3 Easy meals fit for student budgets

When people hear that you are a university student, they often think that you only eat instant noodles and pasta for breakfast, lunch, and dinner – which may be true at some points. Yes, instant noodles and pasta are cheap and easy to make but, don’t you think you deserve some quality, homemade food from time to time?

Here are a few recipes for you to try.

Chicken and Mushroom Soup

Prep and cooking time: 15 minutes. Servings: 4


  • 100-150g chicken breast
  • 100g white mushrooms
  • 2-3 egg whites, beaten
  • 1 tbsp thick cornflour paste (Add a small amount of water into the cornflour and mix)
  • 600ml of water with one chicken stock cube (this will be your stock)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Coriander leaves to garnish (optional)

Cut the chicken breasts into thin slices about the size of postage stamps. Thinly slice the mushrooms.

Blend the egg whites with the cornflour paste until the mixture is smooth.

In a large pot, bring the stock to a boil. Add the chicken to the pot and cook until the meat is cooked all the way through.

Add the mushrooms, then wait for it to boil again, then very slowly pour in the egg whites, and cornflour mixture, stirring constantly.

As soon as the soup thickens, add salt, pepper, and then serve with the garnish.

Egg Fried Rice

Prep and cooking time: 5-10 minutes. Servings: 4


  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 2-3 tbsp oil
  • 450g boiled rice, cold
  • 50g peas or any other vegetables (thinly sliced)

Lightly beat the eggs with a pinch of salt.

Heat the oil in a preheated wok or pan then add the eggs onto the pan.

Add the rice and stir to make sure that each grain of rice is separated. Then add the remaining salt, and your chosen thinly sliced vegetables, blend well and serve.

If you want to adapt this recipe to make a vegetarian or vegan option, you can remove the eggs.

Pasta with Vodka Sauce

Prep and cooking time: 1 hour and 20 minutes. Servings: 4


  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped or grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
  • 1-2 tsp caster sugar, depending on how sweet your tomatoes are
  • Large pinch chilli flakes
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • 75ml vodka
  • 400g pasta of your choice
  • 6-8 tbsp freshly grated parmesan

Heat the olive oil in a heavy-based casserole dish (use one with a lid), then add the onion and crushed garlic with a pinch of salt and the chilli flakes. Fry gently for 12-15 minutes.

Add the chopped tomatoes, 1 tsp sugar and the basil, season well, then cover and leave to simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Stir in the vodka, then season to taste with a little more salt, pepper, or sugar.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the pack instructions. Drain well, reserving a ladleful of the cooking water, then add the pasta to the tomato sauce with a splash of the pasta cooking water to loosen, if it needs it. Toss well to combine, then serve with plenty of freshly grated parmesan.