Remember your first summer back from college? You arrived at the front door of your house with all of your stuff, probably feeling a bit more like a visitor than you expected. Most likely you were still riding the high of your newfound independence, which didn’t always include a good meal—because “good” meals were expensive, hard to make, and required a full kitchen.
Not anymore. Here are five recipes that take minimal cash, room, tools, and time to prepare while offering results that are delicious, filling, and fun. And don’t have to be a college student to appreciate all that.
Thanks to The Healing Tomato, college students—and their lucky, lucky family and friends—can enjoy what is arguably the most beautiful bite-size caprese salads atop pillows of puff pastry. They looks amazing, and they take only a few minutes to assemble. Perfect for potlucks, gatherings in the park, and lazy afternoons, this appetizer is worth doubling (or tripling). And maybe sharing.
Welcome to summer, my friends.
One thing is for certain; you aren’t officially an adult until you’ve mastered a sloppy joe recipe worth eating for days on end. Sloppy joes, also known as loose meat sandwiches, taverns, and maidrites depending on where you are from and how specific you like to be about the names of your recipes, are a supper staple for most tables. This My Recipes version kicks up the spice with a special ingredient—the vinegar water from the pickled jalapeño jar.
Plucked from the MyRecipes database, this hearty meal turns minimal effort into maximum flavor. It’s also filling, so you can make one batch and have leftovers to last a few days. You’ll get plenty of vegetables, spice, protein, and rice in every bite, and none of the ingredients are hard to find or expensive to buy.
This recipe uses a college student staple, ramen noodles, and adds the protein and vegetables needed to make it an “actual” meal. The recipe is delicious as it is, but if you really want to amp up the flavor, marinate your meat with soy sauce, garlic, and ginger for a little bit ahead of time. Substitute chicken for the beef when you want to change it up and try working in other vegetables, like bell peppers or red onions. It may not be the classiest meal you’ve ever made, but it will be one of the most affordably filling ones.
This dessert from Million Moments is sweet, tart, buttery, and beautiful. It also takes advantage of the Mason jar craze sweeping the country (who knew a little glass jar with a lid could be so versatile?). College students and busy folks alike will love how easy this recipe is to assemble, but the winning quality about this recipe is in its presentation and portability. Stack these desserts in a cooler, make them ahead in the fridge, tuck them in an ice bath—just throw a lid on as the final step, and you have a decadent dessert perfect for nearly every occasion. Like a Monday.