8 Cheap and Healthy Recipes that Are Perfect for Students
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8 Cheap and Healthy Recipes that Are Perfect for Students

Branch out beyond beans on toast with our selection of cheap, cheerful and healthy student recipes. These tasty eats will help power you through your studies and ensure you’re the envy of the communal kitchen – and all on a shoestring student budget.

To make it easier to find the right meal for you, we’ve sorted the recipes into categories, including meals for meat and fish eaters, and alternatives for vegetarians and vegans. We’ve also included a rough guide to the price per serving of each dish, so you can budget accordingly – and they all come in under a fiver!


Meat and Fish Recipes



Vegetarian and Vegan Recipes



Meat and Fish Recipes


Enjoying meat and fish on a student budget can be tricky, but with these hearty and affordable staples, you can still enjoy a little of what you love.

Cauliflower, Kale and Sausage Bake

gratin with cauliflower and cheese on a table

Prep and Cook: 50 mins

Servings: 4-6

Price per serving: £1.28*

Ingredients

  • 700g cauliflower florets
  • 180g kale, sliced
  • 400g sausage meat
  • 700g cheese sauce (shop-bought or make your own)
  • 100g cheddar cheese

Method

  1. Cook the cauliflower in a large pan of salted water for 6 minutes. Add the kale for the final minute before draining.
  2. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan and add the sausage meat, breaking it into smaller pieces. Cook for 4-5 minutes until browned all over.
  3. Heat the oven to 200°C before adding the cauliflower and kale to a baking dish. Pour over the cheese sauce, season with salt and pepper and stir well for an even coating. Scatter the sausage meat and cheddar cheese on top and bake in the oven for 30 minutes until golden and bubbling. Serve with garlic bread or side salad.

Recipe source.

Tuna and Sweetcorn Slice

 

Prep and Cook: 35 Mins

Servings: 4

Price per serving: 73p*

Ingredients

  • 320g pack ready-rolled puff pastry
  • 185g tuna in spring water, drained and flaked
  • 325g can sweetcorn
  • 3tbsp crème fraîche
  • 50g cheddar, grated
  • A handful of chives, snipped

Method

  1. Heat oven to 220°C. Roll the pastry on to a baking sheet or strip of parchment paper. Pinch the edges to form a border, before pricking the centre all over with a fork. Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes.
  2. Mix the tuna and sweetcorn in a bowl and season with salt and pepper, or whatever else you fancy.
  3. Remove the pastry from the oven and flatten down the centre with the back of a fork (it will have puffed up a bit). Spread the crème fraiche out from the centre of the pastry to the edges, before adding the tuna and sweetcorn mix and a scattering of cheddar. Bake for a further 10 minutes until golden. Sprinkle with the chives and enjoy.

Recipe source.

Turkey Chilli Jacket Potato

Jacket potato filled with chilli con carne

Prep and Cook: 55 minutes

Servings: 1

Price per serving: £1.48*

Ingredients

  • 1 large baking potato
  • 80g turkey mince
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1tbsp ground cumin
  • 350ml passata
  • Red Leicester or cheddar, grated for serving

Method

  1. Heat the oven to 200°C. Prick the potato all over with a fork, rub the skin with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake in the oven for 45 mins until tender. You can also cook jacket potatoes in the microwave, but they won’t taste as good.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a tbsp. of oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and a dash of salt and pepper, before cooking for 5 minutes until softened and browning. Add the turkey mince and season again, before cranking up the heat to cook the meat through. When it’s cooked, add the spices and passata and leave to simmer for 10 mins on a medium heat. If you can spare any, a glug of red wine will add a delicious depth of flavour to your chilli.
  3. After 45 minutes, prick the potato with a fork to see if it’s tender. Depending on its size, it may need an additional 5 minutes. When it’s ready, cut a cross in the top and pour in the chilli, finishing with a scattering of cheese. The perfect winter warmer.

Recipe source.

Prawn and Coconut Laksa

Yummy Malaysian Soup with chicken and shrimps

 

Prep and Cook: 20 mins

Servings: 1

Price per serving: £4.80*

Ingredients

  • 2tsp oil
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 spring onion, chopped
  • 2tsp finely chopped ginger
  • 1 green chilli
  • 100g raw prawns
  • 165ml can coconut milk
  • 100ml chicken or vegetable stock
  • 100g dried egg noodles

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a large pan on a high heat. Reduce the heat and add the garlic, spring onion, ginger and chilli, cooking on medium for 3-4 minutes.
  2. Stir in the prawns before adding the coconut milk and stock. Simmer for 5 minutes on a low heat until the prawns turn pink.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the noodles in a pan of boiling water for 4 minutes. Drain, then add to the laksa pan. Season and serve in a bowl with a scattering of coriander to taste.

Recipe source.


Vegetarian and Vegan Recipes


If you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, it’s much easier to enjoy great-tasting and healthy eats on a student budget, with plants and veggies costing a fraction of the price of meat and fish. Here’s a handful of our favourites, marked Vt (vegetarian) or Vg (vegan) for reference.

