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This week’s meals for college student recipes are all centered around chicken.  In the freezer section of your local grocery, you can almost always find bags of frozen chicken breasts or chicken thighs.  I love to keep a bag of frozen chicken in my own freezer because it’s so easy and convenient to take out one or two pieces of chicken, defrost them and cook them as you need them.


Citrus Chicken


1/2 cup rice

2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts or thighs

1 clove of garlic, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon butter

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1 orange


Cook the rice according the the package directions.

Defrost the chicken by placing it on a plate and put the plate in the microwate for a couple of minutes or if you remember to, you can remove the chicken pieces from the freezer earlier in the day, place them on a plate and put them in the refrigerator for a few hours.  When the chicken has thawed, place it on a cutting board and slice the chicken into 1-inch strips.  Set aside. (Always make sure to wash your hands after handling any raw meat and thoroughly wash your cutting board and knife in hot, soapy water before using it again).

Heat a large skillet on medium high heat.  Add the butter to the pan.  Add the chicken and the garlic and heat for 8-10 minutes or until the chicken is tender and no longer pink, turn the chicken over a few times and stir occasionally.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine the lemon juice, ginger and red pepper; set aside.  Peel the orange.

Cut the orange in half lengthwise; then cut crosswise into slices.  Add any reserved orange juice and the lemon juice mixture to the skillet.  Place the orange slices on top of the chicken.  Cook, covered for 1-2 minutes or until heated through.

Place the chicken pieces over the rice and pour the sauce over the chicken.  Add salt and pepper to taste.


Tangy Bean Wraps


2 8-inch flour tortillas

1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained

1/2 cup chopped red pepper

1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped (optional)

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 tablespoons snipped fresh cilantro

shredded cheddar cheese



Wrap the tortillas in microwave safe paper towels and microwave them for 30 seconds to warm.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl combine the black beans, sweet pepper, jalapeño (if using)  and cilantro.  Stir in the lemon juice and a pinch of salt and pepper.

To serve, spread mixture evenly over tortillas.  Top with lettuce and cheese.  Roll up the tortillas.


Chicken Breasts with Tarragon Cream Sauce


2 chicken breasts (thawed)

1 tablespoon butter

1/2 tablespoon olive oil

1/4 cup heavy cream

1/2 tablespoon dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon




Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper.  In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter with oil.  Brown the chicken breasts on both sides.  Reduce heat and cook, covered about 8-10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and no longer pink.  Transfer the chicken to a plate and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.

Add the cream to the skillet.  Stir in the mustard and tarragon.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, about 5 minutes (sauce thickens slightly).  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Pour sauce over chicken.  Serve with noodles or rice.


Vegetable Stir Fry with Rice


1/2 cup rice

1/2 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 red pepper

1 cup broccoli pieces

2/3 cup sugar snap peas

1-2 tablespoons soy sauce


Cook the rice according to the package directions.  Follow the instructions on the package of rice but adjust for using 1/2 cup rice.

Heat the skillet on medium high heat.  Pour the olive oil into the skillet.

Add the vegetables.  Cover the pan and let the vegetables cook; stirring frequently to make sure the vegetables don’t stick to the pan.

Drizzle the soy sauce around the pan and stir.  Adjust the amount of soy sauce you use depending on  your tastes.

Serve over rice.


Mini Pizzas


whole wheat pita pockets

marinara or pizza sauce

pepperoni slices

3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese


Spread the sauce over each pita pocket.  Sprinkle the cheese over the sauce and lay the pepperoni slices down.  Microwave for 30 seconds until cheese is melted


  • A bag of frozen chicken breasts or thighs
  • butter
  • heavy cream
  • lemon juice
  • crushed red pepper flakes (found in the spice aisle)
  • dried tarragon
  • ground ginger
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans
  • rice
  • olive oil
  • flour tortillas
  • dijon mustard
  • shredded cheddar and/or shredded mozzarella
  • soy sauce
  • whole wheat pita pockets
  • pepperoni slices
  • fresh garlic
  • 1 orange
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 jalapeno
  • cilantro
  • lettuce
  • head of broccoli
  • handful of sugar snap peas


By now you should be slowly building your pantry supply.  Be sure to check to see what items you already have so you don’t have to buy them again.

Another tip:  You can double a recipe (make twice as much) if you know you have a busy week ahead of you.  You’ll be able to enjoy a part of your meal for the next day.



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Hi, I’m Joanie and welcome to ZagLeft where we share favorite recipes as well as exciting travel experiences that we’ve enjoyed while always trying to take the road less traveled.

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