10 Easy, Cheap, and Delicious Recipes for College Students

As I’ve learned a lot more about cooking and realized how much I really enjoy it over the past year, one of my regrets is that I didn’t pick it up sooner. I always seemed to have an excuse for why it wasn’t possible, when in reality it definitely was– including my years in college! I lived in a house for a year with a kitchen and always had access to one (common rooms), but never took advantage. Louisa’s guest post today is a great starting point if you need ideas:

Blueberry overnight Oatmeal recipe

10 Easy, Cheap, and Delicious Recipes for College Students

Guest Post by Louisa from Living Lou

Guys, it’s almost that back-to-school time. I’ve been graduated from college for a year and a half, but I definitely still miss that back-to-school fever. Even still, I feel like the end of August and September is such a reset time for me. After going to school for so many years (ahem, like my entire life) it just seems kind of normal to be rejuvenated and ready-to-go come September.

Now the truth is, you probably won’t be doing a ton of cooking in your dorm room, but there are a few dishes and snacks you can easily put together. Now, if you’re living off-campus, you can save a ton of money by cooking meals at home. Trust me! Even now that I’m working, I try to bring my lunch almost every day, saving $15-20 every day is worth it!

Here are ten of my absolute favorite cheap, easy and delicious recipes. Bookmark these for later! Breakfast and lunch can definitely be made with little to no special equipment, but dinner is a little more difficult.


  1. 1. Overnight oats

No special equipment necessary (other than a mini fridge — which I think is pretty normal in most dorm rooms), overnight oats are the student and young professionals breakfast of choice. Just combine the ingredients in the fridge overnight and breakfast is served.

2. Apple cinnamon oatmeal

If you have access to a microwave (or even a kettle) switching up your oats for a warmer breakfast is the perfect way to start your morning in the winter. I like to make this version with a combination of chunks of apple and applesauce.


  1. 1. Bean salad

This is literally the easiest bean salads out there that is great in a pinch. It has just a simple dressing of oil and balsamic vinegar, you can’t go wrong with this super budget-friendly lunch.

2. Hummus salad dressing

If you’re trying to stay healthy during college, this hummus salad dressing is the answers. Everyone always has hummus in their fridge, and this protein packed dressing can be added to literally any salad.

3. Chicken Caesar salad sandwiches

This recipe is made in the slow cooker, but you can easily swap in rotisserie chicken from the grocery store. All you have to do is stir rotisserie chicken with caesar dressing, parsley, and green onions and you have a delicious sandwich filling ready to go for the week.

4. Vegetarian taco wraps

I literally lived off of these taco wraps in university. I would pack them for lunch and eat them in the car when I was shuttling between classes and my internships. I would slice them into bite-sized pieces, but you can eat them in a wrap as is. No special equipment needed so these can definitely be made in a dorm room!


  1. 1. Rice and beans

Rice and beans is a staple for pretty much anyone on a budget. While you definitely need a stove for this one, if you’re living on campus this year, just bookmark this for next year.

2. Spinach and mushroom quesadilla

Have you noticed the vegetarian theme of these recipes? Eating veg is definitely easier on the wallet. A simple quesadilla is perfect for those nights when you don’t have any time for dinner but still don’t want to order in or eat out.

3. White bean tuna salad

This is a bit of an upgrade from the simple bean salad I shared earlier, for this, I opted to add tuna for a little extra protein and bulk to this salad, plus some cucumber and tomatoes!

4. Carrot ginger soup

I still have you covered for the winter! Carrot ginger soup, stovetop required. This soup is incredibly cheap but full of flavor and perfect for those days when you’re feeling under the weather.

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Loved these ideas! I am making an effort to cook in my apartment more this school year to save money and eat healthier. I always look to pinterest but it gets to be too much sometimes, so it’s great to have these recipes!


I had a full kitchen 3 out of 4 years in college and cooked almost all of my meals all three of those years. I highly recommend learning how to cook while in school. It definitely prepared me for life away from college- I already knew how to cook and how to grocery shop on a budget. Also, you will gain WAY less weight in college if you prepare your own meals. I definitely gained the ‘freshman 15’ and I know it was b/c i didn’t have access to a kitchen a real, healthy food.