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45 Simple Recipes to Send with Your Kid to College

Send your kid off with easy food to make in the dorm or their tiny college apartment. One-pot pastas, simple soups and 5-ingredient entrees—these recipes practically belong on a college campus.

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Chicken Burrito Skillet

We love Mexican night at our house, and I love to re-create dishes from our favorite restaurants. This burrito-inspired dish is ready for the table in almost no time! —Krista Marshall, Fort Wayne, Indiana
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Muffin-Tin Lasagnas

This is a super fun way to serve lasagna for make-ahead lunches, potlucks or other fun get-togethers. My daughter took some of these to work and by noon was emailing me for the recipe. —Sally Kilkenny, Granger, Iowa
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Stephanie’s Slow-Cooker Stew

Start this warming one-pot meal before you head out for the day. By the time you get home, the well-seasoned meat will be tender and mouthwatering. —Stephanie Rabbitt-Schappacher, Cincinnati, Ohio
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Bacon Breakfast Pizza

Bacon Breakfast Pizza

I used to make this bacon breakfast pizza for my morning drivers when I worked at a delivery place. And they just loved it. Breakfast pizza is a quick and easy eye-opener that appeals to all ages. —Cathy Shortall, Easton, Maryland
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Chicken Provolone

Chicken Provolone, though one of my simplest dishes, is one of my husband’s favorites. It is easy to prepare and looks fancy served on a dark plate with a garnish of fresh parsley or basil. Add some buttered noodles for an easy side dish. —Dawn Bryant, Thedford, Nebraska
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Peanut Butter Oatmeal

My son and I eat this peanut butter oatmeal recipe every day for breakfast. It's a hearty, healthy way to jump start our morning. — Elisabeth Reitenbach, Terryville, Connecticut
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Sausage Potato Supper

One Saturday night a few years ago, I came up with this dish on the spur of the moment. It was dinnertime, and I had to use what I had on hand. It's been a hit with my family ever since. —Nancy Russell, Englewood, Colorado
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Skillet Mac & Cheese

This super creamy mac 'n' cheese is so simple it seems almost too easy! Kids really go for the rich cheese flavor, but I've never met an adult who didn't love it too. —Ann Bowers, Rockport, Texas
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Sesame Cilantro Shrimp

On days when I don’t feel like spending much time in the kitchen, I reach for shrimp. I can have a hot meal on the table in 10 minutes. —Tami Penunuri, League City, Texas
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Salsa Steak Garlic Toasts Exps Sdas18 214835 D03 27  2b 7

Salsa Steak Garlic Toasts

These open-faced steak sandwiches play up the popular combo of steak and garlic bread. The salsa, sour cream and garnish elevate it into a quick, satisfying meal. Substitute chopped green onions or chives for the cilantro if desired. —Arlene Erlbach, Morton Grove, Illinois
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Thai Style Chicken Chili Exps Thfm18 107581 C09 14 4b 4

Thai-Style Chicken Chili

I love this Asian take on the classic one-pot meal. It's quick, easy, nutritious and delicious. —Roxanne Chan, Albany, California
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Biscuits and Sausage Gravy

This is an old Southern biscuits and gravy recipe that I've adapted. Homemade sausage gravy is a classic, hearty breakfast that takes you on a trip to the South every time it's served. —Sue Baker, Jonesboro, Arkansas
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Waffle-Iron Pizzas

These little pizza pockets are a fun mashup using a waffle iron. Try adding your favorite toppings or even a few breakfast fillings, such as ham and eggs. —Amy Lents, Grand Forks, North Dakota
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Creamy White Chili

I got the best white chili recipe from my sister-in-law, who made a big batch and served a crowd one night. It was a hit. It's easy and quick, which is helpful since I'm a college student. In all my years of 4-H cooking, I've never had another dish get so many compliments. —Laura Brewer, Lafayette, Indiana
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Meat Loaf & Mashed Red Potatoes

Satisfy the meat-and-potatoes eaters in your house with this satisfying dish that all cooks up in one pot! Talk about classic comfort food. —Faith Cromwell, San Francisco, California
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Sheepherder's Breakfast

