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27 Easy College Dinners

Eating a healthy diet in college can be a real challenge. Make these easy college dinner meals and have fun cooking easy dishes that will keep you healthy.

It’s time to pack your suitcases. And it’s time to leave your parents’ nest.

No more asking mom or dad, “What’s for dinner?” That’s your job now.

You could pick up some fast food. But that gets tired and expensive really fast.

And your mom wouldn’t be happy knowing you’re eating junk.

So, what’s a gal or guy to do? Make Easy College Dinners.

With Easy College Dinners, you’re not wasting time in the kitchen. And you’re eating healthy home-cooked meals.

So it’s a win-win situation.

Today I’m sharing 27 Easy College Dinners. Not only are they good for beginner cooks, but they taste amazing too.

So what are you waiting for? Let’s start cooking!

easy college dinners

1. Honey Chicken Wings

Honey Chicken Wings


Feel like having some bar food? My Honey Chicken Wings are sure to satisfy your cravings.

They’re crispy, savory, sweet, and sticky. You’ll be licking your fingers.

What’s more, they’re healthy too. That’s because they’re baked, not fried.

All you need are 3 simple ingredients: honey, chicken wings, and Italian seasoning.

Begin by mixing your chicken wings with Italian seasoning. Next, put them on a foil-lined baking sheet.

This baking sheet here should be able to handle all your wings. Then bake for around 45 minutes.

Finish your wings by drizzling them with honey. Winner, winner, chicken dinner.

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 527
  • Fats: 37g
  • Protein: 26g
  • Carbs: 23g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugar: 6.2g


2. One Pan Mexican Quinoa

One Pan Mexican Quinoa


One Pan Meals are as great an invention as sliced bread. Put everything in one pot, and you’re set.

As an added bonus, you’re not stuck washing a ton of pots at the end. Yay!

This One Pan Mexican Quinoa is vibrant and colorful. But most of all, it’s packed with Mexican Flava.

You’ve got the spiciness of the poblano peppers and the acidity from the fire-roasted tomatoes. You’ve also got the sweetness of the corn and the creaminess of the avocados.

And the beans make it so filling. You won’t even miss the meat.

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 482g
  • Fats: 13g
  • Protein: 20g
  • Carbs: 63g
  • Sugar: 5g


3. Ginger Spinach Soup

Ginger Spinach Soup


With fall and winter comes cough and cold season. And with so many people on campus, you’re bound to catch a cold.

This Ginger Spinach Soup is perfect for nursing a cold. It’s creamy, silky, and packed with antioxidants.

Besides adding heat, ginger has many medicinal properties. It is anti-inflammatory.

It is also an immune booster. So it provides relief from sore throats and helps you recover quicker.

To give the soup its silkiness, make sure you blend your soup. But don’t use a regular blender to do this.

That’s because the hot soup may cause your blender to explode. Instead, blend your hot soup using an immersion blender.

You can use this immersion blender here for soups, shakes, and even yummy smoothies.

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 201
  • Fats: 13g
  • Protein: 7g
  • Carbs: 19g
  • Fiber: 5g
  • Sugar: 10g


4. Brussel Sprouts with Bacon

Brussel Sprouts with Bacon


Another nutrient that can help with colds is Vitamin C., And Brussels Sprouts are chock-full of Vitamin C.

Just ½ a cup of cooked Brussels Sprouts provides 80% of your daily needs.

But let’s face it: Brussels Sprouts can be pretty bitter. And no one likes bitter food.

That’s where my Brussels Sprouts with Bacon fit in. You’re cooking the Brussels Sprouts in bacon grease.

Then you’re adding date syrup to them. So, your Brussels Sprouts are both sweet and tasty.

And you’re tossing them with crispy bacon. And doesn’t bacon make everything taste so much better?

Check out more 200 calorie recipes.

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 251
  • Fats: 18g
  • Protein: 7.6g
  • Carbs: 17g
  • Fiber: 5g
  • Sugar: 8.6g


5. Instant Pot Chicken Stir Fry

Instant Pot Chicken Stir Fry


Studies show that college students are eating enough fruits and veggies. In fact, some students aren’t even eating one serving each day.

Now that’s a shocking statistic. This Instant Pot Chicken Stir Fry helps you not be a statistic.

It contains not just one but 3 different veggies: broccoli, cucumbers, and red bell peppers. And it tastes so yummy.

To make this Stir Fry, you’ll be using an Instant Pot. Instant Pots are great for cooking soups and stews in a fraction of the time.

