College is an exciting time. You’re adjusting to a new environment and academic workload and may be cooking for yourself for the first time. Whether you’re a complete beginner cook or experienced in the kitchen, you may have limited time to prepare meals, which can result in falling back on fast food or skipping meals. Food can affect how you feel, so it’s critical to have some good habits in place during this time.
Eating well in college is all about balance, and finding some quick recipes for college students can make life easier — and more delicious.
College student meals should fulfill the following criteria to fit into your busy lifestyle:
While it may seem challenging to meet these criteria when you’re busy enjoying your life in college, it is possible. Easy meals for college students are out there. All it takes is a little planning and inspiration.
Many college students skip meals and opt for snacks instead, which is handy sometimes. However, fulfilling meals are key to keeping yourself satisfied and focused. The following quick and easy recipes can help you keep a balanced diet:
Start your day with a simple and tasty Chicken Tender Breakfast Wrap and be out the door in 30 minutes or less. This recipe serves four, so you can reduce the ingredients, invite some friends over or eat wraps throughout the week. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, and place 12 John Soules Foods Homestyle Chicken Tenders evenly on a rimmed baking sheet. Cook for between 15 and 17 minutes, flipping halfway through, then set them aside.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat and coat it with cooking spray. Add 1 ½ cups of packaged chopped peppers and cook them until tender — about 2 ½ minutes. Add 6 large, lightly beaten eggs and scramble them, stirring them until they set. Take 4 flour tortillas and place 3 chicken tenders along the edge of each one. Smooth your egg mixture along each, then add 2 teaspoons of cheddar and 2 slices of turkey bacon. Fold in the sides of each tortilla and roll them up tightly. Cut them in half and serve or eat them on the go.
Looking for a quick lunch? You can have these Cordon Bleu Chicken Tender Sliders ready to eat in less than 30 minutes. Place John Soules Foods Chicken Tenders on a baking sheet. Bake the chicken at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 12-14 minutes, flipping halfway through. Top with sliced Swiss cheese for the last minute of cooking time.
Cut some Hawaiian sweet rolls in half and spread the bottoms with honey mustard. Add a chicken tender — or two — to each and top with some shredded iceberg lettuce and a slice of honey ham. These bite-sized sliders are fantastic for study groups or snacking throughout the day.
Quesadillas are a perfect on-the-go option for college students. This gorgeous Loaded BBQ Chicken Quesadilla recipe requires minimal cooking and preparation, making it an excellent choice for beginner cooks. To make four servings, lay out 8 tortillas and top with John Soules Foods Sweet & Spicy BBQ Chicken Strips, shredded cheddar cheese, black beans, red onion, tomato and pickled jalapeno peppers.
Top each tortilla with another flour tortilla. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and cook each quesadilla for about 2 minutes per side — until they’re golden brown and the cheese is melted. Cut into wedges and serve with ½ a cup of barbecue sauce for dipping.
Your college experience is only complete with grilled cheese, and adding this steak fajita twist creates a grilled cheese to remember. The best part about this meal is it’s ready in 20 minutes — perfect for a quick college meal. Melt 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter in a large skillet over medium heat, and then stir in 1 small, thinly sliced bell pepper and 1 small yellow onion, also sliced thinly. Add some John Soules Foods Beef Fajitas and cook for 4-6 minutes until thoroughly heated.
Take 4 slices of thickly sliced sourdough bread, and coat one side of each with butter-flavored cooking spray. Place two in a skillet, spray side down, then top them with shredded mozzarella, your beef fajita mix and the second slice of bread, spray side up. Cook each side until golden brown and enjoy.
Nachos are perfect for having friends over or snacking during a study group. This quick and delicious Chicken or Beef Nachos recipe takes less than 10 minutes to throw together. To serve four people, arrange an 8-ounce bag of tortilla chips on a microwave-safe platter. Drain and rinse 1 ½ cups of black beans, then smash and smear them over the chips. Scatter John Soules Foods Chicken Fajitas or John Soules Foods Steak Fajitas over the chips. You might even want to make a platter of each so everyone can choose their protein.
Top your nachos with 3 ounces each of shredded cheddar and pepper jack cheese, and microwave on high for 3-4 minutes or until the cheese is melted the way you like it. Top with a can of drained, diced tomatoes. If you want some extra heat, slice a jalapeno and throw it on top of your nachos.
Stir fry is another one of those meals you have to have in college. This Pepper Steak Stir Fry takes less than 15 minutes to assemble. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook 12 ounces of John Soules Foods Steak Strips for 1 minute, then add 1 large sliced yellow onion and 1 each of large red and green sliced bell peppers. Cook until the steak is heated through and the veggies are tender.
Whisk ¼ cup each of soy sauce and water with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch, then pour the sauce over the steak and vegetables and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Serve over rice or noodles, and top with a tablespoon of sesame seeds.
This One-Pan Southwest Blackened Cajun Chicken recipe is quick to prepare and limits the time you spend washing dishes. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 large sliced yellow onion and 1 large sliced green bell pepper and stir until tender. Then, stir in 12 ounces of John Soules Foods Blackened Chicken, 1 can each of drained corn kernels and drained and rinsed black beans. Add 1 tablespoon of southwest seasoning mix. Cook the mixture for 3-4 minutes and serve over 4 cups of cooked yellow rice. Top with sliced green onions and serve.
The college lifestyle is fast-paced and exciting. At John Soules Foods, we understand you have limited time to combine healthy, balanced meals. Our delicious and convenient pre-cut, fully-cooked and fully-seasoned meats are perfect for adding protein to your meals without the hassle. Prepare delicious college student meals in minutes with us. Find a store that sells John Soules Foods products near you and get cooking today!