college food
Aug 15, 2014 • By

8 easy meals for busy college students

It’s painful to say this … but summer is coming to an end and college sweatshirts are being pulled out of closets.

It’s an exciting time of the year – there’s nothing better than being back on campus for the fall semester. But between classes, friends, homework and football games, time is at a premium and cooking is generally not at the top of your to-do list.

To help get college off to a great start, I’ve gathered eight quick recipes from some of our back to college-bound summer interns that take 45 minutes or fewer to make.

Krishna Mahajan from the University of Michigan, who I met while shooting a video of him making his favorite Baked Mac and Cheese (the video is at the bottom of this post), told us the key is to plan out your meals when you head to the store.

“When I go grocery shopping I normally buy a lot of meats, just simple meats like chicken breasts and things I can do really quickly,” Krishna says. “Also, a lot of pasta and pasta sauce because I’m always out running around and pasta’s really easy. I also pick up turkey slices for sandwiches, and peanut butter and jelly, which is always a staple in my house. And, anything for a quick salad, tomatoes and spinach are two of my favorite things.”

So, the next time you’re staring down the grocery aisle with a blank face, think about trying one of these, below, (or all eight). Under each one, the comments are from the interns who shared why they chose these dishes.


seafood jambalaya

It’s inexpensive, easy and saves very well.

Pesto Pasta with Chicken

pesto pasta

A great variation on a common pasta dish.

Chicken and Vegetables 

lemon chicken

Common ingredients that taste great together.


slow cooker tacos

Quick and easy. If you have a slow cooker, the meat can even cook while you’re away at class.

Cinnamon Raisin French Toast

cinnamon french toast

Breakfast for dinner always works. Cereal, French toast or pancakes taste great any time of the day.

Egg and Potato Scramble

egg and potato scramble

Another breakfast for dinner option, and a great quick source of protein.

Mac and Cheese

healthy mac and cheese

Tastes great, even multiple times in a week!

Fish and Potatoes

crispy fish

Fish is an easy source of protein and you can season it any way you like.

Cooking with Krishna

As we mentioned off the top, we asked one of our interns, Krishna Mahajan, to cook his favorite go-to meal at college – Baked Mac and Cheese.

Take a look!

“This is my go-to dish because I usually have a lot of cheese on hand,” Krishna says. “So I like to make it on the weekends when I have some time and I can eat the leftovers throughout the week.”

Now it’s your turn. Grab your roommate, head to the store then get cooking.

Share your favorite quick college meals in the comments below!