50 Easy Uni Student Lunch Ideas

Busy with studies? We’ve got quick and easy uni student lunch ideas to help save you.

It’s easy to neglect your eating habits while you’re at university. With the stress of assignments, not having much money, and general life, eating healthily can often be pushed to the bottom of the priority list. 

We wouldn’t be able to concentrate or kick-ass without food, so we’ve got quick and easy student lunch ideas to help you stay on top of a balanced diet (and probs help your studies, too!). 

Cheap and cheerful, these uni meal ideas won’t cost you much, but should keep you full up for longer than a packet of biccies…

From quick pasta bowls to veggie soup ideas, you’ll have enough inspo to feed you for the entire month!

Need ideas for a shopping list? Use our student food shopping list as a blueprint for your next food shop!

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Easy student lunch ideas

Lunch is the pinnacle of the day. Go big or go hungry is what I say! 

Here are a variety of student meal ideas to get you drooling. Expect student staples like wraps, toasties, pasta, and vegetarian/vegan options, too!

Wrap filling ideas

When it comes to uni lunch ideas, wrap-filling ideas are half the battle. That’s because wraps are incredibly easy to prepare and require little to no prep (unless you’re cooking from scratch). You can put pretty much anything in a wrap, including last night’s dinner!

Wondering what to put in a wrap, but stuck for wrap-filling ideas? Here are a few wrap ideas for lunch that are too good not to try out.

1. Avocado, chicken and cream cheese wrap

This is an easy lunch recipe for beginners that doesn’t involve any cooking (unless you want to cook the chicken yourself, which is super easy too!). If you’re ever stuck with what to put in a wrap, this simple lunch full of healthy fats, protein and carbs will keep you going.

Ingredients
  • Tortilla wraps
  • Half an avocado
  • Precooked chicken (or cook chicken of your choice from home to save money)
    • Season the chicken if you plan to cook it! Use seasonings like Cajun, Mexican, Nando’s Peri Peri rub or conjure your own from a mix of herbs!
    • Use Vivera plant-based chicken breast as a vegan substitute
  • Cream cheese
    • Philadelphia, or Violife for a vegan substitute

2. Caesar chicken wrap

caeser chicken salad with mixed leaves pepper sweetcorn tomato rocket - student lunch ideas

Caesar chicken wraps are an easy food to make for lunch, as they can be simplified and customised to your heart’s content. The secret is literally in the sauce.

Ingredients
  • Tortilla wraps
  • Caesar salad dressing
  • Cheese (ideally parmesan, but cheddar will do too)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper (if needed)
  • Cream cheese
  • Chicken (or vegan substitute)
  • Chopped lettuce
  • Any other ingredients of your choice, like peppers or olives

3. BLT wraps

Bacon, lettuce and tomato. What’s not to love? A uni lunch idea staple, these three main ingredients are super versatile, and a common lunchtime feast. That’s why it’s perfect as a student lunch idea when you’re stuck for one.

Ingredients
  • Bacon
  • Tortilla wraps
  • Chopped lettuce
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Mayonnaise or ranch-based dressing

4. Crunchy tuna wraps

Student lunch ideas just have to feature tuna. Why? Canned tuna is yet another staple for many. It’s super easy to incorporate into wraps, pasta bakes and much more. Make it a crunchy tuna wrap by adding ingredients like peppers, water chestnuts, lettuce, sweetcorn and any others that take your fancy.

Ingredients
  • Tortilla wraps
  • Tin of tuna
  • Finely chopped onion
  • Other finely chopped vegetables of your choice:
    • Celery
    • Sweetcorn
    • Peppers
    • Water chestnuts
    • Lettuce
  • Mayonnaise
  • Mustard (optional)

5. Easy Christmas wraps

Got leftover Christmas dinner left? Or plan to use some from home? Make this easy student lunch idea into a festive Christmas wrap. We promise the combo is to die for, and we could swear it tastes even better the next day.

Ingredients
  • Leftover Christmas dinner
    • Meats and/or leftover main
    • Trimmings (stuffing)
    • Sauces (cranberry, mint, apple)
    • Gravy 
  • Tortilla wraps

6. Hummus and veggie wrap

hummus veggies crackers olive oil - student lunch ideas

A hummus and veggie wrap make for a quick veggie meal when you’re in a hurry or on the go. This Mediterranean-inspired wrap filling is especially easy to prep if you have leftover veggies to use already. Perhaps cook a bit extra for a dinner one time, and use the excess for your lunch.

Ingredients
  • Hummus 
  • Tortilla wraps
  • Sliced vegetable mix, or finely sliced vegetables of your choice:
    • Carrots
    • Cucumber
    • Cabbage
    • Cooked broccoli
    • Cooked cauliflower
  • Balsamic vinegar (optional)

7. Pizza wraps

Pizza wraps can be eaten hot or cold, and either way, it’s super scrumptious. If you love your pizza and need wrap ideas for lunch, don’t pass up a pizza wrap. Plus, you can customise it each time you make it with the “toppings” of your choice!

