11 Easy Meal Ideas for College Students

From breakfast to dessert, good food can be easy to make

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Cooking in college presents a challenge to even the smartest student. These ideas and recipes can quickly—and cheaply—transform a lackluster meal or snack option into something much more exciting (and delicious!).

Breakfast Ideas

1. Spruced-Up Bagels

Grab some bagels and cream cheese, slice a tomato (save the rest for later) and pour yourself some fresh orange juice to create a quick and energizing meal.

2. Quick Pancakes

Don't have a lot of time, supplies (like eggs, milk, and flour), or cooking tools? Grab a container of Bisquick Shake 'n Pour, add water, pour into a frying pan, and voila ... hot, steamy pancakes! Don't forget to bring the syrup.

3. Blueberry Pancakes in Disguise

Krusteaz makes a pretty decent—and usually pretty low-priced—Wild Blueberry Muffin Mix. (It's in a box, usually on the same aisle as the flour.) However, thanks to a recipe on the back of the carton, you can quickly turn it into blueberry pancakes.

4. Egg Sandwich to Go

Crack an egg into a coffee mug, sprinkle in some cheese and beat it with a fork. Microwave for 45 seconds, then scoop the cooked egg onto an English muffin (toasted, if you can). You're out the door with a filling sandwich in hand in less than 5 minutes! Just make sure you rinse out the mug before the egg is permanently caked on.

Lunch & Dinner Ideas

5. Macaroni and Cheese

With multiple, easy-to-make options available, there's no reason why you can't enjoy a dish of mac and cheese now and then.

You can add ingredients yourself and cook it on the stove top, or you can buy the simple stuff that just requires you add water and microwave it. Add some veggies on top to up the nutritional value.

6. Simple Bread and Cheese

Grab a small baguette, a chunk of your favorite cheese and something nice to drink.

This makes a great snack or small meal and is easy to eat while studying. Add salami if you're extra hungry or a dollop of jam if you want to sweeten it.

7. Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup

If you have a stove or toaster oven, making grilled cheese is about as easy as it gets when it comes to comfort food. Melt some butter in a frying pan to crisp both sides of the bread, then add some cheese between the slices. Heat up tomato soup on the stove or in the microwave to complete this classic meal.

8. Microwave Quesadillas

Grab some tortillas and shredded cheese, and pop 'em in the microwave. In under two minutes, you've got a delicious snack that leaves very little mess behind.

9. Roasted Veggies Anything

If you have an oven, chop up some of your favorite vegetables, toss them in olive oil, add salt and pepper and roast them at 375 degrees fahrenheit for 45 to 60 minutes. Broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes, onions and carrots make a good mix. You can use them in a different dish every day: roasted veggie burritos, roasted veggies over rice, roasted veggie pizza, roasted veggie pasta or roasted veggie panini. You can do a lot with them, and they keep in the fridge for about a week.

Desserts

10. Fruit and Yogurt Parfait

It's pretty self-explanatory: Add fresh (or thawed frozen) fruit to a cup of yogurt, top with your favorite granola and voila—a healthy-ish dessert.

11. Mug Cake

You can find all sorts of recipes online, but here's the gist: Put together all the ingredients you need to make a cake in a microwave-safe coffee mug, microwave them for about 2 minutes, then let your creation cool for 30 seconds before adding toppings or diving in.