13 Easy Recipes for College Students (That Aren’t Instant Ramen)

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Between dining hall mystery meat, 10-cent packages of instant ramen and endless pizza deliveries, college can be a nutritional wasteland. But with a dorm kitchen (or even a microwave and a hot plate), it’s easy and fun to throw together some basic meals. Here are 13 of our favorite recipes to keep college kids fueled through finals and beyond.   

RELATED: 20 Overnight Breakfast Recipes for the Easiest Morning Ever

We know the blue box is tempting. But using fresh ingredients makes such a difference, and it’s honestly just as easy (plus, one pot means you won’t be leaving a sinkful of dirty dishes for your roommate).

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When you’re craving takeout (aka always), but want something a little cheaper and a lot healthier. Bonus: This makes great leftovers.

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Store-bought flatbread makes homemade pizza super easy—even in a dorm. Top with whatever you want (but we’re partial to this version, which is a great way to sneak some veggies into your diet).

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The ideal on-the-go lunch for a day full of classes. Try Coterie member Monique Volz’s expert layering technique (dressing and hearty vegetables on bottom, lettuce on top). 

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You’re craving a comforting, home-cooked meal, but you only have a half hour to spare. This one won’t entirely replace mom’s recipe, but it’s a pretty great substitute on a busy night.

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It’s game day on campus, and everyone’s coming over to your dorm to tailgate. You’re going to want at least one tray of these on hand, with plenty of blue cheese dressing for dipping. 

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In college, ramen is one of the four basic food groups. But that doesn’t have to mean the nutrient-free packaged stuff. Thanks to the magic of a store-bought chicken, the homemade version is remarkably quick and easy.

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This is a great thing to have on hand during finals week. Take an hour to throw everything together on the weekend, and pat yourself on the back for crossing one thing off your to-do list.

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Honestly, this is faster than waiting for delivery. Plus, there are no weird ingredients that you’ll never use again (we’ll assume that the Sriracha is already in heavy rotation).

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Why use one kind of cheese when you can use three (plus an extra slice of bread)?  Side note: We deny any responsibility for the freshman 15.

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It’s easy to get in the habit of skipping breakfast, but it’s actually much easier to pay attention in class when you’re not starving. Keep a few of these ready in the fridge and you won’t even have to sacrifice any precious sleep.  

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If you’re stuck in a dorm room without a kitchen, it doesn’t mean that you’re relegated to dining hall food for every meal. This gooey, veggie-packed lasagna is made entirely in the microwave.

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You’ll never believe that the base of this super-flavorful stir-fry started with a 10-cent package of instant ramen. Plus, it’s ready in just about a half hour—the ideal study break.

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RELATED: 20 Non-Boring Stir-Fry Recipes You Can Make in 20 Minutes or Less

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