Easy Recipes for College Students

by lakeerieartists

Do you know someone who is entering college this fall? These are great recipes for a new cook to make at college when they need some comfort food, or something home made.

Does Your Incoming College Freshman Know How to Cook Anything?

I have a daughter who is going to college as a freshman this fall.  I realized just the other day that for most of her life, she has had someone cook for her, and she really didn't know much about cooking anything for herself.

College Cookbooks

Home cooking for college students
The Healthy College Cookbook
Storey Publishing, LLC
$14.95  $4.50
The Quick and Easy College Cookbook: 300 Healthy, Low-Cos...
Adams Media
$14.99  $6.07
Good and Cheap: Eat Well on $4/Day
Workman Publishing Company
$16.95  $7.18

What Can a College Student Cook in a Dorm?

In many college dormitories, students are not even allowed to have a microwave oven.  But in some dorms, students can have a hot pot.  Each dormitory is different, and it probably has to do with the fire codes in that locale.  However, in order to help students feel a bit more at home, some schools have kitchens that students can share.

At some point in college, a student will most likely desire to eat something a little more home cooked than dorm food, and they are bound to have at least one friend who lives in an apartment who will let them cook there.

So I wanted to make sure that my daughter went off to school in the fall with the ability to make some of her favorite foods that weren't too difficult to cook.

Easy Recipes

Eggs, and Grilled Cheese

My daughter has learned a few easy recipes that she makes from time to time. She knows how to make an omelet, and she can also make a grilled cheese sandwich.  If she is allowed to have just one burner in her dorm, these are both foods that she could make in her room.

Inexpensive Recipes

Banana Bread

One of the comfort foods that my daughter likes to eat is Banana Bread.  We like the Gorilla Banana Bread recipe best which my grandmother used to bake, but she did not come up with the recipe. However, it is a good recipe for college, where having old bananas sitting around the room is not unlikely.  A few weeks ago, I taught her how to make the banana bread, but she will need an oven to bake.

Recipes That Can Be Cooked in a Hot Pot

Anything that can be boiled or steamed

Since I don't know what her dorm situation will be, I decided to focus on recipes that could be cooked in a hot pot.  A hot pot is essentially a pot that boils water.  It has a heater inside the bottom of the pot.  It is usually considered safer for fire codes because the heating element is enclosed inside the hot pot and not exposed.

So What Can Be Cooked in a Hot Pot?

With a little bit of creativity, there are actually quite a lot of recipes that can be cooked in a hot pot.  For instance, if you get a small steamer that will fit inside a hot pot, then you could steam vegetables inside a hot pot.  That makes the hot pot much more than a boiling system.

For instance, you can cook any kind of pasta in the hot pot, then steam the vegetables to mix with the pasta.  That makes a cheap, but very healthy meal for a college student.  There are numerous ways to use that idea.  Pasta can be kept on hand without a refrigerator, saving room in the fridge for the vegetables and sauces.  Vegetables can be chopped fresh, than thrown over hot pasta to slightly cook, or can be mixed with a sauce ahead to marinate, then tossed over pasta.

Most vegetables can be steamed in about 3 to 5 minutes, so a hot pot is actually ideal for a small portion.

Along with steaming you can create all kinds of soups, and vegetable stews in a hot pot.  These would take a much longer time to cook, but can be cooked while a student is studying in their dorm room.  A pea soup or bean soup would be a good choice to provide protein and carbohydrates needed for energy for a busy student.

Updated: 10/01/2014, lakeerieartists
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What Else Can You Cook in a Hot Pot?

lakeerieartists on 08/25/2014

Excellent idea, Evelyn. My daughter just moved to an apartment, so she will be making a lot more food for herself.

evelynsaenz on 01/09/2014

Couscous is something that could be cooked using a Hot Pot. Just add boiling water and let it soak for 5 min. Then add chopped veggies and a bit of olive oil. I like the idea of a Hot Pot for a college dorm. Did they allow your daughter to have one at her college?

theraggededge on 05/29/2011

Oh those college students. My son and his friends use to load up a roasting tin with anything they could find and cook the lot in a communal kitchen. Then they'd all dig in - straight from the pan. Love the hotpot idea!

Dianne on 05/27/2011

Back in the day, we were only allowed to have a popcorn popper. On Sunday nights when the dorm kitchen and dining room were closed we'd have popcorn or heat soup in the popper. A hot pot sounds like a great idea!

mulberry on 05/25/2011

Oh, I remember the days. Pop corn just didn't cut it. Could have used this information back then!

makingamark on 05/25/2011

What an excellent idea for a page. On Sunday evening when we didn't have dinner in college, I seem to remember I knew everything I could do with an egg and then used to cook myself stewed mushrooms in a white sauce and have those on toast as a treat.

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