4 Essential Recipes for Students

Top image - ChrisFord

Student life is a time of many firsts, such as paying bills, doing the washing, and cooking. While the first two are tasks that can be easily mastered with time, cooking is more of an art and takes a lot of practice to get right. We have collected a few cheap and cheerful as well as easy recipes for those who are just starting out.

The hangover cure

As a student it is very possible that you will have a few mornings where you are hanging your head in shame and just need something filling and satisfying to be able to face the day.

Chicken with bacon

Chicken wrapped in bacon
Serves two people

  • Two chicken breasts
  • Cheese of your choice, works very very well with mozzarella or stilton cheese
  • Various salad
  • Olive oil
  • 4 - 6 rashers of smoked bacon
  • Oven chips/fries

This recipe is perfect for a hangover cure after a heavy night clubbing!
- Pre-heat oven to 180/200 degrees c
- Slice a pouch into each chicken breast
- Stuff with sliced mozzarella or sliced stilton
Securely wrap 2 or 3 rashers of smoked bacon firmly around each chicken breast, make sure you join the two ends of the bacon together on the top of the chicken breast to stop it from opening.
Place in glass pyrex dish and cover with foil
Bang it in the oven for between 25 - 35 minutes (make sure it is cooked all the way through before serving)
Cook your oven chips/fries
Plate up salad (works well with a rocket salad)
Plate up
You’re cured! (Source)

The just-like-home dish

As many students leave home for the first time when they start attending university, it can be a struggle to deal with homesickness. Make something quintessentially English for dinner to help combat this and you will definitely feel better after. Combine with a phone call to mum for the full effect.

Gamekeepers pie

Gamekeeper’s pie
Serves six

  • 50g butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 700g mixed game meat (partridge, pigeon, pheasant, rabbit and hare all work well), deboned and cut into 3cm pieces
  • 300g pack venison sausages (about 6 sausages), removed from their skins
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 150ml red wine
  • 500ml chicken or beef stock
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 tsp thyme leaves, chopped
  • 400g potatoes, cut into chunks
  • 600g mixed root vegetables (use parsnips, celeriac, swede or turnips), cut into chunks
  • 2 tbsp milk

Heat half the butter and the oil in a large pan, add the onion and carrots, and cook for about 10 mins until soft. Add the game and sausagemeat to the pan. Turn up the heat, squash the meat with the back of your spoon to break it up, and cook for 10 mins until nicely browned.
Stir the flour and tomato purée into the meat, cook for 1 min, then add the wine, stock, sauce, bay and 3 tsp thyme. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat, cover with a lid and cook for 1 hr. Remove the lid and cook for 15 mins more until the meat is tender and the sauce has thickened.
Put the potatoes and veg in a large pan, cover with water, bring to the boil and cook for 20 mins until really tender. Drain, leave to steam for 5 mins, then mash with seasoning, milk and the remaining butter.
Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Tip the meat into an ovenproof dish and spoon on the mash. Sprinkle with the remaining thyme and bake for 45 mins until the top is golden and the sauce bubbling. (Source)

The mix-and-match recipe

This was a staple of every student’s diet when I was at university - the omelette. It’s healthy, cheap, and can be tailor-made to anyone’s personal taste. Just throw in anything you want, be it onion, spinach, ham, mushrooms, et cetera.


Store cupboard omelette
Serves two

  • A drizzle of olive oil or knob of butter
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 225 g (8oz) cooked new potatoes, sliced - leftovers are ideal
  • 125 g (4oz) frozen petit pois, thawed
  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 150 g pack soft goat's cheese, sliced

Heat the oil or butter in a 25.5cm (10in) non-stick ovenproof frying pan and fry the onion for 6-8min until golden. Add potatoes and petit pois and cook, stirring, for 2-3min. Preheat the grill.
Spread mixture over the pan base and pour in beaten egg. Tilt the pan to coat the base with egg. Leave omelette to cook un-disturbed for 2-3min, then top with cheese.
Put the pan under a hot grill for 1-2min or until the egg is just set (no longer, or it will turn rubbery) and the cheese starts to turn golden. Season and serve immediately with a green salad.
Easy ways to jazz it up: 1. Use 100g (3½oz) sundried tomatoes instead of the new potatoes. 2. Throw in a handful of halved pitted black olives as you pour the egg into the pan. 3. Use any melting cheese, such as grated Cheddar, instead of goat's cheese. (Source)

The obvious one

In case you have never encountered a tap before, some friendly soul has typed up a step by step of what I would call a very essential recipe.


A glass of water
Serves one

  • Water

Open the cupboard and get out a glass
Go over to the tap and turn on the cold (or hot if you would prefer)
Place the glass under the running water but be careful not to get wet
When the glass is full remove it from under the tap
Turn off the tap and hold the glass
Hold the glass to your mouth tipping it towards you but be careful not to spill any or you will have to dry it up
Once finished put the glass in the dishwasher or sink or repeat if you are still thirsty


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Images courtesy of HeatherJoan, Jessica Spengler, jamieanne, Cindee Snider & ChrisFord



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