These three meals only take 30 minutes to prepare and cook. They’re easy recipes for students who have a lot on their plate—no pun intended!
Sweet and Savory Hawaiian Chicken Casserole
Hawaiian cuisine uniquely combines fruit and meat to create savory-sweet meals. Food on the islands has a strong Asian influence, which you’ll experience through the soy sauce and chow mein noodles in this recipe.
This delicious dish will leave you with just one dirty bowl and one dirty pan. In addition to prep and cooking time being short, cleanup will also be quick!
2 cups of cooked chicken, cut into cubes
1 can of condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 cup of canned pineapple tidbits, unless you’re a wiz at preparing fresh pineapple
2 celery stalks, chopped or diced
1 tablespoon of green onion, chopped
1 tablespoon of soy sauce
3 ounces of chow mein noodles, split into two servings
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease a two-quart baking dish so the casserole won’t stick.
Mix all of the ingredients except for the chow mein noodles. Once the soup and soy sauce saturates everything, add half of the chow mein noodles and stir until just mixed.
Pour everything into the baking dish. Sprinkle the leftover chow mein noodles on top of the casserole.
Bake for 20 minutes. Leave the dish uncovered as it cooks so the top chow mein noodles stay crunchy.
Bean burritos are a classic meal that’s easy to fix, especially if you keep the ingredients on hand. Buying shredded cheese and lettuce instead of doing it yourself saves even more time.
This recipe makes 12 bean burritos, so you can pack some for lunches throughout the week. They warm up well in the microwave.
1 can of refried beans
1 cup of salsa, your choice of spiciness
1 cup of cooked rice
2 cups of cheddar cheese, shredded
12 6-inch flour tortillas
1 cup of lettuce, shredded (optional)
Note: Using canned refried beans is easiest, but you can always make a batch of your own if you have time.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9 by 13-inch baking dish so the burritos won’t stick.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the beans, salsa, and rice. Once they’re integrated, add in one cup of shredded cheddar cheese.
Spread out the tortillas and scoop about ⅓ of a cup of filling onto each one. Fold in the sides and tuck in the ends as you roll them up so the filling won’t fall out of the bottoms.
Note: You can freeze the burritos at this step and cook them later. Or double all of the ingredients and make a batch to cook now and a batch to freeze for later. That will ensure you have a tasty meal almost ready in your freezer!
Line up the burritos in the baking dish and sprinkle the second cup of cheese on top of them. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 20 minutes.
When you remove them from the oven, you can sprinkle shredded lettuce on top. It’s possible to cook the lettuce inside of the burritos, but the heat will wilt it slightly. If you want the slight crunch of lettuce, it’s best to wait and add it before you serve the meal.
Creamy Spinach and Artichoke Pasta
Sometimes it’s hard to find good vegetarian recipes that don’t require you to soak lentils overnight or heat a veggie patty. This spinach and artichoke pasta is one meal that everyone is sure to love.
If you’re a fan of spinach and artichoke dip, then you’ll love this healthy pasta version of that classic snack.
Consider mixing this up by using zucchini noodles instead of pasta. They’re easy to make and won’t add much time to your prep.
8 ounces of rotini pasta (whole-wheat is a healthy option)
5 ounces of spinach, chopped
14 ounces of artichoke hearts, chopped (if you used canned artichokes, rinse them and then squeeze them dry before chopping)
4 ounces of cream cheese, cut into cubes
¾ cup of milk
½ cup of Parmesan cheese, grated (use more to garnish the completed dish)
2 teaspoons of garlic powder
¼ of a teaspoon of ground pepper
1 tablespoon of water
Note: For the healthiest version of this dish, use reduced-fat cream cheese and milk.
On the stovetop, boil a large pot of water to cook the pasta. Follow the directions on the pasta package for cooking time. Drain the pasta once it’s tender and put it aside.
In the large pot, combine the spinach and water. Cook it over medium heat for two minutes, stirring so it heats evenly. Move the spinach to a bowl when it’s cooked.
Put the cream cheese and milk in the pot and whisk it until the cream cheese melts. Add the Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, and ground pepper. Cook and stir until it gets thick and bubbles.
Drain any water that surfaced in the spinach bowl before adding the spinach to the pot. Stir the spinach in, then add the artichoke hearts. Once the vegetables mix into the sauce, mix in the pasta. Let it heat back up in the pot and serve warm.
If you’re using zucchini noodles, your process is slightly different. Zucchini noodles are best cooked in a skillet with a splash of olive oil. Toss them for two to three minutes until they’re slightly tender. The rest of the recipe is the same.