Ingredients
  • Pizza toppings of your choice
    • Pepperoni
    • Chicken
    • Bacon
    • Ham
    • Pineapple
    • Green pepper
    • Mushrooms
    • …you get the idea!
  • Tortilla wraps
  • Chopped or sliced tomatoes
  • Sweetcorn
  • Red onion
  • Cheese/vegan cheese of your choice

8. Sweet chilli chicken lettuce wraps

If you love sweet chilli-based flavours, then you’ll love this sweet chilli chicken wrap. We’ve given you a recipe for a lettuce wrap, in case you want a healthier alternative, but you can use tortilla wraps to make this too. Don’t forget you can still make this tasty wrap idea with a meat substitute like Quorn pieces, halloumi and more.

Ingredients
  • Chicken (pre-cooked or cooked from home)
  • Sweet chilli sauce
  • Vegetables of your choice:
    • Sweetcorn
    • Red peppers
  • Little gem lettuce

9. Taco lettuce wraps

taco wrap with lime - student lunch ideas

When thinking of what to put in a wrap, tacos might not be on the mind. However, they should be, because they’re much easier to prepare than you think.

This is also another lettuce wrap we can’t get enough of too, While you can simply get taco shells, they’re a little pricier than lettuce. Plus, this is a much healthier alternative. 

If you love Mexican food, this simple lunch will keep you both satisfied and wanting more. Leave some filling for dinner!

Ingredients
  • Little gem lettuce
  • Meat or vegetarian/vegan substitute of choice
  • Taco seasoning
  • Bacon (optional)
  • Cheese (optional)

10. Easy Fajita wrap

When it comes to wrap ideas for lunch, fajitas might not be number 1 on the list. That’s because fajita wraps can often be a lot of hard work, but not this one! Chop everything up and toss it into a pan with some seasoning — this is the key to making your easy lunch scrumptious.

Plus, this wrap-filling idea is filled with protein, vitamins from the veg, carbs and healthy fats. It’s got all the good stuff to keep you healthy and getting on with your day.

Stuck on how to make it? Just watch our YouTube short on the prep:

Ingredients
  • Tortilla wrap
  • Mayonnaise
  • Guacamole (or smashed avocado)
  • Red onion
  • Shredded chicken (or meat substitute)
  • Spices of choice (fajita seasoning, paprika, cajun)
  • Pomegranate or red peppers (optional)
  • Coriander (optional).
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Toastie recipes ideas 

“What should I eat for lunch?” A toastie of course! These are probably the easiest toasties to make a student out there. They can all be made into vegetarian or vegan-friendly versions too!

For our chosen toastie recipes,  we say to pick your cheese of choice, but we highly recommend cheeses such as cheddar, mozzarella or red Leicester. The cheese world is your oyster, though!

Our toastie recipes are easy to make in a toastie maker, but they can be easily prepped on the grill too if you have one. Check out our toastie ideas and super cheap healthy lunch ideas,  that can still form part of a healthy student meal plan.

Check out the best cheese toastie ideas and fillings.

11. Cheese and baked beans toastie

baked beans in ramekin - uni lunch ideas

When it comes to the building blocks of toastie ideas, baked beans on toast are a student staple, so what better way to make this into a toastie to have on the go instead? This easy toastie recipe is perfect for those craving a classic, You could even add a dash of Lee and Perrins sauce or HP sauce for a little kick of extra flavour too.

Ingredients
  • Baked beans
  • Cheese of choice
  • 2 slices of bread
  • Butter (optional)

12. Tuna melt toastie

We’ve talked about tinned tuna being a huge staple in a student kitchen, so what better way than to list it in our top toastie recipes? Tuna melts are incredibly versatile, easy to make and super tasty. Add in extra veg like red onions or sweetcorn for a crunch.

Ingredients
  • Tuna
  • Mayonnaise
  • Red onion (optional)
  • Sweetcorn (optional)
  • Cheese of choice
  • 2 slices of bread

13. Pizza toastie

Reminisce on your childhood with this fantastic pizza toastie recipe. Again, it’s super easy to prep and tastes incredibly delicious. Now, we say two slices of bread here, but we won’t judge if you need 4 to make seconds. 

Ingredients
  • Pizza toppings of choice (pepperoni, chicken, ham, pineapple etc)
  • Pizza sauce (Marinara sauce or jarred pasta sauce will work well too)
  • Cheese
  • 2 slices of bread

14. Leftover bolognese toastie

bolognese with cheese and spaghetti and fork - uni lunch ideas

Bolognese on toast is super underrated, so if you have some left over from the night before, this is the item in our toastie ideas list you simply can’t miss. This toastie recipe literally involves sandwiching the bolognese between two slices of bread and popping it in a toastie maker or grill. Easy peasy!

