Easy Recipes with Four Ingredients or Less

As an online college student, you are likely beyond busy, and cooking may fall by the wayside. Luckily, we have created a list of easy recipes with four ingredients or less so you can reduce time spent in the kitchen and have more time for your studies. Let the easy recipes begin! Oh, did we mention that most are cheap recipes to make too?!



Potato Soup

  • 10-14 potatoes
  • 1 lb. Polish Kielbasa
  • Enough water to cover ingredients
  • 6-7 beef bullion cubes
  • 1 minced onion (optional)

Preparation: After combining all ingredients, heat to boiling. Lower temperature and cook until potatoes are soft. Soup can be thickened by adding instant, mashed potatoes. Serve with sour cream mixed in.

Source: Cooks.com

Spicy Poblano and Corn Soup

  • 1 package frozen baby gold and white corn
  • Fat-free milk
  • Poblano chiles (4) or green chiles
  • Onion
  • Reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese (optional)

Preparation: Be sure to remove the seeds and membranes before cooking; that’s where the heat comes from. Cook all ingredients together for 10 minutes. Sprinkle cheddar cheese on the top for an added flavor kick.

Source: CookingLight.com

Microwavable Meals

Sticky Pork Spare Ribs

  • 1/4 cup orange marmalade
  • 3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 3/4 pounds pork spare ribs (about 10 ribs)

Preparation: In a small microwave-safe bowl, stir together the marmalade, soy sauce, and vinegar. Cover with microwave-safe plastic wrap and vent slightly. Microwave on full power for 3 minutes. Set aside.  Fit ribs into a 10 by 10-inch dish. Microwave on 50 percent power 25 minutes. Carefully drain liquid from dish.  Brush ribs with 1/2 cup of the sauce. Cover and microwave on full power for 5 minutes. Let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Serve with the remaining sauce on the side.

Source: Parents.com

Breakfast Easy Mac

  • 1 cup water
  • 2 packets of Kraft (R) Easy Mac Original
  • 3 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • Your favorite spices – cayenne pepper, salt, pepper, oregano (optional)

Preparation: Add one cup of water with the two packets ot Easy Mac. Microwave for 4-5 minutes. Cook bacon and egg separately on a skillet. Combine when both are cooked and add spices as desired.

Source: ManTestedRecipes.com

Crock Pot Recipes

Chili Beef Sandwich

Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cook Time: 9 hours

  • 3 lb. boneless beef chuck roast
  • 1 pkg. taco seasoning mix
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce
  • 8 kaiser rolls, split and toasted

Preparation: Trim excess fat from beef and brown beef on all sides in heavy skillet over medium high heat; transfer to 4-5 quart slow cooker. Sprinkle with seasoning mix and pour sauce over; cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours. Remove beef from crockpot and shred; return to crockpot. Make sandwiches with kaiser rolls.

Source: BusyCooks.About.com

Honey Crock Pot BBQ

Prep Time: 5 minutes | Cook Time: 9 hours

  • 3 lb. boneless pork roast
  • 16 oz. bag baby carrots
  • 1/2 cup purchased barbecue sauce
  • 1/4 cup honey

Preparation: Place pork and carrots in a three to four quart crockpot. Combine barbecue sauce, and honey in a small bowl and pour over ingredients in crockpot. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or pork is thoroughly cooked.

Source: BusyCooks.About.com

Crock Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs

Prep Time: 5 minutes | Cook Time: 6 hours

  • 1 lb. frozen precooked meatballs
  • 26 oz. jar spaghetti sauce
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 12 ounces spaghetti or fettuccine pasta

Preparation: Combine meatballs, pasta sauce, onion, and water in three to four quart crockpot. Cover and cook on low for six to eight hours. Cook pasta as directed on package directions, drain well, then place on serving plate.

Source: BusyCooks.About.com

About the Author: This article was written by Allie Gray Freeland, Editor-in-Chief of CollegeOnline.org. Don’t forget to peruse through our network of associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree, and master’s degree programs online!

About Allison Freeland

Allie Freeland is the Editor-in-Chief of CollegeOnline.org. She has been a professional writer for a decade and received her bachelor's degree in Journalism from the University of Minnesota. She brings a wealth of information about higher education, online degrees, college life, and career advice. Follow her on G+.