Student Recipes for Babes on a Budget

You’re about the head off to university, and your parents are worried that you’re going to be spending your time eating pizza or pot noodles for breakfast. For the best part, they could be right, but it’s always handy to have a few easy, budget-friendly recipes up your sleeve, not only to keep your body prepped for parties but also when trying to impress your new BFFs. We couldn’t let our babes go hungry, so we enlisted the help of Ben at MOB Kitchen to give us some quick and easy student budget recipes, for those weeks when you just don’t have much cash. And believe us, that could be a regular occurrence…

Best for… Date Night

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This recipe is a great way to make mates with lads in your halls. Whether you want to impress your fresher’s crush, or you’re trying to get them to help carry your furniture into your halls, the MOB’s Mighty Salmon en Croute will help tick all the boxes.

Cooking Time (includes preparation time): 1 hour 20 minutes


2 x salmon fillets

Bunch of dill

Bunch of parsley


Sour cream

Puff pastry

1 x Egg

200g spinach


Total Cost – £9.90 – This covers absolutely everything. All we assume you have in your kitchen beforehand is SALT, PEPPER AND OLIVE OIL.

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C/356°F.
  2. Add 2 sliced cloves of garlic to a frying pan with a splash of olive oil. After 20 seconds, add your spinach. Once wilted, remove from heat and squeeze through a sieve to drain.
  3. Add spinach to a bowl with a tablespoon and a half of both horseradish and sour cream. Add a handful of chopped dill, a handful of chopped parsley, salt and pepper. Mix together.
  4. Roll out your sheet of puff pastry. Cut it in half.
  5. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Add 1 of the pastry halves to the paper. Add some spinach mix. Then add your salmon fillet. Then top with spinach. Fold the pastry over, crimp it, brush with egg yolk and sprinkle with some sea salt. Repeat with the other pastry half.
  6. Place the tray in the oven for 30 minutes or until the pastry is golden and crisp. Serve and enjoy!

Best for… Penny Pitching

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When your student loan drops, it can be easy to feel like you’re an absolute baller. But, before you know it, you’re back in your overdraft and there’s still a month left til your next loan instalment. You need a super cheap, super tasty meal to get you through. Up steps the Three Quid Spaghetti…

Cooking Time (includes preparation time): 12 minutes


150g parsley

500g spaghetti

Chilli flakes

3 x cloves of garlic

Total Cost – £3.00

  1. Boil a pan of water, salt it generously and then add your spaghetti.
  2. Finely slice 3 cloves of garlic and your parsley (separating stalks and leaves).
  3. Add garlic, 2 teaspoons of chilli flakes and the parsley stalks to a frying pan with 4 tablespoons of olive oil.
  4. Once the pasta is al dente, reserve 7-8 tablespoons of the starchy pasta water, drain the pasta, and then add it to the frying pan with the garlic and parsley. Start tossing it all together, gradually adding splashes of pasta water and the chopped parsley leaves.
  5. Once everything is mixed in and the pasta is thick and almost creamy (from the pasta water), remove from heat. Serve it up with extra chopped parsley leaves on top as a garnish. Enjoy!

Best for… Treating Your Flatmates

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Your flatmates are your uni angels when you’re a student, helping you through the f*ckboy dramas and deadline breakdowns. It’s nice to be nice, babe, so why not treat them to a dinner party to show your appreciation (and line all your stomachs before a big night out). Try out this gorge veggie green lasagne.