Ingredients
  • Leftover bolognese (or any old pasta mix you have left)
  • 2 slices of bread
  • Cheese

15. Cheese, tomato and onion toastie

When it comes to toastie ideas, simplicity is key. Three simple ingredients that involve a bit of chopping, then placing between bread and toasting. It’s a classic toastie recipe that’s got some veg, crunch and cheesy goodness. If you’ve got more time on your hands and you’re feeling adventurous, level up this easy lunch idea by caramelising the onions.

Ingredients
  • 2 slices of bread
  • Cheese
  • Tomato
  • Red onion
    • Fancy a sweeter taste? Use sugar, butter and red onion in a frying pan to caramelise it

16. Cheese and mushroom toastie

Another super easy toastie recipe idea that involves a quick chop here and there. We would recommend upping the game of most of our toastie ideas by spreading some chutney or caramelised onion in there for added flavour, but alone, it’s still a super tasty and simple lunch idea to prep as a student.

Ingredients
  • Cooked mushrooms
  • 2 slices of bread
  • Cheese
  • Salt and pepper (optional)
  • Chutney or caramelised onion (optional)

17. All-day breakfast toastie

Had an all-day breakfast already and you’re craving more? This easy food to make for lunch just involves frying up a few ingredients! And don’t worry, you don’t have to source every toastie filling on the list, just get what you can or what you’re craving!

And if you don’t know how to make scrambled eggs, we’ve got a YouTube short on our channel which shows you how to make scrambled eggs the right way.

Ingredients
  • Scrambled or fried eggs
  • Bacon
  • Sausage
  • Tomatoes
  • Mushrooms
  • Black pudding (optional)
  • Hash browns (optional)
  • Baked beans (optional)
  • Cheese

18. Fish fingers toastie

This easy toastie recipe is probably one of the easiest on this list. Fish fingers are yet another student staple (or staple for life, if you ask us). Simply cook your desired amount of fish fingers and add cheese. Want to level this up? Add some baked beans for extra flavour!

Ingredients
  • Cooked fish fingers
  • 2 slices of bread
  • Cheese
  • Baked beans (optional)

19. Pesto chicken toastie

jar of green pesto held up in hand on blank background - student lunch ideas

Pesto chicken is typically an easy dinner idea, but if you have some leftovers, why not add it to your toastie too? Add in some greens to make this toastie recipe extra healthy. 

Ingredients
  • 2 slices of bread
  • Pesto
  • Chicken
  • Spinach (optional)
  • Basil (optional)
  • Cheese

20. Vegan all-day breakfast toastie

Just like the all-day breakfast recipe, this is much easier to make than it looks. We recommend looking up a recipe for scrambled tofu  — though typically, all you have to do is crumble the tofu into tiny pieces and fry in a pan with seasoning, so it’s pretty easy!

Our combo for a vegan all-day breakfast wrap is second to none, but as always, simply add what you can get and don’t break the bank. It’ll still taste super scrumptious!

Ingredients
  • Scrambled tofu
  • Vegan sausages
  • Vegan bacon
  • Vegan cheese
  • Baked beans (optional)
  • Veggies of your choice (spinach, tomatoes, hash browns)
  • Chutney spread (optional).
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Quick pasta recipes

Wondering what to put in pasta? We have a ton of quick pasta recipes from cream cheese pasta to one-pan pizza pasta! As always, we’ve included a list of ingredients to make each of our easy pasta recipes. Plus, you’ll find most of these are quick and easy pasta recipes with few ingredients. And if you’re brave enough, try the carbonara recipe!

Psst…Want garlic bread to accompany your pasta-based meals? Here’s our super handy video on how to make it:

21. Cream cheese pasta

Cream cheese pasta is one of those easy pasta dishes you can make with very few ingredients. Philadelphia sauce for pasta (or a vegan alternative) works great, and you can customise it by adding a variety of veg if you want to make it a little healthier too. Top it with more cheese like parmesan for that extra cheesy and nutty flavour.

In fact, pasta with Philadelphia cheese should be your number one choice if you need an easy lunch in a hurry (and you’re craving pasta!).

Ingredients
  • Cream cheese
  • Pasta or spaghetti of choice
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Olive oil (optional)
  • Garlic
  • Chilli flakes (optional)
  • Salt & pepper

22. Spinach pasta

Spinach pasta is another pasta with cream cheese recipe. Cooked spinach tastes amazing with cream cheese pasta, and it’s even better with added garlic and chilli flakes (though you can skip the latter if you don’t agree with spice). Again, you can add more of your own ingredients to our spinach pasta recipe to bulk it out.

Ingredients
  • Pasta or spaghetti of choice
  • Baby spinach
  • Cream cheese
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic
  • Chilli flakes (optional)
  • Salt & pepper

23. Spaghetti carbonara

Spaghetti carbonara…easy!? Yes! Hear us out. This cheese pasta recipe shouldn’t be passed up.

