When you’re a student and on a budget, it can often feel as though you’re very limited in the variety of meals that you can make. Gone are the days of mum’s delicious homemade lasagne with mouth watering garlic bread smothered in melted butter and hello to the days of pasta and pesto three nights in a row.
I’m not gonna lie; as a student you will, of course, be on tight budget and you probably won’t be able to do your weekly shop at Waitrose and eat out the Ritz with all your new besties on a Friday night, but you will be able to make a variety of scrumptious meals and food for and all your new flatmates to enjoy.
I’m no Gordon Ramsey (I’m a lot less angry for one thing) but I do have a few recipes below that are not only super cheap to make but also super tasty!
So, without further ado below are some of my cheapest, easiest and yummiest meals (plus one dessert) that I’ve made as my time as a student.
- Pizza Bagels
Everyone loves pizza, and everyone loves bagels so why not combine the two and create heaven on a plate?
Fun fact: This was the first meal that I ever made for my partner. I know that pizza bagels might not sound like the most romantic meal in the world, but I was quite limited in what I was able to cook back then. Besides, they were a hit and they’re still one of his favourite things that I’ve ever made for him.
These bad boys are also very filling so don’t underestimate how much they’re going to fill you up and give yourself 4 pizza bagels to demolish. (though they are super scrumptious, so I wouldn’t blame you if you did!)
The recipe that I’ve written out below is for two people so if you’re making it for more then I’d advise doubling the ingredients and if it’s just for yourself try halving the ingredients.
- Two plain bagels
- 180g of pizza sauce
- 160g of mozzarella
- A tbsp of oregano
- A drizzle of olive oil
(I always just do classic margarita style, but you can choose whatever toppings you’d like! Just be sure that if you’re using anything like chicken that you cook it before putting your pizza into the oven and remember that because a bagel is a lot smaller than a regular pizza base that you’ll have less room for lots of different toppings.
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees and look out a baking tray
- Using a kitchen knife slice both the bagels in half.
- Spread each pizza bagel with the pizza sauce using a tablespoon.
- Grate the mozzarella cheese and sprinkle it evenly on each pizza bagel
- (If you’re adding more ingredients than add these now.)
- Sprinkle the oregano on each pizza and then add a drizzle of olive oil to give your pizza bagels a takeaway style taste.
- Place them on the baking tray and then place in the centre of the oven for 10 minutes.
Obviously, these aren’t the healthiest so to balance the fat and carbs out a bit it might be worth making up a simple side salad while they’re cooking!
- Breakfast Style Casserole
In my opinion breakfast food is the best food and if I could I would eat breakfast food for lunch and dinner as well!
And the great thing about this meal is that you can. So, if you or any friends have more of a savoury tooth than this is the perfect meal for you all to devour for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
This dish serves between two to four people so it’s perfect for a casual date night and or a chilled Friday night session with your friends.
- A large can of baked beans
- 6 sausages (pork or vegetarian)
- A handful of mushrooms (optional)
- Two eggs
- Salt and pepper for seasoning
- Preheat the oven to 220 degrees
- Cook the sausages in a casserole dish drizzled in oil for twenty minutes.
- If using, dice the mushrooms and set aside
- Once the sausages have been in the oven for twenty minutes add the tin of baked beans.
- Add the mushrooms if using
- Crack both the eggs on top of the casserole dish
- Season with salt and pepper and place in the centre of the oven for 25 minutes and then serve.
- Oreo Cheesecake
No, your eyes aren’t deceiving you there really is something this god-like that exists! Cheesecake is probably my all-time favourite dessert and just like anyone who has taste buds I love Oreos so combining the two is like eating a slice of heaven!
Another good thing about this is that it’s a no-bake cheesecake so there’s no danger of undercooking it or overcooking it. There is, however, a great danger of you scoffing it all to yourself!
For the base:
- Two packets of Oreos
- 180g of butter
For the topping:
- A tub of cream
- A large tub of cream cheese
- 300g of icing sugar
- 100g of white chocolate
- 1 packet of Oreos
- If you have a blender (which I doubt because you’re a student so probably won’t be able to afford such luxuries!) then you can blend the first two packets of Oreos in here. I don’t have a blender so whenever I make this I’ll crush the Oreos by double bagging them in a sandwich bag and crushing them with a rolling pin. (If you don’t have a rolling pin than you can do this the truly traditional broke student way and crush them with a plastic water bottle. I’d avoid using a bottle of alcohol as if you get a bit too aggressive while crushing your Oreos it might end up smashing!
- Melt the butter in the microwave and then combine with the crushed biscuits and then add to a cake tin making sure to press around all the edges. (If you don’t have a cake tin then places like B&M and home bargains would be some good places to look for cheap ones!)
- Now for the topping!
- Combine both the cream cheese and icing sugar in a large bowl until it looks soft and fluffy. (you will probably try and fail to not stick your finger in the bowl and try some!)
- Set aside.
- Melt the white chocolate in the oven and set aside.
- Quickly whisk the cream in a large mixing bowl until soft peaks start to form and then add the white chocolate and mix together. (If you don’t have an electric whisk or normal whisk you can use a fork!)
- Add to the cream cheese frosting and combine.
- Spread over the base of the cheesecake.
- Take about half a packet of Oreos and crush them and then sprinkle around the edge of the cheesecake.
- With the remaining half of Oreos take each oreo and snap in half and then place it with the round side facing up the way around the cheesecake.
- Place in the fridge and leave to set for at least four hours. (but for the tastiest results you should leave it to set overnight but let’s be honest, you’re never going to manage to resist the deliciousness that is Oreo cheesecake for that amount of time, are you?
And there you have it, folks! Three recipes that are sure to satisfy your hunger without making your wallet weep! Happy cooking and happy baking and I’ll see next time with more tips on how to survive the student life!