We’ve all heard someone say “I can’t cook.” I’d like to kindly disagree. Anyone who can read can follow a recipe, and if you’re in college, let’s hope this is the case. Now, you might not be very good at cooking, but that’s all part of learning to live on your own, and practice makes perfect.
Here’s a list of simple, fool-proof recipes that don’t take too long to whip up after class. I’ve even added dollar signs to indicate how (in)expensive the ingredients are–notice there are no $$$ (you’re welcome). They require minimal ingredients and leave room for the inevitable error or two (no one is perfect). Now go impress your roommates, and send your mother pictures so she thinks you’re putting your degree to good use!
#1 Pasta with homemade sauce – $
Pasta is a staple in most households. It's cheap, stores well, and doesn't take too long to cook. If you can boil water, you can add pasta (and salt!) to that water. So why not make your own sauce while the pasta is cooking? Using jarred, canned, or even fresh tomatoes is so much cheaper and tastier than buying sauce at the store, and it's way easier than you might think.
#2 Bacon & Potato Frittata – $$
This recipe is so fast and easy you can make it for breakfast, lunch, or dinner--or in between classes! Having a carton of eggs and a few potatoes on hand will save you in a crunch. If you don't eat meat or you don't have/want to buy bacon, just leave it out, and it's still a tasty and protein-filled meal!
#3 Sweet Potato Gnocchi – $
Don't be fooled by the intense sound of this one. This recipe is SO easy, and only requires 3 ingredients. Grab a roommate, put on your Spotify playlist, and you'll have an impressive and filling meal in under an hour (or even less the more you make it!).
#4 Wonton/Gyoza Soup – $
Cold day? Have minimal ingredients? Throw some wontons/gyoza/potstickers, etc. in some broth and add vegetables, an egg, or whatever you want for a tasty soup! This can be a super versatile meal as well because it can be catered to vegan or vegetarian diets.
#5 Chicken Satay – $$
Don't be afraid of the fancy photo, I promise this recipe is not difficult, but it does taste as good as it looks. By making a simple marinade, you can prep this meal in advance and serve with vegetables or rice on the side. Don't have skewers or don't want to deal with them? Just throw (or maybe place, if you don't want to make a mess) your chicken on a tray instead. Pro tip: baking soda does wonders for stained trays.
#6 Leek and Potato Soup – $
Here's another simple but impressive soup that you can make fairly quickly. Accidentally (or maybe not accidentally) make too much? Save it for a rainy day. Literally. You can freeze it.
#7 Leek and Parmesan Risotto – $$
Say you bought too many leeks for the soup you just made. Throw them in risotto! This dish is healthy and delicious, not to mention very hard to mess up; so if you're in the category of people who think they can't cook, you'll be out soon enough!
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