23/06/2024

Care Health

Prioritize Healthy life

52 Easy Recipes for One College Student

52 Easy Recipes for One College Student

New college student? Make living on your own a bit easier with these 52 easy recipes for one college student. You’ll find simple, quick single serving recipes that use basic pantry equipment and ingredients.

four dishes of food in a collage

College, or the first years on your own are such a fun and challenging time. Full of meeting new people, learning how to live without your family of origin, learning how to do the things adults need to do, and going to school or working.

One big transition from living with your family of origin to living on your own, or with roommates is learning how to cook, or really to feed yourself.

When I was in college and just after, I learned how to live with roommates, share a kitchen, and cook for myself. I wouldn’t do many things the same way, but am here to share tips and suggestions so you can avoid the mistakes I made.

The biggest mistake I made was using the cooking methods and recipes I saw my mom use into my first apartments.

I was cooking delicious recipes for 4+ people, while I was living in a small apartment with roommates, limited space, and one mouth to feed.

That approach lead me to use up more than my allocated fridge and freezer space, lead me to waste ingredients and leftovers, because I just couldn’t eat it all.

I hated cooking for parts of my college time. I didn’t know what I was doing wrong. But I was trying to make cooking more complicated than it needed to be, and was trying to make many serving recipes that I got bored of.

So I’m sharing tips and suggestions to help you make easy recipes for one college student and not hate it or waste food like I did. Hope these tips are helpful!

Cooking Equipment

Oh cooking equipment. There are SO MANY OPTIONS here. I may forget some, but here’s a quick list of some essentials to make easy recipes for one college student. Other items can be added to make cooking and storing food easier.

I see so many one use pieces of equipment, specific for new cooks, while some can be helpful-depending on your cooking habits and time constraints. One use items take up space and cost money, while they’re not necessary.

Other than knives, baking sheets, and cookware, I recommend getting as many dishwasher safe pieces of equipment. Even if you don’t have a dishwasher, it’ll make your life easier when you do have one.

  • Plates, bowls, silverware, cups, mugs, etc. You might not need a whole set, but definitely get at least 2 of each to use for your easy recipes for one college student.
  • Medium and small pots and pans. Lids are great too! one of each is great to start. I prefer not-nonstick, but get what works for you.
  • Cast iron skillet
  • Easy to wash cutting board(s)
  • Paring knife, serrated knife, chef’s knife
  • Baking sheets (I love having a half sheet and quarter sheet)
  • Baking mats (easier clean up, easy to freeze foods on to transfer to a freezer bag to preserve, more sustainable than parchment)
  • Baking dish. If you bake, I recommend an aluminum one. Or a glass 9×13″ or 8×8″ would work for baking casseroles and other items.
  • Instant Pot (not necessary, but it’s a great rice/been cooker, slow cooker, pressure cooker! so many ways to use it)
  • Measuring cups/spoons. 2 cup liquid measuring cup (optional but very helpful!), I like the rectangle measuring spoons to dip into a spice jar.
  • Fish turner (it’s long, so you can use it for so many foods, more than just fish!). You can use it in so many easy recipes for one college student.
  • Silicone spoon and spatula. I like having both be all silicone. Easy to wash and they can’t get grimy between two materials (like metal and silicone, etc). I LOVE GIR silicone utensils. They’re easy to wash and come in great colors.
  • Angled or slotted spatula. Made of silicone or just not metal- if you have non stick pans.
  • Tongs
  • Whisk
  • Can opener
  • Peeler
  • Colander. Or maybe it’d be a strainer, but if you can find a fine one, get that because it’s more versatile than a traditional colander with larger holes.
  • Freezer/storage bags. I like Stasher silicone bags, but they are more expensive. But they do last for years (my oldest are probably 7 years old and are in perfect condition). I bought used ones on Amazon, which is cheaper.
  • Storage containers. Buy glass ones vs plastic tupperware style for longest lasting. You can also use plastic leftovers containers, jars, or yogurt containers.
  • Box grater
  • Microplaner Great for grating cheese, garlic, and zest. Essential toppings for easy recipes for one college student.
  • Mixing bowls. Get a large one and a couple medium and smaller ones. Depending on how much you cook/bake.

