38 Best College Recipes – Dorm-Friendly Recipe Ideas – Delish

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These classic and comfort food eats are better than any cheat sheet. 😜
College can be an incredible time in a young person’s life. It’s often the first time they’ve been on their own, free to make their own choices, to do whatever they want, whenever they want. It can be empowering to some and overwhelming to others, especially when it comes to figuring out what to eat and how to cook it. No matter how you (or your recent high school grad) are feeling about it, we’ve got inspiring recipes for you—everything from comfort food to staples, from breakfast to dinner. Check out our list of 38 college food recipes and get excited—you might just discover some favorites you’ll make over and over again.
Learning to juggle a whole new class and life schedule all on your own can be tough, so we’ve included some easy recipes here that make the most of simple ingredients and cooking methods, like our TikTok ramen (seriously, get on the everything bagel seasoning train), our black bean tostadas, our mug brownie, or our flatbread pizza. Other recipes, like our PB&J overnight oats or our egg muffins, take a bit of forethought, but once you’ve made them, you’ll be set for breakfasts all week long.
Speaking of being set for the whole week, it can be annoying to always have to spend mental energy on figuring out what to eat. That’s part of the plight of being an adult, so set yourself up for success by learning to meal prep. Set aside time for cooking a few times a week, and make recipes (or components of recipes) you can eat in the days to come. Check out our warm tahini ramen noodles, our sheet-pan chicken fajitas, our black bean and corn salad, our breakfast burritos (you can freeze them!), our chicken salad sandwich, or our sheet pan sausage & vegetables for ideas. Invest in some good reusable containers (or just use leftovers from takeout!), then fill them up. You’ll always have something tasty to grab, which is one less stressful thing off your plate.
Everyone in college gets homesick at one point or another, and we think the best way to combat it is to make comfort foods that remind you of home. We’ve included some of our favorites, like spaghetti & meatballs, meatloaf, mac & cheese, and grown-up spaghetti-Os, but ask your families for theirs before you head off to college, then make them whenever you could use a boost. These recipes often make a ton of food, so you can make some new friends by sharing them with dorm-mates who could use a bit of comfort too.
Want more easy recipe inspiration? Check out our best beginner friendly recipes for two (great for date night!), our top healthy lunches, and our favorite no-bake desserts.
For these fajitas you simply toss all of the ingredients—chicken and vegetables—in an easy marinade of heart-healthy avocado oil and taco spices like cumin and chili powder and then bake it all together on one sheet pan. 😍 Serve with tortillas and guac for the easiest dinner ever.
Get the Sheet-Pan Chicken Fajitas recipe.
There’s no ONE right way to make a breakfast burrito, but if you follow our easy rules, you’re guaranteed perfect results (that can cure any hangover!) every time.
Get the Breakfast Burritos recipe.
Craving homemade pizza, but don’t want to deal with finicky pizza dough? We get it, that stuff can be tricky. Skip it altogether, and grab the nearest loaf of French bread instead. The loaf makes for a delicious pizza “crust” that will get crispy on the outside while staying nice and soft on the inside. It’s truly the best of both worlds.
Get the French Bread Pizza recipe.
Got an urgent brownie craving while doing some late night studying? This easy mug brownie is ultra-fudgy and ready in minutes. It’s rich enough for two people, but it’s okay not to share. 😏
Get the Brownie In A Mug recipe.
This easy salad is full of protein and flavor and comes together quickly. Eat it on its own or with tortilla chips, tucked into tacos or burritos, or mixed with rice. The honey-lime dressing is killer on everything.
Get the Black Bean And Corn Salad recipe.

