Martin Cathrae on Flickr© Martin Cathrae on Flickr
Martin Cathrae on Flickr

10 Meals Easy to Cook in a Hostel

© Martin Cathrae on Flickr
Article Single Pages©
Article Single Pages©
NZ Pocket Guide is 10 years old. Thank you for trusting us with your trip for over a decade!

Don’t Be That Guy Who Lives Off Noodles and Toast…

Cooking in a hostel is quite far from the comforts of your kitchen at home. You don’t have all your special knives, pots and pans: how is a top chef meant to work in these conditions?! Plus, you might have other people cooking around you pressuring you to hurry up with the colander so they can drain their pasta! Don’t fret, you can still have decent hearty meals, which are quick and easy to make.

For this guide, we stayed clear from the standard “boil pasta and add canned sauce” approach. (However, we do have some pretty cool pasta recipes here). The following recipes are limited to four ingredients. By all means, add more ingredients to get more creative! Warning: this article is not for serious foodies. It’s for budgeting backpackers cooking in hostels.

Breakfast: Eggs on Toast

Ingredients: Oil and/or butter, eggs and sliced bread.

  1. Heat up some oil (or butter if you have no oil) in a frying pan
  2. Fry a couple of eggs
  3. Toast some bread
  4. Spread butter on the bread
  5. Put eggs on top of the toast (duh!)

For more stuff with eggs, head to 7 Ways To Cook Eggs In A Hostel.

Max Pixel© Max Pixel

Lunch: Salad

Ingredients: Fresh and canned veggies, mayonnaise and oil.

  1. Chuck your favourite canned and fresh veggies in a bowl.
  2. Add spices from the free food shelf, salt and pepper.
  3. Mix all together with mayonnaise and a dash of oil.
Pexels© Pexels

Dinner: Mushroom Pasta

Ingredients: Pasta, sour cream, mushroom, instant onion soup powder, and spinach is an optional extra.

  1. Heat oil in a frying pan
  2. Fry mushrooms
  3. When mushrooms are soft, stir in sour cream and instant onion soup powder
  4. Cook pasta (we hope you don’t need telling how to do that, but if you do see here)
  5. Add mushroom sauce to the pasta
  6. Add spinach if you can afford it
MaxPixel© MaxPixel

Breakfast: Chocolate Spread Sandwich

Ingredients: Chocolate spread and sliced bread. We say chocolate spread because it tends to travel well. Here are other foods that travel well.

  1. Smear chocolate spread on one slice of bread or, if you are feeling wild, sandwich it!
  2. Wanna make it healthier (which, of course, it is not to start with). Add sliced banana on top of the spread. Yum!
© Digdang

Lunch: Wraps

Ingredients: Tortilla wraps, chicken or beef, cheese, and seasonal veggies.

You can wrap anything, really, go crazy! But to keep things simple…

  1. Stir fry meat and veggies
  2. Warm-up a tortilla
  3. Stick meat and veggies in the tortilla
  4. Ok, go ahead and stick some cheese in there as well
  5. Roll it up!
Takeaway on Wikipedia© Takeaway on Wikipedia

Dinner: Croque Monsieur

Ingredients: sliced bread, cheese, bacon, butter, and an optional tomato.

  1. Spread butter on the toast
  2. Cook a couple of rashers of bacon
  3. Pile ingredients in this order: toast #1, cheese, bacon, cheese, toast #2.
  4. Add a tomato, if you want to feel slightly healthier.
  5. Toast it all together until the bread is golden brown
Alpha on Flickr© Alpha on Flickr

Breakfast: Pancakes

Ingredients: Pancake mix, milk/water and something yummy to spread on the pancakes.

  1. The best way to make friends in a hostel…
  2. Use the instant pancake mix and follow instructions on the package
  3. Add milk or water
  4. Smother in jam, syrup or chocolate spread or whatever you have!
Pixabay© Pixabay

Lunch: Chicken Curry

Ingredients: Rice, curry powder, sour cream and chicken.

  1. Boil rice in water with a teaspoon of curry powder
  2. Fry chicken in a frying pan
  3. To the chicken, add sour cream and add a teaspoon of curry powder
  4. Let them heat for a further 2 minutes and serve together however you desire.
cyclonebill on Wikipedia© cyclonebill on Wikipedia

Dinner: Stir Fry Veggies

Ingredients: Seasonal veggies, oil, soy sauce (or another sauce you are into).

  1. Heat oil in a frying pan
  2. Grab a bunch of seasonal veggies
  3. Toss them into the frying pan
  4. Add soy sauce in the pan 2 minutes before serving.
 Martin Cathrae on Flickr© Martin Cathrae on Flickr

Dinner: Ham Fried Rice

Ingredients: Frozen or fresh veggies, ham, oil and spices.

  1. Boil rice in water
  2. Once the rice is cooked, fry veggies, spices and ham in a pan
  3. Then add the rice 2 minutes before serving
  4. Ok, we will let you exchange the Spam for bacon, chicken or eggs if you like.
 Calgary Reviews on Flickr© Calgary Reviews on Flickr


The information in this guide has been compiled from our extensive research, travel and experiences across New Zealand and the South Pacific, accumulated over more than a decade of numerous visits to each destination. Additional sources for this guide include the following:

Our editorial standards: At NZ Pocket Guide, we uphold strict editorial standards to ensure accurate and quality content.

About The Author

Laura S.

This article has been reviewed and published by Laura, the editor-in-chief and co-founder of NZ Pocket Guide. Laura is a first-class honours journalism graduate and a travel journalist with expertise in New Zealand and South Pacific tourism for over 10 years. She also runs travel guides for five of the top destinations in the South Pacific and is the co-host of over 250 episodes of the NZ Travel Show on YouTube.

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