14 Easy College Meals That Make the Grade

Easy college meals: a girl eats pizza

Hey, College Student. Chances are you've arrived at this article because you're fed up with peanut butter sandwiches, cheap ramen noodles, and fast food. Are we right? Yeah, thought so. You might be wondering if there's any way to step up your food situation without going broke or losing out on valuable time that could be spent studying. (Or playing beer pong.)

While the degree of cooking you can do will depend on your skill level and living quarters, the bottom line is that as long as you know how to do some basic shopping, chopping, and baking, there are plenty of recipes you can handle. 

And if the thought of prepping and cooking food freaks you out more than a pop quiz, don't worry. We have a solution for you at the end of this article that'll take all your cares away. Well, at least in the kitchen. You're on your own with the pop quizzes. 

Get ready to be schooled on how to make deliciously easy college meals that are budget-friendly and offer a healthier take on some of your go-to favorites.

14 Recipes for Easy College Meals

Easy college meals: A student works on a laptop

We get it. You're totally over dining hall food and late-night fast food runs. Step up your weeknight game and go beyond grilled cheese and frozen burritos with these easy recipes that won't let you down.

1. Shrimp and Ramen Stir-Fry

Easy college meals: Shrimp and Ramen Stir-Fry
Image: My Recipes

With 10 ingredients and not a whole lot of culinary skills, you can elevate your old Cup O' Noodles routine with this tasty shrimp stir-fry loaded with protein and nutrient-dense veggies. Those packaged ramen noodles you know so well will come in handy (just throw out the sodium-drenched flavoring packet) as you dress 'em up with frozen shrimp, veggies, and an easy DIY sauce. You can also swap out the shrimp for chicken breast when you're not in the mood for seafood. 

2. Easy Taco Casserole

Easy college meals: Easy Taco Casserole
Image: One Dish Kitchen

Everybody loves tacos, but they can get a little messy. Thankfully, this one-dish taco casserole bypasses the mess by keeping it all contained. Making it is sort of like lasagna, but instead of layering sheets of pasta, you'll simply layer spiced ground beef in between store-bought tostada shells. Throw in some black beans, plenty of cheese, and a few other ingredients, and about half an hour later you'll have a tasty twist on a Mexican classic. 

3. Crispy Tofu With Maple-Soy Glaze

Easy college meals: Crispy Tofu With Maple Soy Glaze
Image: Bon Appétit

Tofu gets a major makeover with this fancy-looking, easy-making, delicious-tasting, fragrant-smelling, vegan-friendly dish. All you need are a handful of ingredients and one skillet. Just note that the secret to success with this sweet-and-savory meal is properly draining the tofu. Squeeze out as much water as you can (without squishing it) and you'll have tofu cubes crisped to perfection.

4. Creamy Tuna Pasta With Peas and Parmesan

Easy college meals: Creamy Tuna Pasta With Peas and Parmesan
Image: Budget Bytes

This seven-ingredient recipe for creamy tuna pasta is a delicious alternative to your basic tuna sandwich. Granted, you'll have to break out a pot and pan to boil the pasta and sauté the garlic, but it's so worth it and won't take more than 30 minutes from start to finish. The creamy consistency comes from the half-and-half and Parmesan, but you can always swap the half-and-half for almond milk if you're watching your calories. (FYI, this delicious recipe also works with shredded rotisserie chicken.) 

5. Greek-Style Chicken Crunchwrap

Easy college meals: Greek-Style Chicken Crunchwrap
Image: Sweet Cayenne

It doesn't get much easier than this no-bake chicken wrap that gives you the convenience of a burrito with tasty Greek flavors, including a tangy feta dipping sauce, kalamata olives, and fresh veggies. What really sets this apart from other wraps is the final step—you'll roll all the ingredients into the tortilla and then sear it in a frying pan for a few minutes. Crunchy (and convenient) wrap, indeed. 

6. Avocado Salad With Chickpeas

Easy college meals: Avocado Salad With Chickpeas
Image: Naturally Ella

Say goodbye to those boring (and not filling) side salads with this flavorful and insanely versatile vegetarian salad loaded with healthy fats (thank you, avocado), protein (courtesy of the chickpeas), and fiber (yes, there's brown rice). Ready to go in just 10 minutes, this easy recipe calls for butter lettuce, but you can just as easily use mixed greens, spinach, arugula, kale, or any other crunchy greens you have on hand. You can also make it vegan by simply omitting the cotija cheese. 

