Recipe Tips

40+ Cheap Vegan Meals on a Budget (under $1.5 /serving)

These tasty Cheap Vegan Meals are under 1 dollar per serving, making them low-cost and affordable for when you are on a budget but still want to eat a healthy dinner.

Cheap Vegan Recipes on a Budget

These Cheap Vegan Dinner Recipes are Under 1 dollar per serving. They are low-cost and affordable for when you are on a budget but still want to eat healthy and delicious meals. Perfect for college students! | The Green Loot #vegan #veganrecipes

1. Smoky Lentil Soup

lentil soup
Photo: The Green Loot

Warm, smoky, and aromatic, this lentil soup is easy and quick. It’s also light enough for lunch and is low on calories. To make it a dinner, serve it with bread or a side salad.

2. Fried Rice

Fried Rice
Photo: Nora Cooks

Fried rice doesn’t have to mean expensive, unhealthy takeout! Vegan fried rice is surprisingly simple to make, and you can easily jazz up the recipe by adding vegan chicken, marinated tofu, or swapping out vegetables to suit your taste.

3. Tempeh Bolognese

Tempeh Bolognese
Photo: Happy Kitchen Rocks

Bolognese seems complicated, but vegan Bolognese is anything but. Made with fragrant herbs and unctuous crumbled tempeh, this Italian dish is wonderful when served over fresh pasta.

4. Scalloped Potatoes

Scalloped Potatoes
Photo: The Green Loot

What could be more comforting and satisfying than warm, creamy scalloped potatoes? Vegan sausages give this dish an extra kick and elevate it from side dish to main course. Make sure you choose sausages with plenty of spices to add depth to the potatoes and vegan yogurt.

5. Ramen Soup

Ramen Soup
Photo: The Hidden Veggies

Most people are intimidated by the thought of making ramen at home, but vegan ramen is easy and inexpensive. Ginger, garlic, and sesame oil flavor the broth, creating a rich tang.

6. Spicy Black Bean Soup

Spicy Black Bean Soup
Photo: The Belly Rules The Mind

Beans are filling and nutritious, and in this spicy black bean soup, they serve as a delicious backdrop to a range of zesty Mexican flavors. Add spices, lime, and herbs, or top the beans with vegan cheese, avocados, or crispy tortilla strips.

7. Mac and Cheese without Cashews

Mac and Cheese without Cashews
Photo: Plantbased Jess

Nobody can resist a gooey, creamy, flavorful dish of mac and cheese, and because this recipe doesn’t use cashews in the sauce, even people with a nut allergy can enjoy it. You can also add different vegetables to the pasta to create new flavors.

8. Vegan Pot Pie

Vegan Pot Pie
Photo: Karissa’s Vegan Kitchen

Pot pie doesn’t have to contain meat to be rich, tasty, and satisfying. Adding chickpeas and tons of veggies to a tender, flaky vegan crust will make this a go-to recipe for vegans and non-vegans alike. The inexpensive ingredients make it a fantastic option if you’re on a budget.

9. Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joes
Photo: Happy Kitchen Rocks

Quick, healthy, and fun to make and eat, vegan sloppy joes are a great option for a weekday dinner or weekend lunch. Smoked paprika, garlic, vinegar, and mustard help give the sloppy joe sauce depth, and crumbled tempeh mimics the texture of beef.

10. Mujadara

Photo: Contentedness Cooking

A dish of lentils and rice, mujadara is cheap, vibrantly spiced, and easy to make. The mixture of rice and lentils also makes the dish filling, and you can add different vegetables to help use up anything in your fridge.

11. Hummus Pasta

Hummus Pasta
Photo: Sweet Simple Vegan

You’ve probably never thought of putting hummus on pasta, but the creamy, savory chickpea dip works perfectly with warm pasta and veggies. Add kalamata olives, cherry tomatoes, and a dash of olive oil to ramp up the Mediterranean flavor.

12. Spanish Rice and Beans

Spanish Rice and Beans
Photo: The Stingy Vegan

Rice and beans is about as traditional as you can get, and there’s a reason why this dish has been around for centuries. It’s filling, comforting, delicious, and easy to make. It’s also very inexpensive, and you can customize the dish by leaving it as-is or adding tofu, vegetables, or vegan meat substitutes.

13. Instant Pot Tomato Soup

Instant Pot Tomato Soup
Photo: Recipes from a Pantry

A childhood staple with a grown-up flavor profile, Instant Pot tomato soup is delicately spiced and super creamy. The addition of almond butter helps to bring out the earthy taste of the tomatoes and herbs and gives the soup a thicker, richer texture.