And they’re great for cooking cheaper cuts of meat. This, in turn, saves you money on grocery bills.

Don’t have an Instant Pot yet? You can get a high-quality Instant Pot at a reasonable price here.

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 426
  • Fats: 11g
  • Protein: 35g
  • Carbs: 48g
  • Fiber: 7g
  • Sugar: 11g


6. Chicken and Chorizo Tray Bake

Chicken and Chorizo Tray Bake


Can’t decide whether to have sausages or chicken tonight? With this Tray Bake, you can have both.

Simply plop your chicken, chorizo slices, and cut veggies on a large sheet pan. Then place in the oven.

The aroma of the chorizo and chicken is so inviting. Don’t be surprised if random people show up when you’re cooking.

But not only does it smell good, but it also tastes delicious too. You’ve got the spiciness of the chorizo complementing the savory of the chicken.

And the sweetness of the sweet potatoes, red onions, and bell peppers round it out nicely.

What I love most about this dish is how nutritious it is. It provides more than 300% of your daily Vitamin A needs.

And it provides more than 80% of your daily Vitamin C needs. So, it’s good for your immune system.

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 613
  • Fats: 39g
  • Protein: 36g
  • Carbs: 29g
  • Fiber: 5g
  • Sugar: 8g


7. Spinach Tomato Salad with Feta Cheese

Spinach Tomato Salad with Feta Cheese


Looking for a dinner idea for Meatless Monday? My Spinach Tomato Salad with Feta Cheese is a great option.

It’s refreshing, vibrant, and full of Mediterranean flavors. You’ve got feta cheese, red onions, grape tomatoes, cucumbers, spinach, and pumpkin seeds.

And they’re all tossed in my sweet and tangy homemade dressing. Yum! Check out more 300 calorie recipes.

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 315
  • Fats: 27g
  • Protein: 5.8g
  • Carbs: 10.3g
  • Fiber: 2.7g
  • Sugar: 7.9g


8. Instant Pot Mexican Rice and Chicken

Instant Pot Mexican Rice and Chicken


Are you getting tired of your chicken dinners? Change them up with this Mexican Rice and Chicken.

The Chicken and Rice taste lovely. That’s because you’re seasoning them with warm spices like chili powder and cumin.

And you’re cooking them in both chicken stock and tomato paste. This gives the rice and chicken a vibrant, appetizing color and adds depths of flavor.

You’ll also love that this dish makes 8 servings. So, you have plenty of leftovers for the week.

And if you can’t eat it all, that’s okay. You can freeze it for about 3 months.

To keep your food fresh and prevent food waste, make sure you store it in quality food storage containers.

Glass food storage containers like this are my top choice. That’s because food lasts longer in glass containers.

And glass containers are more ecologically friendly. However, if you’re not that into glass containers, these BPA-free plastic containers work well too.

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 324
  • Fats: 9g
  • Protein: 29g
  • Carbs: 30g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Sugar: 1g


9. Instant Pot Beef and Broccoli

Instant Pot Beef and Broccoli


Are you missing Chinese takeout? Have this Instant Pot Beef and Broccoli instead.

It’s spicy, saucy, umami, sweet, and savory. Crunchy broccoli melds with tender, saucy beef.

It’s definitely restaurant-quality eats.

The hard part will be slicing the chuck roast into thin slices. To make it easier, freeze the roast for approximately 30 minutes before slicing it.

Or, to make things easier, you can use stir-fry cut meat from the store.

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 471
  • Fats: 21g
  • Protein: 27g
  • Carbs: 45g
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Sugar: 12g


10. Hummus Flatbread with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Pesto

Hummus Flatbread with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Pesto


Do you have your local pizzeria on speed dial? Then you’ll love this Hummus Flatbread.

It has a ton of pleasant Mediterranean flavors. You’ve got toasted flatbread smeared with hummus.

Then it’s topped with sauteed spinach, pine nuts, and sundried tomatoes. And it’s all drizzled with a creamy, nutty pesto sauce – your tastebuds will be so delighted.

And so will your waistline. An entire flatbread contains less than 400 calories – much less than a small pizza.

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 397
  • Fats: 22g
  • Protein: 12g
  • Carbs: 40g
  • Fiber: 5g
  • Sugar: 4g


11. Herb Crusted Salmon

Herb Crusted Salmon


College life can be pretty stressful. So, to relieve the stress, it’s essential to exercise.

Exercise produces endorphins which reduces your stress levels. So get in those workouts.

But post-workout, you just want to relax and perhaps catch some Netflix.

