Eating healthy in college especially on a budget can be difficult. That’s why I’m sharing some of my favorite healthy college meals that are easy to make as well as stores that will help you find affordable groceries that are healthy.
I remember my times in college and how intimidated I was with cooking. Thankfully, I had roommates to learn from and were patient with me when whipping up meals. The transition from mom’s cooking to dorm cooking was rough in the beginning especially when it came to budgeting for myself.
So, I’m going to help you cut down on the junk food, like the classic potato chips, cookies and crackers you snatch up at your campus convenient stores. You’ll be whipping up healthy college meals from your dorm in no time.
How Can I Eat Healthy On A College Budget?
I eventually managed to stick to a $50 a week budget and that’s due to learning how to shop smart, knowing which grocery stores have better prices on certain foods and produce, buying in bulk and taking advantage of sales.
Here is a list of grocery stores to buy cheap healthy food so you can whip up some easy recipes:
- Trader Joe’s: It will forever be my #1 store. I get just about everything from here: chicken breast, garlic, vegetables like bell pepper and avocados, honey, coconut chips, nut butter like almond butter and more. The price is always right especially the packaged foods in the frozen section.
- 99 Cents Store: I love to come here for produce: apples, bananas, onions, granola, tomatoes, cucumbers and so on. I also like to purchase healthy snacks and packaged foods from here too.
- Costco: You’ll need a Costco membership but it’s so worth. There’s no better place to get bulks of water bottles, oatmeal, bread, brown rice, nuts, paper towels and etc.
- Walmart: Everything in Walmart is always a bit cheaper than it’s competitors like Target including their groceries.
- Aldi: I recently started shopping here and I was amazed at all the inexpensive options.
- Local Stores: Going to my local Ralph’s or Whole Foods can still be a win when you shop during their sales. Whenever Ralph’s has Jennie O ground turkey on sale at $2.49 (reg. $4.49+), I always stock up because they don’t have a limit.
Be sure not to over do it with grocery buying especially if you live in a dorm with a mini fridge. Buy just enough groceries that will last you for a week if you plan to store them in the fridge.
What Are Some Healthy College Meals?
I’m sharing some of the best healthy college meals I found on Pinterest that you can eat in your dorms. There’s no preparation with a lot of these meals and many of them can be cooked in the microwave, which is perfect for those who don’t have a stove.
1. Avocado Deviled Eggs
Deviled eggs are insanely good but this version is even better. They’re healthy, quick to whip up and so tasty. It’s the perfect little snack to enjoy before your next meal.
2. Healthy Chocolate Overnight Oats
I’m a big fan of overnight oats because it’s a grab and go meal and very filling. The prep work has to be done the night before but it’s super easy to make. This particular recipe uses only 5 ingredients and can be done in 5 minutes. It’s gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan friendly!
Healthy College Microwave Meals
No need to make a trip to the dining hall. These healthy college microwave meals are perfect for when you need to whip up something fast!
3. Microwave Scrambled Egg Cups
This is such a creative meal prep idea you can easily make in your dorm room that I just had to put it on this list. It’s a healthy breakfast idea that can be ready in just minutes. You can even throw in some bits of turkey bacon if you like. It’s the perfect on-the-go meal when you’re heading to class.
4. Cinnamon Maple French Toast In A Mug
Us college students don’t have time for a full-on breakfast. So this french toast in a mug is the perfect solution. You can easily put this in the microwave and be ready in under two minutes!
5. Microwave Cauliflower Fried Rice
There are plenty of healthier options for fried rice like this recipe here. Cauliflower rice is a great substitute for regular rice and an easy way to consume more veggies in your diet. If you’re living the low carb, than this meal is a great option for you! This cauliflower fried rice can be ready in under 10 minutes.
6. Microwave Cauliflower Mac and Cheese
We all love mac and cheese but have you prepared it using cauliflower as a substitute? This creamy and cheesy version is definitely a twist on the original and it sure does make me want to try it. With only 5 ingredients, you can whip this up in your dorm in 10 minutes! Just add some protein and your meal is set.
7. Microwave Fettuccine Alfredo in a Mug
Who doesn’t love fettuccine alfredo? What’s great about this recipe is that it’s microwaveable and you can easily make it in a mug. It’s something you can put together quick for lunch or dinner.
recipe via Kimspired DIY
8. Spinach Ricotta Lasagna In A Mug
Another mug meal? Who would of thought you can make so many delicious meals in a mug. This spinach ricotta lasagna is the perfect comfort food you can whip up in 15 minutes! All you need is a mug and a microwave.
9. Microwave Egg Sandwich
An egg sandwich was my favorite go-to breakfast when I lived in a dorm. It’s one of my favorite healthy college meals on this list because it’s so quick and simple to make. You can literally put this together in 2 minutes! Yes, just 2 minutes!
10. Microwave Pizza Bread
Craving pizza? You’ll love this dorm room recipe idea! This pizza bread recipe is another quick and easy meal you can make in the microwave. It’s cheesy, full of flavor and you’ll enjoy every bite. Make one for your roommate and they too will gobble this up in seconds.
11. Cookie Dough Microwave Oatmeal
I’ve tried all kinds of oatmeal; but, this one is the most exciting because I’m a cookie dough fiend. This recipe taste like chocolate chip cookie dough and it’s healthy. It can be ready in two minutes.
12. Ramen In A Mug
Now, I know. Ramen is not something you would consider a healthy meal due to the high sodium content and lack of nutritional value. However I found this recipe and I say it qualifies as a healthier alternative. It’s low calorie with much less sodium and has good ingredients that is so satisfying to eat. Plus you can make this in a mug!
