I've been living in my college apartment for a couple months now. This is the first year I am fending for my own when it comes to making my food. Don’t get me wrong–as a lover of food, I’m ecstatic that I have complete freedom to make exactly what I want, whenever I want. But… I can get a little anxious about having the time and motivation to make food that I actually want to eat and that is at least slightly nutritious. I’ve compiled a list of quick meal preps for every situation. Whatever climate, mood, or situation you find yourself in, I've got you covered.

Here's what to make when you want...

Something Cold 

You don’t always have access to a microwave when you’re on the go. Pasta salad and chicken salad are great foods to eat cold.

pasta, penne, macaroni, basil, sauce
Emily Coppella

Pasta Salad

Pasta salad is a delicious and filling meal to make when you want something refreshing on the go.

Chicken salad

Chicken salad is a cold meal that can be customized in so many different ways. Add nuts, raisins, apples, celery, etc. or just eat it plain.

Comfort Food

Some days you want something warm and comforting–that’s when you make these meal preps.

vegetable, meat, sauce, lasagna, tomato, cheese
Keni Lin


Lasagna always makes me feel at home. This one person lasagna is the perfect meal prep to make you feel warm and  cozy.


Enchiladas are filling and a great way to shake up your meal preps if you feel like you always eat the same foods.

Pulled pork

Pulled pork isn't just for summer BBQs. When you have a hankering for a sweet and tangy meal, whip up this recipe.

Something Vegetarian 

Although I'm not a vegetarian, I love mixing up my meals with meatless options. These recipes will not leave you missing meat. 

vegetable, nut, pasture, cereal, legume, hazelnut, tigernut, chickpeas
Kristine Mahan

Roasted Chickpea Gyro

Chickpeas work well with Mediterranean flavors and are delicious fillings for pitas or wraps. This meatless dish is both refreshing and quick.

Tofu Tacos

Tofu is a blank canvas that takes on flavor like no other ingredient. Tofu tacos are a quick and yummy meal when you want a meatless dish.

Breakfast On-The-Go

Busy mornings can be a little less hectic when you've prepped your breakfast. These recipes are not only tasty, but can be eaten on the go.

milk, yogurt, sweet, cream
Gabby Phi

Overnight oats

Overnight oats are a great way to start your day and are customizable. Check out these recipes or get creative with your own twist.

Egg Bites

Egg bites are high in protein and can be personalized to your specific tastes. Add any meat, veggies, or seasonings you are craving.

Something Hearty

Sometimes you need a good stick to your ribs meal that will keep you full and energized. These recipes will keep you satisfied for hours after your meal.

Latin, Cuban, Cuba, rice, vegetable, sauce, meat, chicken
Alex Frank


Chili is a warm, hearty dish perfect for a cold day. It will keep you full and leave you feeling satisfied until your next meal.

Taco bowls

Taco bowls can be as simple or as extravagant as you want them to be. Feel free to add all the fixings or go with a simple base of rice with the addition of meat and veggies.

Final Thoughts

While meal-prepping can't fix all of your problems in college, it can alleviate some stress surrounding food. Setting aside a few hours on the weekend to plan and prep food can save you precious time during the busy school week. Try out some of these recipes the next time you're in the kitchen.