I am not good at cooking, and it certainly doesn't help that I also despise cooking. My complete lack of patience and precision prevent me from planning out daily meals, and I often find myself relying on the kindness of my friends for home-cooked dishes. However, when quarantine started and my roommate and friends left for home, I knew that it was time for me to improve my cooking skills. It was impossible to order food through delivery services for every meal (although I definitely tried to for a while), so with a heavy heart, I rolled up my sleeves and started cooking! Here are some easy recipes that I've tried during quarantine that any college student will be able to make.

Cacio e Pepe

Don't let the seemingly complicated name intimidate you. Cacio e pepe is Italian for "cheese and pepper," and this pasta dish is as simple as that. The creamy cheese combined with the smokiness of the pepper creates a flavor that tastes a lot more complex than might be expected from such few ingredients. The flavor can change based on the quality of the cheese and pepper as well, so feel free to experiment! It's a great alternative for anyone who's sick of eating spaghetti made with store-bought tomato sauce in a jar. I personally use this easy recipe from Bon Appetit.

#SpoonTip: For a richer flavor, I like to mix in a tablespoon or two of pesto, which really accentuates the flavors of this dish.


I'm going to be honest—I ate stir-fry with rice for most of my meals alone. It's just so easy to make. Take some vegetables and your choice of protein (mine is tofu), sauté them together with some soy sauce, and voila, dinner. The thing about stir-fry is that it's very versatile: you can mix and match any combination of vegetables and protein to your liking, and the sauce base can be easily swapped out for different flavors. Here's a beef vegetable stir-fry recipe to get you started.

Chicken Rice Soup

Surprisingly, I actually really enjoy making soup. Unsurprisingly, I like making soup because it takes a very minimal amount of work. I'm sure there are some specific technicalities that go into the art of soup-making, and I appreciate the people who take the time and effort to accomplish that. However, when it's 11 pm and I have to watch seven more lectures for my midterm the next day, soup is soup. Check out this chicken rice soup recipe that offers more comprehensive instructions than I do. A bowl of warm, hearty, and savory soup is just what you need after a long day.


I complain a lot about cooking, but nothing compares to how much I dislike baking. My tendency to "eyeball" measurements has led to countless baking disasters, wrecking both my kitchen and my self-esteem. Although it might be easier to buy already-made dessert, I wanted to try some easy recipes so I can indulge in sweets at any time on a whim. I found this recipe for Oreo truffles, and you can make it by just smashing some cookies, mixing it with cream cheese, and drizzling some chocolate on top. To avoid baking, I also like to make edible cookie dough, which is perfect for eating by the spoonful as you watch Netflix.

As a college student who dislikes cooking, it's easy to fall into the same patterns of eating out every day. Quarantine has made me realize the importance of being able to cook meals that I enjoy. I can't wait to show off to my friends when I see them again. What new recipes have you tried during quarantine?