Are you looking for delicious vegan recipes that won’t break the bank? You’re in luck, because there are plenty of cheap vegan recipes that are healthy, filling, and budget-friendly. Whether you’re a seasoned vegan or just looking to incorporate more plant-based meals into your diet, there are plenty of options to choose from. From hearty soups and stews to creative salads and stir-fries, these recipes are sure to satisfy your taste buds and your wallet. So, grab your apron and get ready to whip up some tasty and affordable vegan dishes!
The Benefits of Veganism
Switching to a vegan lifestyle is a choice many people make for various reasons, be it ethical, environmental, or health considerations. Veganism has well-documented benefits both for people and animals, making it a popular diet among a growing number of individuals all around the world.
Plant-based diets, including veganism, are naturally low in cholesterol and saturated fats, both of which are known contributors to chronic illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers. By eliminating meat, dairy, and other animal products, vegans consume more whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables, all of which are rich in essential nutrients such as fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Eating a plant-based diet has been linked to better heart health. Studies show that vegans have lower risks of heart disease, hypertension, and stroke than non-vegans. Veganism has also been shown to improve blood sugar control, which helps prevent diabetes. A vegan diet may also help with weight management, reducing the risk of obesity and its associated diseases.
Moreover, veganism may lower cancer risk. Plant-based diets rich in fruits and vegetables have been shown to have cancer-fighting properties. While more research is needed in this area, the evidence to date suggests that veganism can reduce the risks of several types of cancer.
Veganism is a way of life that promotes the well-being of animals. Animal agriculture has been linked to animal cruelty, with some animals living in crowded and unsanitary conditions, often subjected to painful and cruel practices such as mutilation and mutilation without pain relief. By switching to a vegan lifestyle, individuals choose not to support animal exploitation and help reduce animal suffering.
Vegans advocate for animal rights and promote compassion towards all animals. Choosing veganism means that animals are not exploited, killed, or harmed for food or other animal products, reducing the demand for factory-farmed meats and other animal products.
In addition to health and animal welfare benefits, veganism is also a sustainable choice that has environmental benefits. Animal farming has been linked to greenhouse gas emissions and climate change, deforestation, soil and water degradation, and pollution. By reducing or eliminating animal products from our diet, we can reduce our carbon footprint and promote a more sustainable future.
The production and transport of meat and other animal products require significant amounts of land, water, and energy resources. By choosing to eat plant-based, we can reduce our environmental impact and help protect natural resources. Veganism also promotes animal biodiversity, as it reduces the impact of animal agriculture on wildlife habitats and ecosystems.
Budgeting for Vegan Cooking
Switching to a vegan diet can be a great way to improve your health, protect the environment, and save money. With careful planning and using affordable ingredients like grains, beans, and vegetables, vegan meals can be both delicious and cost-effective. Here are some tips for budgeting for vegan cooking:
1. Plan Your Meals
Planning your meals ahead of time is a key to saving money on food. Start by making a list of the meals you want to prepare for the week. Check your pantry, fridge, and freezer to see what ingredients you already have and what you need to buy. Make a shopping list based on the ingredients you don’t have.
When planning your meals, consider making larger portions that can be used for several meals. For example, you can cook a big pot of lentil soup and freeze the leftovers for future meals.
2. Use Affordable Ingredients
Staple foods like grains, beans, and vegetables are some of the most affordable foods you can buy. Rice, quinoa, and pasta are versatile grains that can be used in a variety of dishes. Beans are an excellent source of protein and are very affordable. Chickpeas, black beans, and lentils are all great choices.
Fresh produce can be expensive, but frozen vegetables are a great alternative. They’re just as nutritious as fresh vegetables and much less expensive. Cabbage, carrots, and onions are some of the most affordable fresh vegetables you can buy.
It’s also important to buy ingredients in bulk whenever possible. Grains, beans, and nuts can all be bought in bulk at a discounted price.
3. Cook from Scratch
Pre-packaged vegan foods like faux meats and cheeses can be expensive. Cooking from scratch allows you to save money and control the quality of your food. Making your own veggie burgers, soups, and sauces is easy and much cheaper than buying them pre-made.
4. Buy in Season
Buying produce that’s in season is a great way to save money. In-season produce is typically less expensive and tastes better than out-of-season produce. Check your local farmers’ market or grocery store for seasonal produce.
5. Don’t Waste Food
Wasting food is a waste of money. To avoid food waste, store your produce properly to prolong its shelf life. Freeze leftovers for future meals. Use vegetable scraps to make broth. Get creative with your leftovers and turn them into new meals.
Overall, budgeting for vegan cooking is all about planning ahead, using affordable ingredients, cooking from scratch, buying in season, and avoiding food waste. By following these tips, you can enjoy delicious vegan meals without breaking the bank.
