Five time-friendly meals for students to make while at university

Five time-friendly meals for students to make while at university

A student meal
A student roast dinner made during the cost of living crisis. Credit: 100539110

Students are often swamped in university work, revision and lectures. This leaves them reaching for quick meals that aren’t very nutritious.

But making a nice meal shouldn’t take up the whole day – if you have the right recipe, are organised and plan ahead.

The real trick, of course, is the preparation. Make sure you shop smart, have all your ingredients ready and prepared before starting the recipe and minimise the amount of pots, pans and cutlery you use – to save on washing up!

To help, here are StoryHub’s recommendations for five quick and tasty meals for university students.

Pasta Bake

Time: 35 minutes

Serves 4-5


400g of chicken breast

300g of pasta

400g of basil tomato sauce

100g of grated cheese

2 tbsp of oil

Salt and pepper


In the oil, fry the chicken on medium heat until cooked and golden. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Meanwhile cook the pasta, per the pack instructions. Add the pasta sauce to the chicken and cook for a further five minutes.

Add the drained pasta to the chicken and stir well.

Add half the pasta mix to a baking dish and top with half of the grated cheese. Add the remaining chicken pasta and top again with grated cheese.

Bake for 20-30 minutes at 180 degrees fan/200 degrees until the top is golden.

You can also serve with garlic bread.

It’s a great recipe to share with the house, thanks to StudentsEats.

Pasta bake plated up
Pasta bake plated up next to garlic bread. Credit: 100539110

Corn Fritters

Time: 10 minutes

Serves 1


1 small onion

75g self-raising flour

¼ tsp of chilli powder

Salt and pepper

300g of sweetcorn

2 eggs

2 tbsp of milk or water

2 tbsp of cooking oil


Finely chop the onion into a large mixing bowl. Add the flour and chilli powder as well as salt and pepper to taste. Stir well before adding the sweetcorn and stir again. Crack in the two eggs and add the milk or water then mix to form a rough batter.

Heat the oil on medium heat in a large frying pan. Drop in 2-3 tablespoons of the batter into the oil and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side.

These are great for breakfast, brunch or even to snack on throughout the day. It’s a classic Jack Monroe recipe.

Chicken Pasta

Time: 20 minutes

Serves 4-5


1 tbsp of olive oil

1 red onion

200g of mushrooms

1 red pepper

500g of chicken breast

1 tbsp of Cajun

500g of pasta

500ml of chicken stock

100g of cream cheese

Spring Onion (optional)


Heat half the olive oil in a non-stick pan. Add the sliced red onion to the pan with sliced mushrooms and pepper. Cook for a few minutes until softened, remove from the pan and set aside.

Add the rest of the oil to the pan with the sliced chicken pieces. Fry until completed cooked (no longer pink) then add the vegetables back into the pan along with Cajun seasoning and salt to taste. Stir well to combine.

Add the pasta along with the chicken stock, cover the pan and leave to simmer for 15 minutes. Stir through and enjoy, optionally garnish with spring onion. Thanks to MyProtein.

Chicken pasta plated up
Chicken pasta plated up with garnish. Credit: 100539110

Beef Chilli

Time: 10 minutes

Serves 3-4


1 small onion

6 cloves of garlic

2 tbsp of oil

350g of corned beef (around 1 tin)

1x400g tin of kidney beans

1x400g tin of baked beans

2x400g tins of chopped tomatoes

2 tbsp of paprika

2 tbsp of ground cumin

Salt and pepper

200ml of red wine (optional)

20g of dark chocolate (optional)


Slice the onion finely and add it to a large pan with the garlic and oil.

Dice the corned beef into rough 1cm cubes and add to the pan. Drain and rinse the beans to add to the pan along with the chopped tomatoes. Add the paprika, ground cumin as well as the salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a medium heat.

Cook, stirring for 7-8 minutes then reduce the heat. If using the wine and/or chocolate, add now and continue cooking for 16-18 minutes.

Bring to a high heat and serve with rice.

This chilli can also be frozen in portions for a different day. Once again, Jack Monroe comes to the rescue.

Roast Dinner

Time: 45 minutes

Serves 1


2 tbsp of olive oil

1 large chicken breast

6 small new potatoes (about 200g)

2 carrots

1 onion

3 broccoli spears

3 thyme sprigs

1 bay leaf

150ml of chicken stock

½ tbsp of plain flour



Heat the oven to 200 degrees. Rub 1 tbsp of oil over the chicken and season to your liking.

Put the halved potatoes, chopped carrots, sliced onion and broccoli into a roasting tin. To the tin add the thyme and bay leaf. Drizzle over the remaining oil and toss everything the tin together.

Place the chicken breast on top of the vegetable and roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes.

Removed the chicken, potatoes and broccoli aside.

To make the gravy, set the tin over a high head and add the chicken stock. Bring to a boil then simmer for a few minutes. Add the flour and stir constantly until thickened to your liking.

Serve and enjoy your BBC roast dinner.