At uni, it can be hard to know which recipes to cook that won’t break the bank when your skint in January. That’s why we’ve put together a few relatively easy to prepare recipes that are all under £2 per portion… yes £2 per portion! There’s not a spag bol or beans on toast in sight!

Italian Chicken – Serves 2

This is a great dish if you don’t want to spend too much time cooking as it can be done in half an hour and uses ingredients you probably already have in the kitchen. It’s also just as good if you swap out the chicken for Mediterranean vegetables for a veggie option! You can also freeze leftovers for future use when you can’t be bothered to prepare anything.


2 x chicken fillets = £2.00
1 x can of chopped tomatoes = 34p
1 x cube of chicken stock = 5p
1 x cube of vegetable stock = 5p
2 x teaspoons of mixed herbs = 5p
1 x red onion (diced)= 25p
2 x cloves of garlic (crushed) = 10p
200g spaghetti = 25p
Handful grated cheese = 50p
Salt and pepper

Price per serving: £1.80

1. Cut up the chicken fillets into chunks and fry in a pan with the onion and garlic until it’s fully cooked. Season with salt and pepper.
2. In the meantime, start boiling the spaghetti with a few dashes of salt.
3. Add the chopped tomatoes to the chicken, both stock cubes and mixed herbs and stir.
4. Wait until the mix is bubbling slightly and then turn down to simmer until the spaghetti is cooked.
5. Serve with grated cheese.

Chicken Ramen – Serves 1

Gone are the days of Pot Noodle, with this recipe you’ll be able to knock up a proper Japanese ramen that’s super quick and filling. The best thing is that it’s a customizable dish and you can switch out toppings and add in whatever you fancy.


1 x chicken fillet = £1.00
1 x noodle nest = 30p
½ tsp x Chinese five spice = 5p
1 tsp x Worcestershire sauce = 10p
1 x cube of chicken stock = 5p
50ml x soy sauce = 20p
Handful of spinach = 25p
Dash of sugar = 2p
Dash of chilli powder = 2p

Price per serving: £1.99

1. Boil the kettle for the noodles. Whilst you wait, slice the chicken into chunks and begin frying them in a few dashes of soy sauce.
2. Begin boiling the noodles, add in the Chinese five spice, Worcestershire sauce, chicken stock, sugar, chilli powder and a few dashes of soy sauce and bring the water to the boil, mixing everything together.
3. Once the chicken is fully cooked, set aside.
4. Pour the noodles into a bowl, including the water. Layer the spinach on the top and put the chicken on top of that. The weight of the chicken will let the spinach wilt in the water. Feel free to add a sliced hard-boiled egg for an extra 15p!

Root Veg and Lentil Casserole – Serves 4

This is perfect if you fancy an Indian takeaway but don’t have the money for it or if want something a bit warming on a cold day. This recipe serves 4 people but, if you’re not cooking with housemates, you can just freeze the rest for another day.


2 tbsp x vegetable oil = 5p
1 x red onion (diced) = 25p
2 x garlic cloves (crushed) = 10p
700g x potatoes = £1
2 x carrots = 12p
2 x parsnips = 10p
2 tbsp x curry powder = 5p
1 x cube of vegetable stock (mixed in with 1 litre hot water) = 5p
100g x red lentils = 25p
4 x pitta bread = 50p

Price per serving: 62p

1. Cook the onion and garlic in a pan until the onion softens.
2. Cut the potatoes, carrots and parsnips into chunks and add to the garlic and onion. Cook for about seven minutes on a high heat.
3. Mix in the curry powder, adding the litre of vegetable stock and continue cooking until boiling. Turn the heat onto low-medium, add the lentils and cover the pan. Simmer for about 20 minutes and check the veg has cooked.
4. Serve with pitta bread.

*All prices are based on the portion of product by Tesco own brand.


Caiti Simpson

Student Contributor

Hometown: London
University: Southampton
Course: Politics and International Relations
Most Prized Possession: My two cats!
Most irritating habit: Being on my phone all the time
Favourite life hack: Rolling clothes up when packing to create more space and reduce wrinkles
What’s next?: Teaching English in Vietnam!