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Although we all love easy mac and ramen, I know that when you’re in college these microwaveable meals can get old fast. Throughout this online semester, I have diversified my cooking abilities and have branched out to make some easy and quick meals that can be made by even the most novice chef. Many of these things can be made with leftovers or whatever you have in your cabinets/fridge. These will keep your stomach happy while keeping you healthy and satisfied. These meals can be made in your dorm kitchen and at home too!  

We’re going to make a classic & simple fried rice dish. 

Prep: 5 minutes 

Cook: 10 minutes  

Total Time: 15 minutes  


  • day old rice – you don’t want to use fresh rice because it can be sticky & soggy when reheated in the pan.  

  • 1-2 eggs 

  • assorted veggies (frozen, fresh, etc.) – I use an assortment of onions, garlic, peppers, carrots, edamame, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini. If I’m feeling less eager, I’ll use a bag of frozen veggies.  

  • soy sauce  

  • hot sauce (optional) 

  • seasonings of your choice 

  • 1 avocado (optional) 


Step 1 – Cut up the vegetables of your choice into small cubed pieces. 

Step 2 – In a large pan, add olive oil and your seasonings. I use garlic and herb seasoning, salt, pepper, paprika, onion powder & crushed red pepper flakes.  

Step 3 – Add minced garlic and onions to pan, cook on high heat until translucent.

Step 4 – Add vegetables, re-season pan if needed, cook until tender, adding soy sauce to soften the vegetables. Push to side of pan when they are 75% cooked. 

Step 5 – Add a small amount of olive oil to a corner of the pan, crack the egg over the pan and cook, break up into small pieces, mix in with vegetables. Add soy sauce over the mixture.  

Step 6 – Make a well in the center of the mixture in the pan. Put ¾ cups of cooked rice in the well, add soy sauce to rice until lightly brown.

Step 7 – Mix everything together.

Step 8 – Take off of heat and put into plate or bowl. 

Step 9 – Add sliced avocado on top & hot sauce to taste.

Step 10 – Enjoy! 

Fried rice is a dish that is so customizable.

Once you know how to make basic fried rice, you’re able to make a variety of rice bowls easily. Here are some of my favorite additions that totally transform your basic fried rice into a more advanced meal that you would want to send a picture of to your parents.  

  • Chicken fried rice: sauté and season diced chicken in the pan before adding the other ingredients. Can use leftover chicken as a substitute.    

  • Beef fried rice: Sauté and season diced steak or ground beef in pan before adding the other ingredients. 

  • Taco fried rice: Add meat of choice, beans, and taco seasoning/sauce instead of soy sauce. 

  • Shrimp fried rice: sauté and season peeled, raw shrimp in pan before adding other ingredients  

  • Breakfast fried rice: add diced & seasoned potatoes, and diced bacon. You can also add honey or maple syrup to give it some sweetness.  

This meal can be saved for up to a week once put in the fridge. It’s a great meal hot or cold, and it’s super easy to make! This is why I love fried rice. You can also make a giant batch of fried rice and use it for meal prep, that way you can eat it for lunch or an easy dinner throughout the week. 

When I make this meal the ingredients really depend on what I have in my fridge already, this is what makes it one of my favorites. It’s a great meal to learn how to make while in college, you can impress your roommates by using everything you already have in your fridge and customize it to make it your own! 


Holly Hanscom is a junior at Loyola University Maryland studying Communication with a specialization in advertising and public relations with a minor in marketing. In her free time you'll likely find her hiking with friends or family, reading a new book, or trying new recipes.
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