5 Minute Dinner Ideas For College Students

16 Quick 5-Minute Dinner Ideas For College Students

Had a very hectic day of attending classes and making assignments? I have some 5-minute dinner ideas for college students that can be of help.

Some of the best 5-minute dinner ideas for college students are Nachos, Microwave Porridge, Egg Fried Rice, Pizza Melt, Mushroom Ramen, Cilantro Chicken Tacos and Chicken Salad.

I know you; that’s why I’ve picked some of your easiest yet delicious dinner recipes. Most of these recipes can be cooked in under five minutes.

Also, I tried my best to select recipes requiring minimal ingredients so you can cook with what you have!

You must be wondering how cooking will solve any of your issues. Well, cooking a tasty meal will ease your mind, save money, and fill your tummy with delicious food. Good food undoubtedly makes everything feel good. 

5-Minute Dinner Ideas For College Students

Most recipes I curated in this article can be cooked in under 5 minutes. However, some might need a little bit of preparation.

1. Grilled Cheese 

Grilled cheese
Image Credits – The Recipe Critic

Nobody needs an introduction to grilled cheese. This must be one of those foods you must be having every day. But if you are making some bread and cheese slices and eating it as it is, you are missing out on something more delicious.

The taste of melted cheese on toasted bread is just incomparable. But with this recipe, you could make your grilled cheese taste even better! If you are a lover of savory food in general, you will love this recipe.

Start by toasting the bread in a pan. For this, lay the bread in a pan. Add a slice of cheese to each slice. Top it off with some thinly sliced red bell pepper. Repeat the process on half the number of bread slices.

Add almost a teaspoon of butter to the other bread slices and spread it well. Add a dash of garlic powder on top of it. Gently place this slice of bread on top of the cheesy bread slices. Add some butter and garlic powder to the top portion of the bread. 

Cook until the cheese is melted or until the bread is slightly browned. Make sure to cook both sides of the bread. Flip slowly! 

Get The Recipe Here – The Recipe Critic

2. Brown Rice And Beans 

Brown Rice And Beans
Image Credits – Two Healthy Kitchens

On some days, I get a little health conscious! On such days I’ll ditch my regular noodles and pizza and hang on to this one-pot healthy and tasty brown rice recipe. With this one meal, you will get enough nutrients and will undoubtedly fill your tummy!

The dish might not sound too fancy. Also, rice has the image of an elaborate meal. But trust me, this wouldn’t need even five minutes. For making this recipe, start by eating one tablespoon of oil in a pan.

Cook the rice according to the package instructions. Meanwhile, add some sausage pieces to the oil. Add cooked black beans, kidney beans, and a little bit of their water to the mixture to make it more saucy.

Simmer the mixture for a minute or two. Make sure to add a very small amount of salt to the beans, as the sausage is already salty. Once the beans and sausages are done, take them off the heat.

Arrange the rice in a bowl, pour some sausage beans over the rice, and enjoy your easy home-cooked tasty meal.

Get The Recipe Here – Two Healthy Kitchens

3. Cilantro Chicken Tacos

Cilantro Chicken Tacos
Image Credits – Self

Who wouldn’t love to have a taco night? Well, tacos are tasty, but if you cook them right, you can also have them as a healthy meal. So this recipe is an easy taco recipe that you can cook in under 5 minutes.

Tacos with a lot of cheese taste too good. But if you are out of cheese, don’t worry. This is an even better recipe you can make with your whole-grain tacos. For making this dish, start by warming some whole grain tacos in an oven.

While the tacos are getting warm, mix some salsa, grape juice, and cumin in a saucepan. Slightly warm this mix and remove from heat. Add in some lime juice to bring in a punch of sourness. 

Once the tortillas are warmed, take them out of the oven. Spread the shredded chicken onto the tacos. Add some of your favorite vegetables to it. Spread some salsa over it and add some lettuce or cabbage. Fold it and eat it!

Get The Recipe Here – Self

4. No-Cook Pasta Sauce 

No-Cook Pasta Sauce
Image Credits – Delallo

If you are too busy to cook, this is a great dish! It’s tasty and flavorful and won’t need much of your time. It’s a great dish to have as a base for your dinner. However, whenever I’m running late in the morning, I also cook it as my breakfast!

You might have some cooked leftover noodles in your fridge if you are a student. Take it out and warm it in a microwave. Mix some olive oil, parmesan cheese, and lemon juice in another bowl.

