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Backpacker's Banquet: 7 Nights of Tasty, Budget-Friendly Meals


Hey, culinary adventurers and flavor-savvy savers! 🍳🥗 Are you ready to whip up some hostel haute cuisine that won't have your wallet crying for mercy? Whether you're a health nut or a comfort food champion, here's a week's worth of backpacker meals that are as kind to your body as they are to your budget. And the best part? You can cook these up in the communal kitchen at Wanna Stay Hostel, where pasta, rice, and herbs & spices are on the house! All dishes below can be tailored to be vegetarian or meat depending on your preference!

Day 1: Easy-Peasy Pasta Primavera

Ingredients: Free pasta from Wanna Stay, mixed veggies, garlic, olive oil.

The Dish: Sauté garlic, toss in veggies, and mix with pasta. It's like a veggie party on a plate.

Day 2: Backpacker's Burrito Bowl

Ingredients: Rice (coutesy of Wanna Stay!), canned beans, salsa, cheese, avocado (if you're feeling fancy) your fave veggies and your choice of meat (optional).

The Dish: Layer rice, beans, salsa, veggies, cheese, and avocado (& optional meat). It's a fiesta in a bowl, minus the mariachi band.

Day 3: Hostel-Style Stir Fry

Ingredients: Free rice, frozen stir-fry mix, soy sauce (also free at WS), egg and optional meat

The Dish: Stir-fry the veggies, add rice and egg, douse in soy sauce and throw in your meat. It's like takeout, but cheaper and you don't have to tip.

Day 4: DIY Veggie Burgers

Ingredients: Choice of canned beans or chickpeas, breadcrumbs, spices (free from WS Hostel), buns, lettuce, tomato, cheese (optional).

The Dish: Mash beans/chickpeas, mix with breadcrumbs and spices, fry 'em up. Serve on buns with lettuce and tomato. Who needs fast food? You don't need to be a vegetarian to endulge in this delicious and budget friendly treat!

Day 5: Hearty Hostel Chili

Ingredients: Canned beans, diced tomatoes, onion, chili spices and choice of meat.

The Dish: Cook everything in a pot until it tastes like a hug. It's the culinary equivalent of a warm blanket.

Day 6: Aussie-Style Avocado Toast

Ingredients: Bread, avocado, lemon, salt, pepper (a poached egg if you're feeling chef-y).

The Dish: Toast the bread, smash the avocado on top, season. It's brunch, backpacker style.

Day 7: One-Pot Garlic Parmesan Pasta

Ingredients: Free pasta, garlic, milk, Parmesan cheese, peas (optional).

The Dish: Cook pasta with garlic, milk, and cheese, add peas. It's like a pasta hug in a bowl.

Bonus: Wanna Stay's Kitchen Perks

And here's the cherry on top: Wanna Stay Hostel's kitchen isn't just stocked with free pasta, rice, herbs & spices and more – they've also got an air fryer! Yes, you heard that right. This magical device makes cooking easy, healthy meals not just simpler, but also way more fun. Imagine crispy veggie fries, tender chicken, or even a cheeky homemade cake, all with minimal oil and effort. It's like having a kitchen wizard by your side. So, whether you're a cooking newbie or a seasoned chef, the air fryer is your ticket to hassle-free, healthy hostel dining. Get ready to air-fry your way to culinary greatness and hostel popularity!


There you have it, seven nights of delicious, budget-friendly meals that'll keep you fueled for all your Cairns adventures. Cooking in a hostel kitchen is an experience in itself – it's part culinary challenge, part social hour. So, tie on that apron (or don't, we're not judging) and get ready to impress your taste buds and your new friends with our healthy AND budget-friendly recipies!

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