Being a student doesn’t have to mean living on takeaways, pizza and other artery-clogging fare.

Nor does it mean mainlining idiotproof meals such as omelette, beans on toast and baked potatoes.

For something a little more discerning that won’t break the bank, have a go at these yummy student recipes that will keep you going throughout the year.

1. Spicy Vegetable and Bean Chili

Spice up your veggies and banish the winter blues with this bulk recipe. Makes 4 portions.

750ml vegetable stock
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 onions, finely chopped
1 red pepper & 1 yellow pepper, finely chopped
2 fresh mild green chillies, chopped (if you want to crank up the heat, add 1 or 2 red chillies)
1tbsp ground cumin
1tsp ground cinnamon
Bunch of fresh coriander, plus extra to serve
A good lug of olive oil
50ml rice vinegar
200g courgette, sliced into cubes
200g sweet corn kernels
400g can each of red kidney beans in chilli sauce, cannellini beans and pinto beans, all drained and thoroughly rinsed
1tbsp fresh oregano, chopped
Pinch of chilli powder
Pinch of smoked paprika
To serve: Pot of sour cream and warm tortillas


  • In a large pan, combine the stock, onions, garlic, peppers, chilli, cumin and cinnamon.
  • Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Using a blender, whizz the coriander, oil and vinegar together to form a rough paste. Stir into the stock with the courgette, corn and beans and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Throw in the oregano, chilli powder and paprika, and stir well.
  • Take pan off the heat, season to taste and serve with sour cream and tortillas. Garnish with the extra coriander.

2. Tuna Pasta Bake

A cheap, quick and versatile supper dish. Makes 4-5 portions.

500g dried pasta, e.g. penne, shells, rigatoni.
1 leek or onion, finely chopped
2x185g tins Tuna Chunks in Springwater
1 small tin sweetcorn
125g frozen peas

For the sauce
200g grated mature cheddar cheese
50g plain flour
50g butter
500ml milk


  • Preheat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Boil the pasta for approx. 8 mins.
  • While the pasta is cooking, fry the onions in a little oil for 5 mins or so until softened.
  • To make the sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan and stir in the flour. Gradually add hte milk and keep stirring over a medium heat until the sauce thickens. Remove the pan from the heat, and add the fried onions, frozen peas and most of the grated cheese. Stir well.
  • Season the sauce to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Drain the pasta and mix with the sauce, sweetcorn and tuna chunks.
  • Tip into an ovenproof dish, sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and bake for 15-20 mins until golden on top.

3. Lentil Daal

Inject some Indian cuisine into your student cooking with this tasty veggie recipe.

1 onion, finely chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
100g red lentils
450ml vegetable stock
1 sweet potatio, chopped into small chunks
½ tsp turmeric
1 tsp garam marsala
1 red chilli, finely chopped
200g Basmati rice, to serve


  • Place all the ingredients except the sweet potato and the rice in a large pan and bring to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes.
  • Add the sweet potato and cook until tender (about 10-12 mins).
  • While the potato is cooking, boil the rice in a separate pan for approx. 10 mins.
  • Drain and serve with the Dahl.

4. Mustard Stuffed Chicken

This recipe makes 3 portions, so any leftovers can be refrigerated for tomorrow’s dinner, or easily sliced up to make a yummy sandwich for lunch. Serve with salad, potatoes and/or any other fresh vegetables.

1 ball Mozzarella
50g Mature Cheddar Cheese
1 tablespoon Wholegrain or Dijon mustard
6 rashers streaky bacon
3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts


  • Preheat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. In a bowl, mash together the two cheeses and mustard.
  • Make a slit down the side of each chicken breast, and generously stuff some of the cheese and mustard mixture into each one.
  • Carefully wrap 2 rashers of bacon round each chicken breast, so it’s just tight enough to hold the stuffing inside.
  • Pop them on a baking tray and place in the oven for 25-30 mins. Don’t worry if some of the mixture oozes out during cooking - just spoon it up and spread on top.

5. Sausage Casserole

Great for those winter nights and ready in just 45 minutes. Makes 4 portions.

8 pork sausages
1 red pepper, deseeded and chopped
3 red onions, cut into wedges
400g tin chopped tomatoes
250ml vegetable stock
1 tbsp fresh basil


  • Preheat oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. Place the sausages, pepper and onions in a roasting tin, and roast in the oven for 20 mins.
  • Reduce oven temperature to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6, and pour the chopped tomatoes and stock over the sausages. Sprinkle over the basil, season with a little salt and ground black pepper, and stir well.
  • Roast for another 20 mins.
  • Serve with mashed potato.

Do you have your own favourite student recipes you’d like to share? Please post them below for others to try! You can also leave your comments below, or email me at

Further information

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