Pour this mixture over the noodles and mix it well. Your spaghetti is all ready to serve. However, tossing in some cilantro or fresh basil can make it more interesting. I often add some chili flakes to boost the spiciness!

Get The Recipe Here – Delallo

5. Easy Nachos 

Easy Nachos 
Image Credits – Taming Twins

Got some leftover nachos from yesterday? In that case, let’s make a quick and easy tacos snack for tonight. Tacos night is all about too much food and fun. And if you are looking for a quick and easy recipe to cook for your friends, this could be it!

Start by placing the nachos in an oven-safe pan. Add some shredded cheese on top of it. Top it off with some sliced and sun-dried red peppers over it. This is almost it! But if you want to make it even better, let’s add some more spices to it.

For this, sprinkle some pepper powder, Caspers, and pine nuts over it. This will lend a hot yet nutty flavor to the nachos. Bake it for two minutes or until all the cheese is melted. Serve it hot with a hot sauce dip!

Get The Recipe Here – Taming Twins

6. Ham Roll Ups With Pickle 

Image Credits – Culinary Hill

If you are out of all your favorite snacks and yet crave something to munch on while getting back from college, try this ham roll-ups with pickle. The pickle just adds the right amount of crunch to your dish, while the ham fills in the meaty taste. 

Even if you have no experience in cooking, you could just make this easy recipe in a minute. So what are you waiting for? Make this gluten-free, healthy, and tasty snack meal! Have it for dinner, keep the leftovers, and take it to college as your lunch!

To make this recipe, you just need three ingredients. Some pickled dills, cream cheese, and ham! Just spread some cream cheese on both sides of the ham. Thinly cut a slice from pickled dill and place it along the ham.

Roll up! You can serve this as big rolls. However, just make small slices out of it for ease of eating. However, if you have a few ingredients in your pantry, you can make it taste even better.

While adding the cream cheese, just mix some garlic salt and minced onion into it. This would make the roll taste even better. Also, you can add your favorite cheese to it as a topping while serving. 

If you are not a big fan of ham, you can easily recreate this recipe using the meat you choose, like a layer of turkey or beef. If you plan to make this, let me know how it turned out.

Get The Recipe Here – Culinary Hill

7. Easy Chicken Salad Recipe 

Easy Chicken Salad Recipe
Image Credits – Exploring Healthy

If you are someone who enjoys a lot of flavors in your dish, then this chicken salad recipe is something you would definitely enjoy. There are a lot of chicken salad recipes out there, but I truly feel there are just a handful of recipes that are easy to make and delicious.

This is one of my favorite recipes. I often cook it in the morning and keep it in the fridge so that I can eat something even if I’m too tired to cook! That being said, I must also tell you that once you make this recipe, you will just look for reasons to make it!

For making this recipe, start by chopping some apples and celery. If you are not using shredded chicken, slice the chicken into small pieces as well. Add all of these ingredients to a bowl with a handful of raisins. 

Add some salt, pepper, dijon mustard, and garlic powder to the recipe. Also, add some Greek yogurt to it and give everything a good mix. Adding yogurt will slightly lighten the flavors. Hence if you want more flavors, add more at this stage.

Mix everything well and enjoy this bowl of goodness!

Get The Recipe Here – Exploring Healthy

8. Creamy Peanut Noodles 

Creamy Peanut Noodles
Image Credits – Bakerita

Slurping some creamy noodles at the end of the day is something we all enjoy! Try these creamy peanut noodles if you want to have some different flavors other than your regular cup noodles. It’s tasty and is an idle vegan meal you can include in your daily diet!

To make this recipe, start cooking the noodles as per the package instruction. While the noodles are cooking, let’s make the sauce. Combine some peanut butter, miso, tamari, chili crisp, and lime juice in a bowl. 

Add a tablespoon of hot water and whisk if your sauce is too thick. You can add more water until you reach the desired consistency. The ideal consistency should be a little thick but in a pourable way.

Once your noodles are ready, drain them and add them to this sauce. Mix well. For flavoring, you can also add some spring onion, chili crisp, and sesame seeds. Have it as it is or with a poached egg for the best taste.

Get The Recipe Here – Bakerita

9. Creamy White Bean And Pepper Soup 

Creamy White Bean And Pepper Soup
Image Credits – Spain On A Fork

If you are not in the mood to do a lot of cutting and chopping, preparing soup is the best option. This soup can be cooked in under 5 minutes, and that too with our regular pantry ingredients. This, again, is a great recipe to have if you are feeling a little sick.

