Twenty Minute College Meals

There are two things skills that college taught me which translate to my day to day life. The first is my love for cooking quick meals and finding ways to cook a recipe with the meagre ingredients. The second valuable trait that I grew to learn was being able to organize my time and optimize every hour to be full of productivity. 

A typical day would be waking up at 7:30, grabbing a quick egg bagel from the college canteen or a yogurt granola (if I actually woke up on time), classes till 12:30, a salad and fries for lunch, classes again till 1630 and then club meetings or work till 2030. I had about 45 minutes between these meetings, talks, work, or group projects to get a meal. Some days that meant turkey wraps with fries or rush back home to make a quick meal.

Other than this, I spent the weekend getting over hangovers (this was rare I promise) and testing out meals to make for the weekend that can be made and consumed in the 45 minute window. For two years straight, this is all I thought about when I wasn’t in school or at work or at a meeting (well, I’m sure I was thinking about food then too). I know that a sizable amount of my audience are still in college or are living a life where they too have only 45 minutes a day to think about their three meals. A lot of my recipes are super college friendly and with that in mind, here are a list of recipes— breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner that are perfect for that precious window. Please do try to make these recipes because trust me— no prepared meal will ever be as good as something you make for you. Enjoy!


You can search for the usual fried, boiled, poached eggs but here are things to actually help you out for days that those meals are just not enough. 


A super easy recipe that requires a 10 minute prep and an hour of roasting under a glaze of either honey or maple syrup. My recipe is vegan and uses coconut oil which can be switched out for veggie oil with the same amount. Quinoa is my favorite grain but I would use amaranth, oats, or millet to get that perfect mix of protein, carb, and fat. Serve with a nice serving of yogurt or milk. 

Breakfast Burrito

This was my Wednesday jam! I would cut up the potatoes and put them on a pan, run to brush my teeth, pick out my clothes, come back to the pan to flip and add water, go back to my morning chores and soon enough the burrito was almost there. The cook time is less than 20 minutes and the end product is this nice, heavy, cheesy perfection that will help you tide over even the worst day of the week. 

Hangover eggs

A Friday night of drinking would result in one of the worst hangovers that need a heavy meal to mop up all that alcohol. I would actually do the mise while pre gaming the night before. It would then just be setting the pan on medium, adding a nice amount of veggie oil, dumping potatoes, onions, and spices into the pan while running to the bathroom for a quick belch and then coming back to dark roasted veggies, stir them some, pack it to one side, kill the heat, and drop some eggs. The best thing about this recipe? It both looks and tastes good best in the pan it was made in. 


Salads aside there are quick fixes that only take as long as you take in prepping them. A great way to cut the cook time is to use your much needed Netflix evening time the day before in cutting up veg and if needed, cook the rice too! 

Garlic Fried Rice

Not the perfect meal before a snogging but that perfect crunchy crust with that runny egg on top is better than any osculation. 

Pasta Alla Vodka

Ever saw a tube of tomato paste and wondered what that’s good for? This. Don’t tell me you have no leftover vodka to help caramelize the fat that is rendered through the pork. Fresh pasta plus all these ingredients equal a beautiful meal that I’m salivating even as I type 

Pad Thai

People really fuck up this classic, and its easy to do that when you have so many options for a sauce. You don't need the tamarind that classic recipes ask but you do need that high salt content that a fish sauce gives. A quick replacement— lime juice and classic dark soy sauce. 


I wish I knew these options before I found fries and cheez-its. Alas, I hope you try some of these though. 

Hummus and veg

Beetroot hummus is amazingly healthy, the only caveat being that you might need a food processor which is kind of important to have. A food processor is great actually because of how many things you can make with this. Pulsing herbs with fat and spices make the perfect sauce to lay over pasta or as a layer of flavor in soups. 


I have recipes for a classic basil pesto thats perfect for a quick grilled cheese sandwich, pasta. Also, on a similar vain is a miso pesto which is perfect with ramen noodles, or even, Maggi noodles. 

Hot Chocolate

Winter needs some dark chocolate drinks that don’t come in a stupid pouch with sugar and milk solids. 


Curries are the way to got for dinner. You can make them bulk and eat it up with your favorite grain. Coconut milk is a great fat as it's filling, unique in its flavor, and vegan!

Thai Red curry

I learnt the basic curry in college but always used the pre-made paste. Real Thai has some of the most economical options. Just add a notch of sriracha and to the curry and you'll be good to go. I used to make enough for 3 meals and added a mix of both chicken and shrimp to make sure the curry is flush with protein. 

Butter Free Butter Chicken

or when you miss home. I use dried fenugreek leaves to really bring some of that classic butter chicken flavor and coconut milk to give it that classic color and acts as a replacement to all that butter and cashews a classic curry would need. 

Lemon Garlic Chicken

A truly 20 minute recipe that includes a lemon, garlic, olive oil marinade. Lightly breaded in flour makes a perfect crispy, fragrant chicken.  


Here's a disclaimer, none of these will take 20 minutes but all of them were made by me in my college kitchen without the use of a pre made.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

 Cookie dough needs some thought. While you can eyeball the measurements, there is a strict ratio you need to follow. Luckily, this recipe has done that for you already.

Cherry Cream Scones

Cherries, blueberries, or any of your favorite stone fruits are absolutely perfect for when you really feeling like treat yourself!


I love chewy brownies laced with fudge and a level of depth achieved by using a mix of chocolate ganache and coffee espresso powder. Make this to celebrate any kind of day, good, bad, or just a Tuesday!