It’s almost time to head back to campus for another school year! If you’re already thinking about how much you’ll miss those home-cooked meals, these quick and easy recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner will help you skip long cafeteria lines and limited menu options so you can focus on your studies (and nourish yourself in the process).
BREAKFAST: Mini Broccoli and Cheese Quiche
Veggie-packed muffin tin mini quiches are a great make-ahead meal. Since they taste good hot or cold, you can use them for those busy days when you need a breakfast or lunch on the go.
Apple Pie Oatmeal
You could choose a sugar-laden instant oatmeal packet for breakfast, or you could make your own spiced apples and add them to quick oats for a sweet and satisfying 15-minute meal. Keep the homemade spice blend in a jar to jazz up your oats every morning.
Sweet Potato Toast with Almond Butter, Banana and Toasted Coconut Chips
Start your day on a happy note with a nourishing breakfast that tastes like dessert. Slices of roasted sweet potato are used in place of toasted bread, and topped with almond butter, sliced banana and coconut chips.
Peanut Butter and Banana Oatmeal Smoothie
This smoothie has the taste and texture of a milkshake but is made with healthy ingredients like banana, almond milk, peanut butter and rolled oats. Blend one before heading to class and transfer it to a travel tumbler for breakfast on the go.
LUNCH: Roasted Tomato and Garlic Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons
When the temperature begins to drop, this fun take on the ubiquitous soup and sandwich combo will warm you right up. The soup is made with roasted garlic and tomatoes, giving it a sweet, smoky flavour, and the mini grilled cheese sandwiches are perfect for dunking.
Crispy Grilled Cheese
There’s nothing more comforting than a grilled cheese for those days you’re feeling a bit homesick. A blend of Cheddar, Fontina and Gruyere are sandwiched between thick slices of Parmesan-encrusted sourdough in this recipe from Ree Drummond.
Buckwheat Noodle Salad
Cold noodle salads are really convenient and versatile for dorm room dinners or quick lunches between classes. Give it a protein boost by adding shredded rotisserie chicken or a fried egg.
Avocado Open-Faced Sandwich
Layer seasoned ricotta, avocado and sliced tomato on toasted sourdough bread for a breakfast or lunch recipe that you’ll make again and again. Finish with a sprinkling of sunflower seeds to add a health boost and a bit of crunch.
The Glow Salad
Eating healthy can happen on a student’s budget, especially with salads like this. Quinoa is filling and packed with protein, and vitamin-rich veggies like kale, sweet potato, carrot and red cabbage add colour and flavour. Toss everything in a tangy homemade red-wine vinaigrette, and enjoy.
Get the recipe for The Glow Salad
Roasted Pepper Penne
College is demanding, so you’ll want to incorporate vitamin-rich foods to boost your immune system, like the colourful bell peppers in this easy dish. Add them to cooked penne along with shredded cheese for a tasty meal that’s ready in 30 minutes.
Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas
Add a baking sheet to your back-to-school shopping list so you can prepare easy meals like these chicken fajitas. Healthy and delicious, serve with flour tortillas and all of your favourite fixings.
One-Pot Farfalle Primavera
Keep farfalle pasta on hand so you can whip up this one-pot dish that will give you leftovers for one or two more meals. If you can’t get fresh green veggies to add, frozen peas, broccoli or asparagus will also work.
Lighter Taco Skillet
Switch up the ground beef for turkey in this lighter take on the taco. Brown the meat and then add your beans, salsa, chipotle and adobo sauce. Serve on a warm corn tortilla and garnish with avocado, queso fresco, tomato and crema.
One-Pot Cacio e Pepe
A pasta dish doesn’t get much simpler than cacio e pepe – or cheese and pepper – unless it’s this one-pot take on a classic. This recipe makes it even easier since there’s no need to boil a separate pot of water for your spaghetti, which cooks as the sauce thickens.
Cauliflower Tikka Masala
This one-pot vegetarian meal is bursting with bold Indian spices. Chickpeas are simmered in a tomato-based sauce, while green peas and roasted cauliflower are added in along with sour cream and butter. Serve over brown or basmati rice with some warm naan on the side.
15-Minute Shrimp Tacos with Spicy Chipotle Slaw
Any night can be taco night with this quick and easy recipe. The peeled and deveined shrimp are ready in minutes, and using bagged coleslaw mix, chipotle mayo and canned black beans cuts down on your prep time.
Italian Chicken Sheet Pan Supper
Once you discover how easy sheet pan meals are to make, you’ll come back to them again and again. This dish combines chicken thighs, green beans, cherry tomatoes and crusty bread for a meal you’ll be excited to dig into.
Chili Stuffed Sweet Potato
If you happen to have leftover chili, add it to a baked sweet potato along with cheese for a scrumptious and satisfying lunch. Or turn it into a dinner main by serving it with a side salad.
Extra-Crunchy Sheet-Pan Mac and Cheese
You’ll only have to make this homemade mac and cheese once and you’ll never want the boxed version again. Spread the cheesy pasta in a thin layer on your sheet pan and top with panko breadcrumbs for a crunchy, crispy finish.
Skillet Chicken Lasagna
While making a traditional lasagna may be a challenge on most school nights, this deconstructed skillet version has all of the Italian flavours you’re craving. Using jarred marinara sauce and pre-shredded mozzarella reduces your cooking time, and clean-up is a breeze when you’re only using one pan.