Let’s be honest, cooking on a student budget normally leaves you with two options for tea: eggs on toast or spag bol. Which, whilst great, can get pretty repetitive. To fight this, I’ve rounded up 5 days of meals that are all under £1 a serving, so you can be satisfied without going into your overdraft. Also, there is loads of vegetarian recipes because making plant-based meals can become expensive if you’re not careful, so I’ve included purse saviours for everyone!
This Shakshuka may seem intimidating, but it uses really simple ingredients and is made in the microwave! Perfect for easing yourself into cooking if you’re a fresher, or just if you’re feeling a bit lazy.
1 Can of chopped tomatoes
1 garlic clove, sliced
½ red pepper chopped
1 tbsp of coriander (if you’re feeling fancy)
Bread to serve
1.Stir the tomatoes garlic and pepper together in a microwave safe bowl and season well.
2. Make a dip in the centre and break in the egg
3. Prick the egg and cover with clingfilm
Microwave on high for 1 min, then in 30 second increments until the white is set.
Scatter with the coriander and serve with the bread.
Up next I’ve included a pea and sundried tomato risotto. This even counts as one of your 5 a day and, aside from an onion, uses exclusively cupboard ingredients. Making it quick, cheap and cheerful!
70gs Sundried Tomatoes
50g Asda Risotto Arborio Rice
50g frozen peas
70g Parmesan, grate
1.Drain the sun-dried tomatoes, saving a tbsp of oil. Roughly chop half and finely chop the rest.
2.Heat the reserved oil in a frying pan Add the onions and cook for 10 mins, stirring regularly.
3.Add the finely chopped tomatoes and the rice. Cook for 2 mins, stirring continuously. Add 1L boiling water, a little at a time, stirring, until it has all been absorbed. Add the peas. Simmer until the peas are cooked and the rice is soft.
4. Stir through most of the Parmesan, and season with ground black pepper.
Place the with the roughly chopped tomatoes on top and sprinkle the Parmesan to serve.
Quesadillas are a really good student food because they are filling and easy to make. This spinach and sweet potato recipe has the added bonus of being vegetarian friendly.
1 Plain Tortilla
50g sweet potato chunks
½ tin mixed beans in tomato sauce
40g grated cheese
1.Preheat a large nonstick frying on a medium heat.
2. Add the spinach and sweet potato with a splash of water and cook until heated through and wilted. Tip onto a plate.
3.Add a tortilla and cover half of it with half of the spinach mixture, beans and cheese.4.
5.Fold over the other half and cook for 2-3 mins until char lines appear. Gently flip and cook for 2-3 mins. Eat.
Next is a Chorizo and spaghetti bake. I know I said that this was an alternative list to spaghetti bolognaise but skipping pasta entirely would be such a bad idea. It’s super cheap meaning it’s good for a student budget as well as your soul. I modified this recipe because it suggested using left over wine, but I think it tastes better without the cheap Lambrini tang.
1 garlic clove
1 tbsp tomato puree
Dried chili flakes (optional)
1. Heat a large frying pan and cook the chorizo for 2-3 mins
2. Add the garlic, peppers and mushrooms and cook for a further 3 mins
3.Add all the wet ingredients and chili, if using.
4.Stir in the spaghetti and ½ a pint of boiling water
Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 mins
5.Simmer until it has made a thick sauce then serve with the parmesan
Finally, this last recipe takes a little more time but is really worth it. Making your own pizza dough leaves you feeling accomplished and is a great activity to do with your flatmates when you’re to poor to go out. Also, it’s Gino D’ Acampo’s recipe so can you really go wrong? Lad
200g Strong white flour
7g fast action dried yeast
7 Tbsp olive oil
2 mozzarella balls, cubed
Fresh basil leaves.
- Put the flour, yeast and salt into a large bowl, make a well in the centre and pour in 1 tbsp of oil. Mix together to create a dough
- Flour a worksurface then turn out your dough. Work it with your hands for 5 mins until smooth and elastic
- Place in a bowl coated with oil and cover with clingfilm. Leave for 25 mins
- Turn out the dough and divide into 2 halves
- Create two round discs about 25cm in diameter, then place them on oiled baking trays
- Divide the passata and mozzarella between the two discs and drizzle each one with two tbsp of olive oil
- Cook for about 18 mins
- Scatter over the basil and serve