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12 cookbooks every student needs

by Lottie Huckle

published on 3 January 2024

Know someone heading off to university this September? Skip the tins of beans and equip them with a stack of these student-friendly cookbooks instead. From an indispensable guide to corner shop cooking to a collection of accessible vegan recipes, these books will help see students through to the end of term. So, scroll on to check out our top cookbooks for students.

Student Eats

by Rachel Phipps

Straight from the pen (and kitchen) of food writer and self-taught cook, Rachel Phipps, this is the ultimate guide to quick and easy meals that also happen to be healthy and good for the brain. They respect a student budget too – Rachel herself recently graduated from the University of London, so she understands the importance of thrift.

Mob 6

by Mob

Whether you’re looking to impress with a grown-up dinner party or just need to feed yourself through an essay crisis, these easy (and genius) six-ingredient recipes developed by Mob have got you covered.

The Quick Roasting Tin

We could have recommended any of the books from Rukmini Iyer’s Roasting Tin series; their focus on flavour and their chuck-it-all-in approach make them ideal for students and novice cooks. But, with its focus on speed, The Quick Roasting Tin is our top pick.

A Girl Called Jack

A Girl Called Jack

by Jack Monroe

A Girl Called Jack is all about shopping smart, reducing food waste, and creating nourishing and exciting food on a very tight budget. Expect the likes of vegetable masala for 30p per portion and nostalgic jam sponge for 23p per portion.

The Cornershop Cookbook

by Caroline Craig & Sophie Missing

If the location of halls is painfully far from the nearest supermarket, this cookbook will be a saviour. It’s crammed with quick, flavoursome dinners and snacks, all made using ingredients that can be picked up at most corner shops. It will also come in handy for those bed-ridden with the dreaded fresher’s flu.

5 Ingredients Quick & Easy Food

Jamie Oliver’s clever and practical cookbook, 5 Ingredients – Quick & Easy Food, suits the student lifestyle and budget perfectly. Each using only five ingredients, these recipes will not only save you from having to head to the supermarket with a lengthy (and costly) shopping list, but they also happen to be accessible and easy to follow for new cooks. With many of them taking less than 15 minutes to make, 5 Ingredients will save you time too, which you can of course spend studying instead . . . Alright, partying then.

Do Yourself a Flavour

by Fliss Freeborn

From puff pastry pizzas to quick and easy veg curries, and even a selection of hangover-friendly dishes, the 75 recipes in this cookbook penned by food writer Fliss Freeborn will have you winning over even the most passive-aggressive flatmates.

Good Food: Easy Student Dinners: Triple-tested Recipes

Good Food: Easy Student Dinners: Triple-tested Recipes

by Barney Desmazery

A must-have for any new student. This Good Food guide covers everything from Brainy Breakfasts to Express Dinners, and whilst it’s loaded with dishes for one, it also features a chapter of hearty Food for Friends that won’t break the bank.

Eat Well For Less

by Jo Scarratt-Jones, Gregg Wallace, Chris Bavin

Masterchef’s Gregg Wallace and his fellow greengrocer, Chris Bavin, are here with the original book of the hit BBC One series. Although primarily aimed at families, this is a perfect book for students as it’s all about keeping nutrition front of mind, whilst learning how to plan for weekly cooking and spend less during the weekly shop.

The Grilled Cheese Sandwich: 60 Unbrielievably Delicious Recipes

The Grilled Cheese Sandwich

by Sian Henley

What student doesn’t love a grilled cheese sandwich? Quick and cheap to make, filling and nutritious, they make perfect food for young people on the go. And with no specialist kit required to make them, they can be whipped up easily in a shared kitchen.

The Savvy Shopper’s Cookbook

by Amy Sheppard

This cookbook is all about shopping smart and eating well, two things we heartily approve of. It’s a useful guide for anyone looking to spend less money on food while still eating flavour-packed, nutritious meals, and it’s particularly handy for students living on a shoestring budget.

Delia's Complete Cookery Course

Delia’s Complete Cookery Course

The classic. The manifesto. The book that every aspiring cook, every student, every person should have to hand. Delia’s Complete Cookery Course is exactly what the title suggests, covering everything from how to boil an egg to how to make your own taramasalata. Grab this 30th anniversary edition and embark on a lifetime of culinary enjoyment.


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