Easy Recipes for College Students

Ramen noodles and Wendy’s dollar menu is probably what comes to mind when you think of your future diet as a college student. It’s true that many chicas in college end up having an unhealthy diet due to a lack of time, fear, or painful cooking experiences.  Having your mom or abuelita hovering over you while you attempt to chop onions isn’t exactly the Rachel Ray moment you expected.

But here’s a wake up call: having your own kitchen means having your own cooking style!

As a college student you can avoid an unhealthy diet and bring the comfort of home. Using basic ingredients like avocado, beans, cilantro or mango can help remind your taste buds of mamá’s cooking once you leave home. Whether you will be attending college in the Fall or in a couple of years, always try to eat and cook healthy meals.

Healthy recipes that are quick and easy are often just a click away, like at muybuenocookbook.com.  The chicas behind the Muy Bueno Cookbook, Yvette Marquez,  her sister Veronica and mother Evangelina, are on a mission to preserve traditional and new Latin-inspired family recipes that “add flavor not fat.”  Yvette Marquez, founder and blogger at Muy Bueno Cookbook,  says:  “We really want to stop the stereotype of Mexican food and share healthy and easy-to-prepare Mexican meals …  Just because you are only cooking for ONE doesn’t mean you can’t cook a large meal and freeze for later. ” When it comes to cooking, Yvette advices: ” Cooking is about planning and if you plan to eat healthy and have healthy food around, it will be less tempting to eat unhealthy food.”  Skip the fast food and freezer aisle and try out these quick and easy recipes.

Instead of running to Taco Bell try…

Beef and Bean Taco Casserole 


  • 1 pound lean (at least 80%) ground beef
  • 1 can Old El Paso® refried beans
  • 1  jar (16 ounce)Old El Paso® Thick ‘n Chunky salsa
  • 1  package (1 ounce)Old El Paso® 40% less-sodium taco seasoning mix
  • 2 1/2  cups coarsely broken tortilla chips
  • 1/2  medium green bell pepper, chopped (3/4 cup)
  • 4  medium green onions, sliced (1/4 cup)
  • 2  medium tomatoes, chopped (1 1/2 cups)
  • 1  cup shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese (4 ounces)
  • 1/4  cup sliced ripe olives
  • 1  cup shredded lettuce


  1. Heat oven to 350°F. In 12-inch skillet, cook beef over medium-high heat 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thoroughly cooked; drain. Stir in refried beans, salsa and taco seasoning mix. Reduce heat to medium. Heat to boiling, stirring occasionally.
  2. In ungreased 2-quart casserole, place 2 cups of the broken tortilla chips. Top evenly with beef mixture. Sprinkle with bell pepper, onions, 1 cup of the tomato, the cheese and olives.
  3. Bake uncovered 20 to 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly and cheese is melted. Top baked casserole with lettuce, remaining 1/2 cup tomato and remaining 1/2 cup tortilla chips.


Instead of Ramen Noodles Try…

Avocado Basil Pasta


  • 8  ounces dried bow tie and/or wagon wheel pasta
  • 2  medium avocados, halved, seeded, peeled, and coarsely chopped
  • 6  slices bacon, crisp cooked, drained, and crumbled
  • 2/3  cup chopped fresh basil
  • 2  tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3  cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4  teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8  teaspoon salt
  • 1/2  cup finely shredded Pecorino Romano cheese


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl combine the avocados, bacon, basil, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, pepper, and salt. Add the hot pasta and toss to combine. Transfer to a serving bowl. Sprinkle with cheese. Makes 4 servings.

(Dom’s Time Saving Tip: Cooking Bacon can be messy and time consuming, so try using microwavable bacon instead. Chopped ham also works great with this recipe.)


Instead of a McDonalds Double Cheeseburger Try…

Guacamole Grilled Cheese


  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1/2 small onion, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 small jalapeño, stems and seeds removed, minced
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • A dash of freshly grated black pepper
  • 1 Roma tomato, chopped
  • 4 slices crusty white/wheat bread
  • 4 slices Cheddar cheese
  • Butter, for buttering bread (non-fat spread works too!)


  1. To make the guacamole-cut avocados in half. Remove seed. Scoop out avacado from the peel, put in a large bowl. Using a fork, mash the avocado. Add the onion, garlic, jalapeño, cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper. Stir until well combined. Add the chopped tomato and stir.
  2. Heat a pan or griddle to medium-high heat. Spread desired amount of guacamole on both slices of bread then top with cheese. Butter outer slices of bread and grill on one side for about 2 minutes or until golden and crispy. Flip the sandwich and grill until golden brown. Make the other sandwich the same way and serve warm.


Instead of Chicken Nuggets Try…

Black Bean & Mango Chicken Salad


  • 1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, grilled, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 can (15 oz.) black beans, rinsed
  • 1 pkg. (10 oz.) frozen corn, thawed (canned corn works also!)
  • 1cup chopped mangos
  • 1/2 cup chopped red peppers
  • 1/3 cup chopped red onions
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1 env. (0.7 oz.) GOOD SEASONS Italian Dressing Mix


  1. COMBINE ingredients.

(Dom’s Time Saving Tip: Nervous about cooking chicken breast? You might find it easier to use shredded chicken from a rotisserie chicken that can be found ready to eat at your local grocery store.)


Instead of a pint of ice cream try…

Tropical Fruit Kabobs


  • Pineapple
  • Mango
  • Papaya
  • Cantaloupe
  • Lime wedges


  1. Peel and cut your choice of fruit. Squeeze the lime over the cut fruit and toss gently.
  2. Alternate the fruit used as you thread the cut fruit onto 12” wooden skewers. Chill before serving.
  3. Place on your creative serving platter. Any leftovers can always be eaten at breakfast.


Recipes taken from:






Check them out, you might find additional inspirational recipes to try out.

Whether you will be attending college in the Fall or in a couple of years, always try to eat healthy.

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