Healthy Recipes For College Students In Apartments
These healthy college meals are more for those who live in an apartment or have an apartment-style dorm. They require a stove and/or oven to cook.
13. Three Ingredient Banana Oat Pancakes
This 3-ingredient pancake recipe will make cooking breakfast a breeze. It’s a healthy, clean eating recipe that are fluffy, full of protein, fiber and great for busy mornings. You can meal prep and freeze them when you’re looking for something quick before heading to class.
14. Spinach Avocado Breakfast Quesadilla
This vegetarian quesadilla recipe is a great idea for breakfast. It’s high in protein, you’ll get plenty of healthy fats from the avocado and it’s crazy good. Great to kick start your day or to eat after your morning workout.
15. Broccoli “Rice” Casserole
This is the perfect low-carb side dish to enjoy during lunch or dinner. It’s made with cauliflower rice instead of grain rice. All you need is protein (fish, chicken, etc) to complete your meal and you’re all set.
16. Turkey Taco Salad Bowls
If you love to meal prep, check out this recipe idea. You can chipotle-style burrito bowls at home using flavorful turkey ground meat, black beans and fresh ingredients. Can easily pack in a small container to take to work.
17. Ten Minute Quesadilla
This meatless quesadilla is easy to make and taste like pizza. You can easily recreate this recipe on the stove or your George Foreman grill in just 10 minutes!
18. Five Ingredient Spinach Parmesan Zucchini Noodles
These zucchini noodles is such a fun way to add more veggies to your diet. It’s a fun way to enjoy noodles and you can whip this up in 20 minutes. Honestly, it’s a recipe all of your roommates can enjoy.
19. Four Ingredient Caprese Pasta Salad
This is a simple recipe that only requires four ingredients. It’s a cold caprese pasta salad that you can enjoy on hot days. It’s also perfect for a crowd. When you whip this recipe up make sure to share with your roommates or invite some friends over.
20. Quinoa Fried Ground Beef and Broccoli
This quinoa fried ground beef and broccoli recipe is loaded with protein. It’s similar to fried rice but different and it can be ready in less than 30 minutes. If you enjoy eating fried rice, this is a healthier alternative. You could also meal prep this for the week.
21. Healthy Tuna Pasta Salad
A healthy tuna pasta salad that’s perfect for meal prep. Aside from tuna it’s also made with corn and greek yogurt instead of traditional mayo. It’s lean, but still delicious!
22. Five Ingredient Vegetarian Taquitos
Using only five ingredients, you can have these vegetarian taquitos ready in 10 minutes! There’s even an option to make it vegan or add meat.
23. Five Ingredient Lemon Chicken With Asparagus
This is a such a delicious healthy dinner idea! It’s perfect for those on a low carb diet and can be ready in 20 minutes.
24. Healthy Egg White Muffin Cups
Here’s a high protein, low fat breakfast idea! These egg white muffins are the perfect on-the-go breakfast meal. These are healthy and easy to make. You can easily store them in the fridge or in a freezer and reheat when you’re ready for breakfast.
25. Turkey Taco Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
Such a clevel meal idea! In 20 minutes you can enjoy these sweet potatoes stuffed turkey taco. With only 226 calories it’s a fantastic dinner option when you’re dieting or if you just want to eat something healthy.
Healthy College Meals On A Budget
Some of my favorite healthy college meals on a budget. You can enjoy these as a snack and they’re very filling.
26. Avocado Turkey Hummus Wrap
Move over avocado toast because this avocado and turkey hummus wrap makes for the perfect lunch or snack. With just a few simple ingredients, you can whip this up in a breeze! It takes less than 5 minutes to put together so you can meal prep this the night before making it easy for grab and go when heading to school the next morning. Another one of my favorite healthy college meals!
27. Banana Peanut Butter Wrap
This vegan wrap is the perfect on-the-go snack option. One of my favorite healthy college snacks on this list. You can easily save time in the kitchen putting together this wrap and it’s super healthy. You don’t have to be vegan to enjoy this!
28. Sweet Potato Bagel Chips
Another cool snack idea that’s gluten free, paleo and healthy! Made from sweet potatoes, these baked bagel chips are the ultimate crunchy snack. Takes 20 minutes to bake in the oven.
What’s a meal without dessert. Whip up a quick dessert in your dorm room with anyone of these healthy recipes. In fact, you’ll find many can be enjoyed straight from a mug.
29. One Minute Keto Mug Brownie
This is probably the most indulgent healthy brownie you’ll have and it’s made in a mug. In one minute, you’ll solve all your chocolate cravings. It’s keto, super-fudgy and cooks in the microwave. It doesn’t get any better than that.
30. Cinnamon Roll Mug Cake
When you’re craving something sweet, this cinnamon roll mug cake is the perfect treat. Not only is it healthy, it’s easy to make and so yummy. All you need to do is just mix up the ingredients and put in a mug, throw it in the microwave and let it cook for 1 minute. Enjoy while you’re studying at home.
31. Banana Mug Cake
Here’s a lower calorie mug cake you’ll definitely want to try. This healthy mug cake is vegan and naturally sweetened thanks to the banana so it’s healthy enough to enjoy for breakfast if you like. You can also customize it to your liking by adding by mixing in nuts, dark chocolate chips and more!
32. Four Ingredient Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Bites
A gluten-free healthy dessert recipe that only requires four ingredients. They are quick and easy to make and can be meal prepped ahead of time.
33. Healthy Apple Crisps
Another quick and easy dessert recipe. These mini apple crisps are totally healthy. The crisps are refined sugar free and the crumb topping is made of old-fashioned oats. This is perfect when you want to satisfy your sweet tooth after dinner.
Liked this healthy college meals recipe ideas post? Then check out: 16 Easy Recipes You Can Make In Your Dorm Room