Optional additions:

  • Hand mixer. Just get one if you bake a good amount. Not necessary if you don’t, you won’t need one in many easy recipes for one college student.
  • Salad Spinner. It’s not just good for greens. You can use it as a colander, you can rinse herbs, and even store salad in it, if you have the fridge space. Add a damp towel for the greens to last longer.
  • Oven safe cooling rack. Great if you bake a good amount or like to bake crispy foods.
  • Thermometer. It took me some time to get in the habit of using mine, but now that I’ve started the habit, IT’S SO HELPFUL. I use a Thermapen ONE, it’s a bit pricy, but so convenient and long lasting. Plus it’s a Utah comapny.
  • Kitchen Scale. Not for weighing your prepared food, but to weigh ingredients. Especially if you’re cutting a recipe down or baking. It’s so useful. Again, not necessary for easy recipes for one college student, but helpful.
  • High powered blender. Ok these aren’t the cheapest, but blenders can be used to make smoothies, batters, chop nuts, and other things. I love mine.
  • Dutch oven. It’s great to make homemade bread, stews, soups, braise meat, etc. Not necessary, but mine is versatile and since it’s larger than the pots and pans I have, it’s helpful for larger recipes.
  • Loaf pan
  • Kitchen shears
  • SWAG bags. I LOVE these cotton bags. My produce lasts much longer, like 2+ weeks for some. Plus you can keep a variety of produce in one. Just grab them every time you cook and add produce that’d be good in your dish.

Is there anything I left out of this list? I’d love to see what was helpful for you to make easy recipes for one college student or what you suggest for cooking for one?

PS: I’m sharing links to a few of my favorite products. None of these are affiliate links, I don’t get anything from your purchases. But I should look into that, these shared products are my absolute favorites!

Cooking in a dorm versus an apartment

Another consideration to keep in mind when you’re planning on easy recipes for one college student is your kitchen situation.

Cooking in an apartment will look very different from cooking in a dorm. If you’re living in a dorm, you likely have a meal card for a cafeteria or food court. Food options are pretty great in colleges these days, but they’re also pricy.

If you need recipes for cooking in a dorm, you’re probably looking for no cook recipes, microwave or one pan/baking sheet/pan recipes. Ease is the most important. I don’t have a ton of options, but will share some ideas.

When I was living in the dorms, I had breakfast in my room half the time or more (hello more sleep!), cereal was my favorite! I also threw together snacks and PB&Js when I needed something quick and satisfying.

If you’re cooking easy recipes for one college student in an apartment, you’ll have more options probably. Although your apartment might not have lots of prep space, storage space, or a full fridge/stove/oven.

Adapt to meet your needs. I interviewed my dietitian friend, Emily, who shared tips for cooking in a crappy kitchen. You can listen to the episode on the Table for One podcast here (or Spotify, or your favorite app).

Plan out how you’ll cook

This is often overlooked, but SO IMPORTANT! How are you going to eat? What meets your needs? Cooking everything from scratch probably won’t work, same as eating everything out. So it’s time to figure out what works for you.

Here are a few things to consider when deciding how to eat or make easy meals for one college student.

  • Will you share cooking responsibilities with roommates, do separately, or a combo. There are many ways to share responsibilities of making easy recipes for one college student (or a few students 🙂 ).
  • Will you share ingredients with roommates or equipment? What can you keep in the kitchen or store in your room? Even the best roommates can all treat things differently.
  • Do you need a variety of meals or are you ok with eating the same thing for a few days or longer? Would you make a weekly casserole like my aunt did, or cook single serving recipes every night. Or something in between?
  • Would you like to eat homecooked, semi homecooked, deli, heat up, or take out food. There’s no wrong way, but you need to take into account your time, budget, kitchen, cooking skills, etc.
  • How often can you go to the store? How much space do you have to store food (dry foods, foods in the fridge and freezer too). This will help you determine what kinds of easy recipes for one college student to make.
  • What does your budget look like? What/how much can you splurge on, or how tight do you need to be with your food? This can determine eating out, premade options, and proteins you’ll use.

There’s no right or wrong way to address any of this, but please be realistic. It’s easy to want to spend lots of time cooking, then not have that time, waste food, and give up.

It doesn’t have to be all or nothing to make easy recipes for one college student.

Money Saving Tips

There are lots of things you can do to save money when making easy recipes for one college student on a budget. Cooking for one requires some specific tactics, which I go into in this article on Cheap Meals for 1.