Cooking Time (includes preparation time): 1 hour


400g ricotta

200g spinach

100g vegetarian Italian style hard cheese

Bunch of basil

Bunch of mint

700g peas

250g asparagus

300g lasagne pasta


1 x lemon

Total cost – £9.95

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C/356°F.
  2. Boil your peas. Mush half of them, keep the other half whole.
  3. Boil your asparagus for 5 minutes until al-dente.
  4. Get a large pan on the heat. Fry 2 chopped cloves of garlic in some olive oil. Once softened, add your spinach. Wilt it, and then add your mushy and whole peas. Mix everything together, and then add your asparagus and a large handful of chopped mint and basil. Add 400g ricotta and 80g vegetarian Italian style hard cheese. Season with salt and pepper, mix everything together and then remove the filling from the heat.
  5. Get an oven-proof dish. Add a layer of the green filling, and then a layer of lasagne sheets. Repeat with more filling, more pasta and then finally top with the remaining filling, a generous grating of vegetarian Italian style hard cheese and a drizzle of olive oil.
  6. Place in the oven for 40 minutes.
  7. After 40 minutes, the pasta should be cooked and the cheese golden and bubbling. Tuck in and enjoy!

Best for… Hangover Recovery

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If you’ve been out til it’s light outside, cooking a meal might be the last thing on your mind. But steer clear of the takeaway pizza, and drag yourself out of bed to make this amazing chorizo carbonara. This is the ultimate hangover cure, and is ready in less than half an hour!

Cooking Time (includes preparation time): 25 minutes



500g spaghetti


Bunch of rosemary

6 x eggs

1 x lemon

100g grated parmesan

Total cost – £6.67

  1. Peel skin off chorizo, crumble into a frying pan and fry until crisp. Add a crushed garlic clove and a handful of rosemary leaves to the pan.
  2. In a bowl, add 6 egg yolks and 100g of grated parmesan, with a generous amount of black pepper. Mix with a fork and set to the side. 
  3. Get your pasta on. Cook according to pack instructions and salt the water. Reserve 8 tablespoons of pasta water. 
  4. Add 3 tablespoons of pasta water to the chorizo pan, bubble it down.
  5. Once pasta is al dente add to chorizo pan. Take the pan off the heat. Fold chorizo through the pasta. 
  6. Add egg mixture and 3 more tablespoons of pasta water. Keep folding it together and adding pasta water until it becomes thick and creamy. Add about 12 drops of lemon juice. This lifts the dish perfectly.
  7. Serve with lots of cracked black pepper on top! Enjoy. 

Best for… Healthy Days

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If you’ve been out every night for two weeks straight, your body might be in need of some vitamins. You’ve gotta eat good to feel good babe, and this halloumi salad will have you back to your best in no time. This is the salad to end all salads…

Cooking Time (includes preparation time): 1 hour


1 x lemon


Bunch of basil

250g cherry tomatoes

2 x peppers


225g halloumi

2 x eggs

Plain flour

Bag of rocket

3 x courgettes

50g parmesan

50g pine nuts

Total cost – £9.95

  1. Preheat the oven 180°C/356°F.
  2. Cut your peppers into chunks. Add to a roasting tray with salt, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. Roast for 40 minutes or until charred and soft.
  3. Pesto time. Into a blender add a handful of basil leaves, the juice of a lemon, 1 clove of garlic, 30g toasted pine nuts and 50g parmesan. Add 5 tablespoons of olive oil and blend until smooth.
  4. Courgette time. Cut your courgettes into thin strips. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Add to a hot griddle pan and cook for 5-6 minutes on each side.
  5. Halloumi time. Cut your halloumi into small cubes. Get three bowls out. Add flour to one, 2 eggs to another (whisk them up) and breadcrumbs to the third. Dip your halloumi in the flour, then the eggs, then the breadcrumbs.
  6. Get a pan on the heat. Fill it up 2cm high with vegetable oil. Heat the oil, and then add the croutons to the pan. Cook for 3-4 minutes until golden brown.
  7. Remove croutons from the heat and place them on some kitchen roll.
  8. Halve your cherry tomatoes.
  9. Add all of your ingredients, along with a bag of rocket and any leftover pine nuts, to a large salad bowl. Pour over your pesto dressing, toss it all together and serve it up.


For more ways to feed 4 people for under £10 head to MOB Kitchen or follow them on Instagram.

Wanna plan your uni wardrobe? Read our freshers’ week edit here:

WTF do I wear for freshers’ week?

Get loads more student info here:

An Actually Useful Guide to Being a Student

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