PHOTO: JOEL GOLDBERG; FOOD STYLING: HADLEY SU
College can be an incredible time in a young person’s life. It is often the first time they are alone, free to make their own choices, to do whatever they want, whenever they want. It can be empowering for some and overwhelming for others, especially when it comes to figuring out what to eat and how to cook it. No matter how you (or your recent high school graduate) feel, we’ve got inspiring recipes for you — everything from comfort foods to staples, from breakfast to dinner. Check out our list of 38 college food recipes and get excited — you might discover some favorites you’ll make again and again.
Learning to juggle a whole new lesson and life schedule on your own can be difficult, so we’ve included some easy recipes here that make the most of simple ingredients and cooking methods, like our TikTok ramen (seriously, get on the everything bagel spice train), our black bean tostadas, our mug brownie, or our flatbread pizza. Other recipes, like our PB&J overnight oats or our egg muffins, take a little thought, but once you make them, you’ll be ready for breakfast all week long.
Speaking of being ready for an entire week, it can be annoying to always have to spend mental energy figuring out what to eat. That’s part of being an adult, so prepare yourself for success by learning to prepare meals. Make time to cook a few times a week and make recipes (or parts of recipes) that you can eat for the next few days. Check out our hot tahini ramen noodles, our pan chicken fajitas, our black beans and lamb’s lettuce, our breakfast burritos (you can freeze them!), our chicken salad sandwich, or our pan sausage & veggies for ideas. Invest in some good reusable containers (or just use leftovers from takeout!), then fill them up. You always have something tasty to grab, which is a less stressful thing off your plate.
Everyone in college gets homesick at one point or another, and we think the best way to combat it is to make comfort foods that remind you of home. We’ve added some of our favorites like spaghetti & meatballs, meatloaf, mac & cheese, and grown-up spaghetti-O’s, but ask your family for theirs before college, and make them whenever you can use a boost. . These recipes often make a ton of food, so you can make new friends by sharing them with roommates who could also use some comfort.
Want more easy recipe inspiration? Check out our best beginner-friendly recipes for two (great for date night!), our top healthy lunches, and our favorite no-bake desserts.