You probably think carbonara is hard to make, but it’s not. And that’s because the egg mixing part confuses a lot of people. Here’s how to make a carbonara easily with eggs:

  • Transfer your cooked pasta straight into the pan and toss it with the cooked bacon
  • Pour beaten eggs mixed with parmesan into the pan, and keep everything moving, loosening with splashes of water until you have a silky sauce. Make sure the pan isn’t too hot otherwise the eggs will scramble.

It might take a few goes, and even if the eggs scramble, it’s still a super delicious and amazing pasta meal for one!

Ingredients
  • Sliced bacon
  • Pasta or spaghetti of choice
  • Parmesan cheese, plus extra to top the dish
  • Olive oil
  • 2 free-range eggs

24. Bacon and tomato spaghetti

Bacon and tomato are a match made in heaven and make for quick pasta recipes, That’s why it’s part of our quick pasta dishes that are easy and cheap to make. Simply toss it all in a pan once your pasta is cooked and top it with your favourite cheese.

Ingredients
  • Pasta or spaghetti of choice
  • Olive oil
  • Sliced bacon
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Paprika
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Grated parmesan or other cheese to serve (optional)

25. Spaghetti bolognese

spaghetti bolognese topped with parmesan and herbs

Bolognese is one of the simple pasta recipes to make, like, ever. Why? Because everyone makes it differently, meaning you can make it how you’d like! We’ve provided the base ingredients to get started.

Ingredients
  • Premade bolognese mix, or:
    • Mixed herbs
    • Tinned chopped tomatoes
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • Tomato puree
  • Garlic
  • Pasta or spaghetti of choice
  • Onions
  • Olive oil
  • Minced beef (or veggie/vegan substitute)
  • Parmesan or other cheese to serve (optional)

26. Tuna pasta

One of the easy pasta recipes on this list, make it as though you’re about to make a tuna sandwich, but pop the mix into some cooked pasta instead! It’s a super quick and easy pasta recipe with few ingredients, so you won’t have to spend tons of time cooking your lunch. It’s the perfect cheese pasta recipe.

Ingredients
  • Pasta or spaghetti of choice
  • Tuna
  • Mayonnaise
  • Salt and pepper (optional)
  • Sweetcorn (optional)

27. Meatball pasta bake

man with tattoos holding tray of meatballs - student lunch ideas

Pasta bakes are music to a student’s ears. They’re easy pasta recipes, and only involve mixing everything together and popping it in an oven to bake through and melt the cheese. Here is our meatball pasta bake recipe, a cheese pasta recipe enriched with meatball goodness (which can also be subbed for veggie/vegan versions too).

Ingredients
  • Pasta or spaghetti of choice
  • Meatballs (fresh or frozen)
  • Pre-made tomato pasta sauce
  • Mixed herbs
  • Garlic
  • Onion

28. One pan pizza pasta bake

You only need a minimum of five ingredients for this simple one-pan pizza pasta bake recipe. So how is this a one-pan recipe? Begin by combining the pizza sauce, tomatoes, a bit of water, and pepperoni in the pan. Over high heat, bring the mixture to a boil. Cook until al dente and pop in a dish to bake with your toppings. Easy peasy!

Ingredients
  • Uncooked pasta
  • Tinned pizza sauce (marinara works too)
  • Tinned chopped tomatoes
  • Sliced Pepperoni
  • Veggies of choice:
    • Spinach
    • Sweetcorn
    • Mushroom
    • Peppers
    • Red onions
  • Cheese of choice

29. Marmite pasta

This is certainly a love-it-or-hate-it dish in our easy pasta recipes list, but hear us out. Sometimes, we don’t have enough left in our cupboard at the time, so what better way to make something out of what we’ve got?

Simply cook your pasta, add your marmite and top with cheese. It’s as easy as that…it’s just not for the faint of heart.

Ingredients
  • Pasta
  • Butter
  • Marmite
  • Cheese

30. Chicken pesto pasta

pesto spaghetti with basil on top - student lunch ideas

Chicken pesto pasta is one of those boujee-like meals that’s actually an easy lunch idea to prepare. Simply cook off the chicken, add your pesto, and any other veg and stir in your cooked pasta. It works great as pasta for one too.

Ingredients
  • Pasta or spaghetti of choice
  • Chicken or substitute
  • Jar of pesto
  • Extra veggies of choice (optional).
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Healthy lunch ideas

Need healthy lunch ideas on the go? Whether it’s easy vegetarian soup recipes or other quick vegetarian recipes like sandwiches, we’ve got you covered. We’ve also included a few vegan-exclusive recipes here too, but virtually anything in this blog post can be subbed with your favourite veggie or vegan goodies. 

Check out our light lunch ideas that are perfect for those who need a quick pick-me-up or the more health-conscious student.