14. Pasta Fagioli

Pasta Fagioli
Photo: The Clean Eating Couple

If there’s a better cold-weather meal than pasta fagioli, I can’t think of it. This recipe combines small pasta with cannellini beans in a tangy, slightly spicy tomato sauce broth. You can add vegan meat substitutes or some vegan cheese to boost the flavor profile.

15. Chickpea Tikka Massala

Chickpea Tikka Massala
Photo: Simple Veganista

Tikka masala is an incredibly flavorful, complex dish that’s shockingly simple to make. Made with chickpeas, it’s perfect when ladled over fluffy rice or quinoa and served with vegan naan bread.

16. Lentil Loaf

Lentil Loaf
Photo: Yummy Mummy Kitchen

When it comes to comfort foods, meatloaf is at the top of most people’s lists. Lentils make it a snap to create a meatless version, and you can mold the lentils into a traditional loaf shape or use the mixture to stuff peppers.

17. West African Peanut Stew

West African Peanut Stew
Photo: Budget Bytes

Delicious and unusual, this amazing peanut stew sparks a flavor explosion. You can add in different greens, including kale, for more vitamins, and although it’s perfect by itself, the stew is even better when served with brown rice, white rice, or naan.

18. Spicy Italian Arrabiata Beans

Spicy Italian Arrabiata Beans
Photo: Three Olives Branch

Arrabbiata, a spicy red sauce, is often used in pasta dishes, but it’s also great for pepping up white beans. Filling, healthy, and quick to make when you need dinner on the fly, this beautiful recipe is excellent by itself but also works well when served with a chunk of bread.

19. Black Bean Burger Patty

Black Bean Burger Patty
Photo: Chocolate Covered Katie

Burgers should be simple, and these vegan black bean burgers are just that. They’re made with only black beans, flour or oats, salsa, and salt, and you can grill or pan-fry them. Add a range of toppings to make the burgers your own.

20. Easy Vegetable Ramen

Easy Vegetable Ramen
Photo: Sweet Simple Vegan

Oil-free and easy on the bank account, this quick, simple ramen dish combines noodles and vegetables in a savory broth flavored with garlic, onion, ginger, and rice vinegar. You can swap out any of the vegetable ingredients for ones you like better or whatever you have in your fridge.

21. Tuna Pasta Salad

Tuna Pasta Salad
Photo: Plantbased Jane

Vegan “tuna” pasta salad isn’t just delicious—it’s also super quick to make. Instead of tuna, chickpeas add flavor and protein to this light summer recipe. While your pasta cooks, throw together the rest of the ingredients to create a meal in minutes.

22. Smoky Potato Chickpea Stew

Smoky Potato Chickpea Stew
Photo: Budget Bytes

Add curry powder and red pepper flakes to potatoes and chickpeas to create an amazing, flavorful dish that’s perfect for cold weather. This smoky stew also freezes well, so it’s a great option if you want to make meals ahead. Don’t forget to serve each bowl with a piece of bread.

23. Peanut Butter Noodles

Peanut Butter Noodles
Photo: Choosing Chia

If you love Asian food but don’t want the hassle, expense, and calories of takeout, consider trying these easy peanut butter noodles. Made with a spicy peanut sauce, the dish uses ingredients you probably already have in the pantry, so it’s a snap to make.

24. Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
Photo: The Cheeky Chickpea

Traditionally made using a meat stuffing, cabbage rolls made with Impossible meat are just as filling and even more delicious. Topped with a zingy tomato sauce, these rolls make an excellent hearty dinner.

25. Coconut Chickpeas with Tomatoes

Coconut Chickpeas with Tomatoes
Photo: Frugal Nutrition

Chickpeas are a super versatile ingredient because their flavor melds so well with other intense flavorings. This dish requires only four main ingredients, but you can add more spices or serve the coconut chickpeas over rice or noodles for a bit more substance.


26. Easy Vegan Pizza

Easy Vegan Pizza
Photo: Vegan Huggs

I’ve yet to meet anyone who doesn’t love pizza, and one of the best things about this staple is how simple it is to make it your own. This quick pizza is delicious with a simple tomato sauce, basil, and vegan mozzarella, but you can add any other ingredients you like.

27. Broccoli and Potato Soup

Broccoli and Potato Soup
Photo: The Whole Serving

Creamy, warm, and super cheesy—but without the cheese! Vegan cheese, potatoes, and nutritional yeast give this amazing soup a velvety texture and rich taste.

28. Bean Quesadilla

Bean Quesadilla
Photo: Plantbased On a Budget

It might seem impossible to make a delicious quesadilla without cheese, but a hearty, spicy bean paste makes this recipe even more scrumptious than the traditional cheese version. Add veggies or vegan meat or top with salsa or pico de gallo for an extra kick.

