This tortellini chicken dish ditches your typical college food. (NICOLE BANSEN / THE STATESMAN)

It is no secret that college students are less than healthy when it comes to the food they eat. Foods like Easy Mac and ramen are appealing to the average college student’s budget as well as to those who do not want to wait around for dinner to cook. But are they good for you? Heck no! I do not know about you, but after a while, I grow sick of that food and look for something with more flavor and nutrients. So, if you are ready to take that step away from typical college food, this dish may be exactly what you need.


– A pack of tortellini (can be cheese/meat/spinach)

– A jar of tomato basil sauce


– A jar of Alfredo sauce

– Chopped basil

– Olive oil

– Chicken breast


– Sea Salt

– Garlic pepper

– Parmesan cheese


Fill a medium to large pot halfway with water and bring it to a boil. Once the water is boiling, empty your package of tortellini into the pot and let it cook for seven to eight minutes or as the package suggests. Stir occasionally. While the tortellini cooks, grab a medium sized frying pan and coat the bottom with olive oil. Put the pan on a stovetop burner and keep the heat setting below a power of two.

Next, get your chicken breasts and place them on a cutting board or a plate and cut horizontal strips. When you finish, take the strips, and cut them into small chunks. Take the chunks of chicken and place them into the frying pan. Once they are all in, add a dash of sea salt and garlic pepper. When cooking chicken, it is always safe to have a meat thermometer to help you tell when it is fully cooked, but if you do not have one, make sure to cook the chicken for at least six minutes on each side and, if when you cut the chicken clear liquid comes out, that should be good. If you cut the chicken and it is pink in the middle, let it cook until all of the chicken is white.


While the chicken cooks, take your chopped basil and mix it in a small bowl with the parmesan and about a tablespoon of olive oil. When you flip the chicken, pour the parmesan and basil over the chicken and stir it for a little bit. By now, your tortellini should be done. When you drain the water, make sure to shake your colander to get rid of any excess water that may be in the tortellini. Next, throw the tortellini back into the pot and mix one cup of tomato-basil sauce with one cup of Alfredo sauce. Stir and let it sit. When your chicken is done, you can either mix it with the tortellini or eat it on the side. This recipe serves two.


Nicole is a senior majoring in journalism at Stony Brook University. She joined The Statesman fall semester of her freshman year and expects to continue writing for them until she graduates later this year. She couldn’t be happier being the A&E editor and looks forward to expanding her writers' involvement with the paper. Her favorite experience in the arts section was covering the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival. While Nicole does enjoy the arts, she has a passion for international affairs. Currently, she can speak three different languages and doesn’t plan on stopping there. One day, she hopes to work for Al Jazeera or the BBC.


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