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Essentials For The Student Kitchen

As kids head back to school, some are moving on to the land of greener pastures… and hangovers. Yup, for many it’s time for you to say goodbye to Mum and Dad and make it on your own… until you call them in six weeks asking for money.

(Don’t be ashamed, we’ve all done it)

One thing you’ll have to be prepared for is that you’ll have to start cooking for yourself. Every day. Three times.

Luckily, we’ve put together a list of essential tips for your student kitchen so you don’t contract rickets by the spring term.

Let’s get started.

Check the essentials first

If you can, see what kind of appliances will already be provided for you in your student kitchen. Most student halls will only provide you with the bare minimum so don’t be surprised if you end up providing your own kettle or toaster. Even if they say that they will provide basic cutlery and crockery, this more often than not means one plate, one bowl and one of each piece of cutlery. Don’t kid yourself you’re going to do loads of washing up all the time and pack yourself as least four or five of each.

Non-Food Essentials

Besides food and cutlery there are a few important kitchen essentials that people tend to miss:

  • Bin bags (You do have to take them out every week)
  • Tea towels (Remember to wash them)
  • Kitchen roll (Spills happen)
  • J cloths (Sticky spills happen)
  • Tupperware (VERY IMPORTANT FOR ANY STUDENT KITCHEN. It’s going to be a while before you know how to make just enough food for one, so being able to keep leftovers fresh is key).
  • Tea, coffee, sugar, biscuits (Not as important but perfect for offering to your new flat/housemates to get to know them a bit)


Odds are your (or your parents’) car is going to be pretty full when you head off to your first day at University so there isn’t going to be too much more room for loads of food. With what you can fit in, prioritise things that can make a lot of meals and that will last, i.e: pasta, rice, beans, frozen veg. These are perfect cupboard/freezer fillers for your student kitchen to keep you going before you attempt your first solo spree for groceries.

Now let’s get into some simple dishes that should tide you over for your first few weeks.

Cheesy Ham and Broccoli Pasta

When it comes to filling your student kitchen, you want to be as cost effective as you can while also not sacrificing eating healthy.

A vegetable pasta is a happy medium.

This pasta dish is a great way to add a few healthier elements to a simple dish. Pasta takes but ten minutes to cook and softening onions and broccoli only a few more. A tasty, easy dinner in less than twenty minutes that won’t leave you feeling terrible the next day. Plus, pasta keeps for up to five days in the fridge if you make too much.

Check out the full recipe HERE

Chicken Curry

Make sure to break out of your toast and pasta cycle every once and a while with some more exciting dishes. Trust us, your stomach will thank you later.

Why not try a classic takeaway food without the takeaway price tag: a chicken curry.

With just some chicken pieces, curry paste, onion, rice and coconut milk, you can knock yourself together a great dish that will trick your flatmates into believing you’re a gourmet cook.

Check out the full recipe HERE.

Microwave Pancakes

Getting up for those morning lectures is enough of a struggle, so often you find yourself sleepwalking out the door without even thinking about breakfast. Your Mum wasn’t kidding when she told you “it’s the most important meal of the day,” as halfway through said morning lecture, you’ll probably feel yourself getting pretty hangry. Luckily, some breakfasts only take five minutes and a microwave.

Like pancakes!

Check out the recipe HERE

Vegetarian Fajitas

Looking for something quick, healthy, easy and a bit different? This Fajita recipe is prefect.

Sometimes a pile of vegetables doesn’t look particularly appetising, but it’s amazing what a sharp knife, a few spices and a wrap can do. Perfect for lunch or dinner, especially with grated cheese.

Check out the full recipe HERE

General Tips

We had a quick ask round of recent graduates we know, asking for the advice they wish they’d had before they went to university. Listen well:

  1. Don’t open a pasta sauce and then put it back in the cupboard. You WILL end up with mould-covered spaghetti
  2. Invest in two washing up bowls. One for washing up and one for if anyone is… indisposed after a night out.
  3. If you buy potatoes, USE THEM. There’s nothing scarier than going through your cupboard at the end of the year and finding a bag of black and green roots.
  4. Don’t put a pan in to soak for more than five minutes. You will NEVER have the will power to come back and finish cleaning it.


Thinking about updating your Essex Kitchen? Or perhaps you’re in the mood for a complete redesign! Come on down to our showroom and we’ll be more than happy to help!

Have a look at our designs page if you need inspiration or have a read through the rest of our blog for more helpful insights on style, colour and useful tricks to make your kitchen the most dazzling room in your home.

Our customers reviews are pretty amazing too so pop over to Roman Kitchens and let us design your dream kitchen.

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