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Delicious Meal Ideas for College Students

Grocery shopping, meal prepping, and actually cooking three quality meals a day can be challenging when you are a busy college student. Last semester I made the mistake of waiting until I was hungry to get up and start dinner every night. I never knew what to make that would be quick, easy, and tasteful. Fortunately, my time in quarantine let me experiment in the kitchen more and I learned a whole variety of easy meals. A few of my favorites are:

Creamy Lemon Chicken Piccata 

My all-time favorite Pinterest recipe find. Everyone in my house absolutely loves it, and we can never make enough. It’s fairly easy and definitely tastier than the dining hall food you are used to! Add a side of broccoli and garlic bread for a full meal. Note: I don’t use capers that the recipe calls for, but I do add Knorr Homestyle Stock Chicken flavor mixed in a cup of water into my sauce and garlic powder when cooking for more flavor. 

Click here for the recipe I use! 


Tacos are quick and easy when using the Old El Paso dinner kits! It includes everything but the meat and toppings. Whether it’s ground turkey meat or shredded chicken tacos, these always cure the hunger pains after a busy day of classes and extracurriculars. I like to top my heated shell with shredded chicken done in the taco seasoning, avocado, tomatoes, and lettuce. If you are really in a time crunch, I’ve heard Trader Joe’s has frozen chicken tacos that are worth the trip.

White Wine Garlic Salmon 

Over the summer I tried this dish at a popular seafood restaurant in my hometown and because it was so good I was determined to cook it myself. Turns out it’s so simple, just sounds fancy! Served with broccoli & crispy potatoes or even over a fresh salad usually satisfies me.

Click here for the recipe I use! 

Fried rice

The perfect meal for when you have leftovers! I like to use jasmine rice and add more diced veggies than the recipe calls for to make it more filling. You can have it with chicken, shrimp, or just by itself. I recommend cooking the rice the night before for best results. If you want to save time, buy the Trader Joes frozen jasmine rice packs, pop it in the microwave for three minutes, and refrigerate for the next day. 

Click here for the recipe I use! 

Hopefully, this article gave you a few new ideas to try out and for more, I recommend a quick Pinterest search. It is my golden tool for “quick and easy meals”, “gluten-free recipes” and any other phrase you might think of to get you that perfect recipe you're missing! Happy cooking.


Dayna McGinley

Manhattan '22

Dayna is an Accounting & Marketing double major. She's an Irish girl who loves everything lilly, beachy & especially pearls!
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