Recipes for Students

Kraft Dinner, otherwise known as macaroni and cheese in a box, is probably one of the most regularly eaten meals among students. When you realize, however, that the meal consists of macaroni covered in butter, milk and a fluorescent orange “cheese” powder you may wonder why the Kraft Dinner phenomenon occurs?

The most likely reasons that I can think of are that you can buy this entire meal for about $1.00, you can make it in about 10 minutes, there are easy to read instructions on the box that anyone can follow, and it really doesn’t taste that bad. Some more extravagant students might even make fancy Kraft Dinner by putting Ketchup on it or mixing in some cut up wieners. I’m not trying to put down the wonderful macaroni treat, which I too eat quite frequently; I am simply trying to point out that many students are in need of meals other than Kraft Dinner that are fast, easy and cheap.

This is most likely because they spent all their money on tuition, they used up all their brain power studying and the last thing they want to do with the little, if any, free time they have is cook. That is why I am presenting this article with my favorite and easiest recipes in the hopes that it will provide students with one or two other meals to make when they just can’t eat Kraft Dinner anymore.


What it is: Mashed potatoes covered in a hamburger and beans mixture.

What you need

1lb hamburger
1 can of brown beans (with pork, with tomato sauce, it really doesn’t matter, I usually randomly grab a can anyway)
4 or 5 large potatoes
Ground black pepper

How to make it

1. Peel potatoes and cut them in half. If peeling potatoes sounds like too much work then you and I agree on something. I found that mashed potatoes taste quite good with the skins on, so why not be adventurous and give it a try. Don’t peel the potatoes just cut them in half and then cut the halves in half.
2. Boil the potatoes in water
3. Brown hamburger
4. Nuke beans in microwave for 3-4 minutes
5. When the hamburger is done drain out the grease in a strainer and mix in the beans. Stir the mixture and add black pepper. How much? As much as you want. Cook together for about another 2-3 minutes on medium heat.
6. Mash potatoes while mixing in butter and milk. Put mashed potatoes in the middle of the plate and pour the hamburger/bean mixture on top.


What it is: Rice with meatballs on top.

What you need

One box of pre-made frozen meatballs
Minute rice

How you make it

1. Put meatballs in oven pan and place in oven. For temperature and time follow instructions on the box of meatballs you bought. Usually takes about 10-20 minutes to cook meatballs.
2. Put desired amount of rice in a microwaveable bowl and add water until the rice is just covered. Cook in microwave for 5 minutes. If this article is not handy, Minute Rice also has instructions on the box.
3. Stir butter into rice when it’s done and put it on a plate. Put cooked meatballs on top of rice. If you want to get even fancier you could put plum sauce or soy sauce on the rice instead of butter.


What it is: A Mexican dish consisting of cheese, chicken and jalapeno peppers cooked between two tortilla shells and eaten with salsa and sour cream.

What you need

1 package of chicken cut into strips or chunks, or you can put the effort into cutting up the chicken yourself
3-4 jalapeno peppers
Mozzarella cheese
2 tortilla shells
Sour cream

How you make it

1. Grate cheese
2. Slice up jalapeno peppers. If you do not like hot and spicy food do not put the peppers on because they are extremely hot. The quesadillas will taste just as good without them.
3. Cook chicken strips in a frying pan with butter.
4. Cover 1 tortilla with grated cheese.
5. Put chicken and peppers on top of the cheese.
6. Put the remaining tortilla on top.
7. Cook in oven for 15 minutes at 350 F.
8. Let it cool for 5 minutes and cut it into slices like pizza. Put sour cream and salsa on top or dip the quesadilla in it.


What it is: Crackers with pepperoni and melted cheese. These are great for a quick lunch or snack.

What you need

One box of Triscuit brand crackers (you should use these crackers because they stay crunchy when cooked)
Mozzarella cheese

How you make it

1. Slice up pepperoni and cheese
2. Put down one triscuit on a plate, put a slice of pepperoni on top and put a slice of cheese on top of the pepperoni. Make as many as you want.
3. Put the plate in the microwave for about 1-2 minutes or until the cheese melts.


What it is: Tube shaped pasta with cheese, hamburger, mushrooms, green peppers and spaghetti sauce. It may sound like a lot more work than KD, but once you try it you’ll see that it is really easy and tastes a lot better.

What you need

Penne (tube shape pasta located in the same place in the supermarket as spaghetti. It costs about the same as spaghetti too.)
Mozzarella cheese
1 lb hamburger
1 green pepper
7-8 mushrooms
1 can of spaghetti sauce
Ground black pepper
Mrs. Dash brand Italian spices or whatever spices you want (e.g. garlic, basil, etc)

How you make it

1. Slice green pepper into strips.
2. Slice up mushrooms.
3. Brown hamburger and drain the grease out.
4. Boil penne for 10-12 minutes.
5. Put sliced green pepper and mushrooms into same pan as hamburger.
6. When the vegetables look like they are starting to cook add spaghetti sauce, black pepper and Italian spices. Cook on medium heat until vegetables are cooked and sauce is warm.
7. Grate cheese
8. Put one layer of penne on a plate and cover it with cheese. Put the rest of the penne on top and then put the sauce mixture on top of the penne.

That’s all the recipes I have for now, but I encourage everyone else to share their recipes with other students as well. Hopefully, I have given you a few new dishes to keep your meals exciting and quick.