6 Easy Recipes Every College-Aged Kid Needs to Know

The dog days of summer are upon us and school will soon be in session again. Students will file back into the classroom and college kids will pack their cars to go back to university. For the latter group, that not only means a return to messy dorm rooms, unwashed laundry, and unmade beds, but also to the dreaded cafeteria food. The options and possibilities at the school cafeteria seem endless at first, but you can only have cereal, slices of pizza, and dishes of dry chicken for so long. Students often get sick of the same food served on their trays for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and that’s why they resort to fast fixes like Ramen noodles, mac and cheese, and Wendy’s takeout.

If you’re interested in equipping your college-aged kids with a couple recipes they can make for dinner sans the dining hall, look no further than this list of food formulas that anyone can follow — as long as they have access to a kitchen. These recipes are cheap, easy, customizable, and low fuss, and will teach your undergrads how to cook their own food and like it, too.

Source: iStock

Source: iStock

1. 5-Ingredient Chili

One recipe that every college student should have in his or her recipe arsenal is one for chili, whether it be for traditional chili, turkey chili, chicken chili, or vegetarian chili. If your kid is a meat lover, arm him or her with this easy recipe from Gimme Some Oven that only requires five ingredients: ground beef/turkey, tomatoes, onions, beans, and chili powder. Throw your ingredients in a large stock pot, boil, and then reduce them to simmer for 15 minutes. Dinner will be ready in no time, and leftovers freeze perfectly. In fact, the chili may even taste better the day after.


  • 1 pound ground beef or turkey
  • 3 (15 ounces) cans diced tomatoes with green chiles
  • 2 (15 ounces) cans beans, drained (black beans, kidney beans, a combo, or whatever you like)
  • 1 small white onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoon chili powder

Directions: In a large stockpot, cook ground beef or turkey over medium-high heat until browned, stirring frequently. Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes or until the onion is cooked and softened.