The best food to take to university

Louis Hugheson 3 October 2022
Selection of fresh fruit and veg

Struggling with what food to take to university? Make sure to add this lot to your shopping list.

There’s a lot to think about with the new uni year lingering around the corner. But when it comes to what food to bring, we’ve got you covered. Here are our cupboard essentials, must-have seasonings and a couple of recipes to get you started during Freshers Week. 


Pasta is ESSENTIAL, it’s cheap and can be cooked in so many ways, it could be a complex meal like creamy mushroom pasta, or, just a simple pesto pasta. The possibilities are endless and it also has a long shelf life. Perfect.


Bread can be used for sandwiches or made into toast (obviously), it can be had with breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Bread is your friend. It’s also a great food to have after a night out as it absorbs alcohol, hopefully lessening the effects of your incoming hangover.

Baked Beans

Baked beans are what makes Brits tick, it would’ve been a catastrophe to not have mentioned them. However, beyond the dutiful calling for Brits to love beans, there is a reason they’ve made it onto our list. That’s because they’re extremely cheap and can accompany almost every meal possible, they’re also extremely filling, sparing you having to throw away hard-earned money for even more food.

Instant Noodles

Instant noodles are, well, as the name suggests… instant. They can be prepared in minutes and provide a very filling and easy meal with minimal washing up. They can be either eaten alone or combined with herbs, spices and meat to add a bit of flavour.


If you’re trying to be cost-effective then frozen peas and tinned sweetcorn will be your best options, but don’t forget broccoli, carrots, and (non-baked) beans as they contain a variety of vitamins and nutrients needed to supplement you. But also buy some vegetables for cooking with; like onions and peppers.


If you need some meat in your diet then buying chicken is a no-brainer, it's another multi-purpose ingredient which can be cooked in a multitude of different ways. After a night out, instead of heading to the local kebab shop, why not come home to some precooked chicken nuggets to ease your cravings?

The Essentials

  • Butter
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Cooking oil
  • Sugar
  • Tea bags + coffee
  • Vinegar
  • Sauces (ketchup, mayo etc)
  • Eggs 
  • Garlic


Whilst we’ve listed some ready-to-go foods, it's also important to have a few basic recipes up your sleeve...

Spaghetti Bolognese

Spaghetti Bolognese is a simple and tasty dish. With minimal prep time and cleaning up, as well as being budget-friendly, it’s a real winner for students, check out this link for the BBC’s simple recipe.

The best spaghetti bolognese recipe - BBC Good Food

Chicken Fajita

Fajitas are very easy to prepare but are absolutely delicious if cooked with a proper recipe, or even easier, most fajita boxes will do the job as well. Chuck in some pepper, garlic and onions and mix with your chicken. Add a bit of sour cream or any sauce of choice and stick it in a wrap and you’ll be all sorted.

Jacket Potato

An obvious one, but a food people tend to underestimate. All you need to do is bake the potato, add some butter, and pour a mountain of baked beans onto the potato and you have prepared one of the most basic but nutritious meals out there. Try some other things with it, like some cheese or tuna.

Ham and Cheese Toastie

As long as you have a toastie machine then this is a very cheap and quick meal if you're in a rush. Just get two pieces of bread and chuck some ham and cheese into the middle and wait for the cheese to melt. If you’re a vegetarian, then you can simply remove the ham and just have a cheese toastie instead.

We hope that you feel a little bit more prepared food-wise as you begin your university journey, and don’t forget to always have baked beans ready for every occasion.

What’s your go-to uni meal? Join the Student Hut Opinion Panel and let us know. You’ll get 1000 points just for signing up. 

Louis Hugheson 3 October 2022