My Herb Crusted Salmon will help you do just that. It takes only 10 minutes to prepare, then you pop it in the oven.

Twenty minutes later, dinner is served. And it’s pretty good, if I may say so myself.

It’s juicy, herby, and garlicky. The balsamic vinegar-drizzled cherry tomatoes add tanginess and sweetness.

As an added bonus, this dish is packed with protein. So it makes the perfect post-workout dinner.

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 333
  • Fats: 20g
  • Protein: 27g
  • Carbs: 8.3g
  • Fiber: 2.7g
  • Sugar: 6.2g


12. Honey Mustard Salmon

Honey Mustard Salmon


Are you looking for a super quick dinner? This Honey Mustard Salmon is an excellent option

It takes only 15 minutes to make. So, it’s even faster than takeout.

And the combination of honey and Dijon mustard is a winner. It adds heat, as well as sweet notes to the savory of the salmon.

Plus, the chopped parsley adds freshness. Who knew healthy eating could be so easy and delicious? Check out more low calorie recipes.

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 236
  • Fats: 11g
  • Protein: 23g
  • Carbs: 10g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Sugar: 9g


13. Asian Beef Bowl

Asian Beef Bowl


Craving Chinese food? Try this Asian Beef Bowl.

It has the heat of the ginger and the umami of the soy sauce. It also combines the sweetness of the stevia and the savory of the ground beef.

So, it has all those classic Asian flavors that you adore.

To make it a meal, you can serve it with rice. Or, if you want something lighter, cauliflower rice is a good option.

Not only is cauliflower rice low in calories, but it is also low in carbs too.

To keep things simple, feel free to use pre-packaged cauliflower rice like this. Or, to keep more money in your pockets, you can make yours from scratch.

Not only will you save money, but it’s fresher too. All you need to do is chop some cauliflower.

Then using a food processor, pulse until rice-like. This food processor has a pretty large capacity.

So, you don’t have to stop to empty it partway through.

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 426
  • Fats: 36g
  • Protein: 21g
  • Carbs: 3g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Sugar: 1g


14. Sweet Potato Quinoa Bowl

Sweet Potato Quinoa Bowl


A lot of college students are adopting a plant-based diet. Chances are you’re reducing your meat consumption as well.

But eating more plant-based meals can be a hassle. This Sweet Potato Quinoa Bowl makes plant-based eating so much easier.

And it tastes good too. It’s a concoction of quinoa, chickpeas, spinach, sweet potatoes, and broccoli.

It’s all topped with a homemade jalapeno avocado sauce for extra flavor.

Besides being high in protein, this Bowl is rich in fiber. In fact, one serving provides close to 80% of your daily fiber needs.

So, the Bowl is quite filling.

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 589
  • Fats: 33g
  • Protein: 18g
  • Carbs: 64g
  • Fiber: 19g
  • Sugar: 18g


15. Mexican Bean Salad

Mexican Bean Salad


Salads are a great way to add more veggies to your diet. But often, they’re nothing more than a pile of lettuce with a few tomatoes on top.

And eating salads like that can get boring – fast. My Mexican Bean Salad provides a welcome change.

Black beans, corn, red onions, cherry tomatoes, and bell peppers are tossed in a Mexican-inspired vinaigrette.

What you get is a spicy explosion of flavor.

And unlike your typical salad, this one leaves you feeling satisfied. That’s because of the black beans.

Black beans are a great source of plant-based protein. They’re also good for your bones.

That’s because they contain magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, and manganese. What a mouthful.

To make this salad, you will need beans cooked from dry. However, you can also use canned beans too.

Just make sure you rinse them first. Or use No Salt Added Black Beans like this instead.

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 287
  • Fats: 10g
  • Protein: 12g
  • Carbs: 39g
  • Fiber: 13g
  • Sugar: 4.7g


16. Vegan Miso Soup

Vegan Miso Soup


When it starts getting chilly, walking around campus can brutal – especially if it’s snowing.

Getting back to your apartment, you want to crank up the heat. And you want to have a warm bowl of soup.

This Vegan Miso Soup is perfect for those nights. It’s flavorful, nourishing, and soothing.

The addition of the nori adds a pleasant umami flavor. Nori is packed with vitamins too.

It’s rich in Vitamins A and C. It also contains brain-boosting B vitamins too.

Besides using it in soups, you can use it in sandwiches, rice, and even pasta. If you need to stock up on some nori, you can get some here.

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 139
  • Fats: 6g
  • Protein: 13g
  • Carbs: 9g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugar: 3g


17. Tofu Panzanella Salad

Tofu Panzanella Salad


Can’t decide whether to have Italian or Asian for dinner? With this Tofu Panzanella Salad, you can have both.