Right from the heading, you would have assumed that canned beans are the key ingredient to this recipe. So start by washing your canned beans in cold water and transfer them to a food processor. Add some red pepper, garlic cloves, thyme, olive oil, sherry vinegar, salt, and pepper.

Run the food processor slowly. Continue mixing until all the ingredients are well blended. Once you get a creamy smooth consistency, add some vegetable broth to it. If you can, add it while running the food processor. 

Once the whole broth is added, keep blending for another 1 minute. Transfer it to a shallow bow. Add some fresh chives to it, and enjoy!

Get The Recipe Here – Spain On A Fork

10. Microwave Porridge Recipe 

Microwave Porridge Recipe
Image Credits – The Pesky Vegan

There are different varieties of porridge all over the world. Porridge is undoubtedly a comfort food. But most of the porridge recipes take little time to cook. However, if you have a microwave, here is a 5 min easy porridge recipe for you.

This porridge can work as a great replacement for your store-bought food. Having a good healthy dinner is key to good sleep and good health. If you want to fill your tummy with a simple yet tasty meal, try this recipe!

In an oven-safe bowl, take some rolled oats. If you have, add some vanilla essence to it. Add some milk to it. Mix everything well and cook it in the microwave for about 3 minutes. Take it out and stir and microwave it again for another 30 seconds.

If your porridge is ready, you can take it out for thirty seconds, but if you want it in a more soft and mushy consistency, microwave it for another thirty seconds. Take it out and top it off with all the fruits you have. Pour in some honey, relax, and enjoy the meal!

Get The Recipe Here – The Pesky Vegan

11. Pitta Bread Pizza 

Pitta Bread Pizza
Image Credits – My Fussy Eater

Pizza is undoubtedly one of our favorite foods. But buying a pizza every time you are hungry might not fit everyone’s pocket. But with such easy recipes here, I think it’s much better to cook your own pizza rather than buy them.

So the next time you organize a pizza night with your friends, make sure to make this easy pitta bread recipe. It’s delicious and can be cooked in under 5 minutes. Also, you can customize it according to your liking.

For making this recipe, start by toasting the pitta bread if it’s fresh toast for a minute. If it’s frozen, toast it well for a minute or two. After that, add some of your favorite vegetables to an oven-safe container and warm them.

Once the pitta bread is warmed, spread some tomato sauce or pesto over it. Top it off with some vegetables and sprinkle some mozzarella cheese over it. Grill until the cheese is melted. Add some chili flakes and oregano on top of it and serve it hot.

Get The Recipe Here – My Fussy Eater

 12. Mexican Salad 

Mexican Salad
Image Credits – Easy Peasy Foodie

Try this Mexican salad if you are not in the mood to eat a whole dinner and want something very light. This is a perfect summer salad you could include in your diet. It’s a healthy, gluten-free, and dairy-free salad recipe.

For preparing this salad, take a large bowl. Add some beans, sweet corn, cherry tomatoes, avocados, and pepper. Mix some lemon juice, olive oil, and fresh coriander in another bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Mix this salad dressing with the vegetable mix. Mix everything well and serve it fresh.

Get The Recipe Here – Easy Peasy Foodie

13. Quick Seared Ahi Tuna 

Quick Seared Ahi Tuna 
Image Credits – A Couple Cooks

Here is a little secret! There is nothing easy like this seared ahi tuna recipe. It’s filling and tasty and won’t take you any time to cook it. You can have it as it is or can be served with some leftover rice and vegetables.

Before starting this recipe, make sure to bring the tuna to room temperature. Take out the fish at least twenty minutes before you start cooking. Once the fish reaches room temperature, pat dry it and generously season it with some salt and pepper on all sides.

Then on a pan, add some oil and cook the tuna on medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes on each side. Ensure that the outside is well cooked while the inside is still rare. Cool for a minute. Slice it and serve it. 

Get The Recipe Here – A Couple Cooks

14. Easy Egg Fried Rice Recipe

Easy Egg Fried Rice
Image Credits – Christi Eat Home

There is nothing more satisfying and filling than a bowl of egg-fried rice. The best part about egg-fried rice is that you wouldn’t need another side dish! It’s an ideal meal for dinner and lunch.

Start by scrambling some eggs. For this, pour some oil into a hot pan. Give it a twirl, and add some beaten eggs over the skillet. Add some jasmine rice and give everything a good mix when the egg is about half cooked. 

Add some soy sauce to the rice. While pouring the soy sauce, add through the edges so that it will have a slightly burnt umami flavor. Add some salt and pepper to taste. Mix everything once more and bring it off the stove.

