Most college students can’t wait to get rid of their meal plan. They dream of the day they’ll no longer have to drag themselves to the dining hall to eat lukewarm pizza and wilting lettuce. But when you’re trying to cook for yourself it can be easy to make the same pasta every night or live off of microwave meals. Cookbooks often don’t keep college kids in mind and require expensive ingredients or hours of free time. Not to mention they usually demand the use of a full kitchen filled with a variety of expensive equipment. Despite all of this, there are a few cookbooks out there that are perfect for college kids.
If you have a full kitchen in your residence hall check out one of these:
1. How to Cook Everything Fast by Mark Bittman, Difficulty Level: Beginner
This cookbook is the perfect fit for any aspiring chef. The recipes are simple and straightforward without any weird ingredients that can only be found at Whole Foods. Plus it has over 2,000 recipes which means you could cook something new every single day for five years and still not run out of recipes.
2. The I Love Trader Joe’s Cookbook by Andrea Lynn, Difficulty Level: Intermediate
With low prices and healthy food Trader Joe’s is a college kid staple. This book teaches you the magic of getting the most bang for your book while grocery shopping. The recipes are super easy, even if you’ve never really cooked before. Plus most of them require limited pots and pans which means less clean up later.
3. The I Hate to Cook Cookbook by Peg Bracken, Difficulty Level: Beginner
If the idea of cooking makes you want to cry check out “The I Hate to Cook Cookbook.” Written in the 1960s this book is the perfect combination of homey recipes and sass. The recipes are easy to make and easy on your wallet as all of the ingredients are pantry staples.
If you have a microwave in your residence hall check out one of these:
4. Mug Cakes by Joanna Farrow, Difficulty Level: Beginner
Mug cakes might be one of the best things ever invented. They require minimal time, ingredients, and supplies plus you only have to wash one dish when you’re done. This book is the ultimate treat yo’ self book with recipes like molten chocolate mallow cake and cherry chocolate brownie pudding.
5. Not Your Mother’s Microwave Cookbook by Beth Hensperger, Difficulty Level: Beginner
This book is the ultimate DIY microwave cookbook. This book starts with the basics like scrambled eggs and steamed veggies but has recipes like Tokyo clam chowder for the more adventurous eater. In addition to the fab recipes, it also teaches you more of the technical aspects of the microwave so you can actually understand your cooking on a ~deeper~ level.
If you have no ingredients check out one of these:
6. Best Ever Three and Four Ingredient Cookbook by Jenny White, Difficulty Level: Intermediate
If you’re looking for a minimalist cooking experience this book is perfect. With only three or four ingredients per recipe, it’s easy to stay within your grocery budget. The recipes are simple but sound impressive, like raspberry creme brulee, so you can brag to all of your friends about the fancy dishes you’re making.
7. 5 Ingredient Dessert Recipes by Hannie Scott, Difficulty Level: Beginner
Every college kid really does need a cookbook devoted entirely to desserts. This one does not disappoint with recipes like oreo lasagna and cake batter fudge. Most of the ingredients can be found in an average college kid’s pantry so you don’t even have to leave your dorm.