Sheepherder's Breakfast

My sister-in-law always made this delicious breakfast dish when we were camping and had to come up with good, easy breakfast ideas. Served with toast, juice and milk or coffee, it's a sure hit with the breakfast crowd! One-dish casseroles like this were a big help while I was raising my nine children. Now I've passed this recipe on to them. —Pauletta Bushnell, Albany, Oregon
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Carolina Style Vinegar Bbq Chicken Exps159396 Esc143234b04 15 2b Rms 2

Carolina-Style Vinegar BBQ Chicken

I live in Georgia, but I appreciate the tangy, sweet taste of Carolina barbecue chicken. In fact, my sons are more likely to show up to dinner if they know I'm serving this slow cooker recipe. —Ramona Parris, Canton, Georgia
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Fiesta Ravioli

I adapted this recipe to suit our taste for spicy food. The ravioli taste like mini enchiladas. I serve them with a Mexican-inspired salad and pineapple sherbet for dessert. —Debbie Purdue, Freeland, Michigan
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Grilled Brown Sugar Mustard Chicken Exps112199 Th143191c11 20 4bc Rms 2

Grilled Brown Sugar-Mustard Chicken

I came up with this recipe in college and it's been a household staple ever since. It's a snap to throw together with ingredients I have on hand. —Kendra Doss, Colorado Springs, Colorado
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Cheddar Ham Cups

When a college classmate and I threw a party for our professor, a friend contributed these savory appetizers. Everyone in the class requested the recipe before the party was done. Try the cups with chicken instead of ham if you’d like. —Brandi Ladner Gulfport, Mississippi
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Smothered Burritos

My brother-in-law teased that I only knew five ground beef recipes. I proved him wrong with my inventive spicy burritos. —Kim Kenyon, Greenwood, Missouri
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BBQ Meat Loaf Minis

Kids can have fun helping to prepare these mini meat loaves in muffin cups. For extra spice, we sometimes add 2 teaspoons chili powder and 1 cup of salsa. —Linda Call, Falun, Kansas
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Tortellini Carbonara

I've made this bacon, cream and Parmesan cheese pasta sauce for so many years and have always called it a carbonara. Low-and-behold, I recently found out it's actually more like an Alfredo sauce. In either case, it's absolutely heavenly and a great option for company! —Cathy Croyle, Davidsville, Pennsylvania
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Sweet 'n' Spicy Chicken

My husband and three children love this tender, sweet and spicy chicken. Peach preserves add just a touch of sweetness, while taco seasoning and salsa give this dish some kick. This entree can be made even zippier yet by adding more taco seasoning and using spicier salsa. —Sheri White, Higley, Arizona
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Buffalo Pulled Chicken

This slow cooker dump dinner is one of my go-to's. The lighter chicken is a nice alternative to pulled pork. —Kim Ciepluch, Kenosha, Wisconsin
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Black Bean And Beef Tostadas Exps Sdam18 55709 C12 01 3b 1

Black Bean and Beef Tostadas

Just a handful of ingredients add up to one of our family’s favorites. Also easy to double for company! —Susan Brown, Kansas City, Kansas
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One-Pot Spaghetti Dinner

Mamma mia! What’s the secret to this one-pot spaghetti? A homemade jar sauce and a one-pot cooking method makes this family favorite recipe quick and delicious. —Carol Benzel-Schmidt, Stanwood, Washington
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Parmesan Chicken Nuggets

My 3-year-old went through a chicken-nuggets-and-french-fries-only stage, so I made these golden nuggets for him. Even the grown-ups like them! —Amanda Livesay, Mobile, Alabama
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Chicken & Cheese Tortilla Pie

Trust me when I say this hearty dish can be assembled in minutes, then devoured even quicker with no leftovers. —Karen Kuebler, Dallas, Texas
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Mango Chutney Chicken Curry Exps169566 Sd142780b08 08 1bc Rms 5

Mango Chutney Chicken Curry

My father dreamed up this curry and chutney combination. Now my family cooks it on road trips—in rain and sun, in the mountains, even on the beach. Adjust the curry for taste and heat. —Dina Moreno, Seattle, Washington
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Mediterranean Tilapia