For garnishing, you can add some green onions and sesame seeds to it. Have it with some tomato ketchup!

Get The Recipe Here – Christi Eat Home

15. Vegan Creamy Mushroom Ramen 

Vegan Creamy Mushroom Ramen
Image Credits – Budget Bytes

Since we all are college students, we would often have some leftover ramen in our fridge. However, if you do not have much time to prepare an extravagant ramen recipe or are simply craving more simple food, this recipe can be your go-to meal!

You would only need a handful of ingredients to make this recipe. Moreover, just as its name suggests, it’s a vegan recipe. So if you are wondering what to cook for your vegan friend who is coming over for dinner, I think I found your answer here!

For making this recipe, start by sauteing some mushrooms in oil. Cook the mushrooms until they have turned a little brown and have lost all of their moisture content. Make sure to put your flame on low heat while cooking mushrooms. To this, add some vegetable broth.

Cook until the broth starts to boil up. Once the broth starts to boil, add the uncooked ramen to this broth. You do not have to add the tastemaker at this point. Cook the noodles for at least 3 minutes or until the noodles have turned soft. 

Once the noodles are done, add a handful of spinach to it. Cook until the spinach is slightly wilted. Add some coconut milk over this spinach and mix everything well. Cook for a minute or two and bring it down the heat. 

Your creamy mushroom ramen is all ready to serve! You can have it as it is or just garnish it with some fresh herbs and serve it!

Get The Recipe Here – Budget Bytes

16. Pizza Melt 

Pizza Melt
Image Credits – Budget Bytes

When pizza enters the scene, even a regular gathering becomes a party! But is it possible to cook a pizza in under 15 minutes? To cook an entire pizza from scratch in under 15 minutes sounds a little impossible, but we can definitely cook a mini pizza during this time. Even though we cook it for under 15 minutes, I assure you its taste is not compromised.

Moreover, it’s so easy to cook that we could even make it a regular meal! So if you are in the mood to have some pizza, try this recipe and cook something even better than the real pizza. This pizza brings in a classic taste of grilled cheese and pepperoni pizza. Can anything be better than this? I don’t think so! 

To make this recipe, take a small bowl and mix together some butter, grated parmesan cheese, and Italian seasoning. Spread this mix on each side of the bread slice. On the unbuttered side, place some shredded mozzarella cheese. Add some sauce, and place a piece of pepperoni over it. Add some more cheese over it and cover it with a slice of bread. 

Take a pan and add some butter over it. Place the bread slice over the pan and cook until the bread becomes slightly brown or the cheese melts. Slice it in half and serve it with some ketchup. 

Get The Recipe Here – Budget Bytes

Printable Version

5 Minute Dinner Ideas For College Students

5-Minute Dinner Ideas For College Students

Some of the best 5-minute dinner ideas for college students are Nachos, Microwave Porridge, Egg Fried Rice, Pizza Melt, Mushroom Ramen, Cilantro Chicken Tacos and Chicken Salad.


  • Grilled Cheese
  • Brown Rice And Beans
  • Cilantro Chicken Tacos
  • No-Cook Pasta Sauce
  • Easy Nachos
  • Ham Roll Ups With Pickle
  • Easy Chicken Salad Recipe
  • Creamy Peanut Noodles
  • Creamy White Bean And Pepper Soup
  • Microwave Porridge Recipe
  • Pita Bread Pizza
  • Mexican Salad
  • Quick Seared Ahi Tuna
  • Easy Egg Fried Rice Recipe
  • Vegan Creamy Mushroom Ramen
  • Pizza Melt


  • Select the recipe you want to cook.
  • Click on the recipe link.
  • Follow the steps mentioned in the recipe.


College life is a very busy period of our life! From studying for exams to preparing meals, we must do everything independently. If you have a lot of work to do and do not have much time to cook, then you have to try these easy 5-minute dinner recipes.

Most of the recipes I have selected only require a few ingredients and can be cooked by anybody, irrespective of your experience with cooking. By the end of this article, I hope you have selected your favorite recipe and are already on your way to cooking some yummy dishes! Until I meet you with another tasty recipe, happy cooking!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What can I cook in 5 minutes?

Grilled cheese, brown rice and beans, and cilantro chicken tacos are some dishes you can cook in 5 minutes.

What foods do most college students eat?

Most college students rely on easy to cook food like Mexican salad, nachos, and pizza.

Do college students eat breakfast?

No. Mostly due to time shortage students often skip their breakfast.

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