In Need Of Some Lazy Dinner Ideas? Find Out Here!

The ‘uni struggle meals’ trend has taken hold on TikTok in the last year, with countless videos of students showing that the struggle is real when you’re skint and you don’t have much food in the cupboards.

From the downright sad and frightening biscuits and water, or a bowl of cereal as a main meal, right through to those staples that have been part of the student diet for so many decades (we’re looking at you beans on toast!). 

There are loads of meals that students are eating when they are low on their budget, low on food, low on ideas, and just being a bit lazy! 

We’ve taken a look at some lazy dinner ideas that take inspiration from some of the uni struggle trends but also help you to move away from the embarrassment and let you know that there is so much you can cook on a budget that is nutritious and delicious.  

lazy dinner ideas

Get Your Staples In Early 

Before we get to the lazy dinner ideas, we want to tell you about a great way to make sure you can always rustle up a quick and easy meal that actually tastes good. 

All you need to do is get all your staples and seasoning in as early in the term as possible. 

Buy in vegetable oil, salt and pepper, spices and herbs, tinned tomatoes, lentils, beans, as much as you want or like. 

As well as rice and pasta, sugar, vinegar, stock cubes, and you’ll have the base to cook many different types of meals throughout the year. 

Inspiration For Lazy Dinner Ideas 

There are loads of great options for those living in student accommodation on a budget and students who just can’t be bothered. 

Some are single ingredients; some are cooked in one pot to make it easier and cut down on the washing up (we know this is something that puts a lot of us off cooking!). 

We’ve gone for the simple, the delicious, the staples from the past, and we’ll start with something that is a lot more versatile than you’d think.  

Inspiration For Lazy Dinner Ideas 


You might think that toast is boring, you’d be wrong. 

There is so much you can do with toast, and it’s cheap and easy to prepare and eat.

Let’s start with the basics. 

Whatever budget you’re on, whatever taste you have, and even if you’re looking for gluten free bread, toast is wonderful. 

All you need is two slices of bread (any bread you like or can afford) and a toaster. 

Toast with butter is great, toast with Nutella some would say is even better. 

Simple, delicious, a great snack on its own. 

Toast with hummus or toast with avocado, again, both great options for something on toast. 

You can have bacon on toast, beans on toast (that traditional of student staple dishes that is cheap and easy to do and with a sprinkling of grated cheddar cheese on top makes it a Michelin-star dish all of its own), your egg of choice on toast, and cheese on toast.  

These are just a few simple toast ideas that can transform the way you look at uni struggle meals. 

There’s nothing shameful about eating toast! 

lazy dinner ideas toast

Instant Noodles 

Ramen has become so popular in the last few years, but how do you get that same nourishing feeling you get with a ramen bowl when all you’ve got is some instant noodles in the cupboard of your student apartment? 

You can get packets of instant ramen pretty cheap from most supermarkets (go to the World food aisle for the best on offer with more flavour options).

If you’re a fan of eggs, we’d always recommend adding an egg or three to the top of your noodles once you’ve cooked them through. 

Simple veggies and a broth of your choice are great, tasty ways to bring the flavour profile, whether you’re adding some peas, some garlic, soy sauce, experiment and find the flavour that suits you best. 

It won’t cost you a lot and it’ll be delicious and easy to make. 

instant noodles lazy dinner

Pasta Bake 

If you’ve got loads of pasta in the cupboards, some cheese and vegetables in the fridge, maybe some tuna or leftover meat, it can all be used well within a simple pasta bake. 

Cook up some onions and garlic until they begin to caramelise, add in some vegetables of your choice (either cooked or uncooked depending on what you choose). 

If you’re adding tuna or some other meat include that, boil some pasta (we like the thicker Rigatoni tubes) for a couple of minutes less than the recommended cooking time on the package. 

Then, stir in some chopped tomatoes, mix everything together in a dish, sprinkle some cheese on top, and cook for 20 minutes – easy and tasty! 

Add some salad and garlic bread on the side if you’re feeling a little bit fancy and you’ve got yourself a lazy dinner and leftovers for lunch tomorrow. 

pasta bake

Microwave Scrambled Eggs 

As far as uni struggle meals go, using a microwave to cook eggs has got to be up there, but sometimes needs must, and if you’re in a rush this might not be as bad as you think. 

It’ll take under 5 minutes; you can probably eat it in a minute and be on your way. 

Take 2 eggs, 2 tablespoons of milk, and some toast to serve it with. 

Beat the eggs with the milk and some salt in a suitable jug to put in the microwave, cook on high for 30 seconds, beat again, and return to the microwave for another 30 seconds. 

Beat the egg mixture again, removing any lumps, microwave for another 15 seconds before beating again. 

At this stage the eggs will be loose, so if you like a slightly firmer scrambled egg you can go for another 15 seconds before beating once more and serving with toast. 

microwave scrambled eggs


Dhal is a refreshingly easy and tasty dish to make at home. 

In Indian cuisine, dahl is any split pulses, so you have some options. 

Dhal is a brilliant source of fibre, iron, protein, and is a great dish for vegetarians. 

This red lentil and butter bean dhal recipe is an easy, one-pot dish. 

Cook some garlic and onion, throw in some paprika, curry powder, salt, and anything else you might have to hand in your cupboard at this point. 

Then, dissolve a stock cube in some boiling water and then add that, some lemon juice, butter beans, and lentils in with the onions and garlic. 

Leave to simmer in a covered saucepan for around 45 minutes. 

Once the lentils have absorbed the water and thickened the dhal you can serve with rice and some greens. 


We hope this has given you some great lazy dinner ideas that keep you well away from the uni struggle meals even in the darkest of times. 

We know how enticing it can be to eat a Mini Babybel with some rice and a glass of water as your main meal, if you’re lucky you might have some ketchup with that, but there is so much you can do with cheap ingredients and leftovers in the cupboard. 

If you’ve got your own student recipes, let us know what’s tasty and what you should put straight in the bin! Student life is hard enough as it is, there’s no need to add tasteless, shocking food to the list. 

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