The Ultimate Guide to Student Cooking

Whether you’re returning to uni or going for the first time, it can be hard to adjust to student life after a summer off. And as much as it’s great to have your freedom, when it comes to meals, there’s only so much toast a person can take! Level up your culinary skills with our ultimate guide to student cooking and you’ll be whipping up budget-friendly bites in no time.

Basic Cooking Tips for Students

Get to know the basics with these top student cooking tips.

  • Know your portion sizes

 Pasta and rice go a lot further than you think, while meat tends to shrink once its cooked. When measuring out dry pasta and rice, a portion size is around 75g, while a portion of cooked meat should be roughly the size of your palm.

  • Get your 5-a-day

You've heard this one before, but we'll say it again. Five servings of fruit and veg every day will keep you in top shape and stop the brain fog rolling in when you're halfway through that essay. Chop carrots, peppers, onions, and mushrooms and throw them into a stir-fry for a tasty and easy student meal or blitz up a fruit smoothie to kick-start your day.

  • Get to grips with seasoning

Seasoning can make a world of difference to your food, so don't be afraid to experiment. Dried seasoning lasts for a long time, so stock your cupboard with salt, pepper, herbs and spices. You can also pick up some seasoning mixes to make your favourite dishes pop.

  • Meal prep like a boss…

Meal prepping is a great way to save time throughout the week. Make extra portions of your favourite meals and pop them in the fridge or freezer for a quick dinner later. Lasagne, curry and enchiladas are all popular student meals and great to make ahead of time.

  • …But don't reheat rice

 Unfortunately, you can't prep everything in advance. Reheating rice can cause food poisoning, and the longer cooked rice is left at room temperate, the more likely it is to become unsafe.

  • Be extra careful with raw meat

Speaking of food poisoning (you really don't want to get it, trust us), it's best to use a different chopping board for raw meat. And always wash your hands, knives and any other utensils thoroughly straight after handling.

  • Take the kettle shortcut

Need boiling water to cook vegetables, pasta, rice or boiled eggs? Pop the kettle on – it's much faster than boiling water on the stove and more energy efficient, too.

  • Don't forget the fish

If you're a meat-eater, it can be easy to forget about fish (and feels a little scary to cook it, too). But two portions every week is best for your health; and there are lots of easy-to-cook options available from the supermarket, no gutting required. Canned tuna and salmon are also great to have on hand for a quick meal.

  • Go for it!

Finally, don't be scared to get creative with cooking! There's a mountain of recipes at your fingertips and lots of easy meals to cook as a student. Google new dishes that include your favourite ingredients or use our recipe quiz below to spark some inspiration.