10 Healthy and Cheap Recipes for College Students

Happy New Year! Going into the new year means starting new resolutions. For most college students, a new year is the perfect opportunity to start trying new things, which means new recipes and making sure your health and well-being are prioritized. Eating healthy isn’t always an option for people with a small budget, so here are some healthy and relatively cheap recipes for college students to enjoy in their healthy and happy new year! 

Cherry Tomato and Basil Angel Hair Pasta

Easy, cheap, healthy, and delicious! This recipe is fairly simple, first, bring a large pot of water to a boil then add pasta and cook aldente. Remove pasta, then, in a separate skillet add garlic and olive oil. Turn the heat on medium and cook until the garlic becomes soft. Then add tomatoes and salt and some cooking liquid leftover from the pasta, bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer. Then, add the pasta and cook for another two minutes. Turn the heat off and begin tossing in basil and parmesan cheese. This simple recipe is an Italian classic! Enjoy!

Vegetable Fried Rice

Here is a healthy recipe that will take no time! First, heat oil in a large skillet. Add frozen mixed vegetables and cook them for 2 minutes. Add brown or white rice and soy sauce to vegetables and cook for up to 5 minutes or until all is heated through. Then, make a small hole in the center of the vegetables and rice and add eggs. Let this cook and set for a minute, then begin breaking up eggs with your spatula or spoon into fried rice. Season with salt, fresh ground pepper, and additional soy sauce, red chili sauce, or sriracha. That’s all there is to it! 

Mason Jar Southwest Salad

No cooking required in this one! If you need a way to transport healthy food quickly, this is the recipe for you! First, find yourself a mason jar. Then, fill the bottom of the jar with avocado, black beans, and cheese. If you like protein with your salad, add a little chopped chicken and then some tomatoes. Then a layer of tortilla strips topped off with Romain or iceberg lettuce, your choice! Find a packet of some southwest ranch, screw on the lid, and you’re done! 

Chicken Parmigiana

If you have a little more time on your hands you should give this one a shot! First, after slicing the chicken, prepare three separate bowls for the flour, a combination of eggs and milk, and breadcrumbs. Heat a large frying pan with oil then dip the chicken into the flour, then the egg wash, then into the breadcrumbs. Add the breaded chicken to the pan and cook on both sides until well browned. Drain on paper towels to remove excess oil. Then, add a ladle full of tomato sauce to the bottom of an oven-safe dish and add the chicken. Top each piece with sauce, then grated parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until the cheese has melted. Cook up the pasta of your choice, maybe a veggie or two, and enjoy! 

Roasted Vegetable Grilled Cheese

For the vegetarian crowd, here is the perfect recipe! First, preheat the oven to 400°F, then toss the vegetables with olive oil spray and dill and season with salt and pepper. Spread out on a baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes, until vegetables are slightly tender. Then, brush butter on one side of the bread of your choice. In a skillet place the buttered side of bread down. Add the cheese of your choice on top of the bread, then later of the roasted vegetables, followed by cheese again. Top with a bread slice, buttered side up. Cook grilled cheese sandwiches until golden brown or cheese is melted and enjoy! 

Turkey and Cheese Sliders

Here is a great party food for a small get-together! First, spray a baking pan with nonstick spray. Then cut an entire slab of Hawaiian rolls in half, carefully trying to keep the cut even and in the middle. Remove the top half of the rolls and set them aside. Place slices of turkey evenly over the bottom of the rolls, then repeat with cheese. Then, add the sauce of your choice such as a thousand island, ranch, or mayonnaise. Bake for 6 minutes and you’re set! 

Caprese BLT

Simple, healthy, and delicious! First, fry up some bacon cooked to your liking and toast your choice of bread. Then, slice tomatoes, cheese, basil, and avocados into the appropriate size. Slather mayo on one side of toast and layer the other slice of toast with bacon, tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, balsamic vinegar glaze, avocado, and lettuce. Top with the piece of mayo-slathered toast, cut in half, and devour!

Pad Thai

For those who like a variety of foods, this is an amazing recipe to try! First, in a large pot bring water to a boil and cook noodles until al dente. In a small bowl, whisk together lime juice, brown sugar, soy sauce, and cayenne pepper. Then, in a large pan, heat oil. Add bell peppers, stir in garlic, then add the protein of your choice, and season with salt and pepper. Push those to one side of the pan and pour in the egg. Scramble until just set then mix with the others. Add the cooked noodles and toss until combined, pouring in lime juice mixture. Garnish with green onions and roasted Planter’s peanuts from our January Subscription Box and serve! 

Taco Soup

When you don’t have time to make full tacos, make taco soup! First, in a large stockpot, cook ground beef over medium-high heat adding 2 tablespoons of taco seasoning mix when the meat is almost cooked. Then, add beef broth, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, and bring the ingredients to a boil. Then, reduce the heat to a simmer and add the beans and corn for roughly 20 minutes. Serve with sour cream and salsa, and enjoy! 

Oatmeal Pancakes

There’s nothing quite as good as breakfast for dinner! First, whisk the Quaker Oats oatmeal packet found in our January Subscription Box and milk together in a large bowl. Let this stand until the oats soften and melt unsalted butter. Add the butter, eggs, and sugar to the oats, and whisk to combine. Then add flour, baking powder, kosher salt, and ground cinnamon, and whisk until just combined. Then heat butter on a skillet or griddle and drop the batter into the pan in portions until bubbles appear on the surface or the bottoms are golden-brown. Flip the pancakes and cook until the other side is the same, then enjoy! 

There you have it, folks! 10 simple, cheap, easy, yet healthy and delicious recipes any college student can enjoy! The new year is the best time to try new things and we hope you can do so while staying happy and healthy. Your college student’s wellbeing is important, which is why our January Subscription Box is dedicated to wellness! Equipped with healthy snacks like Quacker Oats oatmeal, relaxing activities like coloring books, and premium items such as a massage roller, this gift set is the perfect way for your college students to start the new year! Need more information? Check it out here