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Top 5 easy meal ideas for students

Franka Zlatic | 20 May

Back to university? Going to miss eating home cooked food? Don’t worry! OK Student got your back! All of you novice cooks need not worry about wasting money ordering food online. Instead, we have decided to list out 5 healthy and easy recipes you can cook in minutes. Heat up a pan and try not to burn the house down!

Cooking Easy Meal

5-minute chicken noodle soup

You heard that right! 5 minutes and you are done. This ridiculously easy chicken noodle soup has just 5 simple ingredients that you will find in your local store. And maybe add some optional extras to get your personal flavour right.

5-Minute Chicken Noodle Soup


  • 1 chicken stock cube
  • 50g/1¾oz dried egg noodles (around 1 nest)
  • 2 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 50g/1¾oz frozen peas
  • 50g/1¾oz shredded cooked chicken


  • Add the stock cube into a saucepan containing 700ml/1¼ pint freshly boiled water. Add the noodles, peas and chicken and spring onion. Cook for 5 minutes or until the noodles and peas are cooked and the chicken is hot through.
  • Pour it into a deep wide bowl and if you fancy some extra flavor, top it with chilly, ginger, garlic, coriander and soy sauce.


Vegan chickpea and squash curry

For the vegan novice cooks out there, if you fancy a cheap healthy dinner, this easy vegan curry recipe is the one for you. Plus, you can freeze it really well. 

Vegan Chickpea And Squash Curry


  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • thumb-sized piece fresh root ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 fresh red chilli, roughly chopped
  • 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
  • 400g tin coconut milk
  • ½ butternut squash, seeds removed, chopped into 2cm/½in pieces
  • 400g tin chickpeas
  • fresh coriander leaves
  • 150g/5oz basmati rice
  • Salt


  • Heat oil in a large saucepan. Add chopped onions, garlic and ginger. Once fried over a medium heat for 5 minutes, add garam masala, fresh red chilli, cumin and turmeric powder to it. Cook until the onions have softened.
  • Pour in the coconut milk with tomatoes. Add pumpkin and chickpeas when it is boiled. Reduce the heat, cover it with a lid and let it simmer for 30-40 minutes. Make sure to check occasionally and add water if needed. 
  • After the timer hits the 30-minute mark, remove the lid and cook for another 15 minutes until the sauce thickens.
  • When the curry is done, cook rice in a saucepan and add 500ml/18fl oz water, season with salt and bring to the boil. Reduce the head to its lowest setting and cook for 10 minutes. After that, remove the rice from the heat and leave it with the lid on for 10 minutes.
  • Now grandly serve the curry with rice and a sprinkling of fresh coriander.


Fried cauliflower

This vegan take on a junk food classic will make your mouth water. You can turn this into anything from a side dish to a Netflix snack and is also a very satisfying alternative to chicken.

Fried Cauliflower


  • 1 tsp onion granules

    source: Pexels

  • 1 tsp garlic granules
  • dried oregano (optional)
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 125g/4½oz plain flour
  • 2 tbsp corn flour
  • 125ml/14½fl oz plant-based milk, such as soya or oat
  • 1 large cauliflower, cut into large florets
  • 4 medium-sized potatoes, washed and cut into wedges
  • drizzle olive oil
  • vegetable oil, for deep-frying
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper




  • Add and mix together onion and garlic granules with oregano, paprika and cayenne pepper in a bowl.
  • Mix half of the spice mix with flour and corn flour. Season it with salt and pepper. Mix well.
  • Pour the rest of the spice mix into another bowl. Add soy milk and whisk it properly.
  • Pour the wet mixture over the cauliflower in a large bowl. Mix it and cover and then set it aside for up to an hour.
  • Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 220C/200C Fan/Gas 7. Place the potatoes in a bow and drizzle with olive oil. Season it with salt and pepper and mix well. Place the edges on a baking tray and bake for 30-40 minutes. Cook until it turns golden brown.
  • Fill a deep-fat fryer or a large, deep, heavy-bottomed pan two-thirds full with the oil. Heat to 180C (a cube of bread should turn brown in 1 minute when dropped in.)
  • Pour the cauliflower florets in the dry spice mixture, then back into the wet mixture and then again into the dry mixture.
  • Deep fry each of those florets for around 5 minutes or until it turns golden brown and crispy. Drain on kitchen paper and serve with ketchup or hat sauce.


One-pan mac ’n’ cheese with salsa topping

This super easy veggie mac ‘n’ cheese one-pans is a simple recipe topped with a punchy salsa. Just 25 minutes and you have yourself a tasty dish. But if you want to treat yourself with a vegan mac ‘n’ cheese, all you need to do is switch the cheese to vegan alternatives.

One-pan mac ’n’ cheese with salsa topping


  • semi-skimmed milk 700ml
  • macaroni 300g
  • soft cheese 100g
  • mature cheddar 200g, grated
  • emmental cheese 100g, grated
  • parmesan 50g, grated


  • pickled jalapeños 3 tbsp, chopped
  • red onion ½, finely diced
  • coriander 2 tbsp of chopped
  • cherry tomatoes 100g, finely diced
  • olive oil a splash
  • red wine vinegar a splash


  • Put the salsa ingredients in a bowl, season it and mix well.
  • Pour milk in a pan, season well and simmer it. Add macaroni and cook for 8-10 minutes or until the pasta is almost cooked. 
  • Stir in soft cheese followed by some grated cheese and stir until melted. Add a little more milk if you want a little bit thick. Season it with pepper and serve in a bowl with some of the salsa spooned over.


Tuna melt jackets

This may take a little more time but is a great budget-friendly option for students. This recipe includes cheese and spring onions for an extra melty finish.

Tuna Melt Jackets


  • baking potatoes 2, scrubbed
  • tuna in spring water 1 x 225g tin, drained
  • spring onions 4, chopped
  • chives 1/2 a small bunch
  • mayonnaise 2 tbsp
  • cheddar 50g, grated


  • Heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Prick the potatoes all over with a fork and sprinkle it with some little sea salt. Bake for approximately one hour or until it turns tender.
  • Mix some tinned tuna, onions, chives, mayo and half the cheese. Halve 2 cooked jacket potatoes, scoop some out into the tuna bowl and leave a 1 cm shell
  • Mix the potato and tuna together. Season it well and pile it back into the shells. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese and put it in the oven until it turns golden. Serve with green salad.