Meal Planning for One is also very helpful. I highly recommend planning out, at least part of your meals.

While meal planning doesn’t always happen, I recommend storing some easy to assemble ingredients. Here’s what I recommend keeping in your Pantry, Fridge, and Freezer.

You may need to pare down this list if you’re sharing limited space with roommates. But that’s fine.

Here are more tips for college students and others sharing a kitchen with roommates. They’ll help save money and/or space.

  • Buy bulk items with friends or roommates. Costco/warehouse stores or grocery store bulk sections are great for this. You can still split them up, but they can be less expensive than smaller packages.
  • Stick to one or a couple pantry basics. Then switch to another when you run out. For example: start with rice and pasta for a week or a couple, then switch to potatoes and tortillas, etc. Same with meat, vegetables, etc.
  • Plan on throw together meals near the end of the week, to use up/reduce food waste.
  • Incorporate more plant based proteins. They’re often less expensive, shelf stable, and versatile. It’s a great way to make easy recipes for one college student on a budget.

What would you add to this list?

three shelves with pantry staples for one

How to manage limited kitchen space

I have shared a small-ish kitchen with 4 other roommates for a few years. That was a great time to get creative with shopping and storing food. If you’ve got limited space and want to make easy meals for one college student

Stick to one or a couple items/week. Using just 1-2 vegetables, starch foods, and proteins can save you space and money too. You can get creative with the flavorings to have some variety. Then get new ingredients the next week or two.

Keep larger pieces of equipment out of the kitchen. Especially the items that aren’t everyday items. We prioritized food over equipment, and stored some things in closets and bedrooms.

Add storage shelves in your cabinets. Not everything is tall enough to take up all the vertical space, so get some shelves to add to your cabinets. They don’t have to be anything fancy, just an upside U shaped shelf works.

Divide ingredient groups into boxes. I stored baking ingredients in cardboard boxes to easily take them out. It was helpful and cost nothing. It’s helpful for making easy meals for one college student.

We also bought another low cost, used fridge which was really helpful. I know it’s not always an option, but if it’s safe, and you have some space, chipping in to buy a used fridge might be less expensive than shopping more frequently.

cardboard box and jars of pantry ingredients on two shelves

Pasta

There are lots of tasty pasta recipes that are easy recipes for one college student on a budget. Here’s an extensive list of Easy Pasta Recipes for One.

Pesto Pasta for One

Make this pesto pasta for one in just 10 minutes with pre-made pesto sauce, like this Arugula Basil Pesto or Pistachio Pesto. It’s a quick dinner you can throw together on days you didn’t plan ahead and want something equally easy and delicious.

Check out this recipe

bowtie pasta with pesto in a white bowl with ingredients on table
One Pot Chicken Parmesan Pasta

Make this 20 minute, pantry ingredient, one pot chicken parmesan pasta with crispy breadcrumbs instead of traditional crispy, cheesy chicken parmesan without the extra time, steps, and mess.

Check out this recipe

square photo of spiral pasta with tomatoes on a black plate with a fork

Chicken parm is great, but takes more effort than I’d like to spend. Instead of breading chicken, toast breadcrumbs and top your fresh pasta and chicken topping with them. It’s one of the great easy recipes for one college student.

One Pot Chicken Bacon and Mushroom Pasta

Combine the best salty, earthy, and meaty flavors in this 20 minute creamy one pot chicken bacon and mushroom pasta. Quickly cook your pasta while preparing your mushrooms then add it back after cooking the meat and mushrooms for a super easy one pot dinner for one.

Check out this recipe

close up of pasta with mushrooms, bacon, and chicken with a fork in it
Black Bean Pasta

Shop your pantry to make this quick black bean pasta. In just 15 minutes, you can chop up some veggies, throw in canned black beans, tomatoes and other ingredients from your pantry to make a delicious dinner.

Check out this recipe

square image of black bean pasta with cheese in a bowl
Canned Tomato Pasta

Make this easy canned tomato pasta with pantry ingredients. It comes together in just 15 minutes and doesn’t taste like you threw it together. Freshly cooked pasta, a can of tomatoes, Italian seasoning, basil, and Italian sausage are delicious in this meal.

