The Best… Freshers Recipes


For most of us, university is the first time we’ve had to cook for ourselves every day.  I asked our editors and writers what they found to be the best thing to cook when they went to university. All of these recipes can easily be adapted, by using Quorn or substituting ingredients!

Chicken and pesto

Get a chicken breast or 2, cover it in pesto, put a couple slices of tomato on top and grate some cheese and ta da! Oh and obviously cook it in the oven for half an hour.

Alice Hearing

Roast vegetable pasta

Chop up any vegetables (I normally go for cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, peppers and onions), drizzle olive oil over them, crack in some black pepper and tear in some basil. Roast at around 200 degrees for forty minutes, and in the last ten minutes cook your pasta. Combine. Eat! You can half the roasting time, add a tomato sauce and some cheese (I like using Violife) and turn it into a pasta bake too. Tasty, lasts for days.

Carly-May Kavanagh

Stir fry

Fry some chopped vegetables until cooked, then add the noodles and cook until soft (if using rice then boil some beforehand). Add in the rice, chicken or prawns. Add soy sauce and stir until everything is coated – then serve and enjoy!

Bethany Westall

One pot cheesy pasta

Boil some pasta until it is your preferred consistency, then take it off the burner and drain. Add enough milk to cover the bottom of the pan and then a splash more. Then add your grated cheese – I’ve only tested it with ready grated mozzarella but I’m sure you can experiment. Add as much cheese as you think you can handle, plus mixed herbs and pepper (salt too, if you’re into that). Put it back on the heat and stir until the sauce looks pretty sticky. The cheese might clump together at first but have faith and just keep stirring! Eventually you’ll have a perfect one pot pasta dish, though I recommend you do the washing up asap (or at least leave the pot to soak) as the cheese can get (deliciously) sticky.

Emma Perry

Salmon en croute

Salmon En Croute with mustard mash and steamed broccoli, with a white chocolate lemon mousse. Cheap fish that is going out of date, potatoes and broccoli are commonplace and mousse is easy (melted chocolate, egg yolks and sugar).

Robert Pratley


Risotto using what I could find in the kitchen. Ham, peas, onion… and cupboard stuff!

Anneka Honeyball

Quick chilli

Fry one onion in olive oil, add 500g of mince and cook, add a tin of chopped tomatoes and a tin of kidney beans. Cook for twenty minutes and serve with rice and grated cheese.

Natasha Dennington

Hummus and vegetable wrap

Spread some hummus on a tortilla wrap, add in some lettuce, peppers, carrots – really any vegetables you have – wrap it up, and go!

Price: £1

Carly-May Kavanagh (made first by Kay Pearson)

Smoked salmon stir fry salad

Chuck together tenderstem (or any stem) broccoli, mushrooms of your choice, cherry or plum tomatoes halved and spinach or kale in a pan after spraying it lightly with oil. Sprinkle paprika and pepper pus any herbs or spices you want to use on the ingredients. Cut down on oil by cooking it all in the juices produced by the food. Meanwhile, cut up your smoked salmon. Once the mushrooms and broccoli are tender, let it cool and then combine with smoked salmon. Delicious both fresh and hot or cold!

And here’s what we recommend NOT doing…

My flatmate consistently ate duck, drank wine and shopped at Waitrose whilst I ate raw carrots and drank warm tap water. I also tried to grate cheese with a colander, set my hand on fire making a toastie, had a breakdown over chicken breasts and had to Skype my mum while using the microwave.

Ashleigh Millman

I sliced the top of my little finger completely open, like it was hanging off, cutting an onion. Becca Louise Hellard had to rush me to A&E!

James Barker

More articles in The Best...
  1. The Best… Biscuit to Dunk in Tea?
  2. The Best… Freshers Recipes

Second year PAIR student and live editor. Fan of cats, tea lover, can be found rambling about politics and cats at @_Carly_May on Twitter.

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