FA Student Foodie: A quick and simple roast dinner recipe

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I am an advocate for a roast dinner all year round, even in the scorching heat of summer. However, it is the perfect winter meal. Warm and hearty, comforting and actually relatively easy to cook – but that is probably because I have cooked roast dinners religiously every Sunday since January. Nothing gets in the way of my roast dinner.

Since I believe that I am pretty decent at cooking a roast dinner on a budget, as a student, I thought I would share my recipe and technique with you all, so you can enjoy the pleasure that is a roast dinner. I’ll admit, it is a pretty basic recipe, and you may do things different to me, but this is just how I would cook a roast dinner for myself or anyone who happens to be visiting.


Potatoes – as many as you want. It depends on how much mash or how many roasties you’d prefer. I typically use 2 big ones or 4 small ones.

Gravy granules.

Your preferred meat or meat substitute – I usually go for chicken.

Veggies – my favourites are broccoli, carrots (specifically chantenay carrots), and peas.

Yorkshire puddings – I just buy frozen ones, but you can make them from scratch using water, flour and eggs.

Sunflower or vegetable oil.


  1. Preheat your oven! I always forget to do this!
  2. The first thing I do is prepare the potatoes to make my roasties, as that is what I prefer. I peel them and chop them into quite small chunks, then chuck them in a pot full of boiling water and leave them on the hob to boil for around 10 minutes.
  3. Around halfway through boiling the potatoes, I’ll pour some sunflower oil into a roasting tray and put that in the oven to heat up – this makes your roasties cook faster and roast better.
  4. Also before the potatoes are done boiling, I’ll prepare my meat of choice. I take a chicken breast, pop a small slice of butter on the top and add some salt and mixed herbs. Put some tin foil over the top and leave that to the side until the potatoes have finished boiling.
  5. When the 10 minutes is up, drain the roasties. Take the tray with the sunflower oil out of the oven, then pop the boiled potatoes into the tray. Be careful doing this as the oil might spit everywhere. I’ve burnt myself several times doing this step.
  6. Put the potatoes and the meat in the oven and set a timer for forty minutes.
  7. Start preparing the vegetables. Chop your carrots, broccoli, green beans, whatever you fancy, and pop them in a pot full of water ready to boil later. If you’re a bit more conventional than I am, you would roast your carrots and parsnips in the oven, but I don’t have the oven space for this.
  8. Around halfway through the timer, begin to boil the vegetables, and turn over the potatoes in the roasting tray.
  9. With five minutes left to go on the timer, put the Yorkshire puddings in the oven. If you make your own from scratch, they would already be in and nearly finished by now.
  10. Put a small tin of peas in a suitable container to be microwaved. Put these in for two minutes.
  11. Make your gravy! Surely you don’t need instructions to do this. It’s the easiest step on this list.
  12. Finally, when the timer goes off, dish everything up onto your plate and pour the gravy over the top.
One of the many roast dinners I have made at university | Lauren Taylor

Voila! You now have your quick, simple but delicious roast dinner. Dig in and enjoy this perfect, cosy winter meal. The stress you might face during the preparation process will all be worth it, I promise.

As mentioned previously, you can add or take away any ingredients that you like. If you love stuffing on your roast dinner, add stuffing. If you prefer a vegetarian substitute, include that. If you like parsnips, cauliflower cheese, or you like to have cranberry sauce or apple sauce on the side, just add everything and more.

I hope you enjoy this meal as much as I do, and it makes your day that bit brighter. There’s no problem a roast dinner can’t fix.