7 simple dishes to master before starting university

10th September 2020
A pasta dish

We often associate students with takeaway pizzas, late-night kebabs and instant noodles – but, in reality, fast food can quickly wear thin.

Although your head might be turned by the takeaway vouchers being handed out in Fresher’s Week, knowing how to whip up some home-cooked comforts will help you settle into your new digs, and will also make a real difference if you’re feeling a bit homesick during your first couple of weeks.

We know that cooking for yourself for the first time can feel a bit daunting (we’ve all been there!), so this September, why not make an effort to master some simple dishes?

Whether you ask your parents to take you through the basics, or you look up some video tutorials before you’re let loose with the oven – you’ll be so glad you have those quick meals under your belt!

Essential student recipes

By arming yourself with some basic cookery skills before you arrive, you can unlock a world of delicious possibilities for the months and year ahead (not to mention earning some valuable brownie points with your new flatmates!).

To give you a helping hand, we’ve put together our top seven essential student meals. The following meals are quick, cheap and easy to make – and include a selection of recipes from the likes of BBC Good Food, Jamie Oliver and more.

1. Pasta

Pasta is definitely a student staple. And once you’ve mastered the difference between al dente and a disaster (i.e. overdone pasta), there’ll be nothing holding you back!

Here are some of our favourite pasta dishes – including mac ‘n’ cheese and the infamous pasta bake, which will have your meals covered for at least three days!

2. Toasties

Quick, easy and extremely comforting, the toastie is another student favourite. AllRecipes.com has a brilliant list of the different flavours you can try – oh the possibilities!

3. Jacket potato

Another versatile dish is the jacket potato – from baked beans to chilli con carne (see #5), the list of potential toppings is endless! BBC Good Food has a fool-proof (we hope) way of making the ultimate jacket potato.

4. Curry

If you want to add a bit of spice when fending for yourself in the kitchen, try one of these simple curry recipes. These are also easy to pop in the freezer, making meal-prep a breeze!

A curry dish

5. Chilli con carne

This blog is all about brushing up on your staples, and many a student would argue that chilli is one such dish. We love this Easy Chilli Con Carne recipe from Student Eats, which takes just 20 minutes. And once you’ve built your confidence with a basic chilli dish, you can look to expand your repertoire to chilli quesadillas and full Tex-Mex meals!

6. Microwave mug cake

While this might not be an “essential” per se, if your baking skills leave a lot to be desired, give this deliciously simple pudding a try. It may not earn you a spot on the Great British Bake Off, but don't let that sink your soufflé – as your new flatmates will love you!

7. Stir fry

And last, but certainly not least, we have one of the most versatile meals on the list: the stir fry. Perfect for making use of your leftovers and easily adaptable for different tastes and diets – give one of these tasty recipes a try today!

A stir-fry dish

Due you have a favourite student staple? Share your recipe with us on social media using the buttons below!

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