Check out this recipe

simple pasta in a white bowl with sausage on top and ingredients behind
Buttered Noodles

These easy buttered noodles are the ultimate college dinner. Add sides to make it more filling

Check out this recipe

bowl of spaghetti with parsley on top
Trader Joes Sweet Potato Gnocchi and Sausage for One

Buy a bag of Trader Joe’s sweet potato gnocchi and make an easy one pan dinner for one in about 10 minutes. Add sausage and vegetables for a full meal. I’ll also share other Trader Joe’s products to eat leftovers with.

Check out this recipe

cut piece of sweet potato gnocchi on fork with food behind it
Protein Mac and Cheese

Protein mac and cheese recipe is silky, creamy, cheesy, and ready in 20 minutes. One secret ingredient in this pasta recipe adds silkiness and protein without changing the taste of classic, delicious macaroni and cheese.

Check out this recipe

close up of protein mac and cheese in a bowl
Single Serving Mac and Cheese

Dinner is just 15 minutes away with this easy single serving mac and cheese. It’s versatile, delicious, and made with a handful of pantry ingredients. Enjoy it as is or add a side for a filling meal.

Check out this recipe

macaroni and cheese, broccoli on black plate

Set aside your mac & cheese box, this homemade version is so easy, uses pantry ingredients, and really just takes about 15 minutes to make. Oh yes! There are many options for easy recipes for one college student.

Light Pasta Carbonara

This healthy carbonara pasta is just as good as the best versions you’ve had, it just has less added fat without skimping on flavor or creaminess. Not only is this carbonara recipe healthy and delicious, it can be made in just about 15 minutes.

Check out this recipe

pasta with peas, prosciutto, and a poached egg in a bowl

Chicken

Chicken is a great staple for easy recipes for one college student. Easy to find, relatively inexpensive, and so versatile. Here are a few of my favorite chicken recipes that would be great for college students.

Healthy Chicken Salad Sandwich

All you need is 10 minutes to assemble this chicken salad pita, thanks to precooked chicken. Eat it over a bed of lettuce, over whole grain bread, or just off a spoon. 

Check out this recipe

pita filled with chicken salad and salad on plate
Chicken Pecan Salad with Apples

This chicken pecan salad, just like other chicken salad recipes are fantastic throw together lunch or dinner. Use precooked chicken, crisp green apple, pecans, and a Greek yogurt/mayonnaise dressing for a tangy salad.

Check out this recipe

open faced chicken salad sandwich with sides on plate

I don’t make chicken salad sandwiches as much as I’d like. They’re so easy, tasty, and versatile. This combo of features makes them perfect easy meals for one college student. Plus there sandwich sides are just as fun!

Chicken Cranberry Walnut Salad

This 15 minute chicken cranberry walnut salad is the perfect easy lunch. It’s got tender chicken, sweet chewy dried cranberries, and crunchy walnuts dressed in a mayo/yogurt dressing that’s wonderfully sweet and tangy. Make this chicken salad even quicker by using precooked chicken, it takes 5-7 minutes to assemble. Serve it over greens, in a sliced croissant, in a sandwich or a wrap for lots of options.

Check out this recipe

chicken salad over greens with crasins on top
Chicken Fricassee for One

This fancy seeming dinner is actually pretty easy. Make it in just about 30 minutes.

Check out this recipe

chicken chunks, peas in white sauce over rice
Watermelon Chicken Salad

Bring watermelon onto your dinner plate with this easy watermelon chicken salad. It’s made with sweet juicy watermelon, tender chicken, peppery arugula, salty feta, and chewy barley. This salad is summer on a plate, no doubt!

Check out this recipe

large bowl full of watermelon, blueberries, feta cheese on a table

Enjoy fresh watermelon in the summer with this flavorful and texture filled salad. It’s a great way to use up those last bits of fresh summer fruit.

Mediterranean Grain Bowl for One

This tangy Mediterranean grain bowl for one is ready in 20 minutes. It’s full of lots of pantry ingredients, most of which can be swapped for what you already have. Use this recipe, especially the dressing, and adjust to use what you have.

Check out this recipe

blue bowl full of vegetables, olives, grains, chickpeas, and chicken
Chicken Bacon Ranch Sandwich

Make this easy chicken bacon ranch sandwich with leftover chicken (or freshly cooked) in about 15 minutes. Tender chicken, crispy and salty bacon, herby ranch, and gooey cheese make for the perfect filling in this sandwich.