Ingredient Swaps for Vegan Cooking
Vegan cooking doesn’t mean you have to compromise on taste or texture. With plenty of ingredient swaps available, it’s easy to make delicious vegan dishes without animal products like eggs, milk, and butter. Here are some of the best ingredient swaps for vegan cooking:
Milk, cheese, and butter are common ingredients in many traditional recipes, but they can be easily substituted in vegan recipes. Here are some of the most popular dairy swaps:
- Plant-based milks: Soy milk, almond milk, oat milk, and coconut milk are great alternatives to dairy milk for baking, cooking, and drinking.
- Vegan cheese: There are many vegan cheese options available in the market made from ingredients like nuts, tofu, and potatoes.
- Vegan butter: Coconut oil, avocado, or plant-based spreads can be used instead of butter for baking or cooking.
Many recipes use eggs as a binding agent, so replacing them can be challenging. However, there are plenty of egg swaps to choose from:
- Flax or chia seeds: Mix 1 tablespoon of ground flax or chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of water to make a flax or chia egg that is perfect for baking recipes.
- Tofu: Silken tofu is an excellent replacement for eggs in brownies, cakes, and custards.
- Banana: Mashed ripe banana can be used in pancake and waffle batter instead of eggs.
Vegan meat alternatives are available in the market, but they can be expensive. Here are some affordable meat swaps that can be used for vegan cooking:
|Ground beef||Textured vegetable protein (TVP)||Chili, tacos, and spaghetti sauce|
|Chicken||Chickpeas||Curry, salad, and sandwich fillings|
|Ground pork||Mushrooms||Meatballs, tacos, and spaghetti sauce|
With a little creativity and experimentation, it’s easy to find ingredient swaps that work for your favorite recipes. And once you’ve mastered ingredient swaps, you’ll find that vegan cooking is not only delicious but also nutritious and budget-friendly.
Meal Prep Tips for Vegan Cooking
Preparing meals as a vegan can sometimes be a daunting task. To make the process more manageable, it’s useful to employ meal prep tips that save you both time and money. Here are some useful strategies that can help keep you on track:
Plan in Advance
Planning your meals in advance saves you a lot of time. When scheduling, create a list of all your preferred ingredients so that when you shop, you have an idea of what you require. This not only keeps your grocery shopping on budget but minimizes the instances when you may have to make additional trips to restock your kitchen. Once you have a set plan, things fall into place, and you’re less likely to make food choices that are not in line with your vegan food goals.
Utilize Bulk Cooking
It can also be useful to prepare ingredients in bulk. For example, instead of cooking 1 cup of quinoa daily, cook up a large batch on Sunday evening and store it in your refrigerator. This way, when you settle down in the kitchen, you only need to pull out what is required and make your meals. Additionally, meals such as stews, soups, and chili are great to cook in large batches because they can last throughout the week. By cooking in bulk, you’re using less energy and time while efficiently providing nourishing vegan meals for yourself.
Some individuals are not fans of leftovers, but as a vegan, it’s an opportunity to get creative and whip up something new. With a bit of creativity, you can merge previous meals into something new completely. For instance, suppose you had a vegetable stir-fry for dinner the night before with broccoli, carrots, bell peppers, and tofu. In that case, the ingredients could easily be repurposed into an omelet for the following day’s breakfast. Repurposing leftovers not only saves valuable time in the kitchen, but it’s an excellent approach to avoid food waste and save money while maximizing your vegan diet.
Equipment is Key
Obtaining the necessary equipment for vegan meal prep can significantly reduce the time spent in the kitchen. A few pieces of equipment will simplify meal preparation and catering better to quick vegan meals. A blender, food processor, instant pot, and vegetable spiralizer are crucial pieces of equipment to have either on hand at home or easily accessible. Having these tools makes it far easier to prepare vegan salads, soups, snacks or blend smoothies, making meal prep straightforward and more manageable.
Easy Vegan Recipes for Beginners
If you’re new to vegan cooking, it can be overwhelming to think of all the delicious meals you can create without animal products. Luckily, there are plenty of easy recipes to get you started on your vegan cooking journey. From simple dishes like vegan chili to more complex meals like vegan shepherd’s pie, there are plenty of options to satisfy your cravings.
This recipe is perfect for an easy weeknight dinner or for meal prep for the week. It’s hearty, flavorful and packed with protein from the beans. Here’s what you’ll need:
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 can (15 ounces) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can (15 ounces) corn, drained
- In a large pot, sauté the onion and bell pepper over medium heat until softened.
- Add the garlic and spices and sauté for another minute.
- Add the diced tomatoes (with their liquid), beans and corn. Stir well and bring to a simmer.
- Let the chili simmer for 15-20 minutes, until heated through and the flavors have melded together.
Vegan Mac and Cheese
Who doesn’t love a good bowl of mac and cheese? This vegan version is just as comforting and delicious as the original. Here’s what you’ll need:
- 8 ounces elbow macaroni
- 1/4 cup vegan butter
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups unsweetened almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup vegan cheddar cheese, shredded
- Cook the macaroni according to the package directions. Drain and set aside.
