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Feb 04

Five Cheap and Easy Student Recipes

Reading Time: 5 mins

For a lot of students, money will be a little bit thin on the ground at university.

Quite apart from the equipment and living costs you’ll have, you’ll also have a lot of time taken up by study and revision, and with the current pandemic, it’s not easy to get a part-time job.

So, it’s essential that you keep yourself fueled, without breaking the bank!

Here are some cheap and cheerful but nevertheless mouth-watering dishes for you to serve up as you tackle the mountain of coursework and revision stacking up on your desk.


Halloumi Flatbread

The genius thing about this dish is that, while it seems on paper to be a tough recipe, it’s actually pretty easy and only takes 25 minutes to cook!

For this dish, you’ll need:

  • 2 x 250g blocks of halloumi: Cut into 12 strips
  • 100g hummus
  • 80g rocket
  • 50g pumpkin seeds
  • 6-8 flatbreads or wraps
  • 2 tablespoons of cumin seeds
  • 2 mixed peppers
  • 2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small red cabbage: Core removed and shredded

(Remember, when you buy ingredients for these recipes, watch out for the supermarket tricks you need to be aware of!)

To start off, you should toast the pumpkin seeds with the cumin seeds in a largeish frying pan until they start to pop or give off a nice smelly fragrance. Put these into a large bowl and add the cabbage, peppers and the vinegar and a bit of seasoning for that extra taste!

Make sure your oven is set to low and put your bread in to warm up and warm through. Take the pan that you used to toast the seeds and fry the halloumi in the olive oil for 3 minutes on both sides until it’s nice and crispy and golden, then place it in the oven to keep it warm. 

Spread your hummus on each flatbread with a bit of coleslaw and voilà! 


Beans on Toast

Pretty much a student’s bread and butter if you’ll pardon the pun. Everyone knows how to make beans on toast, it really doesn’t take a business degree, but let’s face it, nothing beats a nice bit of beans on toast, what could be more British or cheap and cheerful?

You’ll need:

  • Beans
  • Bread
  • Butter

You can make this dish in pretty much any order that takes your fancy, but we recommend putting the beans in the microwave or on the stove and then toasting the bread in the toaster.

When this is done, butter the bread and pour the beans on top. Simple, easy and pretty much fool-proof, just don’t set the toaster setting too high or it’ll be beans on ash!


Cheesy Ham & Broccoli Pasta

Who doesn’t love a cheeky bit of pasta? It’s easy to make, nice to eat and it’s pretty minimal in terms of the preparation plus it’s very healthy and good for study! The unique thing about this particular recipe is that it only takes ten minutes to cook! 

You will need:

  • 300ml pot double cream
  • 300g pasta
  • 250g ham: Cut into chunks
  • 140g mature cheddar: Grated
  • 2 garlic cloves: Crushed
  • 1 head of broccoli
  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • 1 onion: Finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of English mustard

Bring your large pan of water to the boil and cook the pasta as per the instructions on the back of the packet. In the final 4 minutes of the cook, add your broccoli florets, then drain and set aside.

Make the sauce. Start by heating the oil in a large pan and cook the onion for 5 minutes to soften it up a bit. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the cream, the ham and the mustard and then bring it to the boil. Add in the pasta and the broccoli and stir in your cheese and coat everything in the sauce. Bon appétit.


Orecchiette and Chickpea Tomato Soup

The ingenious part of this particular recipe is that it serves four people easily, so if you plan on doing any entertaining at university or if you fancy getting your household together for a cosy night in, you can do a lot worse than this!

You will need:

  • 2 x 400g cans of plum tomatoes
  • 400g tin chickpeas
  • 250g orecchiette
  • 100g-125g baby spinach leaves
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 celery sticks
  • 1 carrot: Finely chopped
  • 1 onion: Finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of chilli flakes
  • 1 litre beef stock
  • Flatleaf parsley: Roughly chopped (optional)
  • Freshly grated parmesan (quantity is up to you)

For starters, heat a large saucepan over a medium heat and add your olive oil. Fry the carrot, the celery and the onion for around 7 minutes until they soften nicely. Season them with a bit of salt and pepper. 

Add in the chilli flakes and the garlic and then fry them for a minute before stirring in your tomatoes. 

Pour in your beef stock and then bring into a steady boil. Add in the titular orecchiette and cook it for around 10 minutes or so, at least until the pasta is al dente.

Stir in your chickpeas and the spinach and then cook until the spinach has completely wilted. Season this with a pinch of salt and pepper and then serve it with a garnish of freshly chopped parsley, some parmesan and some olive oil. 


Yoghurt and Turmeric Fish Curry

Curry can be a tough food to come by as a student, especially since the microwaveable curries from Tesco don’t have the same allure as the local delivery service, but you might not have the money for that every night, so why not a simple, easy-to-make homemade alternative that competes with the local offerings nicely?

You will need to get:

  • 450g frozen and sustainable white fish (probably best if its defrosted)
  • 250g Greek yoghurt 
  • 200g basmati rice
  • 2 tablespoons ground turmeric
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 tablespoon of ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • Knob of butter
  • Fresh coriander (quantity is up to you)

Take the rice and put it in a lidded saucepan with around 240ml of water and a dash of salt. Bring it to the boil, cover it tightly and then turn down the heat as low as possible and cook for around 15 minutes or so. Do not remove the lid.

Chop your defrosted fish into chunks. Mix the turmeric and yoghurt in a bowl and then crush the garlic in with it. Season it modestly and gently stir in the fish to coat it and leave it to marinate for 10 minutes. 

Melt the butter in a wok (large is preferable) or frying pan over a low-medium heat. Chop up the onion, add in the butter and stir it. After this, fry it gently for around 10 minutes or so or until it has softened. 

Add in your coriander and your garam masala, stir for 1 minute and then add in the fish and marinate it to a simmer. Cover it and simmer for 7 minutes, or at least until your fish has completely cooked through. Add in a dash of water (if you feel it is necessary) and season.

Take your rice off the heat and remove the lid and fluff the rice up a bit with a fork. Chop up your coriander and serve the fish in bowls with the rice and sprinkle the coriander on top.


Five easy student recipes that should give you a nutritious meal and can be easily assembled on the change, what could be better?

Find out more ways to eat cheaply on a student budget here. 


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