Have fun customizing these ramen noodles with your favorite veggies and toppings. Try using frozen peas or halved snow peas in place of the bell pepper and carrot. Skip the egg and top with seared chicken or tofu, and try the whole thing topped with a smattering of everything bagel seasoning.
Get the TikTok Ramen recipe.
This quick and satisfying meal lands somewhere between savory instant ramen and creamy peanut noodles. Throw in your favorite raw veggies for a dish that’s healthy, filling, and delicious. (The trifecta!) For a little extra oomph, whisk in part of a ramen flavor packet little by little, tasting and adjusting along the way.
Get the Warm Tahini Ramen Noodles recipe.
These SpaghettiOs and meatballs mimic the canned pasta-and-marinara delight you loved as a kid, but with sophisticated upgrades for adult flavor preferences. It’s the perfect meal when you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the newness from college, but don’t want to just eat dinner out of a can.
Get the Grown-Up Spaghetti-Os and Meatballs recipe.
With only 5 ingredients, these black bean tostadas are the easiest and fastest meal to throw together. You can always add on additional toppings like corn salsa, avocado ranch, or endless crunchy veggies like radishes or pickled red onions, but here we keep things simple.
Get the Black Bean Tostadas recipe.
Meatloaf is an old-school recipe that everyone should know how to make. It might not be the sexiest piece of food, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and damn, is it delicious—especially in a sandwich the next day OR with a fried egg on top!
Get the Best Classic Meatloaf recipe.
Overnight oats are a meal prepper’s dream, perfect for a busy college student: All you do is stir together ingredients in a large bowl, let them set overnight, and then divvy up portions for the week. This PB&J twist tastes just like your favorite sandwich—top it off with a drizzle of melty peanut butter if you wanna feel a little indulgent.
Get the Peanut Butter Overnight Oats recipe.
If you’re looking for a super-simple, comforting, no-frills bowl of spaghetti and meatballs, you’ve come to the right place. And if you’re feeling adventurous, it’s also a great jumping-off point for your own version of this classic dish! Get creative with different homemade or store-bought pasta sauce and meatballs.
Get the Spaghetti and Meatballs recipe.
These ham and cheese pinwheels are made easy using store-bought crescent roll dough. They’re chock-full of melty cheese and savory-sweet ham, topped with fresh parsley and toasty poppy seeds for texture and flavor. Eat them for an on-the-go breakfast, lunch, or snack, or bring them as an appetizer to your next college party.
Get the Ham & Cheese Pinwheels recipe.
An ode to baked ziti, this dish is amped up with chicken and spinach and features fun, twirly fusilli pasta rather than ziti. Unlike most baked pasta dishes, you’ll skip the pot of water and instead just add more water to the baking dish. Not only does this cut down on dishes, the hands-off approach adds a little breathing room to dinnertime. Win win!
Get the No-Boil Baked Chicken Pasta recipe.
Homemade pizza is super-delicious, but it takes a bit of time and special attention. These flatbread pizzas come together MUCH faster, and they’re just as cheesy and flavorful as the classic version. 😍
Get the Flatbread Pizza recipe.
Fried rice is a quick and delicious way to transform leftovers into something greater than the sum of its parts. Though we sometimes think of certain ingredients being typical (eggs, garlic), the only things you need to make fried rice are heat, rice, and oil. Anything else you add is up to you!
Get the Fried Rice recipe.
This foolproof, homemade mac & cheese recipe is the only one you’ll ever need. It starts on the stovetop, then is transferred to a baking dish and topped with panko bread crumbs that makes it *chef’s kiss*.
Get the 3 Cheese Mac & Cheese recipe.
Anything goes in this comforting chicken noodle soup recipe. All you need is to fill in the blanks of this formula with your favorite ingredients, or simply with whatever you currently have on hand in your college kitchen—no additional shopping trip required!
Get the Everything Is Optional Chicken Noodle Soup recipe.
This TikTok-famous recipe is genius—it’s super-easy (even if you’re not an expert cook) and is fancy enough for date night, but chill enough for mid-week dinner. 😍
Get the Baked Feta Pasta recipe.
Is there anything more perfect than a baked potato? Maybe only one made in the microwave instead of the oven. Topped with all your favorite ingredients, they’re incredible for every meal of the day. More a fan of sweet potatoes? You can make those in a microwave too!
Get the Microwave Baked Potato recipe.
Egg muffins are one of the BEST healthy breakfasts for meal prepping because you can easily make a big batch of them at once. They will keep in a fridge for up to 7 days, so you can grab them on your way out the door to class all week!
Get the Best-Ever Egg Muffins recipe.
Shawarma refers to the Middle Eastern method cooking where thin slices of meat are stacked on a vertical rotating spit in front of a fire or other heat source. The outside meat is slowly cooked and then shaved off to serve. Our version varies a little by being baked in the oven, but still mimics the traditional tender, juicy, and well-spiced meat.
Get the Chicken Shawarma recipe.
Not only is this quiche low carb, it’s also super-easy. No crust, no problem! Make one of these over the weekend, and take slices to school (maybe with some chips or a salad?) for an easy, protein-filled breakfast or lunch all week.
Get the Veggie Crustless Quiche recipe.
The beauty about this rice bowl is that it’s infinitely adaptable. You can roast just about any veggie, use any number of toppings, and it’ll taste amazing in this recipe. The only thing we might insist you must keep on the bowl is the incredible peanut dressing. It’s insane and one of our favorite sauces EVER.
Get the Buddha Bowls recipe.
Take the comfort and flavor of the Bagel Bites of your youth firmly into your adult life with our margarita and white pie-style pizza bagels. Don’t skip that chili crisp or hot honey—they take these over the top.
Get the Pizza Bagels recipe.
This easy dinner harnesses the power of seasoned sausage, jarred marinara, and fresh potato gnocchi to make a super-flavorful dish with minimal prep and active cooking time. Perfect for a busy school night when you’re craving the 3 C’s: comfort, carbs, and cheese.
Get the One-Pan Cheesy Sausage Gnocchi recipe.
These are great for a weeknight dinner and make for an easy, quick school lunch too. A double-purpose chimichurri acts as a marinade for the steak and a finishing sauce for the bowls; the not-too-spicy jalapeño sauce provides a tangy, creamy counterpoint—you’re going to want to put it on everything, so make extra.
Get the Steak Grain Bowls recipe.
There’s definitely more than one way to make chicken salad, but this is our favorite—green apple, red onion, and celery add crunch, while mustard, mayo, and red wine vinegar add creaminess with the perfect amount of tang. It’s an easy, cold meal that’s great as a sandwich or all on its own.
Get the Chicken Salad Sandwich recipe.
This dinner salad‘s got smoky, sweet, and sticky BBQ chicken, homemade blue corn tortilla strips (Snoop’s brilliant addition; they give every bite some salty crunch and help tie the whole salad together), and most important, the world’s curliest and crispiest bacon, cooked Snoop’s shortcut way.
Get the Snoop Dogg’s BBQ Chicken Cobb Salad recipe.
For best results in this stir fry, use extra-firm tofu that has been frozen so it can absorb flavors more readily, and simmer the tofu in salted water briefly to make it hardier and less likely to crumble when jostled in the pan. Otherwise, the sky’s the limit, so try different veggies to find out what you like.
Get the Tofu Stir-Fry recipe.

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