- In a medium pot, melt the vegan butter over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk until smooth. Cook for 2-3 minutes, whisking constantly.
- Add the almond milk, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, salt and black pepper. Whisk until combined and bring to a simmer. Cook for 5-7 minutes, whisking occasionally, until the sauce has thickened.
- Stir in the vegan cheddar cheese until melted and smooth.
- Add the cooked macaroni to the pot with the cheese sauce and stir until coated.
Vegan Shepherd’s Pie
This recipe takes a bit more effort than the previous two, but it’s still easy enough for beginners to tackle. It’s a hearty and comforting meal that’s perfect for cooler weather. Here’s what you’ll need:
- 4-5 large potatoes, peeled and chopped
- 1/4 cup non-dairy milk
- 2 tablespoons vegan butter
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 1 can (15 ounces) lentils, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
- Cook the potatoes in a pot of boiling water until tender. Drain and mash with the non-dairy milk and vegan butter. Set aside.
- In a large skillet, sauté the onion and garlic until softened. Add the carrot and celery and sauté for another 5-7 minutes.
- Add the peas, corn, lentils, vegetable broth, tomato paste, thyme and paprika to the skillet. Stir well and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Season with salt and black pepper to taste.
- Transfer the lentil mixture to a baking dish and spread the mashed potatoes on top.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the potatoes are golden brown and the filling is bubbling.
A stir-fry is a great way to get in lots of vegetables and protein in one meal. This recipe is versatile, so you can mix and match your favorite veggies and protein sources. Here’s what you’ll need:
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- 1 zucchini, chopped
- 1 cup snap peas
- 1 cup broccoli florets
- 1 block extra-firm tofu, drained and pressed
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon sriracha (optional)
- Heat the sesame oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the bell pepper, zucchini, snap peas and broccoli and sauté for another 5-7 minutes, until the veggies are tender-crisp.
- Crumble the tofu into the skillet and stir well.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, hoisin sauce, cornstarch and sriracha (if using). Add this sauce to the skillet and stir well.
- Cook for another 2-3 minutes, until the sauce has thickened and the tofu is heated through.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so it’s important to start it off right. Oatmeal is a great vegan option that’s filling and nutritious. Here’s what you’ll need:
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- A pinch of salt
- 1 banana, sliced
- 2 tablespoons chopped nuts (such as almonds or walnuts)
- In a small saucepan, bring the oats, almond milk, maple syrup, cinnamon and salt to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the oatmeal has thickened.
- Top the oatmeal with the sliced banana and chopped nuts.
FAQs About Cheap Vegan Recipes
Vegan cooking can seem intimidating, but it’s actually quite easy and affordable if you know what you’re doing. Here are some common questions about vegan cooking on a budget:
How do I stock a vegan pantry?
Stocking a vegan pantry is surprisingly easy. In fact, many of the staples you’re used to buying are already vegan! Here are some items you should always have on hand:
- Beans (black, pinto, chickpeas, etc.)
- Rice (brown, white, basmati, etc.)
- Pasta (spaghetti, penne, etc.)
- Canned tomatoes (diced, crushed, etc.)
- Vegetable broth
- Nuts (almonds, cashews, peanuts, etc.)
- Seeds (chia, flax, pumpkin, sunflower, etc.)
- Spices (garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, paprika, etc.)
- Soy sauce or tamari
These ingredients are perfect for making simple, delicious meals like rice and beans, pasta with marinara sauce, or stir-fry with veggies and tofu.
How can I make meal planning easier?
Meal planning is key to saving money and eating healthily on a vegan diet. Start by identifying your favorite vegan recipes and making a list of the ingredients you need. Look for ways to use ingredients you already have on hand to save money. Plan your meals for the week and make sure to include plenty of plant-based protein sources like beans, tofu, and lentils.
Batch cooking can also help you save time and money. Make a large batch of your favorite vegan chili or stew and freeze it in individual portions for quick and easy meals throughout the week.
How can I save money on groceries?
There are plenty of ways to save money on groceries as a vegan! First, shop in the bulk section of your grocery store for things like grains, beans, and nuts. Buying in bulk is almost always cheaper than buying packaged goods.
You can also save money by buying frozen fruits and vegetables. These are often just as nutritious as fresh produce, but they’re much cheaper and last longer in the freezer. Look for sales and coupons, and consider signing up for a grocery loyalty program to get extra discounts.
Finally, don’t be afraid to experiment with new recipes and ingredients. Sometimes the cheapest items in the store can make the most delicious meals!
Enjoy Vegan Eating without Breaking the Bank
Thanks for taking the time to read about these cheap vegan recipes! Eating vegan food doesn’t have to be expensive or bland. With a bit of creativity and some simple ingredients, you can make delicious meals that are good for your health and your wallet. Give these recipes a try and let us know what you think! We’ll be back soon with more vegan food ideas that you’ll love. See you soon!