Being a student is tough, you go from the comfort of lovely home cooked meals to suddenly having to look after yourself, all whilst juggling making new friends, going to lectures, joining societies, adjusting to living in a new city, and budgeting. Sometimes a pot noodle or a ready meal is all you can manage, and that’s understandable.

We’ve put together five of the easiest and cheapest meals we made at uni, that are tasty, fill you up before a big night out, and also contain some probably much needed vegetables.

1) Lydia's 'Everything in the fridge lunch'

Find yourself spending a lot every week on paninis from the Costa on campus? Thought so.

Here’s a simple, filling and tasty lunch that you can chuck together in 10 minutes, and use up everything in the fridge.

What you'll need:

320g of rice - 90g for one portion

Red Pesto


Halloumi (optional)




(or any veggies you have in the fridge)

1 can of chickpeas

To season: salt, pepper, paprika, garlic

How to make: (4 portions)

-Fry all vegetables, season with garlic, paprika, salt, pepper, add the spinach towards the end

-Fry the halloumi in a separate pan, add chickpeas half way through

-Boil the rice until fluffy

-Combine everything together and mix in the pesto – warm up at lunchtime (make sure the rice is hot all the way through!) – easy as that.

Cost (when shopping at Tesco) Total: £7.12 Per meal: £1.70

2) Lara's 'Lentil Soup'

This one's got it all – it’s cheap, filling, delicious, and lasts the whole week!

What you'll need:




Two tins of lentils



(any veggies you have in the fridge)

Chicken (optional)

To season: salt, pepper

How to make: (5 portions)

-Fry garlic and onion in olive oil in a saucepan

-Add veggies and leave to soften for 5 minutes

-Add lentils and stock until they are covered (about 1 litre)

-leave on low for 45 mins or until soup reaches your desired consistency

-Keep adding stock when level falls below lentils

Cost (when shopping at Tesco) Total: £3.30 Per meal: £0.66

3) Joe's 'African Peanut Stew'

This is another tasty meat free dish, and one that's great for warming you up in the winter when the dodgy heating in your flat fails you!

What you'll need:



Red chilli

1 can of tinned tomatoes

2 cups of vegetable stock

1 sweet potato

1 can of kidney beans

1 cup of frozen peas

Handful of spinach

3 tbsp of peanut butter

450g of rice - 90g for one portion

To season: salt, pepper

How to make: (5 portions)

- Heat oil in a pan and add onions, garlic, chilli and cook until soft

- Add the tinned tomatoes and peanut butter and stir until smooth

- Stir in stock and add sweet potatoes, cover pan and simmer until sweet potatoes are tender but not falling apart.

- Add the black beans, peas, spinach

- Season with salt, pepper, chilli flakes

-Boil rice until fluffy

Cost (when shopping at Tesco) Total: £3.39 Per meal £0.69

4) Maria's 'Chilli Bacon Pasta'

This is a super quick easy dinner you can make in under 10 mins, so you're sorted if you come in late starving from a lecture or club!

What you'll need:

Fusili Pasta


Tomato Sauce





Feta (optional)

To season, chilli flakes, pepper, salt

How to make: (5 portions)

-Boil the pasta until soft

-Fry the onions, garlic, peppers and bacon, season with chilli flakes, pepper, salt

-Add the tomato sauce to pan, pasta, and chopped tomatoes

Cost (when shopping at Tesco) Total: £5.40 Per meal: £1.08

5) Jack's 'Vegetable Feta Tart'

This one looks super impressive, but is super easy to make (but don't tell people that!) - it's delicious and you can chuck anything on it!

What you'll need:

1 x 270g Just-rol filo pastry


Red onion





How to make: (1 or 2 portions)

-Heat oven to 180C and line a tin with baking parchment

-Unfold each sheet of pastry and brush with olive oil, place on top of each other

-In a pan fry the red onion and courgettes until slightly soft

-Spread a layer of passata onto the pastry, and add the cooked vegetables and feta. Cook for 10 minutes

-Add tomatoes and cook for an additional 5 minutes, or until pastry is lightly golden

Cost (when shopping at Tesco) Total: £4.20 Per meal: £2.10

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