Six delicious dishes you can make in halls on the cheap

Beat the kebab cravings and the nights spent spooning spaghetti hoops from the tin with these six incredibly simple-to-make recipes

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Being on a student budget, in a crowded kitchen with limited time to cook might mean that ready meals are often the easiest option. But they don’t have to be, here are some recipes that are hassle free, reasonably healthy and mum-friendly.

Oat and yoghurt breakfast bowl 

Oats are a great thing to have for breakfast as they keep you full for ages, so if you're watching your weight, this recipe might stop the temptation to snack! I appreciate that most students are having too much fun partying or studying to make their breakfast the morning before; but this is a cheap, healthy and tasty alternative to cereal. 

  • Porridge oats
  • Plain yoghurt 
  • Frozen mixed fruit (a 500g bag is only about £1.50 from supermarkets) 
  • Clear honey

Grab a cereal bowl and add equal measures of plain yoghurt and porridge oats. Mix and add frozen fruit and squeeze/heaped teaspoon of honey. Pop it in the fridge overnight so the oats can expand and the fruit can defrost. 

Raspberry pancakes 

These pancakes may look a frightening fuchsia colour, but they taste delicious, especially with a drizzle of maple syrup. 

  • Frozen raspberries 
  • 2 eggs 
  • Plain flour 
  • Milk 
  • Maple syrup 

Step 1) crack two eggs into a measuring jug. Add equal measurements of milk and sifted flour. Whisk

Step 2) defrost a couple of handfuls of raspberries (three minutes in the microwave should do the trick) and whisk them into the pancake mix until they have broken up slightly

Step 3) drop about half a teaspoon of butter into your frying pan over a medium head and once sizzling, add about three tablespoons of the mixture to make a small, thick circle. Cook and flip until both sides are browning slightly

Mexican melted cheese with salsa 

This recipe is a more exciting version of the classic cheese toasty, made a little healthier with the side of salsa. 

  • 2 tortilla wraps 
  • Cheddar cheese 
  • 5 cherry tomatoes 
  • 1 red onion
  • Coriander/ parsley/any herb you can get your hands on (dried or fresh – it doesn’t really matter)

Step 1) make the salsa by chopping the tomatoes, onion and herbs up small and mixing in a bowl with a little red wine/balsamic vinegar if you have it

Step 2) grate cheese so that you have about two handfuls and then sandwich cheese in between the two tortilla wraps

Step 3) get a frying pan and put it over a high heat. Once hot, add the tortilla and heat on both sides until the cheese is melted and the tortilla is brown and crispy. Serve with your homemade salsa

Sausage and vegetable tray bake 

This is such an easy dinner; great for when you are revising or when you can’t be bothered to stand over a stove for half an hour. 

  • 2 sausages (or halloumi if you are a vegetarian)
  • 2 potatoes, cut into wedges 
  • Half an onion (preferably red) 
  • A mixture of vegetables – butternut squash, aubergine, peppers, courgette, swede and carrots all work really well
  • Oil 
  • Dried herbs of your choice 

Step 1) preheat the oven to 200 degrees centigrade, and line a baking tray with baking parchment 

Step 2) add potatoes, onion, any veg that will take longer to cook (eg. Butternut squash, carrots, pumpkin etc.) and a table spoon of oil to the lined baking tray. Cook for 30 minutes

Step 3) add sausages (or halloumi), the rest of the vegetables, dried herbs and season with salt and pepper. Cook for a further 30 minutes (or until the sausages are cooked through and the juices run clear) and then serve! 

Pitta bread pizzas 

  • Two pittas
  • Small jar of tomato and basil pasta sauce
  • Grated cheese (preferably mozzarella) 
  • Your choice of topping (ham, mushroom and olive is my personal favourite) 

Step 1) preheat the grill to high 

Step 2) spread the pittas with the tomato and basil sauce, sprinkle on cheese and chosen topping 

Step 3) put under grill until the cheese is melted and bubbling 

Five-minute noodle salad 

Although some of the ingredients for this dish are expensive and not a necessity (sesame oil, chilli, soy sauce) they will become useful store cupboard supplies and make stir fries more interesting. You can add prawns, chicken, tofu or vegetables to make this a more substantial meal. 

  • Whole-wheat noodles 
  • Sesame oil 
  • Soy sauce 
  • Chilli (a jar of)
  • 2 Spring onions, chopped
  • Brown sugar 
  • Red wine vinegar 
  • Salad leaves 

Step 1) cook the noodles according to the instructions on packet 

Step 2) mix a table spoon of sesame oil, half a teaspoon of chilli flakes, half a teaspoon of brown sugar, spring onions and teaspoon of red wine vinegar. 

Step 3) add noodles and then the sauce to a hot frying pan. Cook on high until slightly crispy and browned. Serve on a bed of salad.