat and let sit for 10 minutes. 

But you can buy minute rice or even rice in microwaveable bags that take only a couple of minutes to heat. 

Once I removed the rice from the heat to sit for 10 minutes, I combined the other ingredients.  Mix and enjoy. 

Simple Rice and Vegetables

It’s super simple and really healthy.  It’s also very filling.  And to eat the leftovers, it doesn’t have to be re-heated.  It’s quite yummy cold. 

Besides changing the vegetables, you can also add chicken, beef, or pork instead of the can of tuna.

Now that I’ve explained what “college student” recipes means, here’s the first one.  And one of my favorite.

It takes only a few minutes, but anyone can make this.

  • 1 cup of dry couscous
  • 1 cup of chicken broth (or plain tap water works)
  • 2 cups of frozen spinach (I love spinach but you can change this amount to whatever)
  • 1 cup of canned black beans, drained (optional but good if you want to add protein)
  • Salt & Pepper

Make your couscous according to the package directions.  Usually, the instructions are to boil 1 cup of water.  Then add your 1 cup of dry couscous.  Remove from heat and cover.  Let stand for 5 minutes.  You can do this in the microwave too. 

Now put your frozen spinach in the microwave and heat until hot (about 5 minutes). 

OPT: Add the black beans and heat until hot (about 3 minutes).

By the time your spinach and beans are hot, your couscous is probably done as well.  Fluff the couscous with a fork.  Put the couscous into the same spinach and bean bowl.  Mix and add salt and pepper to taste.  I also like to add cayenne pepper sometimes to add a little heat.

Spinach Couscous

Enjoy your healthy dinner.  Plus, it’ll be perfect for lunch either hot or cold the next day.  If you’re going to re-heat, add a little water beforehand.

In honor of a couple of my friends who don’t cook and since college students are coming back to fend for themselves, I thought I’d come up with some healthy and super simple recipes.

I’m not going to lie — while I love to cook, I don’t always want to go through the process of chopping and mixing.  So in that spirit, I’ve come up with “cheat” meals.  They’re simple, good, and healthy. 

I’ll try to keep the ingredient list to a min (perhaps even 5 or less).  While you may need to go to a major grocery store for a couple of the items, I’ll also try to keep the ingredients to things you can easily find in your neighborhood grocery store.  Also, these will be two person meals so you can eat the leftovers for lunch the next day.

I’m going to call them “college student” recipes, but really — it’s perfect for the college student in all of us. 

This will be fun…I’m looking forward to it!