I found this Cheesy Onion Casserole on Instructables, though it was originally posted on the Forkable blog. It is basically like a French Onion Soup-type casserole, and it sounds amazing. This is definitely a dish to make with friends, and serving it as a group dish would alleviate costs, making it an even cheaper dish.
Here is the original recipe:
- 2-3 Tbs butter or margarine
- 3 large sweet onions or 4 medium white or yellow onions
- 2 c. shredded Swiss cheese (8 oz.)
- 1 can cream of chicken soup, undiluted**
- 2/3 c. milk
- 1 tsp. soy sauce
- 8 or so slices of French bread
- Slice onions.
- Melt butter in a saute pan over medium heat, and add onions.
- Saute onions until clear, a little brown is okay.
- In a shallow 2 qt. casserole pan, layer onions, 2/3 of cheese and pepper to taste.
- In a sauce pan, heat soup, milk, and soy sauce, stirring to blend.
- Pour soup mixture in a casserole and stir gently to mix.
- Top with bread slices.
- Bake at 350 uncovered for 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes, top of bread should be nice and toasted.
- Push bread slices under the sauce and top with the remaining cheese.
- Bake for 15 more minutes and you are done!
**You can make this vegetarian by substituting cream of mushroom soup instead of cream of chicken.
This recipe definitely requires more steps than most recipes college students are willing to prepare, but if it is made for a group dinner, the work can be divided.
Reviewers had great things to say about the recipe, though some responded with ideas to make the recipe a little less soupy. Others offered substitution suggestions:
These Crescent Sausage Bites from The Kitchen Is My Playground are SO simple, and very cheap to make! Try making them with friends or roommates, or scale the recipe down.
Here is the original recipe:
- 1 lb. hot sausage (pork or turkey)
- 1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese
- 2 packages crescent rolls
- Dash salt & ground black pepper
- In a saute pan, brown sausage; drain. Add a dash of salt and pepper. Blend in cream cheese until the cream cheese is melted.
- Unroll one package of crescent rolls and place on a baking sheet. With your fingers, gently press the seams together to seal them. Spread the sausage mixture evenly over the crescent roll dough, leaving about a 1/2-inch border along the edges.
- Unroll the remaining package of crescent rolls and place on top of the sausage mixture. Press the edges together to seal. Gently press the seams together.
- Bake at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until crescent roll dough is golden brown.
- Cut into small squares and serve. (A pizza cutter makes really quick and easy work of the cutting.)
This is a great easy breakfast or brunch recipe, and would be an awesome easy group recipe to share at a potluck brunch as well. Reviewers had some tips to spice up the dish, as well:
I can’t wait to try this one out!
This mushroom dish from Natasha’s Kitchen is incredibly quick, super easy, and looks delicious! From start to finish, the dish takes less than 15 minutes to make, and also contains cheap ingredients.
Here is the original recipe:
- 1 lb mushrooms (baby bella’s, cremini or button mushrooms)
- 1 medium or 2 small onions
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 3 tbsp sour cream
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Chopped green onion, optional for garnish
- Finely chop your onions. Cut mushrooms into ¼” thick slices.
- In a medium, non-stick pan, saute onions in 1-2 tbsp olive oil for a few min or until golden
- In a separate, large pan, sauté sliced mushrooms in 1-2 tbsp olive oil until soft. Drain off excess juice if needed; leaving behind a small amount of juice.
- Combine mushrooms and onions. Add in 3 tsp sour cream and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
Reviewers had positive things to say about the dish. It is not only a quick, cheap and easy weeknight meal for college students, but it also contains relatively healthy ingredients.
I love quesadillas–they’re so simple to make, and they always taste amazing. This quesadilla recipe from A Kitchen Addiction adds a twist on the classic recipe, and I can’t wait to try it out!
Here’s the recipe for 4 servings:
- 4 flour tortillas
- 1 C cooked and shredded chicken, about 1/2 lb
- 1/4 C hot sauce
- 2 tbsp blue cheese or ranch dressing
- 1/4 C green pepper, chopped
- 1/4 C tomatoes, chopped
- 1 C shredded cheese, I used reduced-fat cheddar and monterrey jack
- sour cream and salsa
- Stir together chicken, hot sauce, and dressing until well-combined.
