Best easy recipes for students

Whether you're starting as a Fresher or heading back to uni for another year, our easy recipes for students (one-pot pastas, tacos and brownies) are essential for university survival

Looking for cheap student meals? Want easy student recipe ideas? We’ve made it easier to socialise over great comfort food with your housemates at uni. From simple jacket potatoes for one to ideas for the ultimate taco party, check out our student food inspiration…


Macaroni Cheese for students

Macaroni cheese is the ultimate indulgent food to keep you going through essay writing, studying and of course lazy hangover days. We have plenty more macaroni cheese recipes here…

One pan mac ‘n’ cheese with salsa topping

Check out these super easy veggie mac ‘n’ cheese one-pans, topped with a punchy salsa. This simple recipe is a real treat without the calories, plus it’s ready in just 25 minutes too

Easy Macaroni and Cheese with Salsa

Crisp topped macaroni cheese

Comfort food at its best. Mac ‘n’ cheese is always a winner and this one, with shredded ham and a crispy top is top of our list. Fresh salad is good as a side.

Mac ‘n’ cheese with bacon

How do you make mac ‘n’ cheese better? Add bacon of course!  This oozing cheesy pasta bake is also rich with Red Leicester and finished with a crunchy breadcrumb topping. Double up the recipe for all of your flat mates

Jacket potatoes for students

Jacket potatoes make a great option for cheap student meals for one or the whole gang. Try our fun ideas here, and here’s how to make the perfect jacket potatoes…

Baked sweet potatoes with smoky beans

This recipe for baked sweet potatoes with smoky beans makes for an easy veggie student meal that will give you a veg fix before a big night out. Plus, it’s under 500 calories.

Tuna melt jackets

Tinned tuna makes a great budget-friendly topping for a baked-potato. This recipe adds cheese and spring onions for an extra melty finish, ideal for indulging on.

Baked sweet potatoes with feta cream and crisp chorizo

Some nights, only a baked potato will do. Why not make it a bit more special with this recipe for baked sweet potatoes with feta cream and crisp chorizo? Ultimate comfort food.

Recipes with mince for students

Mince makes a great-value option for feeding a crowd. Buy a large pack and make one of these easy meals for a cheap dinner. Plenty more student meal ideas with mince here…

Best-ever spaghetti bolognese

Make this for your uni flat mates and reap the rewards. With our best-ever spaghetti bolognese we’ve perfected a family favourite including tips on how to make it in a slow cooker.

Classic cottage pie

This is our take on a classic cottage pie that will feed a crowd. With rich beef and creamy mash, it’s a long-standing family favourite and a good one to have in the freezer for emergencies!

Best ever tex-mex style chilli con carne

Get your mates round for a seriously indulgent flat party. Our most popular chilli con carne recipe EVER! Made Tex-Mex style with aged minced beef, chipotle powder, red wine, 70% dark chocolate and semi-dried tomatoes.

Stir fry noodles for students

Stir fries are the perfect solution for quick meals between lectures, library sessions and before pre drinks. More stir-fry ideas here…

10-minute beef and black bean stir-fry

This 10-minute beef and black bean stir-fry is the ideal quick fix. It’s super speedy, under 300 calories, and packed full of flavour. It’s also great for when you want to be a bit healthier and ditch your usual take-away.

Sticky pork and mangetout stir-fry

Pork, noodles, mangetout: the three main ingredients for this quick and easy stir-fry. Spice it up with sweet chilli sauce to serve and tuck in for a fast meal for two.

Shanghai fried beef noodles

Ready in just 30 minutes, these Shanghai fried beef noodles make a great, easy meal for two

Pasta bakes for students

One of the easiest student meal ideas, a pasta bake makes plenty for your whole flat, with leftovers for heating up between lectures or to tuck into after a night out…

Meatball melt lasagne

This indulgent lasagne is a great dinner party entertaining pleaser to assemble then bake just before your friends arrive. Really meaty and full of great texture, your guests will keep coming back for more. An easy winner!

meatball melt lasagne

Quick courgette lasagne

This must be the best easy vegetarian lasagne! Mix the courgettes, garlic and chilli with ricotta, add a shop-bought tomato sauce and fresh lasagne and dinner can be on the table in under 30 minutes.