Vegetarian soup recipes

For our soup recipes, we do recommend investing in a blender to cream everything together. Plus, it makes for easy storage too. Use our home student discounts to get some cash off a blender if you need one. Otherwise, see if you can borrow one from a friend, or housemate, or ask for one for your birthday or gifting season!

31. Carrot and coriander soup

Carrot and coriander soup is a warming soup to have in the colder months, particularly if you add some spices like turmeric into it. Simply bring everything to a boil (or roast your root veggies for a deeper flavour), then blitz everything together.

Ingredients
  • Olive oil
  • Onion
  • Cumin
  • Turmeric
  • Coriander (fresh)
  • Carrots
  • Vegetable stock
  • Potato to thicken

32. French onion soup

french onion soup with sprig of thyme topped with cheese on wooden board on top of kitchen counter

French onion soup might sound daunting to make, but it’s anything but. This easy veggie soup recipe is perfect for students who need something easy to cook that’s both filling and hearty to eat too.

Ingredients
  • Oil
  • Thinly sliced onions
  • Garlic
  • Marmite
  • Thyme (fresh or dried)
  • Light brown sugar
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Vegetable stock
  • Cheese (to top — optional)

33. Easy miso soup

One of the easiest vegetarian soup recipes out there has to be miso soup. While you can get tons of other ingredients to increase its umami, we’re all about quickness and efficiency. If you’re still after a flavourful yet light miso broth, this is the recipe for you.

Ingredients
  • Vegetable stock
  • Nori (optional)
  • White or yellow miso paste
  • Green veggies of your choice
  • Spring onions (optional)
  • Firm tofu chopped into cubes

34. Creamy roasted tomato soup

tomato soup with cream and herbs surrounded by flowers and almonds

Tomato soup is the ultimate staple for students. But if you’re sick of Heinz soup, we don’t blame you. One of our quick veggie meals on this list involves roasting all the veggies and blending it together with some stock and tinned tomatoes.

Plus, we say to add cream, but if you’d rather not, then don’t! It’ll still taste incredible without it.

Ingredients
  • Onion
  • Celery (optional)
  • Garlic
  • Tinned chopped tomatoes
  • Vegetable stock
  • Roasted tomatoes
  • Roasted red onions
  • Mixed herbs
  • Double cream

35. Spicy cauliflower soup

This is one of the more warming vegetarian soup recipes on the list that’s a staple in a healthy student meal plan. Why? It’s got tons of vitamins, is perfect for all diets and is super tasty. Again, you can sub out the yoghurt, replace it with coconut milk or remove that step altogether.

Ingredients
  • Cauliflower
  • Olive oil
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Curry powder (intensity of choice is yours)
  • Vegetable stock
  • Dash of lemon juice (optional)
  • Greek yoghurt or coconut milk to thicken

36. Thai red curry soup with butternut squash

thai red curry soup with peppers and chicken on top in a dark bowl on a dark plate

If you’ve been craving Thai food, then we have easy food to make for lunch right here. Using Thai red paste and a few other staples in Thai cuisine, you can make your very own soup that’s hearty, warming and rich in flavour.

Ingredients
  • Thai red curry paste
  • Onion
  • Coriander
  • Ginger
  • Garlic
  • Chillies (optional)
  • Roasted or boiled butternut squash
  • Vegetable stock

37. Potato and spring onion soup

One of our best light lunch ideas has to be this potato and spring onion soup. It’s super cheap and simple to prepare. Simply boil the potatoes up, mix up some veggie stock and either garnish with the spring onions or add as many to the soup as your heart desires.

Ingredients
  • Butter
  • Spring onion
  • Potatoes (large)
  • Vegetable stock
  • Double cream

38. Easy Vietnamese Pho soup

Pho soup might seem intimidating, but we have a simplified version that you’ll love. Using the main base ingredients, you can transform this Vietnamese soup into a student lunch staple, much like our other vegetarian soup recipes. If you’d prefer to add meat, simply substitute the tofu for your meat of choice and use chicken stock instead.

Ingredients
  • Dry rice noodles (or noodles of choice)
  • Oil
  • Fried tofu
  • Garlic
  • Vegetable stock
  • Salt and pepper
  • Ginger
  • Soy sauce (optional)
  • Garnish:
    • Spring onions
    • Bean sprouts
    • Coriander
    • Limes

39. Easy quick veggie ramen

Ramen? Quick veggie meals? With our recipe, you can make ramen a super easy and flavourful dish to eat for lunch or dinner.

Simply fry off your garlic and ginger, add your stock and noodles to cook, and then top with your favourite veggie ingredients. Again, if you’d prefer to add some meat, you can!

