It’s a well-known fact that many students head out to university without basic cooking skills, so if you’re keen to avoid becoming part of the stereotype then read on to find out the basic meals that every student should know how to make before they leave home for their educational adventure. These meal ideas are designed to be flexible, so no matter what your personal preferences and dietary requirements, you can create meals that’ll keep you full and happy.
Students love pizza, and this delicious Italian dish is basically just bread, tomato and cheese. It’s expensive to order from a takeaway, and once you know how to make it, you’ll never want an insipid frozen pizza ever again. Learn a basic dough recipe and you can top your pizzas with loads of different delicacies throughout your university experience.
Another Italian staple, pasta is cheap, quick and easy to make. There are loads of different shapes and basic sauces you can serve pasta in, and because dried pasta keeps for ages you can always have some in your cupboard to whip up anytime you’re hungry.
Eggs are a great source of protein and nutrients, as well as being a versatile, easy-to-cook cheap ingredient that can easily be turned into a meal with just a few additions. As such, it’s vital that every student learns how to make several basic egg dishes that they can whip up when they’re hungry but can’t be bothered to cook a proper meal. From scrambled eggs on toast through to quick quiches, there’s an egg recipe to suit everyone.
A broad style of cooking that can involve almost any meat, fish and vegetable combination, learning to cook a curry that you enjoy is a vital skill for every young adult. It doesn’t have to be a perfectly authentic version; as long as you enjoy it then that’s all that matters. The rich flavours and warming nature of curry will make this a great dish to cook when you’re feeling homesick or have enjoyed a few too many nights out at the student union bar. Find a curry recipe that you enjoy and learn it off by heart so you will always have something warming and delicious to eat whatever your mood.
Salad doesn’t have to be simply limp iceberg lettuce and watery mayonnaise; there are loads of flavourful, healthy salad recipes out there so that you can enjoy a lighter option for when the weather’s warmer or you’re feeling like eating something a little healthier. All you need is a leafy base like spinach, lettuce or kale, followed by some protein from meat, pulses or beans, flavour from herbs, dressing or cheese, and you’re good to go. The possibilities for a healthy, tasty salad are endless!
A stir fry is a basic meal that can contain a combination of meat, vegetables and either noodles or rice. This is a flexible and quick option for busy students who want something to line their stomachs before a heavy night out. You can use a range of herbs and spices to flavour your stir fry, or even use a readymade sauce to save yourself time. Invest in a quality wok to make cooking a stir fry even quicker and easier.
Desserts can be time consuming and are less nutritionally valuable than main meals, but it’s important that you learn to make at least one delicious pudding to enjoy and impress your new friends with. Classic cake recipes are a great base for adventurous bakers, or those who simply want to be able to treat themselves to a freshly baked cake every now and again.