29. Rosemary Garlic White Bean Soup

Rosemary Garlic White Bean Soup
Photo: Budget Bytes

Ready for a dish that looks beautiful and tastes complex but is actually incredibly simple? This rosemary garlic white bean soup is just the thing. There are only eight ingredients, but this gorgeous recipe creates a filling, satisfying, and, most importantly, delicious dish that takes no time at all.

30. Mexican Sheet Pan

Mexican Sheet Pan
Photo: Hummusapien

What could be better than a one-pot meal? How about something you can quickly toss together, pop into the oven, and leave to bake without any other hassle? This southwestern vegan sheet pan dinner does just that. A combination of sweet potatoes, zucchini, peppers, onions, and tomatoes is mixed with spices and topped with an avocado crema for a hearty yet refreshing summer dish.

31. Thai Bean Curry

Thai Bean Curry
Photo: Like a Bubbling Brook

Curry might seem overwhelming to make because of its many ingredients, but this Thai greens and bean curry isn’t hard at all. In fact, you can probably make it in less than half an hour. Pour the curry over white rice for a filling meal.

32. Fettuccine Alfredo

Fettuccine Alfredo
Photo: Eat Something Vegan

What if you could make fettuccine alfredo that tastes amazing, has more nutrients, and doesn’t feature any dairy? This recipe does all of that, and it’s inexpensive to make to boot! Cauliflower, oat milk, and either nutritional yeast or vegan cheese are the stars of this dish, and you can use any leftover sauce as a pizza topping or in vegan lasagna.

33. Potato Soup

Potato Soup
Photo: Kitchen Treaty

There’s pretty much nothing simpler than this basic—yet amazingly delicious!—vegan potato soup. A mixture of potatoes, onions, carrots, and celery, plus light seasonings, create an incredibly satisfying meal that only costs about 50 cents per serving.

34. Spanish Beans with Tomatoes

Spanish Beans with Tomatoes
Photo: Veggie Desserts

Low in both calories and cost, Spanish beans with tomatoes is a traditional staple that will quickly become a favorite dish. You can eat these spicy beans as a side or serve them with bread or even over pasta for a complete meal.

35. Sour Cabbage Soup

Sour Cabbage Soup
Photo: Yuzu Bakes

Crunchy, tangy, and decidedly refreshing, sour cabbage soup is a perfect dish when served cold on a hot summer day, but the acidic taste also works well if you want to serve the soup warm during the winter. You can make a simple version of this recipe or add vegetables, additional seasonings, or beans to take the soup to a new level.

36. Lentil Dahl

Lentil Dahl
Photo: Nourish Plate

Easy, inexpensive, low in calories, and super quick to make, this lentil dahl recipe really has it all. Using split lentils means you don’t need to presoak anything, and you can mix together the lentils, coconut milk, and spices to create a dish that’s comforting yet refreshingly different.

37. Easy Pea Soup

Easy Pea Soup
Photo: Veggie Desserts

f you want something colorful, this pea soup is the ticket. Made with frozen peas, vegetable stock, onion, and oil, this soup is super quick and simple, and any excess can be frozen and warmed up as needed.

 38. Oven Baked Mushroom Garlic Rice

Oven Baked Mushroom Garlic Rice
Photo: A Virtual Vegan

An easy dish that can serve a crowd, this baked garlic and mushroom rice recipe is sure to please. You can use it as a side dish, but it’s also hearty enough to serve on its own.

39. Carrot Ginger Soup

Carrot Ginger Soup
Photo: Veg Recipes of India

Sweet, spicy, and easy, carrot ginger soup is quick and inexpensive. Its bright color, warm aroma, and zesty flavor are also sure to please all of your senses.

40. Mexican Shell Soup

Mexican Shell Soup
Photo: Cooking on Caffeine

The heartiness of pasta and the flavors of Mexican foods combine in this quick-yet-satisfying soup. Toast the pasta before adding it to the soup for a nutty flavor.

41. Cajun Pasta

Cajun Pasta
Photo: Contentedness Cooking

Just as tasty as it looks, this colorful pasta dish uses Cajun seasonings for a surprising and delightful kick. You can use any pasta you like, and it’s easy to adjust the seasonings to suit your taste.

More budget vegan recipes:

What are your favorite inexpensive vegan recipes?

Let me know in the comments!

40+ Cheap Vegan Meals on a Budget (under $1.5 /serving)

Author Kate @ The Green Loot
  • black beans
  • tomato sauce
  • potatoes
  • garlic

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