Ingredients
  • Vegetable stock
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Noodles
  • Vegetables of choice (broccoli, mushrooms, spinach)
  • Boiled eggs
  • Toppings:
    • Spring onion
    • Carrots
  • Sriracha sauce (optional) 

40. Simple vegetable broth

vegetable soup broth in bowl carrots greens onions tomato

You can turn all of your leftover vegetables into soup! Our ingredients list is simply a guide on what to include (though we highly recommend keeping in the garlic and stock for added flavour). It’s one of the easiest vegetarian soup recipes on this list, as it’s all about using what you’ve got. Chop into smaller pieces and don’t blend for a chunky soup if you’d like!

Ingredients
  • Cooking oil
  • Celery
  • Mixed herbs (fresh or dried)
  • Potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Onions
  • Ginger
  • Garlic
  • Vegetable stock
  • Noodles or pasta (optional)
  • Nutritional yeast (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
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Vegetarian sandwiches ideas

Need inspiration for vegetarian sandwiches? We have lots here to choose from. They’re quick veggie meals for those on the go and are filled with some pretty healthy ingredients to keep you going throughout the working day. 

41. Egg and mayo sandwich

egg and mayonnaise sandwich in wrap

Egg and mayo is a classic sandwich many students love. Skip the Tesco’s meal deal and make your very own vegetarian sandwiches at home, starting with these super simple eggs and mayo ingredients.

Ingredients
  • 2 slices of bread
  • Boiled eggs
  • Mayonnaise
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)

42. Greek salad sandwich

Love a salad? Salad sandwiches are by far some of the easiest sandwiches to prepare and make for some seriously tasty quick veggie meals. Simply chop everything up into small pieces, mix with a little dressing (we love a combo of olive oil and lemon as it’s super simple) and sandwich the mix in between your bread of choice.

Ingredients
  • 2 slices of bread
  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumber
  • Spinach or lettuce
  • Feta
  • Red onion
  • Olive oil
  • Lemon (optional)

43. Avocado and tomato sandwich

avocado in guacamole form with lime and tomatoes

Too tired to chop up ingredients for a full-blown salad? Avocado and tomato sandwiches are easy to make at home and only require a list of four ingredients. Three if you skip the pepper. Plus, you can add other sauces on top too if you wish, like sriracha or mayo.

Ingredients
  • 2 slices of bread
  • Sliced avocado
  • Butter or cream cheese
  • Pepper to taste

44. Cucumber sandwich with cream cheese

Love cream cheese? Cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches are a seriously simple lunch you can make in a flash. Requiring only 3-4 ingredients, you can get a quick healthy lunch prepped at home. 

Ingredients
  • 2 slices of bread
  • Sliced cucumber
  • Cream cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

45. Halloumi and sriracha sandwich

halloumi burger with vegetables

Halloumi, AKA squeaky cheese, is super tasty and not to be missed out on for a vegetarian sandwich idea. Simply grill or fry off the halloumi before adding it to your sandwich, place any other ingredients you’d like, and drizzle with sriracha and mayonnaise. 

Ingredients
  • 2 slices of bread
  • Fried or grilled halloumi
  • Sriracha sauce
  • Salad ingredients (optional):
    • Tomatoes
    • Cucumber
    • Red onion
    • Lettuce
  • Mayonnaise

46. Vegan tempeh sandwich

Tempeh isn’t for everyone, but if you’re a fan and you’re looking for vegan sandwich ideas, then this is worth trying out. Remember to fry off the tempeh before having it in a sandwich (tempeh must be cooked before it’s eaten, both to kill the culture and to add moisture), slice some avo on there for some healthy fats, and top with your favourite sauces and some lettuce (optional).

Ingredients
  • 2 slices of bread
  • Fried tempeh
  • Sliced Avocado
  • Vegan mayonnaise
  • Hot sauce (optional)
  • Lettuce or rocket

47. Falafel and apple sandwich

bowl of falafel

Don’t hate this vegetarian sandwich idea before you’ve tried it. This chickpea-based staple in many vegetarian and vegan diets goes incredibly well with the sweetness and texture of apples. And even better — it’s an easy and simple lunch to prepare.

Ingredients
  • 2 slices of bread
  • Pre-made falafel
  • Lettuce
  • Red apple
  • Fruit-based chutney (optional)
  • Sliced cucumber

48. Vegan meatball sub sandwiches

Want a decedent vegan or vegetarian sandwich idea? Cook off some vegan meatballs and prep it in a way you would for a meatball marinara sub. You can heat up the marinara and add it on directly, or season it up with some spices and herbs in a pan. Mix in your meatballs so they get coated in all the tomato-y goodness too.

Ingredients
  • Baguette
  • Cooked vegan meatballs
  • Marinara tomato sauce
  • Vegan cheese
  • Seasoning for marinara
    • Garlic powder
    • Mixed herbs
    • Paprika
    • Chilli powder (optional)

49. Easy Banh Mi sandwich

Bahn Mi makes for some of the best vegetarian sandwich recipes. That’s because Vietnamese cuisine is highly veggie and vegan-friendly. While this might seem like a lot of ingredients, a healthy student meal plan can consist of other meals that involve these ingredients too. It’s a slightly more time-consuming sandwich to prepare, which is why we recommend making it in batches so you can use it for future lunches or dinners too.

