As much as I hate to admit it it, I like instant-just-add-water foods. Soups, noodles, porridge, the instant food market share really blowup in recent times and there is more variety than ever. They are convenient, tasty, relatively filling and depending on your retailer (and brand loyalty) reasonably priced. What I don’t think they are is healthy and this is what needs to change.


I was first introduced to the idea of the DIY pot noodle from an old episode of River Cottage. I never managed to successfully create something that was actually tasty. It was always something that was a bit meh. So I shelved the idea, somewhere I the back of my mind.

And then for Chritsmas my mum got me this book:

I haven’t really tried any of the recipes from them yet but I have adapted one to become my DIY mugshot.

First you will need the following ingredients and equipment.

  • Small pasta, orzo or similar
  • A variety of vegetable you like. Raw ones. Frozen is also fine. Jars too!
  • Pesto
  • Salt and pepper
  • A spoon
  • A chopping knife and chopping board
  • A microwaveable tube of some kind (I use a microwaveable mug)
  • A small tub for if you are taking this on the go, to keep the pesto separate
  • A kettle
  • A microwave (not 100% necessary)
  • A fork (to eat it with)!


First of all, we are going to prepare, cook and eat all from the same tub, I dislike washing up.



So let’s start by putting some pasta in the bottom of the cup. About 3ish table spoons will be enough but you can adjust for how hungry you are.

I personally prefer orzo, but at the moment this funny little star pasta is what I have in.


Then, chop up your veggies. I have gone for Brocolli, cabbage, carrot, peppers,onion and onion.You need to chop them up pretty darn small as they have to cook very quickly.


I also added some jarred roasted pepper and some sun dried tomatoes. Becuase I could. Other things I’ve used in the past include things like frozen peas, sweet corn and green beans.


Then, add a twist of salt and pepper. Put the lid on and shake shake shake it up to season and mix.


Finally, put a teaspoon of pesto in your little tub, pop it in with all the other stuff and go off on your day.

(I had to buy my pesto on my way to work becuase when I opened the jar it was a total mould fest… Urgh… Sorry for that image but I’m being honest).



This is super easy. Take out the pesto pot and boil the kettle.


Once it has boiled pour enough water in to cover the pasta layer at the bottom. Yes I know we shook it up but if your pasta hasn’t fallen back down, just think of it as an imaginary fill line.


Then, pop the lid back on, flip the steam flap (or don’t seal the lid all the way) and wait. If you like crunchy veg, this is where you stop. If you prefer a slightly softer vegetable then you can pop it in the microwave. Please only do this for a few seconds at s time though as it may try and boil over.

I didn’t bother and went for the crunch option.


Let it sit for about 5 minutes and then stir in the pesto to thicken it up a bit.




Also, a nice extra addition is to put some cherry tomatoes in at the end with the pesto, they warm through beautifully but I wouldn’t want to cook them with everything else or I think they might go a bit mushy.


I would love to know if you try this and any variations you have a go at. Let me know if you do.


Happy munching,

Charlotte x