7. BBQ Chicken Quesadilla

Easy college meals: BBQ Chicken Quesadilla

If you've got nine minutes to spare, then you'll be rewarded with these insanely good BBQ chicken quesadillas for your next weeknight meal. All you need are tortillas, a tablespoon of barbecue sauce, shredded cheddar cheese, and shredded, cooked chicken breast. Top with a dollop of sour cream, a cilantro garnish, and sliced avocado, and you'll have a fiesta in your mouth. Just be sure to download the free Tovala App (for iOS or Android) for all the details.

8. Vegan Ceviche With Hearts of Palm

Easy college meals: Vegan Ceviche With Hearts of Palm
Image: Cadry's Kitchen

Even if you're not fully off the meat wagon, this plant-based ceviche is a refreshing reprieve from heavy meat-centric dishes. All you need are six ingredients—hearts of palm, cherry tomatoes, avocado, onion, cilantro, jalapeño, and a squeeze of lime—but you can just as easily omit any items that you don't have (or don't like). Whatever you decide, this tangy, multi-textured treat will please your palate and tastes especially good with tortilla or pita chips.

9. Egg Fried Rice in a Mug

Easy college meals: Egg Fried Rice in a Mug
Image: Healthy Nibbles

Ready in minutes, this microwaved fried rice in a mug makes eating out of a cup seem like a five-star dining affair. Made with cooked jasmine rice, one egg, and a few veggies, the key is finding a mug that's big enough to fit all the ingredients, and then covering it with cling wrap to keep in the moisture. About ten minutes later you'll have breakfast, lunch, dinner, or a snack ready to go.

10. Italian Sausage Stuffed Zucchini

Easy college meals: Italian Sausage Stuffed Zucchini
Image: Delish 

Not too fond of veggies? These stuffed zucchini just might change your mind. Easy, healthy, and ultra flavorful, this recipe doesn't require much more than some chicken sausage, breadcrumbs, cheese, and seasonings to transform the same old squash into a scrumptious meal in just about 30 minutes.

11. Egg and Avocado Toast

Easy college meals: Egg and Avocado Toast
Image: Simple Green Moms 

Not just for breakfast, this tasty avocado toast is one of the easiest recipes you can count on morning, noon, or night. Loaded with protein (thank you, egg) and healthy fats (hello, avocado and olive oil), this dish isn't just good for you, it's also insanely versatile. Dress it up however you like⁠—red peppers, radish, cucumber, mozzarella, or even apple slices—and you have a main dish that's good to go in minutes.

12. Beef and Broccoli Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Easy college meals: Beef and Broccoli Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
Image: Cooking Light

These paleo-friendly beef and broccoli stuffed sweet potatoes might look like you need a culinary arts degree to make them, but the entire process is much easier than you think. Simply sauté the filling in a pan, cook the sweet spuds in the microwave for about 15 minutes, and before you know it, dinner is served. 

13. Detox Rainbow Roll-Ups With Peanut Sauce 

Easy college meals: Detox Rainbow Roll-Ups With Peanut Sauce
Image: Pinch of Yum

Carrots and chickpeas and cabbage, oh my! These no-cook rainbow roll-ups with peanut sauce make for an excellent snack in between classes or when you feel like eating light but still want to load up on flavor. Granted, you'll have to chop plenty of vegetables, but you can shorten your prep time by buying pre-cut veggies.

14. Healthy Sloppy Joe for One

Easy college meals: Healthy Sloppy Joe for One
Image: One Dish Kitchen

No need to give up your childhood favorites when you have this healthy sloppy joe recipe at the ready. Made with lean ground turkey, chopped red peppers, and a touch of molasses (the secret ingredient), these single-serving sammies will satisfy your fast-food cravings without all the fat and calories.

Tovala: A+ Healthy College Meals

Easy college meals: Graduates throw their caps in the air

When it comes to cooking, you want it to be as easy as possible. To that end, the Tovala Oven makes perfect sense. 

For starters, it’s a countertop oven that can replace your toaster oven, which means it won't take up much space even if you're in a tiny dorm room. And because of the Tovala IQ™ smart technology, this steam-convection oven will soon become your college BFF that literally cooks your food for you. That's because it's the only app-enabled steam oven with a brain. 

But if you really want to ace this whole cooking-for-yourself thing, the best way to do it is to sign up for Tovala Meals. You don't even have to make a trip to the grocery store because these set-it-and-forget-it meals are delivered right to your door. 

Simply add the premeasured seasonings or sauces to the dish, place it in the oven, and boom. Within 20 minutes you'll have a full-on feast that won't leave you hungry or feeling like you have a brick in your stomach. So go ahead, tell your parents you want to give Tovala a try. It will make them feel better to know that you’re eating healthy.