Ingredients
  • Burger buns, baguettes or 2 slices of bread
  • Grated carrots
  • Sliced cucumber
  • Honey
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Greek yoghurt
  • Mayonnaise
  • Coriander
  • Thickly sliced tofu
  • Corn starch (to make tofu crispy)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

50. Peanut butter and banana sandwich

person holding plate of banana and peanut butter bread

This sweet yet healthy lunch is packed with protein, vitamins and minerals. Bananas contain tryptophan, an amino acid which the body converts to the feel-good brain chemical serotonin. Plus, tasty foods make us feel good, so that’s a double win in our books. If you’re not a fan of peanut butter, consider subbing for honey for an extra-sweet sandwich.

Ingredients
  • Banana
  • 2 slices of bread 
  • Peanut butter
  • Cinnamon
  • Cooking oil (optional — only if you plan to brown both sides of the sandwich).
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Vegan student lunch ideas

Don’t worry vegans, we haven’t forgotten about you!

With 4.1% of UK students saying they’re already vegan and another 10% reporting that they plan to adopt more of a vegan diet soon, we’ve got some of the easiest vegan student lunch ideas to help you out.

Mushrooms on toast

It’s simple, but oh so delicious, and vegan. A speedy brunch or lunch idea you can easily chomp between lectures.

Ingredients

  • Chestnut mushrooms (quartered or sliced)
  • Garlic powder
  • Vegetable oil or any other neutral oil
  • Bread (any kind you like or have in the cupboard)

Tip the mushrooms into a bowl and season with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Stir everything together and drizzle over a bit of the oil.

Preheat the air-fryer or oven to 200c and place the mushrooms into the basket/tray and cook for 12-15 minutes. Mix half-way to even out the cooking.

Toast the bread, tip the mushrooms over it, and voila! You have mushrooms on toast.

Satay noodle soup

A quick and easy vegan dish that is filling and good for the soul.

Ingredients

  • Soy sauce
  • Peanut butter
  • lime
  • Sesame oil (or any you have)
  • Spring onions
  • Chilli
  • Garlic
  • Dried rice noodles
  • Carrot
  • Creamed coconut

Mix the soy, peanut butter, and the juice and zest of one lime. Heat oil over a medium-heat pan and add the spring onions, chilli and garlic with some salt. Cook for 3 mins.

Pour in 450ml of water, bring to a boil and crumble in the creamed coconut. Stir to dissolve and add the peanut butter mixture from step 1. Mix well and add the noodles and carrot strips. Season to taste.

Curried tofu wraps

Who said wraps couldn’t be vegan? Not us!

Ingredients

  • Red cabbage shredded
  • Dairy-free yoghurt
  • Tofu cut into cubes
  • Tandoori curry paste
  • Oil
  • Onions sliced
  • Garlic cloves sliced
  • Chapatis

Start by mixing the cabbage and yoghurt, season and set aside. Toss the tofu with the curry paste and cook in the oil until golden. Remove from pan and add onions and garlic, cook for 8-10 minutes until soft, then add tofu back to the pan.

Warm up the chapatis and top with your tofu mixture. Enjoy!

How to cook pasta

Cooking pasta…one of many student skills you have to know. We have a Youtube Short which will show you how to cook pasta with super simple steps!

  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil
  2. Add small amount of salt 
  3. Add your pasta or spaghetti and pop a lid on
  4. Bring pot to a rolling boil and take the lid off
  5. Pop a ladle-full of the pasta water to your pasta sauce (it’ll make it super rich and tasty)
  6. Drain the pasta and check if it’s al dente (slightly undercooked) before adding it to your sauce
    • Leaving it slightly undercooked is crucial, as you’ll be adding it to your pasta sauce to cook for longer.

Need more easy lunch inspiration? Read our quick and easy vegetarian and vegan student meals for more inclusive recipes and inspiration.

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10 essential cooking tips for students

Are you still daunted by our super easy student recipe ideas? Fear not, as we have a whole video dedicated to what students wish they knew when they cooked meals at uni. It’ll bust your barriers to cooking and build your confidence guaranteed:

See? There’s nothing to be scared of. We’ve shown how meals can still be super tasty, healthy and easy to prepare on a student budget. Let’s dive into more essential cooking tips for students you can use when prepping our recommended student lunch ideas:

1. Use lots of seasoning

Easy and cheap student means doesn’t have to mean bland and boring student means. 

The best way to elevate easy student lunches is to add as much seasoning and flavours as you’d like. Trust us when we say that little sprinkle of paprika here and there can really transform an otherwise boring dish into something tasty!

Want to save money on our easy dinner student ideas? Use own-brand spices and herbs when shopping for them in the supermarket. The same goes for almost all ingredients, really. Own brand is the way to go to save money on cheap meal ideas.

