Living in your own apartment this year means no more pre-prepared dining hall food. Cooking might sound intimidating, so simple recipes are crucial for college students who have never cooked for themselves before. These meals are easy, healthy, time-efficient and absolutely delicious whether you decide to eat them off paper plates or fine china. From the recipes below, you’ll definitely find at least one recipe that fits your taste, time schedule and kitchen space.

Pasta Salad (vegetarian) - 15 minutes

To start off simple, cook any pasta of your choice. Once the pasta is cooked to al-dente and drained, transfer it to a large bowl. To the bowl, add chopped cherry tomatoes, sliced mozzarella cheese and some store-bought pesto. Mix it all together, and you have a complete pasta dish ready in no time. The leftover ingredients can also be used in many of the other meals on this list.

Teriyaki Chicken and Rice - 25 minutes

chicken, chicken wings, cutting board
Casey Tang

This one takes a bit more time to make, but the end flavors make it worth the wait. Cook some chicken in a pan, then add teriyaki sauce to glaze the outside. Serve the chicken over rice, and garnish with a sprinkling of sesame seeds. As a side, you can roast frozen broccoli or carrots, which are great for college budgets and saving space in your kitchen.

Wrap (vegetarian option) - 10 minutes

You can make a wrap out of anything you have on hand. Whether you choose to go vegetarian or not, all you need is something to wrap everything in, some vegetables, a protein and some type of sauce or spread to bind everything together. Tomatoes, carrots, spinach, chicken, turkey, hummus, you name it! You can literally fill a wrap with any ingredients you have lying around, making it great for reducing waste by using up any vegetables or leftovers sitting in your fridge.

Gnocchi With Homemade Tomato Sage Butter Sauce (vegetarian) - 15 minutes 

gnocchi, vegetable, meat, sauce, chickpeas
Katie Zizmor

As a forewarning, the tomato sauce version of this recipe requires a blender. Though not all college students may have access to one, this meal will definitely impress if you have one available. First, cook some gnocchi in a pot of boiling water. Meanwhile, add fresh tomatoes, a carrot, onion, garlic and some salt and pepper to a blender and pulse until the mixture is smooth and homogenous. Once the gnocchi is cooked and drained, add the tomato sauce and gnocchi into a pan and stir over the heat until everything is heated through.

For the sage butter version, toss the cooked gnocchi into a pan along with a knob of butter and fresh sage leaves. Fry it all together for a couple minutes for a super simple alternative version of gnocchi.

European-Style Warm Rice Pudding (vegetarian) - 25 minutes

This rice pudding is perfect for those with a sweet tooth and can work for breakfast or lunch. Though the recipe is simple, it does require some time and attention. Cook a serving of arborio rice gently in milk until soft, making sure to stir the rice often. Once cooked, serve the rice in a bowl with any range of toppings such as cinnamon, sugar, butter or fresh fruit. The opportunities to customize this recipe to your personal taste are endless.

Remember, you definitely don't have to be a chef to make delicious meals for yourself. Investing just a couple extra minutes to cooking simple meals like these can really spruce up your college eating routine.