Easy Weeknight Dinners, with or without a Kitchen

Many of us get bored with the food at school and occasionally want to change it up a bit! Even if you live in a dorm and are on the meal plan, you can still whip up a quick and delicious weeknight dinner. If you are not on the meal plan and you have a kitchen, it can be difficult thinking of good meals to make during the week when life is stressful and busy. I LOVE to cook, so hopefully you’ll enjoy some of these ideas!

All of these recipes serve one person; however, feel free to double or triple the recipe in order to share with friends! Also, each of these recipes can be made vegetarian or vegan.

Cooking is about having fun with food. So even if you make a mistake at first (I have made many myself), keep trying! With a little bit of effort, you’ll be making delicious, easy weeknight dinners.

Recipe 1: Burrito (Chicken or Veggie)

This recipe is great because the ingredients are very inexpensive and versatile!

What you’ll need:

1 flour tortilla

¼ cup canned refried beans

¼ cup cooked rice (can use leftovers)

2 oz. pre-cooked chicken OR 2 oz. sauteed mushrooms

2 tbsp. shredded lettuce (optional)

2 tbsp. guacamole (optional)

2 tbsp. sour cream (optional)*

2 tbsp. cheddar cheese (optional*

*Whole Foods sells delicious dairy-free cheese and sour cream!

To assemble:

Lay the flour tortilla flat onto a plate or a cutting board. Spread refried beans in the middle of the tortilla. Add the rice, chicken/mushrooms, shredded lettuce, guacamole, and sour cream. Roll up the burrito as well as you can, and then take your first delicious bite! Enjoy!

Recipe 2: Pesto Pasta with Chicken

Pesto pasta is great served hot or cold, so you can double this recipe and have leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch!

What you’ll need:

2 cups cooked pasta

  • If you’re in a dorm, you can take some back from the dining hall in a to-go box.

  • If you have your own kitchen, follow the cooking instructions on the package of pasta.

1 jar pesto, you will use 2 tbsp.

5 cherry tomatoes (halved) OR ¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes

2 oz. mozzarella cheese, cut into cubes*

4 oz. chicken (optional)

a few basil leaves as garnish (optional)

*Whole Foods sells delicious dairy-free mozzarella cheese!

To assemble:

If you’re in a dorm, microwave the pre-made pasta for 45 seconds to 1 minute in order to warm it up. If you have your own kitchen, simply use the pasta immediately after you’re finished cooking it according to the instructions on the package. Put the pasta in a large bowl, and add in 2 tbsp. of pesto from your jar of pesto. Mix the pasta, and the pesto thoroughly with a spoon until the pesto coats all of the pasta. Next, add tomatoes (cherry or sun-dried), mozzarella cheese, and chicken (optional) to your pasta. Mix the pasta again with your spoon in order to disperse the toppings throughout the pasta. Lastly, sprinkle a few basil leaves on top. Enjoy!