6 Quick & Easy Student Recipes

Cooking on a budget needn’t be boring, girls.

When you’re a student, you need plenty of nutrition and goodness to fuel your brain. That means more fruit and veg and less of those cheap and nasty packet noodles. Besides, you shouldn’t have to sacrifice great taste even if you are trying to save a few pennies!

That’s why we’ve put together a selection of recipe ideas for students that are cheap, quick and tasty to guarantee you eat well at university. 

Tuck in!


PREP TIME: 2 mins.
COOK TIME: 10 mins.

Student Recipes: Smoky Chickpeas & Egg On Toast


  • 1 tsp olive or vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp chipotle paste
  • 250ml passata
  • 400g tin chickpeas, drained
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 to 4 slices crusty bread
  • 2 eggs


  1. Heat ½ tsp of oil in a pan. Add in the onion and cook until softened (about 5 to 8 minutes), then add the chipotle paste, passata, chickpeas, honey and vinegar. Season and simmer for 5 minutes.
  2. While you toast the bread, heat the remaining oil in a frying pan and fry the eggs. Drizzle the toast with a little oil, then top with the chickpeas and fried eggs.


PREP TIME: 5 mins.
COOK TIME: 10 mins.

Easy Meals For Students: Chilli Prawn & Broccoli Stir Fry


  • 250g broccoli, cut into even-sized florets
  • 2 balls stem ginger, finely chopped, plus 2 tbsp syrup from the jar
  • 3 tbsp low-salt soy sauce
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 red chilli, partially thinly sliced, the rest deseeded and finely chopped
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds
  • ½ tbsp sesame oil
  • 200g raw king prawns
  • 100g beansprouts
  • Cooked rice or noodles, to serve


  1. Heat a pan of water until boiling. Tip in the broccoli and cook for just 1 minute, so it still has a good crunch. Meanwhile, mix the stem ginger and syrup, soy sauce, garlic and finely chopped chilli.
  2. Toast the sesame seeds in a dry wok or large frying pan. When they’re nicely browned, increase the heat and add the oil, prawns and cooked broccoli. Stir-fry for a few minutes until the prawns turn pink.
  3. Pour over the ginger sauce, then add in the beansprouts. Cook for 30 seconds or until the beansprouts are cooked through, adding a splash more soy or ginger syrup if desired.
  4. Scatter with the sliced chilli and serve over rice or noodles.


PREP TIME: 2 mins.
COOK TIME: 18 mins.

Recipe Ideas For Students: Caponata Pasta


  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • 250g chargrilled Mediterranean veg, roughly chopped
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp small capers
  • 2 tbsp raisins
  • 350g rigatoni, penne or another short pasta shape
  • Fresh basil, picked
  • Parmesan, shaved, to serve


  1. Heat the oil in a large pan and cook the onion for 8 to 10 minutes until it begins to caramelise. Add the garlic for the final 2 minutes of cooking time.
  2. Tip in the mixed veg, tomatoes, capers and raisins. Season well and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until you have a rich sauce.
  3. Pour a kettleful of boiled water into a large pan with a little salt and bring back to the boil. Add the pasta and cook until tender, then drain, reserving some of the pasta water. 
  4. Tip the pasta into the sauce, adding a splash of the pasta water if needs be. Top with the basil and parmesan. 


PREP TIME: 5 mins.
COOK TIME: 25 mins.

Cooking On A Budget: Chicken & Tomato Spiced Curry


  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 450g chicken breast, cut into cubes
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1cm piece ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp Madras curry paste
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 300g basmati rice
  • Handful fresh coriander, chopped, to serve


  1. Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large flameproof casserole dish set over a high heat. Cook the chicken for 5 to 7 minutes until golden, then remove and set aside.
  2. Pour the remaining oil in the dish. Add the onion, cook for 3 minutes until soft, then add the red pepper and cook for a further 2 minutes. Stir in the garlic and ginger and cook for 30 seconds. Mix in the curry paste until everything is well coated.
  3. Pour in the tinned tomatoes along with 200ml water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover the dish and leave to simmer for 10 minutes until the sauce has thickened a little. Return the chicken to the dish and cook for 5 minutes, uncovered, until piping hot and cooked through.
  4. Meanwhile, cook the basmati rice following the instructions on the pack. Serve with the curry and sprinkle over the coriander to finish.


PREP TIME: 20 mins.
COOK TIME: 40 mins.

Recipe Ideas For Students: Smoky Sausage Chilli


  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 45g chipotle paste
  • 6 pork sausages, cut into chunks
  • 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
  • ½ red chilli, sliced
  • Handful fresh coriander
  • Steamed basmati rice or tortilla chips, to serve


  1.  Heat the oil in a casserole dish over a medium heat. Add the carrots, celery, garlic and bay leaf and fry for 8 minutes until the vegetables are starting to soften. Add the cumin, coriander and chipotle paste and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
  2. Add the sausages and fry for 5 minutes (they don’t need to be fully browned), then add the chopped tomatoes and 150ml water. Season with black pepper, then bring to a simmer. Put the lid on and cook for 35 to 45 minutes until the sausages are cooked through. If the sauce is a little too thick for your liking, add a splash of water.
  3. Scatter over the red chilli and coriander and serve with steamed rice or tortilla chips.


PREP TIME: 10 mins.
COOK TIME: 35 mins.

Student Cooking: Spinach, Sweet Potato & Lentil Dhal


  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • Thumb-sized piece ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 2 sweet potatoes, cut into even chunks
  • 250g red split lentils
  • 600ml vegetable stock
  • 80g bag of spinach
  • 4 spring onions, sliced on the diagonal, to serve


  1. Heat the sesame oil in a wide-based pan with a tight-fitting lid. Add the onion and cook over a low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened. 
  2. Add the garlic, ginger and chilli, cook for 1 minute, then add the turmeric and ground cumin and cook for a further minute.
  3. Turn up the heat to medium, add the chopped sweet potato and stir everything together, so the potato is coated in the spice mixture. 
  4. Tip in the red split lentils, vegetable stock and some seasoning. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover and cook for 20 minutes until the lentils are soft and the potato is just holding its shape.
  5. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary, then gently stir in the spinach. Once wilted, top with the spring onions.

Uni Meals

Delicious? We think so!

With everything from a smoky sausage chilli to veggie and vegan student recipes too, there’s something for everyone. 

To make things that little bit more exciting, why not get your housemates to join in too? You could even take it in turn to cook for one another - Come Dine With Me style.

If you’re looking for more student advice, check out our blog on How To Budget At Uni.