Check out this recipe

chicken sandwich slices, stacked
Strawberry Spinach Salad with Chicken

Make a strawberry spinach salad with chicken for one in just 10 minutes with cooked chicken, sweet strawberries, avocado, pistachios, and hemp hearts. It’s bathed with an easy 4 ingredient balsamic dressing that you’ll want on everything!

Check out this recipe

spinach strawberry salad in a bowl
Chicken Soup for One

Make some comforting, delicious chicken soup for one in about 30 minutes. This warming recipe is easy, flavorful, and made in one pot. It’s perfect for a quick winter dinner.

Check out this recipe

bowl of egg noodles, carrots in bowl
Chicken Broccoli Divan

Make dinner tonight a snap with this super easy 30 minute Chicken Broccoli Divan casserole for one + leftovers. Juicy chicken, tender broccoli, and a creamy sauce top brown rice.

Check out this recipe

close up of cheesy broccoli in white casserole dish
Creamy Mushroom Chicken with Rice

This comforting, cheesy, creamy mushroom chicken with rice is the perfect fall recipe. It’s done in about 25 minutes in just one pot, so you can have a delicious dinner in no time and with just a bit of clean-up.

Check out this recipe

mushrooms and chicken over rice on a white and grey plate
Baked Panko Chicken for One

This panko chicken is very easy to make, throw some potato wedges and vegetables in with it to make a one pan dinner. Depending on how thin the chicken breast is, it can cook in about 15-20 minutes. A mayonnaise coating seals in the juices so it‘s not dry.

Check out this recipe

sliced panko crusted chicken, side dishes, ranch on yellow plate
Chicken Bacon Ranch Flatbread

This 20 minute chicken bacon ranch flatbread is an easy dinner recipe that works as a great base for using up other ingredients like vegetables.

Check out this recipe

slice of chicken bacon pizza with bite out of it
Instant Pot Chicken and Mushroom Soup

This creamy, comforting chicken and mushroom soup with wild rice is the perfect winter recipe to warm up with. It just takes about 15 minutes hands-on time and is ready to eat in about 50 minutes. Use frozen chicken to make it even easier!

Check out this recipe

close up of mushroom and wild rice soup in a bowl
Instant Pot Chicken and Yellow Rice

Need a super easy one pot meal for dinner tonight? Look no farther this this Instant Pot chicken and yellow rice. The chicken and rice are done at the same time, and are super tender and flavorful.

Check out this recipe

chicken and yellow rice in glass bowl

Beef/Pork Dishes

Different cuts of beef and pork also make easy, quick dinners. Perfect for easy recipes for one college student. To save money, look for options on sale and freeze for later.

Thai Beef Bowl with Garlic and Spinach

This Thai inspired beef and spinach bowl is the perfect quick weeknight dinner recipe that takes 20 minutes and is bursting with flavor. Fish sauce and garlic turn this recipe simple ingredients into a delicious meal that’s got more flavor in it than time it takes to make.

Check out this recipe

Thai Beef Bowl with a fork
Restaurant Style Beef Broccoli

This easy restaurant style beef broccoli recipe is so good you won’t even miss your go to restaurant beef and broccoli.

Check out this recipe

sliced beef, broccoli over rice on plate
Pork Stir Fry

Make a simple stir fry with tender pork. This pork, savory sauce, and rice are ready to eat in about 30 minutes.

Check out this recipe

pork and vegetables with cilantro over rice in bowl
Brisket Grilled Cheese

Brisket grilled cheese for one is a great way to enjoy leftover brisket, in just 10 minutes! Instead of eating the exact same leftovers, add it to your grilled cheese to make a salty, creamy brisket grilled cheese sandwich.

Check out this recipe

brisket grilled cheese sandwich on a plate

Ok this probably isn’t a recipe you would just throw together. But if you have leftover brisket from a BBQ or meal out, turn it into a grilled cheese. It’s especially great if you don’t have quite enough for a full serving.

Chili without Tomatoes

This easy chili without tomatoes is perfect if you don’t have or don’t like diced tomatoes in your chili. In about 30 minutes you’ve got a hearty chili full of ground beef, beans, onion, green bell pepper, and warm comforting spices.

