Quick and Easy Budget Friendly Christmas Dinners

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By Manavi Mehrotra

As a fascinated observer of Christmas, I’ve seen and adored the magic of it. How it brings together families and friends, how there’s a warm scent of comfort that hugs the air, and of course, the food. My astute observation has highlighted the importance of the traditional apple pie: a delicious tart enveloping crushed apples which is often served hot. As a college student, both low on cash and skills, an apple pie may be too daunting a task. Instead, here’s a recipe for apple taters to get your dose of the biblical Christmas fruit.

This recipe for Apple Taters feeds 6 college students

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  • 2 apples
  • 2 tablespoons of white sugar
  • ½ a stick of butter
  • 240 mL of water
  • 4 eggs
  • Vegetable oil (sufficient for frying)
  • 1 cup flour

Materials required:

Pot for frying, Zip-lock bag, Grater/Knife, Spoon for mixing, Pot for mixing, Scissors


  1. Peel the apples. Once peeled, use a grater to grate the apples. Tip! Don’t have a grater? That’s ok! Use a knife and cut the apple into tiny squares. Remember, the tinier the squares the easier it will be to mix the apples in!
  2. Sprinkle some sugar and cinnamon on the apples and mix it all together.
  3. In another pan. Add butter, sugar (preferably brown sugar, but white sugar works as well), salt, and water. Keep this over high heat and wait for it to boil.
  4. After it boils, switch the pan to medium heat and add flour to the mix. Stir the mixture until the dough sticks together. Put the pan aside and let the dough cool for a minute.
  5. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing each egg well before adding the next one. Tip! Make sure that the pan is cool before adding in the eggs!
  6. Add the apple to the mixture, try to pour out any moisture that may have accumulated
  7. Mix the apple and the dough and add the mixture to a ziplock bag.
  8. Fill a pan with oil, this should be sufficient to allow the taters to fry.
  9. Cut out one corner of the ziplock bag, use this side to squeeze out the dough.
  10. Wait for the oil to heat up (remember to be safe!). Squeeze out some of the dough and, using scissors, cut the dough after each tater is the size of half a finger.
  11. Wait for the taters to turn brown and remove the taters from the oil using a spoon. (Again, be careful)
  12. Dab each tater on a paper napkin to get rid of excess oil.
  13. Enjoy!

You can use chocolate sauce, peanut butter, or cream as a nice little dip to have the taters with. Additionally, you can sprinkle some sugar or cinnamon on the finished taters to boost the taste of Christmas in your mouth.

Tip! Instead of making the dough from scratch, you can pancake mix. Follow the instructions as seen on the box and add the eggs and the apple mix to it! You can make these taters extra fluffy by adding some baking powder to the mix.


By Lida Kritikou

Creamy Sweet Potato Carrot Soup with Quesadilla Wedges

Cost: £17.13

Execution time: 15-25 minutes

Difficulty Level: 2

Serves: 6

Mashed root vegetable soups might be easy-going and inexpensive to make, however, they are an impressive course if served with something else on the side such as wedges. You could always just make a sweet potato soup but in order to bring down the cost I subbed out some sweet potatoes and replaced them with carrots. If you want my advice in terms of decoration, I adore serving soup in coffee or espresso cups to improve presentation and keep the wedges on the side. This will also help you get away with making smaller, less expensive batches.


  • 500g sweet potatoes
  • 40g mature Cheddar
  • Pepper
  •  ½ cup whole milk or yogurt
  • Tabasco sauce, to taste
  • 2 onions
  • 1 skinless chicken breast
  • Coriander (75p)
  • 1 Clove of Garlic
  • 300g carrots
  • Tortilla wraps (95p)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • ½ avocado finely chopped
  • Salt
  • ½ tsp thyme


    For the soup

  • Cayla1 – Unsplash

    Preheat the oven to 180℃

  • Chop one onion, carrots and sweet potatoes into chunks and mix them with olive oil, salt and pepper.
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes until the vegetables get soft.
  • Chop the other onion and add some garlic. Heat olive oil in large pan and sauté these ingredients for 8-10 minutes with the thyme.
  • Add the baked sweet potatoes and carrots together with the onion and garlic and let them boil for 15-20 minutes.
  • Take off heat and use blender to puree soup. Add milk in the blender depending on your preference of texture.
  • Serve in a small bowl or espresso cup & add in 1/2 cup whole milk/yogurt and season to taste with salt and pepper.

For the Quesadilla Wedges

  • Cook chicken breast throughout in a frying pan
  • Once ready, put in a bowl together with avocado, cheese, Tabasco and coriander. Season generously and stir to combine.
  • Heat a griddle pan over a medium heat.
  • Lay a tortilla in the pan and add the chicken mixture over it. Then add a second tortilla on top.
  • Heat for 3-5 minutes and flip it.
  • Cut the quesadilla into wedges and serve with the soup.


Greek Style Pasta

Cost: £16.24

Execution Time: 15’

Serves: 4-6


  • 100gr sausage
  • 1 tbsp. capers
  • Pepper
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tbsp. olives
  • Salt
  • A clove of garlic
  • 250g Greek Feta
  •  1 Aubergine
  • 4 tbsp Olive oil
  • 300g tomatoes
  • 500g of past of your preference
  • Thyme



  • Preheat the oven to 200℃.
  • Cut the aubergine into thin slices.
  • Put it in a bowl and add salt, pepper and olive oil.
  • Place them in a pan and bake for 10 minutes.
  • Boil the pasta according to the package instructions.
  • Drain, cool and place in a bowl.
  • Cut the sausage into thin slices.
  • Sauté the sausage slices in a pan (medium heat) for about 2-3 minutes.
  • Cut the onion and garlic in slices. Add them in the pan together with the sausage slices and leave for 2 minutes.
  • Add the pasta, salt, pepper, capers, olives and mix the ingredients together.
  • Remove the pan from the fire.
  • Take aubergine slices and cut the feta and tomatoes. Combine together with the rest of the ingredients.
  • Sprinkle with fresh thyme and your plate is ready to be served.