Baked tortellini with spinach and chilli

This recipe for baked tortellini with spinach and chilli is super-easy to make, ready in under and hour and less than 500 calories – a perfect quick meal for two. Use shop bought tortellini and the hard work is done for you.

Pizzas for students

Nothing says student grub like pizza. Save your pennies and learn how to make your own pizza, you’ll be the most popular Fresher in your halls.

5-minute flatbread pizzas

All the comfort of pizza but ready in a flash and healthier, too. These 5-minute flatbread pizzas are a great recipe to have on hand midweek when you and your flat mates don’t want to spend hours cooking

Meat vs veg patchwork pizza

Trying to please both veggies and meat-eaters? This patchwork pizza gives you the best of both worlds with pepperoni on one half and olives, capers and peppers on the other. Flat party, anyone??

Broccoli and spiced sausage pizza

This broccoli and spiced sausage pizza with fennel, chilli and taleggio is delicious and feels like a real treat. It’s ready in under an hour, though, which makes it achievable midweek.

Sloppy joe pizzettes

These sloppy joe pizzettes are a great way to use up leftover bolognese sauce, and kids will love them! Using a bread mix keeps things super easy, and the chilli oil adds a kick

sloppy joe pizzettes

Tacos for students

Get your mates round for the best taco party in town with these easy recipe ideas. Go even further and create a Mexican feast with our Mexican fiesta recipes…

Quick pork and bean tacos

These quick pork and bean tacos are the perfect speedy meal to make midweek and they’re under 500 calories. Put everything on the table and let people help themselves.

Lime grilled salmon tacos with avocado cream

These zesty lime grilled salmon tacos with avocado cream are a really great option for a quick and easy, fresh meal for spring. They’re ready in just 20 minutes, making them perfect for a midweek meal or for when it’s too hot to cook for too long.

Bean chilli tacos

These quick and easy veggie tacos with zesty lime and tangy soured cream will make enough for all of your friends. Fresh coriander makes all the difference here.

One pot pasta

Save on the washing up with our easy one pot pasta ideas, perfect for feeding a crowd before a night out.

One-pot orecchiette primavera

Pasta and sauce all cooked in one pot? Sounds mad but it works! Try Sabrina Fauda-Rôle’s orecchiette primavera recipe (taken from her book, One-Pot Pasta) tonight

One-pot four cheeses pasta

Cheesy pasta is always going to be a winner, but making it all in one pot makes it so much easier. Give Sabrina Fauda-Rôle’s four cheeses pasta a go tonight, for a creamy, dreamy dinner (taken from her book, One-Pot Pasta)

One-pot tomato and basil pasta

Tomato and basil is a classic Italian pasta sauce and this on-pot version is up there with the best. Try Sabrina Fauda-Rôle’s tomato and basil pasta recipe (taken from her book, One-Pot Pasta) tonight

Omelettes for students

Possibly the easiest cheap meal out there for students, the trusty omelette helps you get in plenty of your five-a-day with mushrooms, peppers and lots more.

Chilli, cheese and garlic mushroom omelette

This recipe for chilli, cheese and garlic mushroom omelette is easy, vegetarian and ready in under 30 minutes making it a perfect midweek meal for one

Spanish pepper and potato omelette

The ultimate comfort food which clears out the fridge too, try our best Spanish omelette recipe with red onion, red pepper and new potatoes. Serve with a rocket salad.

Spanish Pepper and Potato Omelette Recipe

Kedgeree omelette

Kedgeree is a classic dish of curried rice, flaked, smoked fish and hard-boiled eggs. In this version, we’ve updated the classic by substituting the boiled eggs for an omelette to wrap the Kedgeree in.

Brownies for student baking

Become the resident baker among your student friends and you will be the most popular person on campus. Our indulgent brownie recipes are easy to make!

Bourbon biscuit brownies

What’s better than a chocolate Bourbon biscuit? Chocolate Bourbon brownies! This is one of our favourite recipes of 2016 – trust us, you’ll need to make a double batch

Peanut butter fudge brownies

A foolproof traditional brownie recipe topped with indulgent peanut butter fudge. These easy decadent brownies are the ideal dinner party treat to serve with coffee, or an indulgent afternoon snack

Peanut butter brownies

Classic chocolate brownies

A classic, gooey chocolate brownie recipe that can be ramped up with added ingredients (we’ve included three suggestions in the recipe). This recipe uses a square tin, but you can use an oblong or even round cake tin provided it is roughly the same size – just keep an eye on the brownie, you may need slightly less or more time than the recipe states.

More easy student meals ideas

4 quick and easy ways to top your fries

These quick and easy loaded fries recipes are a guaranteed hit. From punchy pizza fries to chip-shop-curry fries, all toppings are simple to make and are enough for 4 servings

Loaded Fries Recipe | 4 Quick and Easy Ways to Top Your Fries

Mexican salad tortilla bowls

Check out these vibrant vegan Mexican salad bowls. This quick and easy recipe is super fresh and has just the right amount of spice and zing – ready in 20 minutes

Vegan Taco Bowl Recipe

Chipotle chicken and avocado flatbreads

Ready in 30 mins, these deliciously sweet and smokey flatbreads are low cal but high in protein – perfect for an on-the-go lunch or quick and easy dinner

Chipotle chicken and avocado flatbreads

Meatball sub melts

Check out these indulgent meaty sandwich subs with gooey mozzarella and nutty parmesan. This easy recipe serves a family of four and is ready in less than an hour. Plus, it’s low calorie, too

Easy Meatball Sub Recipe

Spicy sausage and egg naan

Check out our quick and easy sausage and egg naan. Treat yourself and make this super speedy yet indulgent recipe for a simple brunch treat

Sausage and Egg Naan

Sizzling steak fajitas

Check out our lower calorie steak fajitas. These fajitas are super easy to make and take no time at all. Serve in the middle of the table and dig in

Easy Steak Fajitas Recipe

Hasselback chicken tray bake (plus how-to video)

This hasselback chicken tray bake with mozzarella, sun-dried tomatoes and pesto makes a quick and easy tray-bake that’s easily doubled or halved. Plus, it’s just over 300 calories

Hasselback Chicken Recipe

Gouda and chilli jam french toast

Check out this indulgent french toast recipe oozing with melting cheese and punchy sweet chilli jam, perfect weekend comfort food

Chilli Cheese French Toast Recipe

Mix and match mac ‘n’ cheese bar

Put the mac ‘n’ cheese out with a serving spoon then put the toppings in little bowls and let everyone add their own. You’ll need to use your biggest baking dish for this or split it between 2 smaller ones.

Mix and match mac 'n' cheese bar

Cheesy garlic dough balls

Give our tear-and-share gooey cheese-filled dough balls a go at home with step-by-step help from the olive test kitchen. They’d make a great starter for the kids or something to kick off a laid back dinner party

Make a batch of this Italian veggie classic to feed a crowd, or make two smaller dishes and freeze one for later. Plus, it’s gluten free

Melanzane parmigiana

Best beef chilli fit for a crowd. Made with chipotle chilli and fresh green chilli this is both warming and with a kick. Serve with guacamole and rice

Hot and smoky beef chilli

Fish Pie

A comforting white fish, smoked haddock, prawns and leek pie, topped with fluffy mash, that you can make in advance and freeze. A classic family dish special enough to serve to guests too

fish pie

Toasted reuben madame

This simple egg and pastrami twist on a toastie is ideal for a quick breakfast or lunch. Serve with a gherkin on the side

Reuben madame toastie

Parmesan, pancetta and pea cream gnocchi

Check out this quick and simple creamy gnocchi recipe with pancetta and peas – ready in just 20 minutes