Check out this recipe

chili with toppings and slices of bread on side

To save money in this recipe, you can swap the ground beef for TVP or just add more beans. Plus, since diced tomatoes are a great pantry item, you definitely can add some to add volume to this soup. It’ll go farther.

Individual Meatloaf

Individual meatloaf made with ground beef, turkey, or a combination is an easy dinner for one. It can be baked in just 20 minutes, with sides, making it an easy weeknight dinner. This meatloaf for one is so tender and juicy, it’s a great comforting meal.

Check out this recipe

bite out of meatloaf with ketchup and salad
Flat Iron Steak Fajitas

Tender juicy steak is the perfect protein for these 30 minute flat iron steak fajitas. They’re easy and don’t require hours of marinating, so you’re good to make them on the fly. Pair them with your favorite salsa and guacamole for a great meal.

Check out this recipe

steak, peppers, and onions in a cast iron skillet surrounded by fajita ingredients

Make this special meal for leftovers. And when you’re nearly out of steak, you can quickly pan fry some shrimp for a more full meal. It’s a great way to reuse a recipe to make even more easy recipes for one college student.

Panko Pork Chop

This 20 minute, one pan panko pork chop with vegetables is such an easy dinner for one. Crispy panko breading adds a nice crunch to a tender pork chop.

Check out this recipe

close up of pan seared pork chop, green beans, potatoes and a lemon on a plate
Easy Skillet Pork Chops with Apples and Vegetables

These easy pan fried pork chops with apples are the perfect easy meal after a long day. They cook up in 15 minutes and just in one pan.

Check out this recipe

skillet pork chops with apples and vegetables on a white plate
Pressure Cooker Pulled Pork

Pulled pork is one of the easiest and most versatile meats. Make this pressure cooker pulled pork into a pulled pork sandwich with rainbow coleslaw and pineapple to make a truly delicious summer entertaining meal. 

Check out this recipe

pressure cooked pulled pork and onions on a cream oval plate

This is the only recipe on Nourish Nutrition that is like a batch cooking recipe. Make as much as you’d like and use it through the week, or freeze for later. This easy pulled pork recipe is so versatile, I don’t even know where to start.

Seafood

Stock up on your favorite frozen fish. Especially when it’s on sale. These easy recipes are pretty quick, easy, and flavorful. Good seafood can definitely be a part of easy recipes for one college student, maybe just not all the time!

Easy Baked Salmon in a Bag

This easy baked salmon in a bag recipe is bursting with flavor and moisture, you wouldn’t believe how easy it is, or that it’s done in less than 25 minutes. It’s cooked in parchment paper to maintain moisture without any effort or clean up.

Check out this recipe

salmon with broccoli and lemon slices in parchment paper
Cajun Foil Packets

Whether you’re camping or need a really easy dinner that requires zero clean-up, these super simple cajun foil packets are perfect. They’re filled with shrimp, potatoes, corn and other seasonal veggies.

Check out this recipe

corn, zucchini, potatoes, and sausage in a bowl
shrimp and vegetable fried rice in bowl
Instant Pot Fish from Frozen

This Instant Pot fish recipe is the easiest way to cook fish. Not only is it easy, but it comes out tender, flaky, and perfect in less than 20 minutes. It’s best served hot with this lemon herb couscous. It can even be cooked frozen!

Check out this recipe

cod with lemon on top next to couscous and broccoli
Air Fryer Frozen Salmon for One

This air fryer frozen salmon recipe is an easy 15 minute recipe for days you didn’t plan dinner. Add frozen vegetables and fries to the basket and make a whole dinner for one in your air fryer.

Check out this recipe

plate full of salmon, roasted broccoli, fries, bbq sauce

If you don’t have an Air Fryer (which you don’t have to get), this recipe can be made in the oven or even on the stove. I like to steam frozen fish on the stove. It does take some time, but comes out very tender and delicious.

Sheet Pan Maple Mustard Salmon

One pan meals are the best during this busy time of the year. In just 20 minutes, you’ll have maple mustard salmon- tender, flaky salmon and crispy shaved brussels sprouts. See, quick meals for yourself don’t have to be sad.

Check out this recipe

maple mustard salmon and brussels sprouts with a lemon wedge on a white plate

Egg Dishes/Breakfast

Ok I think eggs are the ultimate inexpensive (not plant based) protein source. Now that egg prices have decreased, stock up on this budget friendly food. There are so many easy recipes for one college student with eggs.

