The Yummy Guide: 5 Recipes With Just 5 Ingredients!

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Moving away from home and living independently is a learning curve for every student, but luckily, there are plenty of 5 ingredient recipes to cook for yourselves.

In our luxurious student accommodation, you’ll have your very own kitchenette to cook up a storm and find your inner Michelin-starred chef.

If you are not used to cooking at home or you want to try out some new recipes, it can be quite daunting.

Don’t despair though, there are literally thousands of meals that you can try out and so many different ingredients and flavour combinations.

Once you work out how to cook the basics, you’ll soon be attempting loads of different ideas and crazy recipes of your own.

This guide is all about how to begin your journey as a cook at home, with 5 recipes where you require just 5 ingredients.

It’s a great starting point for all students living away from home alone, whether for the first time or just to brush up on some basic cookery skills.

1. Cheesy Leeks & Ham

Coming in at number one for our 5 ingredient recipes is a quick and easy meal that you can make in under half-hour.

It’s a tasty, low-carb option that is fantastic for a tasty mid-week treat. What’s not to like about cheese, leeks and ham?


  • 8 leeks – use the white part of the leek only
  • 8 slices of cooked ham
  • 100g grated cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard
  • 6 tablespoons of crème fraiche


  • Pre-heat the oven to 200c/180c fan.
  • Start with the leeks by placing them in a pan of boiling water that has been salted. Boil for 4-5 minutes or until the leeks are just about tender. Drain the pan and cook the leeks under the cold water tap to prevent them from cooking any more. Drain them again and pat dry with some kitchen roll.
  • Take a slice of ham and wrap it around the leek. Do this for every single leek and then place into a large baking dish alongside each other.
  • Put the cheddar cheese, the Dijon mustard, and the crème fraiche in a bowl together and mix until they are well combined. Season to taste.
  • Spread the bowl mixture over the leeks and place in the oven to bake for 15-20 minutes. Serve the cheesy leeks and ham straight out of the oven, as they are turning golden brown and bubbling.
  • If you fancy it, eat with crusty bread to mop up the tasty juices that have cooked out from the leeks.

2. Garlic And Lemon Chicken Thighs

This delicious chicken dish is sumptuous and very easy to make, taking simple ingredients that work wonderfully well together.

Always better than the already tasty sum of its parts, this is a one-pot dish that can be scaled easily if you have guests, or you want to cook just enough for you alone.

Ingredients (serves 4 people)

  • 300kg baby potatoes
  • 1kg chicken thighs (bone-in ideally but boneless thighs work well too)
  • 2 lemons
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • Chicken stock


  • Pre-heat the oven to 200c/180c fan.
  • Cut the baby potatoes in half and cook in salted boiling water in a pan for 10 minutes.
  • Place the chicken thighs in a large baking tray, leaving plenty of space for the other ingredients to fit around them.
  • Drain the potatoes and place them in the tray around the chicken thighs.
  • Leave the garlic in its skin and scatter throughout the tray.
  • Cut the lemons in 2 and place them face up in the four corners of the baking tray.
  • Season all the ingredients to taste. This is down to your personal taste, but for us, salt and pepper and some oregano works well.
  • Add chicken stock. Again, the amount is down to taste and how you want the final ‘paste’/sauce to turn out. The thinner you’d like the sauce, the more chicken stock you should add at the beginning, just enough to make sure the chicken and potatoes do not stick to the tray and burn.
  • Turn the chicken and potatoes after 25 minutes and then remove both once golden brown and turning crispy. This is usually about the 45-minute mark. Cover with foil to keep warm whilst you make the paste/sauce.
  • Remove the skin from the garlic and then take a masher to mash the lemons and the garlic into the remaining juices on the baking tray. Add to a pan and heat until it is as thick as you want it to be.
  • Serve the chicken and potatoes with crusty bread to enjoy the sauce, green beans or other vegetables optional.

3. Sweet Potato And Pea Curry

Having a curry as part of your culinary armoury is always a good thing for a student, and it’s another one of our quick 5 ingredient recipes!

Put your kitchenette to good use with this versatile and simple vegetarian curry that is great for a gathering of student friends or an easy way to make up a few meals that you can freeze or eat the next day (this curry always tastes amazing the next day, it might actually be better!).


  • 3 tablespoons of curry paste
  • 1 onion
  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 175g frozen peas
  • 400ml canned coconut milk


  • Heat the curry paste in a pan and stir in the onion (finely chopped). Cover the pan and cook for around 5 minutes until it is softened, stirring the ingredients occasionally.
  • Add the sweet potatoes, coconut milk, and some vegetable stock and bring the pan to a boil.
  • Turn down the heat once it has reached boiling point and simmer the curry for around 20 minutes. By this time the potato should have started to soften.
  • Add the frozen peas and bring the pan back to the boil, before simmering for a further 2 minutes.
  • Season to your personal taste and spoon into bowls to eat.

4. Tuna Pasta Bake

Another great addition to your personal menu, a tuna pasta bake is great to eat with friends or to prep for future feeds.

It is a simple way to use up ingredients when you might feel like you haven’t got much in the cupboards and really easy to make.

Ingredients (4-6 servings)

  • 2 tins of drained tuna
  • One tin of drained sweetcorn
  • Pasta (of your choosing and amount depends on the size of the dish you use for cooking)
  • Yoghurt (or a 400g can of ‘cream of’ soup)
  • Grated cheese of your choosing


  • Pre-heat the oven to 180c/160c fan
  • Cook the pasta in the same way that you usually would, in salted boiling water for the advised cooking time on the packet. Once cooked, drain and leave to one side.
  • Add the tuna, sweetcorn and natural yoghurt (or soup) to the pasta and thoroughly mix together.
  • Pour the combined mixture into an ovenproof baking dish
  • Grate your cheese of choice on top of the mixture and bake in the oven for around half-hour, or for as long as it takes for the cheese to turn golden brown and crispy.

5. Vegetarian Chilli

A warming, delicious veggie alternative to a traditional chilli con carne, this recipe is an easy one to switch up.

Depending on what ingredients you have in your cupboards at the time of cooking – this is another one of our delicious 5 ingredient recipes.


  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 diced onion
  • 1 can of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 cans of drained black beans (this recipe works well with any type of beans, but we find that using two different kinds of beans is the way to get the best result)
  • 1 tablespoon of chilli powder


  • Take a large saucepan and heat the olive oil on a medium heat.
  • Add the onion and cook until they are just transparent. This usually takes around 5-6 minutes.
  • Add the tin of tomatoes, your choice of beans and the chilli powder to the pan, mix well and then bring to a simmer.
  • Cook the chilli out, stirring every now and then, for at least 20 minutes. The longer you cook a chilli, the better it gets, so however long you want to leave it for is up to you, past the 20-minute mark.

We hope you got some inspiration from our quick and easy 5 ingredient recipes cooking guide! If you’re wanting to feel nice and relaxed during exam season, check out our 8 free sleep meditation apps to relax students blog here.