7 easy and nutritious meals for students heading to university

Seven easy and nutritious meals to cook as a new university student. Picture: GETTY IMAGES/ ISTOCKPH

Seven easy and nutritious meals to cook as a new university student. Picture: GETTY IMAGES/ ISTOCKPHOTO - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Going to university and never cooked before? Here are seven quick, simple and filling meals which will help you cruise through being a fresher.

Whether you are a parent of a teenager who is fleeing the nest, or you are a student wanting to get clued up on some easy nutritious meals - then these simple recipes are bound to help you get started.

Spaghetti bolognese

- Heat a large saucepan of water with a pinch of salt and lower the spagehtti into the pan, so that you can prepare the bolognese sauce while it cooks.

- Finely chop an onion and add it to a separate saucepan with some oil, shortly followed by chopped mushrooms and a pinch of salt and peopper.

- Once the onion has softened add the mincemeat of your choice and fry gently until it is well browned over a medium-high heat.

- Add some garlic and mixed herbs and any vegetables of your choice, followed by a tin of chopped tomatoes and mix well. Add a beef stock cube and bring to a simmer before reducing the heat and letting it cook until the sauce is thick and rich.

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- Check the pasta and if it is cooked through, drain and add to the pan with the bolognese sauce and get ready to serve. Freeze any leftovers for an evening meal later in the week.

Cheesy pasta bake

- Preheat the oven to about 190C and boil a large pan of water.

- Cook the pasta for about 20 minutes or to your desired texture.

- Whilst the pasta is cooking, heat the oil on a medium heat, in a large frying pan. Add any meat you would like to add to the bake, such as chicken, and cook for about five minutes.

- Add the onion and cook for a further three to four minutes until it is softened. Then Add the chopped peppers, salt, pepper, garlic, two tablespoons of tomato puree, and any herbs or spices you have such as oregano and thyme.

- Stir and cook for a further three minutes before adding the tinned tomatoes.

- If you have the luxury of double cream add about 100ml to help thicken the pasta bake sauce and bring to a gentle bubble.

- Then add the pasta, any soft vegetables such as sweetcorn, mushrooms, peas, etc and cooked bacon if you can.

- Stir everything together, then transfer to a large baking dish.

- Top with cheese - two types such as cheddar and mozzarella would be great - and place in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until the cheese is golden brown.

Take out of the oven and serve to the new friends in your flat. It will go down a treat.

Jacket potato with tuna

- Take a jacket potato and prick it with a fork before putting it in the microwave for 10 minutes, making sure to turn it half way. - Test the potato, making sure that it is soft throughout and ready to eat - or you can pop it in the oven to let the skin go golden.

- While the potato is crisping up in the oven you can prepare your filling by combining tuna with mayonaisse. You can also add chopped onion and sweetcorn to the tuna to add some of your five-a-day.

- Then pop the filling on top of the buttered potato and you are good to go - a quick, easy and nutritious meal that is sure to fill you up before an evening of alcohol.

Homemade pizzas

- Using a packet mix pizza base, which can be bought from most supermarkets such as Tesco, empty the mix into a bowl and stir in 100ml of lukewarm water.

- Mix to a soft dough then knead well on a lightly floured surgace for five minutes until smooth, before rolling it out into a circle shape.

- Place on a greased baking sheet and leave to stand in a warm place for 10 mintues to prove, while you prepare your toppings of whatever you can find in your cupboards.

- Use either tomato puree or a passata to form the tomato base of the pizza and cover with cheese and your favourite toppings.

- Cook it in an oven at 200C for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.


- Beat three eggs in a bowl with salt and pepper - or add more eggs dependent on how many people you are serving.

- Prepare your fillings by rummaging through your fridge and using whatever you can find, cheese, ham, bacon, sausage, vegetables - anything goes in an omelette.

- Heat the oil/butter in a non-stick frying pan over a medium-low heat until the butter is foaming. Then pour the eggs into the pan, tilting it ever so slightly from one side to another to allow the eggs to swirl and cover the pan's surface completely.

- Let the mixture cook for about 20 seconds then scrape a line through the middle with a spatula. Tilt the pan again to allow it to fill back up with runny egg, repeating until the egg has set.

- Add your fillings at this point, and then fold the omelette in half with the spatula and slide onto a plate.


The chilli con carne is an easy way to use up your storecupboard ingredients.

- Start by preparing your vegetables and chop a large onion, a red pepper and 2 garlic cloves.

- Put your pan on the hob over a medium heat, add a tablespoon of oil and leave it to heat up before adding the onion, the red pepper and the garlic.

- Then you can add some spices - a teaspoon of hot chilli powder or mild chilli powder, along with a teaspoon of paprika and cumin.

- Stir it well and leave to cook for five minutes.

- Then add the beef mince and break the meat up with your spoon/spatula. Keep stirring and prodding until all the mince is in uniform mince-sized lumps and there are no more pink bits.

- Now add one beef mince stock with 300ml of hot water and mix into the mince mixture.

- Add one tin of chopped tomatoes, a good helping of salt and pepper, two tablespoons of tomato purée and stir and simmer gently.

- Bring the whole thing to the boil, give it a good stir and put a lid on the pan. Turn down the heat until it is gently bubbling and leave it for 20 minutes.

- After simmering gently, the saucy mince mixture should look thick, moist and juicy. Drain and rinse a can of kidney beans and stir them in, bringing it to the boil again and gently bubbling without the lid.

- Now turn off the heat and let stand before serving - so all the flavours can come together.


- Prepare your onions, pepper, mushrooms, and any other hard pieces of veg to include in the stir fry.

- Then add some oil ato a frying pan nd start to fry off and soften the vegetables.

- If you decide to add any meat, may it be prawns, chicken or even a meat alternative, you should add it now and stir fry until the meat is fully cooked.

- Test the vegetables and once soft, add the noodles and any softer veg such as beansprouts, and stir fry over a high heat.

- Now add some soy and sesame oil - or a packet stir-fry sauce will do too - and fry off for a little longer before serving.

10 items to stock up your cupbaords in freshers week

- Salt and pepper

- Mixed herbs

- Pasta

- Stock cubes

- Tinned tomatoes

- Rice

- Baked beans

- Canned soup

- Teabags or coffee granules

- Tinned sweetcorn

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