Whether you live on campus and don’t have easy access to a stove or you’re just pressed for time, as college students we often find ourselves relying on unsatisfying microwave meals to get us through the day. Luckily, there’s a better alternative.

Believe it or not, a simple panini press can replace almost all your other appliances for your basic cooking needs. It’s time to think outside the box– say goodbye to frozen chicken fingers and hello to breakfasts, lunches and dinners so good, you’ll never want to nuke a meal again.


1. Eggs

fried egg

Photo by Kirby Barth.

Eggs are  simple, nutritious, and the perfect way to start your day off right. You can fry one or scramble a few up on a panini press for a quick, convenient breakfast.

2. Two Ingredient Banana Pancakes

panini press

Photo by Danny Schuleman.

Craving something a little sweeter? Try these super simple two-ingredient pancakes. All you need is 1 banana, 2 eggs and your panini press to have a pancake party.


3. Grilled Cheese

cheddar and avocado

Photo by Kirby Barth.

Once you start making your grilled cheeses on a panini press, you’ll never go back to the frying pan. Feeling fancy? Try one of these delicious upgrades.

4. Grilled Fruit

grilled fruit

Photo by Kirby Barth.

Slice up your favorite fruits like Pineapples or Pears and grill them on your panini press. Grilled fruit makes a great snack, side dish or add-on to any salad.


5. Cheese Quesadilla


Photo by Kirby Barth.

Feel like Mexican tonight? Grab two corn or flour tortillas and shredded cheese. Place one tortilla on the panini press, place a layer of cheese on the tortilla, cover it with the other tortilla and press. Make some guacamole to accompany your fresh quesadilla.

6. Stir Fry Vegetables

stir fry vegetables

Photo by Kirby Barth.

Gather your favorite raw veggies (think mushrooms, spinach, snap peas…)  and slice them up. Grease the pan, spread out the veggies and add your favorite sauce while they cook. Soy sauce works great for a Chinese-style dish.