Already blown this week’s takeout budget and it’s only Tuesday? If you can’t afford to order another set of DoorDash and are tired of your campus meal plans, the only other option is to cook for yourself.
But don’t dismiss the idea just yet – cooking doesn’t have to be stressful or time-consuming. These nine recipe websites for college students offer mouth-watering, dorm-friendly dishes you can make yourself while juggling your college workload.
1. Budget Bytes: good food for all budgets
The goal behind Budget Bytes is simple: good, delicious food that doesn’t break the bank. With hundreds of recipes available, former microbiologist Beth has spent over a decade formulating these tasty and healthy recipes.
In fact, her love for cooking started when she was a recent college graduate who wanted to eat good food – but didn’t have the money (look like someone you know? 😉) .
The website is home to recipes from around the world. Even better, each recipe has a cost breakdown by ingredient. Although each recipe’s list of spices might seem a little daunting at first, you’ll notice that they repeat themselves in loads of recipes, so they’re well worth the investment. While not all recipes are dorm-friendly, this is a great place to get inspired!
2. More Ramen: Recipes for Every Dietary Restriction
If you want your recipes to be both inexpensive and low effort, head over to this great recipe website for college students. Blog moderator Agatha has stacked a range of recipes based on all dietary restrictions, including gluten allergies, lactose intolerance and diabetes.
The blog is built around the concept of the spoon theory – that everyone has a certain reservoir of energy, or “spoons”, and engaging in daily tasks depletes that reservoir, leaving little or no spoons for prepare our meals.
No More Ramen is packed with nutritious recipes that require little to no effort using ingredients you often already have on hand, perfect for anyone who wants to whip up a hassle-free meal.
The Student Food Project was started by students at the University of Portsmouth in 2015. With contributions from over 15 countries, this student recipe website is now hugely popular among the global student community. It offers a wide selection of breakfasts, snacks and dinners, as well as options for vegetarians, vegans and those looking for a healthier choice.
Along with the recipes, there are a huge number of foodie articles, perfect for any foodie. Last year, the band also released a book titled Student kitchen in confinementwith 10 quick and easy recipes using only pantry ingredients.
This website is a great choice if you’re feeling adventurous on the weekends or craving Asian food. Started by student Emily during her freshman year, the blog aims to share “simple, healthy recipes that [college students] can do under the burdens and constraints of school and time management.
You can find everything from simple comfort food like spaghetti in thick tomato sauce to more refined delights like Thai coconut curry with prawns. There is a neat recipe index where you can check out the whole collection of recipes. The blog also features a collection of recipes with four ingredients or less, perfect for those new to cooking.
5. BBC Good Food: Good food comes in all shapes, sizes and budgets
Good food doesn’t need expensive ingredients – that’s the motto of BBC Good Food which offers a plethora of cheap and cheerful recipes for students. One look at their homepage will tell you that all of their recipes are easy to cook, easy to fill out, and perfect for beginners. Even if you’re a real kitchen noob, there are videos that show you the best way to chop onions or cut watermelons.
Want to impress your date with a homemade meal? This site has tons of options for a date, dinner with friends, or just cooking something up when you only have 20 minutes to spare. Aspiring chefs can also sign up for masterclasses on the website, where culinary experts offer tips and teach you techniques that will take your cooking skills to the next level.
6. $5 Dinners: Food for a Fiver (or less)
True to its name, $5 Dinners is dedicated to helping you create meals for $5 per plate or less. $5 Dinners is the brainchild of food blogger Erin Chase who started the blog in 2008 when gas prices were skyrocketing and she was forced to cut back on grocery spending. As a result, the recipes are ideal for cash-strapped college students who want a hearty meal without breaking the bank.
$5 Dinners has a comprehensive index where you can search for recipes based on the ingredients you have available or your dietary restrictions. The blog also offers you grocery budget plans and useful yet simple cooking tips and tricks for budget college meal planning. If you want to venture a little further, you can also sign up for one of Chase’s cooking classes.
7. Yummly: Build a meal around any ingredient
You can cook a full meal using one (yes, just one) ingredient with our next Yummly recommendation. This recipe website for students aims to provide delicious recipes that require minimal ingredients.
Yummly also has a cool meal planning feature to help you plan your meals using ingredients from your kitchen. You simply type each ingredient in your fridge into their search bar, and this website will tell you what you can create using those items. This helps reduce food waste by using whatever is at your disposal. You can also choose recipes based on your favorite cuisine.
8. Damn Delicious: Appetizing dishes for all occasions
Damn Delicious was started by Chungah, a Korean, while in college. Her cooking ideas, which took off on Tumblr 10 years ago, have snowballed into one of the country’s most popular recipe websites. Here you’ll find recipes, tutorials, and videos focused on quick meals anyone can cook.
Whatever the occasion, there are hundreds of recipes based on season, ingredient or cuisine. From easy-to-go meals to slow-cooked delights, there’s something for everyone on the website. The homepage features the latest recipes of the season, so you don’t even have to look too far to find a delicious option or a trending recipe.
“Cooking takes way too long” – unless you’ve checked out the easy pea recipes on the minimalist baker. This website has redefined the word “baker” to refer to someone who bakes more than just desserts. There are tons of healthy and nutritious recipes, both sweet and savory. In fact, the team adds new recipes every three days and is attentive to all kinds of dietary needs, from vegan to gluten-free.
The Minimalist Baker also offers recipes with 10 ingredients or less (it’s like it was made for broke and lazy students 😂). Each recipe takes a maximum of 30 minutes to prepare, leaving plenty of time for homework and other activities.
As these websites prove, cooking mouth-watering dishes doesn’t necessarily require you to have the well-stocked kitchen of Nigella Lawson or the chopping skills of Gordon Ramsay. With a plan in hand from one of these student recipe websites, you’ll soon become the formidable chef of your college band.