The best student cookbooks for anyone going to uni

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Press Association
For many students, university is their first opportunity to properly fend for themselves. This means doing all their own cleaning, grocery shopping and – most importantly – their own cooking.

If you’re a novice in the kitchen, this can be a daunting task, which is why many resort to a revolving door of takeaways and meals that only require heating up. However, this isn’t exactly the most sustainable of lifestyles – especially when you’re on a tight student budget – which is why a good cookbook will be one of the best things a student can take with them to uni as the new year starts.

Whether you’re looking to learn some basic recipes or want to know how to cook healthy and tasty meals on a budget, these student cookbooks will help you through your first year of uni…

For cheap eats… Miguel Barclay’s Super Easy One Pound Meals


As this is a list of student cookbooks, everything on here is wallet-friendly – but Miguel Barclay goes the extra mile with his books, where every meal costs only one pound to make. He’s built an empire around recipes that are cheap and easy to put together – this one is especially good for kitchen novices, but you could choose any from his arsenal. Barclay – an ex-biochemist, now cookbook extraordinaire – has written cookbooks for vegetarians and vegans, as well as a store cupboard version and one called Fast & Fresh.

Miguel Barclay’s Super Easy One Pound Meals by Miguel Barclay is published by Headline in paperback, priced £16.99.

For a little bit of everything… Nosh For Students: A Fun Student Cookbook by Joy May

If you’re a complete beginner, with little idea what to do in the kitchen, Nosh For Students is a good place to start. Author Joy May was originally inspired to write this cookbook after her son Ben went off to uni and had no idea how to fend for himself in the kitchen. Now in its fifth edition, this book is well loved because of how easy everything is – you don’t need any fancy kitchen equipment or obscure ingredients. With classics like spag bol and jacket potatoes, as well as more adventurous recipes like mango chicken, it’s definitely enough to tempt you away from another takeaway.


Nosh For Students: A Fun Student Cookbook by Joy May is published by inTRADE, priced £8.99.

For plant-based dishes… Vegan (ish) by Jack Monroe

When it comes to delicious budget meals, Jack Monroe is one of the best in the business. She knows how to save on cash while going big on flavour – and for this book, she’s put together 100 plant-based recipes. These are perfect for vegans who want to add a few more recipes into their repertoire, or any student who has been thinking about their environmental impact and wants to adopt a more flexitarian diet.

Vegan (ish) by Jack Monroe is published by Bluebird, priced £16.99.

For one-dish dinners… The Roasting Tin: Simple One Dish Dinners by Rukmini Iyer

Two things are the enemies of cooking as a student: time and dishes. If it’s not quick, you’re likely to give up and order a pizza, and the last thing you want to do is faff around with lots of different pots, pans and dishes. That’s why Rukmini Iyer’s cookbook is perfect in every way – it only uses one tin to cook everything, and the recipes take under half an hour to make. It’s not a cookbook specifically made for students, but Iyer’s delicious dishes will appeal to everyone – like the soy and honey roasted salmon or chilli peanut beef.

The Roasting Tin: Simple One Dish Dinners by Rukmini Iyer is published by Square Peg, priced £17.99.

For flavourful dishes… Simple Spice Vegetarian by Cyrus Todiwala

Food packed with spice doesn’t have to be complicated, as Cyrus Todiwala proves in this book. Again, it’s not a specifically student cookbook, but the recipes are easy and once you’ve got the 10 spices in your cupboard – which will last ages – you’re good to go. Indian food is particularly good for students because you can make something like a daal or curry once – and then stick it in the freezer, ready for the nights when you just can’t be bothered to cook and just want to heat something up quickly that’s still tasty and nutritious. Who needs an Indian takeaway, when you can easily whip it up yourself? It will save on money and be just as (if not more) delicious. Plus, these recipes are so hearty, you won’t even realise they’re meat-free.

Simple Spice Vegetarian by Cyrus Todiwala is published by Octopus, priced £20.

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