10 hostel-friendly meals
Updated: Apr 16
Simple. Cheap. Tasty. All the things you could want whilst travelling on a budget.
Cooking in hostels can offer all sorts of challenges. Some come complete with chef's kitchen, others you're lucky if you can find a spatula or a pan to cook with. I've been in both of these situations, as well as various states in between the two. If you find yourself staying in hostels often, you quickly figure out which meals are the easiest and cheapest prepare.
Here are a list of some of my favourites. I've included a few veggie options, but unfortunately there are no vegan options. You may be able to alter them to suit your needs though.
1. Creamy mushroom pasta. Simple, easy, three to four ingredients. Mushrooms (any), pasta (any), double cream. Optional extras: cheese, garlic bread, chicken/bacon. Fry the mushrooms in a pan, add cream at the end and simmer for a couple of minutes. Stir in cooked pasta and serve. It really is that simple. Of course, if you can find it, you can add salt and garlic for flavour.
2. Omelette. One of the quickest and more filling meals. All you need are 2-3 eggs, whatever fillings you'd like (I usually use ham and cheese) and a little bit of butter. Beat the eggs, pop them in a frying pan. When they're half cooked, add the ham, fold the omelette and finish cooking.
3. Grilled cheese. Bread. Cheese. Butter. Butter the outside of the bread, make a cheese sandwich and toast in a frying pan until golden brown on both sides. Yum. If you're feeling creative, add some more fillings to the sandwich. My personal favourite is proscuitto.
4. Spag bol. Mince.. Passata/pasta sauce. Pasta. This one goes down a treat if you make some friends and do a group meal. Fry up some mince, add it to some passata or tomato pasta sauce. Let it simmer. Pile on top of freshly cooked pasta and serve with cheese and/or garlic bread.
5. Egg fried rice. Egg. Rice. Soy sauce. Boil rice. Fry eggs. Add rice and soy sauce to eggs and mix thoroughly. Serve on its own or with vegetables, meat or curry.
6. Burgers. This may sound complicated, but it really isn't. All you need is minced beef, burger rolls, and whatever toppings you want for your burger. Form your mince into a patty, fry until cooked and then serve in the bun. My recommended toppings - fried onions, cheese, bacon. Yum.
7. Mac and cheese. This one requires flour, butter, cheese, milk and pasta. It's better suited as a group meal. Melt the butter in a pan. Add the flour and stir until a roux is formed. Gradually add milk and stir until it starts to thicken. Gradually mix in the cheese to form the sauce. Stir in cooked pasta. Boom.
8. Egg noodles. Instant ramen. Egg. Fry the egg and cook the ramen. Put the ramen in a bowl and place the egg on top. One of the simplest meals you will ever eat.
9. Salad. Any meat. Prepped salad bag (or lettuce, spinach, rocket, tomatoes etc). Prep the meat, slice it up and mix it in with the salad.
10. Fajitas. Chicken, beef or pork. Peppers, onions, mushrooms. Fry it all up together with whatever herbs and spices/sauce you can find, roll into a tortilla, and voila. If you're feeling particularly hungry, add some rice.
Now these recipes aren't super detailed, but they're not supposed to be. Hostel cooking is about getting creative with what you've got. These ideas are purely here to provide a bit of inspiration for you.
If you have some recipes of your own, I'd love to hear about them.