food

Easy recipes for students to make you feel cosy this autumn

If you live in the UK, you’ll have probably realised that over the last few weeks it’s definitely being getting a lot colder and now with the clocks going back, it’s officially that time of the year where we wrap up warm, drink hot drinks and eat a lot of food. One of my favourite parts of autumn/winter is the move from salads and cold foods to stews, soups and comfort foods. Spending time making a meal with care and love is actually one of my favourite forms of self care.

In this post I have compiled different recipes of autumnal and winter dishes that are going to make you feel full and warm during these winter months, I’ve broken these into meaty, vegetarian and vegan dishes, so hopefully there’s something for everyone. I’ve also included one of my all time favourite meals that I’ve made many times during university, I actually used to bulk make it and freeze extra portions for when I couldn’t be bothered to cook. I’ve included it at the end of this list so keep reading!

If you’re feeling really adventurous, check out @niamhcooks thanksgiving dinner recipes, you won’t regret it!

Here are some easy Winter Warmer recipes for you to try!

Meaty Dishes

1. Beef Stew

An image of a beef and vegetable stew in a red pot

This beef stew looks amazing and I love adding potatoes into the actual stew, rather than serving as a side, so they they can soak up even more flavour. As a student you might not feel like buying herbs and spices are worth it, but I would really disagree. Adding a bay leaf to my stews and mince really helped level up my food at university, and they’re literally 89p at Asda for a pot of them.

2. Ragu and Mozzarella Pasta Bake

An oven dish with a ragu and mozzarella pasta bake topped with cheese and basil

I love the addition of breadcrumbs to a pasta bake, it makes it seem so much more fancy even though it doesn’t take a lot of effort. To make breadcrumbs you just need to grate some slightly-stale bread or you can just buy them (80p for 175g in Asda).

3. Crispy Mozzarella Chicken

A pan with mozzarella covered chicken and cherry tomatoes placed on table cloth

Maybe there’s a mozzarella theme going on here, who knows? Make sure when you’re cooking with chicken to check that it’s cooked thoroughly before eating, as you can get pretty nasty food poisoning from undercooked chicken.

Vegetarian

1. Kale Mac & Cheese

A bowl with creamy pasta and kale in it

Anyone who knows me, knows how much I love pasta, and my favourite type of pasta…. cheesy pasta. Mac and Cheese, for me, is just the ultimate meal. Don’t get me wrong, there are other dishes with more flavour and flair, and I’m not saying that if I went to a fancy restaurant I would order mac and cheese (which I might do actually), but mac and cheese is that dish that I could never turn down. The kale just makes it a bit healthier.

2. Roasted Cauliflower and Stilton Soup

a styled photo of roasted cauliflower and stilton soup with a side of bread topped with extra stilton and cauliflower

I think soups get this terrible reputation of being really boring and something that you only eat when you’re either ill or on a diet, but soups don’t have to be boring. For me, nothing goes better with soups than a warm bread roll absolutely smothered in butter.

3. Sweet Potato Soup with Garlic Croutes

A pan and a bowl of sweet potato soup with garlic croutes on the side

Another tasty-sounding recipe that’s soup-er easy (get it?). Getting a stick blender for university was honestly one of the best purchases and they’re not actually that expensive. Well worth the money for yummy home-made soups.

Vegan

1. Creamy Vegan Sausage and Spinach Pasta

A pan of pasta, spinach and vegan sausages on a wooden board

Another pasta dish! Even though I’m not vegan or vegetarian, I do like to swap out meat for meat-free alternatives sometimes and I actually do this a lot with sausages!

2. Tofu and Cauliflower Curry

a bowl of tofu and cauliflower curry with fresh coriander as a garnish

Curries are great meals all year round but I especially like to eat them in winter as I find a bit of spice helps to warm me up even more. This one is extra fruity, although I would personally leave out the fresh coriander as unfortunately I have the coriander-tastes-like-soap-gene.

3. Vegan Stew

A floral bowl with a vegan stew in it, full of root vegetables and kidney beans

This stew is super quick and easy to cook yet full of healthy vegetables and kidney beans.

Super Yummy Goat’s Cheese (+Butternut Squash) Risotto

Risotto is definitely one of those dishes that people think is hard to cook, when actually it’s really easy and tastes SO GOOD.

Ingredients

  • Splash of olive oil
  • Knob butter
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tsp Thyme
  • 250g Arborio rice
  • (½ butternut squash – grated)
  • 1.25 litres of vegetable or chicken stock
  • 150g frozen peas
  • 65g goat’s cheese (if you really like goat’s cheese like me, add even more!)
  • Grated Parmesan to sprinkle on top

Method:

  1. Chop the onion and fry in the oil and butter
  2. Add some thyme
  3. Add the rice and fry for a minute
  4. Add grated butternut squash if using
  5. Add stock to the rice one or two ladles at a time, stirring between additions. Wait until the rice has absorbed the liquid before adding more – it’ll take around 20 minutes to add all the liquid so be patient!
  6. Add the peas
  7. Add the goat’s cheese and let it melt
  8. Serve with parmesan sprinkled on top!

If you’re a new student (or an old student still learning how to take care of yourself) check out my Student Life Packs, they have great templates for Meal Planning and Shopping lists!

Hope you enjoy making some of these recipes!


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