- Spray skillet with olive oil (use a Misto bottle) or non-stick cooking spray.
- Place a tortilla shell in the skillet. Spread a 1/4 C of the cheese evenly on top. Spread 1/2 of the chicken over the top. Sprinkle with 1/2 of the peppers and tomatoes. Spread another 1/4 C of the cheese on top. Top with another tortilla.
- Cook over medium heat for 3-5 minutes or until tortilla turns light golden brown and cheese is melted, flipping the quesadilla halfway through the cooking time to insure even heating. Repeat with remaining tortillas and filling.
- Cut into wedges and serve with sour cream and salsa.
Here is what reviewers had to say about the recipe:
This meal is very easy to make, and can be adapted in many different ways. I think that cutting the recipe in half would make for a great weeknight meal–I would love to try adding jalapenos and bacon!
This recipe looks awesome–I had never thought to serve cheeseburgers in this way! The recipe comes from Semi Homemade Mom, and is actually a relatively healthy recipe. It also contains cheap ingredients and is easy to make–perfect for a hungry college student!
Here is the recipe:
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (or more to taste)
- 1 tablespoon ketchup
- 1 teaspoon dried minced onion
- pepper and salt to taste
- 5 flour tortillas (the larger ones)
- shredded cheddar cheese
- sliced tomatoes
- yellow mustard
- Brown ground beef in large skillet and drain.
- Add Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, dried onion, and salt and pepper to the beef and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Sprinkle shredded cheese down center of each tortilla.
- Add a few heaping tablespoons of the beef mixture on top of the cheese.
- Spread some mustard on top of the beef along with some slices of tomato.
- Roll up tortilla burrito-style and place wraps on preheated indoor grill (Try using a George Foreman).
Reviewers had positive things to say about the recipe, and many suggested additions or substitutions. You could really add any toppings that you might put on a burger!
This Kraft Foods recipe would make for a great quick, cheap and easy weekday lunch or dinner. While the Kraft variation may not contain the healthiest ingredients for a salad, this recipe is easily adaptable.
Here is Kraft’s original recipe:
- 1 lb. lean ground beef
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 pkg. (1-1/4 oz.) TACO BELL® HOME ORIGINALS® Taco Seasoning Mix
- 1/4 cup water
- 10 cups torn romaine lettuce (about 1 large head)
- 2 tomatoes, chopped
- 1 cup KRAFT Shredded Cheddar Cheese
- 2 cups tortilla chips, coarsely crushed
- 1/4 cup KRAFT Classic Ranch Dressing
- Brown meat with onions in large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat; drain.
- Add seasoning mix and water; mix well. Bring to boil. Simmer on medium-low heat 3 min.
- Divide lettuce among 4 plates. Top evenly with meat mixture, tomatoes, cheese and crushed chips. Drizzle with dressing.
Here is what reviewers had to say:
This recipe definitely leaves room for substitutions and additions. Personally, I think that altering some of the ingredients would make for a healthier salad and a more delicious meal.
This recipe comes from Skinny Taste, a blog with the goal of creating low-fat, healthy meals. The recipe is very easy to make, and feels healthier than many easy chicken dishes.
Here is the recipe:
- 3 medium vine ripe tomatoes
- 2 small cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup chopped red onion
- 2 tbsp fresh basil leaves, chopped
- 1 tbsp extra virgin oil
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
- 3 oz part skim mozzarella, diced
- 1.25 lbs (8 thin sliced) chicken cutlets
- Combine onion, olive oil, balsamic, salt and pepper. Set aside a few minutes.
- Chop tomatoes and place in a large bowl. Combine with garlic, basil, onion-balsamic combo and additional salt and pepper to taste. Set aside and let it sit at least 10 minutes or as long as overnight. Toss in the cheese when ready to serve.
- Season chicken with salt and fresh pepper. Grill the chicken cutlets on your indoor or outdoor grill, top with bruschetta and serve.
Reviewers raved about the recipe, and some added comments about possible additions, sides or substitutions:
As a health-based site, Skinny Taste also includes nutrition facts for their recipes:
I made this dish over the summer, and it was incredible. I was living in New York City and did not have access to a grill, so I sauteed the chicken instead. Here is a picture of my take on the recipe, which I served with couscous and a simple mango-avocado-red onion-feta spinach salad: