Off to uni? Our Good Food nutritionist has got cheap, quick and easy student recipes for seven days. Wholesome, too, they'll keep you fuelled for study.
We’ve chosen our seven-day student suppers because they’re nutritious and balanced. They’re budget meals, too, so they don’t require expensive ingredients, lots of equipment or previous cooking experience. The seven-day meal plan also aims to keep the selection of ingredients low so you can buy in bulk to keep costs down. And the best part is, all the suppers involve minimal prep and result in as little washing-up as possible!
Recipes like the pizza baked potato and the mushroom & rice one-pot, which serve four, can be scaled back to account for smaller servings. Alternatively freeze extra portions of dishes like the minted salmon & pea fishcakes and Greek lamb & macaroni bake. Or team up with a couple of housemates and share the cooking and the cost.
Make meat-free Mondays tasty and inexpensive with a simple mushroom & rice one-pot. We’ve used basmati rice in this dish because it has a low to medium GI (glycaemic index) – in other words, it releases its energy at a slower, steadier pace to keep you fuller for longer. You’ll also be getting a good top-up of your five-a-day in this easy, quick veggie supper.
Discover more convenient one-pot recipes.
Buying frozen fish, seafood and veggies keeps costs down and means you always have something to fall back on. This tasty tagine is quick and easy and the seafood makes it a little bit different. Seafood like prawns, squid and mussels are a good source of low-fat protein as well as being rich in vitamins and minerals like iron. Including red pepper, not only adds a delicious crunch, but because it’s a great source of vitamin C, it helps optimise your absorption of the energising iron from seafood.
Canned vegetables are a great budget option and an ideal standby, plus they count towards your five-a-day. Our chunky chilli takes no time to prepare – just 5 minutes – but we do suggest you cook it long and slow. We’ve used kidney beans in chilli sauce for really easy prep and a surefire way to impress if you’re making chilli for the first time. If you want your chilli in even quicker time, replace the stewing beef with minced meat. Or for a delicious veggie alternative, try our smoky burnt aubergine veggie chilli.
Keep any leftovers from tonight’s supper to enjoy in a tortilla wrap for lunch the next day. Just remember to leave the chilli to cool, then store covered in the fridge and reheat thoroughly before use.
As the end of the week approaches the storecupboard can get a bit bare. Potatoes are a great standby to have, full of energising carbs as well as being a useful source of bug-busting vitamin C. Use them for this pizza-inspired baked potato dish that is filling, tasty and delicious. If you want to top up your five-a-day swap your regular spud for a sweet potato. Scrub well before cooking and enjoy in their jackets. You should also bake an extra potato for use on Friday (see below).
A healthy, balanced diet should include at least two portions of fish or seafood a week, with one being an oily variety like salmon, trout or mackerel. These oily types of fish are rich in a form of fat called omega-3 fatty acids, which help to balance hormones, keep your heart healthy and your brain well-oiled. Bake an extra potato the night before and use for the mash in this salmon & pea fish cake recipe.
You can find more deliciously healthy fish recipes in our collection.
Who doesn’t fancy a curry on a Saturday night? Make this chicken & sweet potato curry for a quick and easy spice fix. Chicken thighs are cheaper than breast and the darker meat has more flavour and is a richer source of iron and zinc.
Got veggie mates coming round? Surprise them with our cauliflower paneer curry. Paneer is a cheese made without animal rennet, so it's a safe vegetarian option and a satisfying protein, which is important before a night out!
If you're crazy about curry, check out our recipe collections:
Keep the washing-up to a minimum and enjoy this one-pan Greek lamb & macaroni bake for a Sunday lunch with a Mediterranean twist. Lean lamb is a great source of immune-boosting zinc while the cheese adds a delicious calcium-rich creaminess. You could pair this with roast veg to cook simultaneously in the oven and up your intake of fibre.
Try more comforting and cheesy pasta bakes.
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Do you have a favourite student meal? Let us know your best (and worst!) recipes in the comments below...