Panzanella Salad is a Tuscan chopped salad. It is typically made with tomatoes, onions, and soaked stale bread.

However, with this Panzanella Salad, you’re using tofu in place of the soaked stale bread. By using tofu, you make this salad rich in protein.

Not only is this salad high in protein, but it’s also vibrant, refreshing, and tasty too.

That’s because you’re adding cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, red onions, and bell peppers. And the pan-fried tofu is nice and crispy too.

To get the tofu crispy, make sure you press your tofu. You can place it under a heavy object.

Or, to make life simpler, just use a tofu press. This one here is BPA-free.

So, you’re not worried about chemicals getting into your tofu.

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 277
  • Fats: 9g
  • Protein: 23g
  • Carbs: 26g
  • Fiber: 5g
  • Sugar: 14g


18. Cold Cucumber Soup

Cold Cucumber Soup


Sometimes the weather is still warm when you head back to school. So, it’s nice to have something coo.

This Cold Cucumber Soup is refreshing, creamy, and delicious.

It’s effortless to cook too. You won’t be slaving over the stovetop with this baby.

All you have to do is place your ingredients in a high-speed blender. Then blend until it becomes creamy.

With this blender here, you won’t need to stir or shake your soup.

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 96
  • Fats: 1g
  • Protein: 14g
  • Carbs: 9g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Sugar: 6g


19. Taco Soup

Taco Soup


Are you tired of tacos for Taco night? Have some Taco Soup instead.

You’ve got taco-seasoned beef, pinto beans, corn, green chile peppers in a tomato-based beef broth. It’s a Mexican fiesta in your mouth.

What’s more, one batch makes 8 servings. So, it’s perfect for meal prep.

Want even more Mexican flavor? Add toppings like jalapeno, salsa, or guacamole.

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 202
  • Fats: 3g
  • Protein: 19g
  • Carbs: 24g
  • Fiber: 7g
  • Sugar: 3g


20. Zucchini Pasta

Zucchini Pasta


I enjoy pasta, as I’m sure many of you do too. But all those carbs can make you sleepy.

You hit the books after dinner. And before you know it, you’re having trouble keeping your eyes open.

This Zucchini Pasta is bursting with Italian flavors. You’ve got creamy feta cheese, cherry tomatoes, onions, and garlic tossed with refreshing zucchini noodles.

Aside from being low in carbs, zucchini noodles are low in calories. And they’re good for you too.

They are rich in antioxidants that protect your body from free radicals. They’re also rich in fiber which keeps you full.

And they are rich in potassium which is vital for healthy blood pressure. So, eat up those zucchini noodles.

Making zucchini noodles is easier than you think. Simply chop off the end of your zucchini.

Then put the zucchini in a spiralizer, and spiralize away. This spiralizer is made with cutlery grade stainless steel, which makes it very strong.

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 111
  • Fats: 5g
  • Protein: 6g
  • Carbs: 13g
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Sugar: 8g


21. Curried Chickpeas with Spinach

Curried Chickpeas with Spinach


The end of the month can get stressful. That’s because your rent comes due.

So you may not have much money left over.

But that doesn’t mean you have to eat Kraft Dinner for dinner. Instead, you can make these Curried Chickpeas.

Not only is it affordable, but it’s also good for you too. And it tastes fantastic.

The mixture of spices is on point. You’ve got some savory from the onions and garlic.

And the ginger adds a pleasant heat. Meanwhile, the tomato sauce adds acidity.

The spinach adds freshness. And the chickpeas make the curry so filling.

Besides being cheap, canned chickpeas are good for you too.

They’re a good source of plant-based protein. They also contain manganese which is vital for strong bones.

So, eat up those chickpeas.

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 439
  • Fats: 14.8g
  • Protein: 21.3g
  • Carbs: 62.03g
  • Fiber: 21.55g
  • Sugar:


22. Black Bean Chilli

Black Bean Chilli


When it’s freezing cold, you just want to skip your classes. But being the great student that you are, you head to your classes all bundled up.

When you come back, you deserve something warm. This Black Bean Chili is precisely what the doctor ordered.

It’s meaty, chunky, and spicy. And it’s so comforting too – you’ll definitely be glad that you made it.

To make it even yummier, top it with crispy tortilla strips. Yum!

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 414
  • Fats: 8.3
  • Protein: 27
  • Carbs: 61.3
  • Fiber: 23.25
  • Sugar:


23. Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad

Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad


Need dinner on the table in 1, 2, 3? Make this Salad.