Bagel with Eggs for One

Make a 10 minute bagel with eggs for one. It’s such a delicious and easy meal. Enjoy it for breakfast, lunch, dinner or a bigger snack. I’ll show you how to make the basic version, but add whatever toppings you have on hand!

Check out this recipe

two slices of egg bagel sandwich held by hand
Chapati Roll with Summer Vegetables

This chapati roll, or rolex as it’s called in Uganda is the perfect super easy lunch or dinner recipe. All you need is an uncooked tortilla, eggs, cheese, and your fave seasonal vegetables.

Check out this recipe

slices of eggs rolled in tortilla
Microwave Egg in a Cup

Easy microwave egg in a cup (or mug or bowl) is a super quick breakfast. Cook 1.5-2 minutes for fluffy souffle-like eggs. Add whatever toppings you like for a quick tasty breakfast in less than 10 minutes from start to finish.

Check out this recipe

close up of cooked eggs with spinach, tomatoes

Take your microwave eggs up a notch by, excuse me for the word choice, but plopping them on a tortilla, bagel, or bread. It’s a great way to turn a light breakfast into a meal. Eat them any time of day.

Spring Tortilla de Patata

This delicious Spanish tortilla de patata recipe is the quickest and most delicious way to use up vegetable scraps in the kitchen.

Check out this recipe

Tortilla de Patata in pan

Plant Based Dishes

Hands down the easiest way to save money on groceries is to eat more plant based proteins. Experiment with tofu, beans, TVP, and a combination of whole grains and legumes. They make delicious easy recipes for one college student.

Easy Sweet Potato Soup with Tofu

Now that it’s soup season, whip up this easy sweet potato soup with silken tofu to warm up and feel super satisfied with the extra protein.

Check out this recipe

bowl of sweet potato soup with thyme garnish
Warm Harvest Bowl with Crispy Tofu

This vegetarian harvest bowl with tofu, apples and maple glazed winter squash is a great make-ahead meal for lunches during the week, or a delicious vegetarian dinner. Batch cook each ingredient to use it in even more recipes for the week.

Check out this recipe

warm harvest bowl with apples and squash with wild rice and barley on table
Cheesy White Bean Tomato Bake

Make this cheesy white bean tomato bake for a super easy dinner for one. It takes just 15 minutes and can be made with pantry ingredients and enjoyed with crusty bread.

Check out this recipe

square image of tomato and white beans in dish with bread
Vegetarian Burrito Bowl

This easy vegetarian burrito bowl is the perfect super quick dinner recipe. You can throw it together in 5-10 minutes, using ingredients you already have in your pantry, with good salsa, it’s packed with flavor and doesn’t taste thrown together.

Check out this recipe

square image of burrito bowl with veggies on top

Let me say, this is the ultimate easy recipe for one college student meal. Lots of inexpensive ingredients thrown together. All you need are the toppings, good salsa, and a fork.

Sticky Tofu

Sticky tofu is an easy tofu recipe with a flavorful sauce. Pan fry the tofu in cornstarch for crispy edges, then add the soy sauce based sauce to thicken it up and add lots of flavor to your tofu. Serve with rice and a veggie for an easy 20 minute dinner.

Check out this recipe

broccoli, saucy tofu over rice in blue bowl
Panko Tofu

Make panko tofu for one on the stove in 20 minutes (oven and Air Fryer instructions too). The tofu comes out soft with a delicious crispy crunch on the outside. I like to serve it with rice and vegetables and drizzle soy sauce and sweet chili sauce over.

Check out this recipe

three slices of fried tofu, broccoli in bowl
Refried Bean Tacos

These refried bean tacos are hands down the easiest and most delicious 10 minute dinner. All you need to do is scour your fridge and pantry for a few essentials like refried beans, taco seasoning, veggies, cheese and salsa.

Check out this recipe

two tacos with red cabbage and cilantro on a plate

FAQ

What should I cook as a college student?

Find recipes you like, with limited ingredients, that are also quick. These tips will help make cooking easier and faster, both are important for busy college students. These easy recipes for one college student will help too.

Did you make any of these easy recipes for one college student? Leave me a comment & rating to share how it turned out!

If you or your college student wants more support, reach out to a registered dietitian (like me!). Many colleges also have a dietitian on staff, see what nutrition services are available at your school.