I recently became a fan of tilapia. The mild taste makes it easy to top with our favorite ingredients. And it’s low in calories and fat. What’s not to love? —Robin Brenneman, Hilliard, Ohio
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Slow-Cooker Chicken & Sweet Potato Chili

I'm a college student and one of the things I miss the most at school is my mom's wonderful cooking. This slow cooker recipe is something I can make in my dorm on a busy Sunday. I just throw it all in the slow cooker before I leave for church and come back to piping hot homemade comfort food. Be sure to serve with a good sprinkle of cheddar cheese, a dollop of sour cream, and plenty of tortilla chips. —Bailey Starkey, Mount Vernon, Washington
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Fluffy Scrambled Eggs

When our son, Chris, wants something other than cold cereal in the morning, he whips up these eggs. Cheese and evaporated milk make them especially good. They're easy to make when you're camping, too. —Chris Pfleghaar, Elk River, Minnesota
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Zippy Breaded Pork Chops Exps2247 5ing133188c04 18 1bc Rms 1

Zippy Breaded Pork Chops

Need a perky update for baked breaded pork chops? These chops with ranch dressing and a light breading will bring a delightful zing to your dinner table. —Ann Ingalls, Gladstone, Missouri
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Burrito Bake

Back when I was in college, my roommate would frequently make this economical baked burrito casserole. It's so easy to put together, and one serving goes a long way. —Cindee Ness, Horace, North Dakota
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Baked Salmon

I often make this very moist and flavorful oven-baked salmon for company because I can have it ready in less than half an hour. This baked salmon with lemon is well complemented by rice or a green vegetable and a tossed salad. —Emily Chaney, Penobscot, Maine
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Black Bean & Corn Quinoa

Some vegan quinoa recipes are boring, but this one definitely isn't. My daughter’s college asked parents for the best quinoa recipes to use in the dining halls. This healthy quinoa recipe fits the bill. —Lindsay McSweeney, Winchester, Massachusetts
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Quick & Easy Turkey Sloppy Joes

When we were first married and poor college students, I found this sloppy joe recipe and tweaked it. The fresh bell peppers give it a wonderful flavor. —Kallee Twiner, Maryville, Tennessee
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Beef & Bacon Gnocchi Skillet

This gnocchi dish tastes like a bacon cheeseburger. Go ahead and top it as you would a burger—with ketchup, mustard and pickles. —Ashley Lecker, Green Bay, Wisconsin
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Pulled Pork Nachos

While home from college, my daughter made these tempting pork nachos, her first recipe ever. My son and I couldn't get enough. —Carol Kurpjuweit, Humansville, Missouri
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Chicken Cordon Bleu in Pastry

Baking chicken breasts in a flaky dough makes them turn out moist and delicious every time. This fancy dish is nice to serve family as well as guests. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Grandmother's Toad in a Hole

I have fond memories of my grandmother’s Yorkshire pudding wrapped around sausages, a puffy dish my kids called “the boat.” Slather it with butter and maple syrup. —Susan Kieboam, Streetsboro, Ohio
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Mom's Sloppy Tacos

No matter how hectic the weeknight, there's always time to serve your family a healthy meal with recipes this easy and delicious! —Kami Jones, Avondale, Arizona
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Shrimp Pasta Alfredo

My son loves any recipe with Alfredo sauce. When he cooked as a bachelor, shrimp pasta was one of his first recipes. Now his children ask for it. —Gail Lucas, Olive Branch, Mississippi
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Quick Chicken Piccata

Quick chicken recipes make dinner a breeze. Laced with lemon and simmered in white wine, this stovetop entree is super easy and elegant. Almost any side—noodles, veggies or bread—tastes better next to this lovely chicken. —Cynthia Heil, Augusta, Georgia

Annamarie Higley
Annamarie Higley is an Associate Print Editor for Taste of Home magazine, as well as the brand's special issue publications. A midwestern transplant originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, she enjoys hiking, trivia-ing, and—you guessed it!—all things cooking and baking.
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