We understand that things like jarred bolognese sauce or packets might be more convenient, but if you want to be adventurous, experiment with making your own with chopped tomatoes (or passata), mixed herbs and a dash of pasta water. We promise it’s super easy!

Lastly, if you don’t want a cupboard full of confusing spices and herbs, looked for pre-mixed jars, such as mixed herbs, allspice, garlic salt…you get the picture.

2. Buy staple ingredients

Staple ingredients are pretty subjective, but in our eyes, they’re things you use for pretty much any dish. The most common ingredients are:

  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Potato
  • Bread
  • Rice
  • Noodles
  • …and anything else you specifically use on the regular!

Whatever ingredients you commonly use will be the staple ingredients in all of your student dinners and lunches. Be sure to keep stocked and remember — OWN BRAND.

3. Learn an easy cooking base

tomato cooking base soup

We can’t bang on about bolognese more than if we tried. The reason we go back to this is that it’s highly common for students to cook, but it can also be used in almost anything.

You can use this base sauce to cook chilli, casseroles, stews, curries, enchiladas…If some of these sounds completely out of your comfort zone, simply mastering a cooking base is just half the battle.

Plus, there’s no set way to make your own tomato sauce either. Everyone has their own way, combos of spices and everything in between. Plus, it can keep well in the fridge or be frozen to use at a later date.

4. Get essential cooking pans

To make easy student lunches and dinners, be rest assured that you don’t need a pan for absolutely everything. Mainly because you won’t even have enough space to store them all!

In reality, you only need two types of pans: a frying pan and a saucepan. One will fry off all your meats and veggies, the other will boil your precious student savours: noodles and pasta. They’re also essential for soups too!

5. Use a microwave when you can

Underrated is the microwave…Yes. Microwaves have produced some questionable meals, but also meals that have saved you at your laziest or most hungover.

But if you know what you’re doing, the microwave may be a reliable partner in creating some fantastic student lunches.

It’s true that a microwave will never be as effective at cooking food as a stove or an oven. However,  it’s much easier and lessens the load of washing dishes

Reheat soups, cook peas, and heat up yesterday’s takeaway…microwaves are a godsend.

6. Freeze your food

person with meal in tupperware to store in freezer

Fighting for freezer space at uni can be a struggle as a student. But if you can nag some space in your favour, you can save some leftovers and seriously stretch your student budget.

A quick tip: use freezer bags rather than boxes because they take up much less space. Even single servings of soups, sauces, or other foods can be spooned into separate bags. They can be defrosted as and when needed.

7. Eat student lunches for dinner

And vice versa. Any leftovers can be frozen using our tips above, or alternatively, kept in the fridge to use the next day. It means you save even more time on cooking too (as well as cash on a new meal). It’s super efficient. 

If you’re bored of the lunch or dinner you made, maybe see how you can spruce it up. Try adding grains, a sauce, or topping it on toast. The last one may surprise you!

8. Cook with vegetarian mince

If you haven’t tried vegetarian meat substitutes like Quorn, or even own-brand versions, we can confidently recommend them.

Along with being significantly cheaper than beef mince, it also contains far less fat and virtually as much protein as traditional mince (though read the back of the pack if you’re precious about your macros). And just like regular mince, you can store it in the freezer too.

As with regular mince too, you’ll need to flavour it, so don’t be surprised if it’s a little blander than it should be. The flavours you use will be absorbed by the veggie mince, so you can really customise it your taste.

Can’t swap your mince? Try swapping other meats like sausages, bacon, chicken, and even steaks too.

9. Shop with your housemates

It’s up to you whether or not you want to go food shopping with friends or your housemates. It makes perfect sense that some people prefer to shop alone so they won’t be distracted by other people’s purchases. But if your common goals are to save money, then going as a cohort could work in your favour.

However, one advantage of group shopping is that certain supermarkets run buy one, get one free (BOGOF) or multi-buy promotions that can be significantly more affordable than purchasing items separately.

But keep in mind that sometimes supermarkets are cunning and make it appear as though you’re saving money when you’re not really doing so. Do the maths together and really see if it’s worth investing in the deals.

10. Meal plan

jars of meal preperation

This is the ultimate tip we can give you.

By avoiding the temptation to buy food while you’re out or order takeaways (a few are fine, but if you’re budgeting, being strict is imperative), planning your meals in advance can help you save a lot of money and be much healthier.

You’ll only nip to the shops for what you actually need if you plan your meals for the entire week. This will stop you from taking pit stops at Maccies or grabbing that extra coffee. While it might seem minuscule at the time, it adds up.

As we’ve shown you today, student lunches don’t need to be boring. They might even improve your culinary skills and encourage you to batch-cook.

We hope you enjoyed our student lunch ideas! Sign up to Student Beans to stay in the know of our latest student food offers and a weekly newsletter filled with fun-packed articles you’ll love.

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