Paneer Stuffed Pancakes (V)

 

 

 

Prep and Cook: 20 mins

Servings: 2

Price per serving: 89p*

Ingredients

  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 100l semi-skimmed milk
  • 50g plain flour
  • Sunflower oil
  • 100g frozen spinach
  • ½ x 226g pack paneer, cut into cubes
  • 1tbsp hot curry paste
  • 400g can chickpeas
  • 150g passata
  • 75ml coconut yoghurt
  • 1tbsp mango chutney

Method

  1. Heat the oven to 110°C. Make a pancake batter by gradually mixing the egg and milk into the flour with a whisk. Heat a tsp of oil in a large, non-stick frying pan. Add around a quarter of the batter to make a single pancake, swirling it around to coat the bottom of the pan. Cook for 30 seconds on both sides, before transferring to the oven to keep warm while making the filling. Repeat with the remaining batter.
  2. Cook the frozen spinach following the instructions on the packet. Meanwhile, heat 1 tsp of oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and add the paneer, cooking it on all sides until golden and crisp. Stir in the curry paste and the chickpeas, before adding the spinach and passata. Season and heat through, adding a splash of water if it gets too dry.
  3. In a bowl, mix the yoghurt and mango chutney – this will serve as a topping. Divide the paneer mixture between the pancakes, spoon on some mango yoghurt, roll up and serve.

Recipe source.

Curry Roasted Cauliflower (Ve)

Prep and Cook: 55 Mins

Servings: 6

Price per serving: 65p*

Ingredients

  • 1 cauliflower, chopped into small chunks
  • ½ large red onion
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • ½tbsp curry powder
  • 60g frozen peas

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C. Cut the cauliflower into florets and rinse well with cold water. While the florets are draining, slice the red onion into rough strips before lining a baking tray with foil. Spread the cauliflower and red onion on to the tray, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle over the seasonings and spices. Toss until everything is coated, before baking for 45 minutes.
  2. Cook the peas per the packet instructions. Remove the cauliflower from the oven and mix with the cooked peas. Serve with rice or as a delicious filling in tacos or wraps.

Recipe source.

Simple Margherita Pizza (V)

classic pizza margherita made with a sourdough base, tomato sauce with oregano and olive oil, mozzarella cheese and fresh basil on a wooden board, black table, cutting wheel, towel and brick wall background

Prep and Cook: 35 mins

Servings: 2

Price per serving: £1.23*

Ingredients

  • 200g plain flour
  • 7g packet easy-blend dried yeast
  • 1tsp sugar
  • 85ml passata
  • 100g mozzarella, half torn, half grated
  • 2tbsp grated parmesan or vegetarian alternative
  • Small bunch basil, half chopped, half left whole

Method

  1. Heat oven to 240°C. Oil a large baking tray with olive oil. Mix the flour, yeast, salt and pepper in a bowl, knead until smooth and press onto the oiled tray.
  2. Spread the passata over the dough, leaving a border around the edge. Season the passata with salt and pepper, then sprinkle over the chopped basil. Tear the mozzarella into small pieces and spread evenly over the pizza base, then sprinkle over the parmesan. Bake for 15-20 mins until cooked, and finish with the remaining basil.

Recipe source.

Teriyaki Noodle Bowl (Ve)

Beef and Broccoli With Udon Noodles Stir Fry in a Cast Iron Skillet

 

 

Prep and Cook: 25 Mins

Servings: 4

Price per serving: £1.18*

Ingredients

  • 60ml light soy sauce
  • 2tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2tbsp brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp sesame oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 inches fresh ginger, grated
  • Pinch chilli flakes, to taste
  • 1tbsp corn starch
  • 2tbsp water
  • 450g stir-fry vegetables
  • 200g soba noodles

Method

  1. Add the soy sauce, rice vinegar, brown sugar, sesame oil, corn starch, chilli flakes and water to a mixing bowl. Peel the ginger and grate straight into the bowl. Stir well to combine the ingredients.
  2. Bring a medium pan of water to the boil over a high heat. Add the noodles and cook for 5-6 minutes until soft. Drain well.
  3. Heat a tbsp. oil in a large frying pan or wok. Fry the stir-fry vegetables on a high heat, before gradually adding the teriyaki sauce. Allow it to simmer, at which point it will begin to thicken. Turn off the heat once the sauce is steaming and thick.
  4. Add the noodles to the pan and stir until evenly coated in the sauce. Serve immediately, with a handful of chopped spring onion and green chilli.

Recipe source.

At aparto, our spacious and welcoming student homes feature fully-equipped kitchens, giving you the space you need to whip up balanced, affordable and healthy meals. For more information, visit the homepage or get in touch.

*Prices listed are used only as a guide and may vary. Prices are sourced from the BBC Good Food and Tesco websites (Jan 2018), and are based on the cost per serving.

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