3 quick and easy student dinner recipes and the home essentials needed to make them  

We share some staple student recipes, and the items needed to cook them, to help ensure your teenager enjoys a balanced, healthy diet while studying at university. 
“Before they leave for uni in September, it’s a good idea to get busy in the kitchen and pass on some recipes to your loved one,” shares our trading director, Tina Barkway. “You can help prepare them for student living by purchasing the kitchen essentials they need and teaching them some simple dinner dishes.” 
Below, Tina shares three classic recipes that are perfect for students and the cooking utensils they’ll need to make them. 

1.    Cheesy bacon and tomato pasta bake  

Quick and simple to make, pasta bakes are a must-learn recipe for students. It can be served as a single portion or added upon to accommodate a larger group. 

Of course, students won’t be able to make any simple or complex dishes unless they have the kitchen utensils they need. At Aldiss, you’ll find all the kitchen drawer essentials – like pizza cutters, wooden spoons and spatulas, knife sets, graters and tin and bottle openers. You should also explore our serveware collection for roasters, pie dishes and baking trays, to make sure they are as ready as they can be to live independently.

It’s worth students investing in large food storage containers and roasting dishes. This will make it easier to cook for housemates and to store leftovers they can then enjoy throughout the week.
Almost anything can be added to a pasta bake, which is great for students on a tight budget or who are running low on food in the cupboard. 

Buying a three- or five-piece saucepan set will ensure your teen has the equipment they need to experiment and become more adventurous in the kitchen. 
Kitchen tools needed: 2 saucepans, a cheese grater, sharp knife, garlic crusher, chopping board, can opener, wooden spoon, colander, pasta server or wooden spatula. A bowl and cutlery to serve. 
Ingredients to serve one person: 2 oz or 1 cup of penne pasta, 2 rashes of bacon (diced), ½ onion (chopped), a handful of mushrooms (diced), 1 garlic clove (chopped or crushed) or sprinkle of garlic powder, 1 tbsp vegetable or sunflower oil. Grated cheese to serve (optional). 
Method: Heat oil in the pan for 30 seconds. Add onion, garlic and mushrooms and fry for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the bacon and leave to cook on a low heat for 10 minutes. Boil a pan of salt water. Once bubbling, add the penne. Cook for 10–12 minutes or until softened. Drain the pan. Add other ingredients to the pasta and pour in the tomato soup. Cook for a further 5 minutes. Serve in a bowl and sprinkle grated cheese over the top. 

2.    Creamy garlic chicken curry 

Curries are another simple and healthy dish to make. They’re ideal for students who are low on time and need to grab something quick to eat before heading out or hitting the books. This is another recipe that’s easy to double up on if more people are expected for dinner. 

Make sure they have ample dinnerware to last them throughout the term and serve their masterpieces. You should also buy a cutlery set, and a range of glassware, as well as mugs – these are all things that any new student will need. 

Cooking extras like naan bread and boiling water for rice will be much easier if they also have their own toaster and kettle – remember, not all student kitchens come equipped with appliances. 
Kitchen tools needed: sharp knife, cutting board, garlic crusher, can opener, 2 saucepans, wooden spoon or spatula. 

Ingredients to serve one person: 1 tbsp vegetable or sunflower oil, ½ onion, 1 red pepper, 1 garlic clove, 1 chicken breast, 1 tbsp curry powder, 1tbsp ground ginger, 1 tbsp yoghurt, ½ tin chopped tomatoes. 75g rice to serve. 

Method: Add oil to a pan and heat at moderate temperature. Add onions, pepper and garlic and cook for 5 minutes. Sprinkle curry powder and ginger on top and stir. Pour in the chopped tomatoes and add the chicken. Lower the heat and cook for 5 minutes. Add the yoghurt and simmer for 10–15 minutes. 
Begin cooking the rice. Start by rinsing the rice in cold water, then add to a saucepan. Pour in double the amount of water and cover the pan with a lid. Bring the water to a boil and season the rice and water with salt. Lower the hob’s temperature, and allow the rice to simmer for 15–20 minutes, or until all the water has gone. Leave the pan covered during this time. 

Once the rice is ready, add to the plate and pour the curry on top. Serve with naan bread or poppadoms if desired. 

3.    Tasty tuna, onion and mayo jacket potato 

Though they can take a little longer to bake, jacket potatoes are a filling and nutritious dinner option that won’t break the bank. It’s a good recipe to give students if they don’t yet feel confident in the kitchen. 
Jacket potatoes are incredibly versatile, and it’s really easy to switch toppings to find something that everyone likes. 

Kitchen tools needed: baking tray, sharp knife, fork, cheese grater, wooden spoon, mixing bowl and plate to serve, tin opener. 

Ingredients to serve one person: 1 large baking potato, 1 can of tuna (drained), ½ onion (diced), 1 ½ tbsp light mayonnaise, 1 tsp vegetable or sunflower oil. Salt and pepper to season. 

Method: Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Place the jacket potato on a baking tray or in a roasting dish. Grab a fork and pierce the skin several times. Coat the potato in oil and season with salt and pepper. Put in the oven to bake for 60–75 minutes, or until the potato is tender and the skin crispy. 

Mix the tuna, mayonnaise and onion in a bowl. Once the potato is ready, serve on a plate. Cut the potato in half down the middle and spoon the tuna mayonnaise over the top. Sprinkle with grated cheese if you wish. 


To find all the kitchen and home essentials a university starter could need, visit our Norwich or Fakenham store. 

Call us in Fakenham on 01328 862381, or in Norwich on 01603 272100, or email enquiries@aldiss.com to find out more.

Posted by Alex Dagg 27th July 2022

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