OPINION: Easy college recipes for your first semester back to school

A sample of some of the seasonings and food additives used in these recipes. (Monica Diaz | Collegian Media Group)

The fall semester is almost here! In less than one month, you will go from your mom’s chicken pot pie and homemade cookies to a bag of ramen and the occasional McDouble with an order of small fries. But what if I told you there was a better way?

Preparing to cook for yourself is a time consuming task that may appear difficult and costly. I’m used to homemade meals, and I was nervous the first time I had to cook.

But with fast recipes like these, it is easy to conquer the kitchen.

Walking Tacos

Requirements: small bags of Doritos, ground beef, toppings based on preference (tomatoes, onions, cheese, sour cream)

Let’s taco ‘bout a quick and delicious meal that you can take on the go!

First off, cook your ground beef until it’s brown with your favorite seasoning. I like to season my ground beef with Adobo, which is a Goya product and can be found at your nearest grocery store.

Once the meat is browned, you have done nearly all the work. Put your ground beef into your individual bag of Doritos and add your toppings.

I enjoy putting diced tomatoes, cheddar cheese, dried onions, sour cream and salsa verde on top of the ground beef. If you have a favorite hot sauce and want to make the meal spicier, go for it.

The convenient thing about this meal is that you have a bag of nachos that is easy to carry and throw away when finished, so you don’t need to worry about dirtying any dishes.

Parmesan Garlic Noodles

Requirements: three packets of ramen noodles, butter, garlic, a cup of parmesan cheese, grilled chicken (optional)

Tight on money but still want a hearty meal? Look no further as you transform your average package of ramen noodles into a delicious Italian meal. This can also be a vegetarian option, if you prefer.

Begin with boiling your ramen noodles in a pan until they are fully cooked. You do not need to add the flavor packets since you will be making your own sauce for this meal.

While the noodles are cooking, put half a stick of butter, two cloves of garlic and a cup of parmesan in a separate sauce pan. Make sure to mix the ingredients all together until there’s a silky smooth consistency.

If you want to add chicken to your meal, cook it separately in a pan until it is fully cooked and then you can add it during the final steps.

When your noodles are cooked, drain out all of the water and leave the noodles in the pot. Then add your ingredients from the sauce pan and stir until it is all blended. If you are adding chicken to your meal, you can add it now into the pot.

Once everything is mixed, you can enjoy your meal! This meal serves two, so you can split it with a roommate, enjoy leftovers or cook for your sweetheart as a… ramen-tic dinner date.

Buffalo Chicken Pizza

Requirements: pizza crust, chicken, butter, onion powder, garlic powder, mozzarella cheese, hot sauce, ranch or blue cheese dressing

This is the perfect meal to make for yourself or a group of friends on a movie night.

Start with cooking the chicken in a pan, then make the sauce for your pizza. You will mix a stick of butter, garlic powder and onion powder in a sauce pan until it has a liquid consistency.

Pour the sauce on your pre-made pizza crust and make sure it is fully covered. Next, cut up your chicken into tiny cubes or strips. You can use any hot sauce to coat the chicken, but I recommend Hooter’s Wing Sauce since it is flavorful and sticks to the chicken.

Once the chicken is coated, spread it out all on the pizza crust and then cover it with mozzarella cheese. You will cook this in the oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and browning. When this is finished, you can top it off with ranch or blue cheese dressing for a meal you crust can’t get enough of.

Monica Diaz is the social media editor for the Collegian and a junior in mass communications. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Collegian. Please send comments to opinion@kstatecollegian.com.

I'm Monica Diaz and I graduated in May 2020 with a degree in broadcast journalism and Spanish. I severed in several roles while working for the Collegian, but most of my work focused on rebuilding the Collegian digital brand with an increased social media presence. I also worked on KKSU-TV and appeared as an anchor on MHK All Day in my last semester on campus. In my spare time, I enjoy a good cup of coffee and spending time with family. I have a passion for journalism because I believe that everyone deserves to have their voice heard.