5 great (and cheap) meals for bonding
Cook these dishes for your housemates and you'll have instant friends for life - and remember, if you cook you don't have to wash up!
Need to kick-start some bonding with your new flatmates? What better way than to tap into every student’s favourite past-time... eating! These five meals will ensure that you're one big happy family by the time lectures start!
All recipes serve eight - hope you're hungry!
Just about the best thing to come out of Britain since time began, chances are a roast dinner is one of your mum’s trademarks. It needn’t just be a treat for visits home, however: whilst it probably won’t be as good as your mum’s, it’s the best way to get your flatmates out of bed on a Sunday.
Chicken is the best crowd-pleaser, and the vegetables galore will please any vegetarians. Get everyone involved with a different aspect: peeling the veg, roasting the potatoes, mixing the gravy – there’s enough to do for everyone to be busy, and you’ll have a real sense of pride in your teamwork when you serve the nosh.
One ready to roast chicken (check the label for the number it serves or google the weight)
Bisto gravy (unless you have a pro flatmate who wants to make gravy from the juices!)
16+ stuffing balls
16 medium-sized potatoes for roasting
3 florets of broccoli
1 pack of frozen peas
Total based on www.tesco.com prices: £18.37
Price per person: £2.30
Ok, so as a flat, you really need to work out whensa your Dolmio day? The beauty of a giant shared lasagne (apart from it’s sheer TASTINESS), is that, while we’d all love to pretend we do, there’s no need to make the white sauce or the meat sauce yourself. That’s why jars were made, people. Plus, this dish has great vegetarian potential.
800g beef mince
2 jars white sauce
3 jars (to be on the safe side) tomato sauce for lasagne
Block of cheddar cheese (add to taste)
Roughly 12 lasagne sheets
Total based on www.tesco.com prices: £10.58
Price per person: £1.33
Olé! Get the boys to grow moustaches (if they can), the girls to don some sombreros and munch the Mexican way with a student group classic - fajitas. The best thing about these is you can pretty much throw in whatever you like. As long as you’ve got the peppers, some kind of meat (or veggie substitute) and at least one sauce, you’re good to go.
Add cheese, sour cream, rice or whatever you find lurking in your kitchen cupboards (within reason - I’d leave out that unidentified brown jar from last year, and that thing that says it’s fish sauce). Be sure to remember your spice mix and get stuck in. We’ve done ours traditionally, and with two faves of the optional trimmings affectionately known as guac ‘n’ sals.
16 plain tortilla wraps
6-8 chicken breasts (depending on how hungry you all are)
3 pots guacamole
3 pots salsa
Total based on www.tesco.com prices: £21.99
Price per person: £2.75
With chicken, with tuna, with sausage, with salmon – but probably not all four – pasta bakes are just about the most adjustable group meals, and even better veggie. Most healthy and a keen competitor for the most tasty title is the mouth-watering salmon and broccoli bake, but pretty much any pasta recipe will work: just mega size it and whack it under the grill with melted cheese on top.
6 salmon fillets
600g broccoli (about 2 big florets)
50g plain flour
Milk or cream (amount and choice will depend on your recipe. For ease in this recipe we have calculated the cost of one big carton of milk)
Block of cheddar cheese (add to taste)
Total based on www.tesco.com prices: £13.57
Price per person: £1.70
Chili con carne
Made veggie as simply as swapping beef mince for Quorn, this is a recipe of resounding popularity, and actually tastes better if you freeze it and eat it later. Some say. Whatever your stance on the frozen front, one thing’s for certain, this is super-flexible and best made in vat-size portions. Only this time, we’ve priced for a homemade sauce. (Just check out the lasagne recipe if sauces fill you with fear.)
1kg beef mince
2 cans red kidney beans
2 red peppers
Chilli powder to taste
2 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
4 tbsp tomato purée
2 beef stock cubes
Total based on www.tesco.com prices: £7.48
Price per person: 94p! WIN!