It’s vibrant, refreshing, and full of Lebanese flavors. The bell peppers add a pleasant crunch that complements the fluffiness of the quinoa.

And the fresh parsley and mint put this salad over the top.

Now I know that fresh herbs tend to get bad quickly in the fridge. But to avoid spoilage, put them in a resealable plastic freezer bag.

Then freeze them.

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 136
  • Fats: 5g
  • Protein: 3g
  • Carbs: 19g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugar: 3g


24. Veggie Fried Rice

Veggie Fried Rice


Looking for a tasty way to get your veggies in? Make this Veggie Fried Rice.

It looks and tastes terrific. And it has a ton of veggies: carrots, snow peas, asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, bell peppers, and peas.

You’d make your mom proud.

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 400
  • Fats: 16.9g
  • Protein: 11.5g
  • Carbs: 54.4g
  • Fiber: 11.6g
  • Sugar: 24.9g


25. Instant Pot 3 Cup Chicken

Instant Pot 3 Cup Chicken


I enjoy chicken, as I’m sure many of you do too. But chicken can get kind of boring.

This 3 Cup Chicken offers a Chinese spin on your traditional chicken dinner.

The chicken is saucy, savory, and had lots of umami flavors. And the ginger adds a touch of heat.

And it’s all served on a bed of rice.

Now the sodium level is on the high side. That’s because of the oyster sauce and soy sauce.

So, to lower the sodium level, simply use low sodium soy sauce like this instead.

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 412
  • Fats: 28g
  • Protein: 29g
  • Carbs: 8g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Sugar: 4g


26. Stir Fry Beef Ramen Noodles

Stir Fry Beef Ramen Noodles


Ramen noodles are a college student’s best friend. They’re tasty and easy to make.

And best of all, they’re cheap too. But this doesn’t mean you can’t fancy them up.

These Stir Fry Beef Ramen Noodles are a definite upgrade. They’re creamy, saucy, nutty, spicy, and savory.

And the ground beef makes it so filling. These Ramen Noodles are sure to become a favorite.

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 470
  • Fats: 16g
  • Protein: 32g
  • Carbs: 47g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugar: 4g


27. Sweet Potato Kale Frittata

Sweet Potato Kale Frittata


Do you want a dinner that does double duty? Make this Sweet Potato Kale Frittata.

It’s not only great for dinner but for breakfast too. You can even have it for lunch too.

It’s fluffy, moist, and cheesy. And the combination of kale, red onions, and sweet potatoes make it savory yet sweet.

So, you can even skip dessert after dinner.

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 285
  • Fats: 14g
  • Protein: 15g
  • Carbs: 19g
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Sugar: 5g


easy college dinenrs

27 Easy College Dinners

Yield: 4-6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

When you're studying, it's very hard to find time to eat let alone make a nutritious meal. These easy College Dinners will help you get a quick meal onto the table!


  • 1. Honey Chicken Wings
  • 2. One Pan Mexican Quinoa
  • 3. Ginger Spinach Soup
  • 4. Brussel Sprouts with Bacon
  • 5. Instant Pot Chicken Stir Fry
  • 6. Chicken and Chorizo Tray Bake
  • 7. Spinach Tomato Salad with Feta Cheese
  • 8. Instant Pot Mexican Rice and Chicken
  • 9. Instant Pot Beef and Broccoli
  • 10. Hummus Flatbread with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Pesto
  • 11. Herb Crusted Salmon
  • 12. Honey Mustard Salmon
  • 13. Asian Beef Bowl
  • 14. Sweet Potato Quinoa Bowl
  • 15. Mexican Bean Salad
  • 16. Vegan Miso Soup
  • 17. Tofu Panzanella Salad
  • 18. Cold Cucumber Soup
  • 19. Taco Soup
  • 20. Zucchini Pasta
  • 21. Curried Chickpeas with Spinach
  • 22. Black Bean Chilli
  • 23. Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad
  • 24. Veggie Fried Rice
  • 25. Instant Pot 3 Cup Chicken
  • 26. Stir Fry Beef Ramen Noodles
  • 27. Sweet Potato Kale Frittata


  1. Scroll up to get a bunch of easy, yummy, and delicious dinners. Don't be afraid to get creative with the ingredients, you might discover a flavor you didn't know you liked.
  2. Get your shopping list going and make sure you've got all the ingredients.
  3. Get cooking and make your next College Dinner!


Which one of these recipes was your favorite? Let me know in the comment section or on Pinterest!

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