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A Guide to Batch Cooking for Students

30 July 2020

 

Batch cooking recipes are hugely helpful for students who need budget friendly meals with quick cooking times. To prep meals beforehand:

  • Plan ahead of time
  • Choose the right recipes
  • Buy your ingredients in advance
  • Cook staples and condiments in advance
  • Store food properly
  • Label everything

Finding easy, budget friendly recipes that can be prepared in under 20 minutes is challenging - whether you’re planning to feed a crowd or just need individual portions. That’s why B&M have put together this handy guide to batch cooking for students!

Here’s what to do:

1. Plan Ahead of Time

Reserve one afternoon to prep meals for the next week, then make a list of everything you’re planning to make and note down their ingredients. Keep a planner in your kitchen for this purpose.

You don’t have to make complete meals - why not store a batch of ingredients together to throw in a slow cooker with hot water and seasonings?

B&M Top Tip: Select recipes with interchangeable ingredients. Buy plenty of chopped tomatoes for tomato sauce, for example; this can go in bolognese, chilli, curry and on pizza.

2. Choose the Right Recipes

Intersperse healthy recipes with comfort foods to get a balance throughout the week. Aim for variety so you’re not eating the same things over and over.

Consider freezing the leftovers and using them later - for example, you can use sauce from spaghetti bolognese on jacket potatoes!

B&M Top Tip: If there are ingredients you haven’t used, why not make a quick, easy soup?

3. Buy your Ingredients in Advance

Don’t start cooking until you know you have everything you need. There’s nothing worse than being halfway through and realising you don’t have a key item!

B&M Top Tip: Keep a recipe book containing all the ingredients for all your favourite meals, so you can easily find them.

4. Cook Staples & Condiments in Advance

If you have a few elements that you use regularly, prepare these in advance and then store them to make cooking on the fly a little easier.

For example, why not chop and fry a few red onions and freeze them in a bag so that you can throw a handful into a pan when needed?

B&M Top Tip: Pre-prepare potatoes to be defrosted and mashed! This works as a great side and is also delicious on a fish pie.

5. Store Food Properly

Many batch-cooked meals can be frozen, but they need to be prepared properly. Say you’re making chipotle chicken; marinate and cook the meat before freezing it. It will retain flavour and be easier to reheat.

Store ingredients in portions to put meals together quickly. Find quality food boxes with airtight clippable lids to keep food protected.

Keep meats, dairy, fish and veg separate to stay hygienic. 

B&M Top Tip: Some things are best to cook just before eating. Sauces, meats and some cooked veg (particularly when steamed) can be more easily frozen and defrosted than rice, pasta and spaghetti.

6. Label EVERYTHING

For cooking time under 20-30 minutes, ingredients must be easy to locate!

Label all containers. Include the date on which you prepared everything so you’ll know when it’ll need using up.

With planning, carefully selecting recipes, having all ingredients to hand, preparing elements in advance, correct storage and labelling, your midweek meals will be quicker, healthier and cheaper!

B&M Top Tip: Browse our Kitchen Storage section for great ingredient storage ideas.

Got some great batch cooking recipes for students? Share them with the B&M Community via Twitter, Facebook or Instagram!


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