Banana french toast, shown above, is just one of many simple recipes to make on a budget. DAVID BERKOWITZ/FLICKR VIA CC BY 2.0

Some people will tell you that Stony Brook has pretty lit parties others will tell you that you should’ve gone to Albany.

But what all Seawolves can agree on is, after all those 3 a.m. post-Schafer’s, West Side Dining runs, you probably don’t want to look at your student meal plan balance.

Spoiler alert: You’re going to starve.

So what’s a college guy or gal supposed to do when they’re on a budget? Cook of course! Cooking is foreign, and it’s more complex than that last organic chemistry problem.


But this is the holy grail guide that not only will give you fun, delicious recipes for a Saturday night in or a Thirsty Thursday, but are budget-friendly too. And when you’re a student, every dollar goes a long way.

Cheesy, meaty, tomato frittata

If this doesn’t scream comfort, then you don’t know the meaning of the word. All you need are eggs, cheese, tomatoes and sausage, or whatever you have in your pantry. Make it vegetarian or a meat lover’s delight, there’s no way you can go wrong when you can throw anything in.

Prep Time: 15 minutes  Cook Time: 25 minutes  Servings: 6



Optional, cooked crumbled sausage, crumbled turkey bacon, or crumbled bacon

2 red potatoes, peeled and diced

4 eggs (you can literally purchase a dozen at the dollar store)

¼ cup sharp cheddar cheese, or cheese of your choice


1/2 cup diced seedless tomatoes

2 tbsp water

¼ tsp ground black pepper

¼ tsp salt

¼ cup basil


  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F. In the meantime, whisk together your eggs and water.
  2. Add in the rest of your ingredients, and mix together again. Pour the mixture into a buttered or pan-sprayed disposable aluminum foil baking dish.
  3. Leave some of the cheese aside.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes, then top the frittata with the set-aside cheese. Bake again for another five minutes.
  5. Insert a toothpick to see if it comes out clean; if it does, your frittata is done!

Nutella Banana French Toast

This recipe is for all my dessert lovers, when deadlines are stressing you out and your sweet tooth needs extra attention. We all have a jar of Nutella on hand at all times, and a banana can be purchased at any of the dining halls.

Chocolate-y, banana-y goodness, this dish will motivate you to go to the rec center and work off those calories.

Prep Time: 10 minutes  Cook Time: 5 minutes Servings: 1


4 slices of buttermilk or potato bread

1 jar of Nutella


2 eggs (use those leftover eggs from the last recipe!)

1 banana

½ cup milk or almond milk

½ tsp butter or pan-spray

2 tsps of cinnamon

2 tsps of granulated sugar

2 tbsp of maple syrup


  1. Remove the crusts from the slices of bread.
  2. Coat each bread with as much Nutella as your heart desires.
  3. Take two slices of bread and stick them together; you should have two Nutella sandwiches.
  4. In a wide, deep dish bowl, mix together the rest of the ingredients.
  5. Soak each side of the Nutella sandwiches in the mixture for 5 seconds each.
  6. Put butter or pan spray on a nonstick pan and fry each side of the sandwiches until they are golden brown.
  7. Optional: Add whipped cream, powdered sugar, yogurt or even ice cream on top for a final touch!

Vegetarian Instant Ramen – One Pot Recipe

Need to get your veggies in on a budget? This is perfect for you, plus the clean-up is minimal.

Prep Time: 10 minutes  Cook Time: 15 minutes  Servings: 2



2 packages of Instant Ramen


1 carrot, peeled and diced

1 small onion, chopped

1 head of broccoli, chopped

½ red bell pepper, chopped

3 cloves of garlic, chopped

1 tsp salt

¼ tsp of ground black pepper

1 tbsp of olive oil

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp Sriracha, optional


  1. In a large pot, cook Instant Ramen in boiling water. When it’s cooked, drain out the water and put the noodles aside on a plate.
  2. In the same pot, pour in the olive oil. Then pour in the broccoli, which will take the longest to cook.
  3. Five minutes later, add the bell pepper and let that cook with the broccoli for another two minutes.
  4. Now add in the onion, garlic and carrot and cook everything together for another two minutes.
  5. With three minutes to spare, stir the noodles, soy sauce and Sriracha into the pot and stir everything together on low heat for the remainder of the time.
  6. Let it cool, and place it on a plate. If you want to jazz things up, add a fried egg or cilantro as garnish.

One Pot Cheesy Chili Chicken

This is another one pot recipe for those who don’t have the time to clean. It’s especially perfect for a rainy day when all you want is something warm and soul- hugging.


Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 30 minutes Servings: 6


1 rotisserie chicken

2 cans of white, black or pinto beans

3 carrots, peeled and diced


1 onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 tsp salt

¼ tsp ground black pepper

2 cups chicken broth

2 cups of mozzarella, cubed


  1. In a large pot, put in all the ingredients besides the mozzarella.
  2. Set the heat to low and cook for 15 minutes. Place a lid on top of the pot afterwards, and cook for another 15 minutes.
  3. Your warm and hearty chili is done!

Shrimp Spaghetti Squash Pasta


Light, healthy, and super easy are the words to describe this recipe! Stir this up right after the gym, and you won’t feel guilty for eating it all up.

Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 25 minutes Servings: 2


1 spaghetti squash, peeled in long strands with a peeler

1 tsp salt

1 tsp ground black pepper

1 lb jumbo shrimp, peeled

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp lemon juice

¼ tsp red pepper flakes

¼ tsp oregano


2 tbsp parsley


  1. In a nonstick pan, heat up the olive oil. Then pour in the shrimp and cook it for five minutes or until it’s slightly dark.
  2. Add in the long strands of spaghetti squash and the rest of the ingredients. Leave the lemon juice for last.
  3. After 20 minutes of cooking, add in the lemon juice and cook for another five minutes. Let the dish cool down and enjoy!

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