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Personally, I don’t enjoy cooking. I hate washing all of the pots and pans, buying seasoning that I’ll use for one dish and putting in time and energy only for the meal to turn out horribly. In college, I’ve figured out a few ways to make cooking not so bad anymore. Cheap meals and easy recipes, count me in. So throw away those ramen noodles, it’s time for a good meal! Here’s a few easy meals that are perfect for college kids who don’t have a ton of time to cook!

1. Chili

I’m a huge chili lover. This recipe makes A TON of chili. That means you won’t have to cook a lot that week. Simply put the meat and onion in the pot until the meat is fully cooked. Dump all remaining ingredients in the pot, add a splash of cumin and enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans of chili beans
  • 1 can of black chili beans
  • 1 can of tomato sauce
  • 1 can of rotel – jalapenos or just tomatoes
  • 1 onion
  • Optional – ground beef/chicken/turkey
  • Optional – cumin

2. Lemon Pepper Chicken and Rice

If you don’t have a crock pot, this meal is still easy- but not as simple. In the morning, put the crock pot on low and put the two chicken breasts inside. Season the chicken with the lemon pepper seasoning, and place sliced lemons on the chicken. Add chicken broth (not drowning the chicken, but a decent amount) then add the rice. By the time you get home, it should be cooked to perfection!

Ingredients:

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • Chicken broth
  • White rice
  • 1 lemon
  • Lemon pepper seasoning

3. Jambalaya

Okay, I’m cheating a little here. I’m getting this recipe mainly from a box but hey, we’re college kids on a budget! Simply follow the box instructions and after the rice and beans are done cooking in 25 minutes, add the sausage and peppers. Sprinkle some cumin, and if you want it really spicey, add some hot sauce!

Ingredients:

  • 1 box of Zatarains – black beans and rice
  • Cumin
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 green pepper
  • Optional: flavored sausage

4. Half-Ass Pad Thai

This is one of my favorite recipes and it’s so easy. Cook the noodles and drain them. Add peanut sauce, as much or as little as you want. In a frying pan, scramble two eggs. Put the eggs in the noodles and mix. Top it off with crushed peanuts, and dinner is served!

Ingredients:

  • 1 box of Linguini noodles
  • 1 sauce container of Bangkok peanut sauce (or any other peanut sauce)
  • 2 eggs
  • Crushed peanuts

5. Sausage Sandwiches

If you’re a vegetarian, then this is not the meal for you, but a simple meal that is often over looked is sausage sandwiches. Cook the sausage in a frying pan and add marinara to it. Fill a hoagie bun with the sausage and top it off with mozzarella cheese. Place the sandwiches on a cooking tray and place in the oven until the cheese is melted. Add more sauce if you want a really Italian sandwich.

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of ground sausage
  • Hoagie buns
  • 1 jar of marinara sauce
  • Mozzarella cheese

Try one of these easy recipes or make a new one every day next week. I can promise you, you’ll never have to worry about stress cooking again!

Photos: Cover, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

My name is Claudia Jannes, and I am a junior at the University of Iowa! I am a English and creative writing major in hopes to become a high school English teacher. I am thankful for her campus for giving me a voice on campus and on the internet!
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