15 Cheap Vegan Recipes for Filling Your Belly and Wallet

lentils in hard taco shell with sour cream and guacamole
Photo: Buckwheat Queen

Vegan food has a reputation for being fussy and expensive, but it doesn't have to be this way. These 15 cheap vegan recipes can show you how to create delicious plant-based meals while still sticking to a budget. Each of these recipes features cost-effective ingredients like potatoes, beans, lentils, grains, and pasta. Keep these recipes in your back pocket when you need to stretch your end-of-the-month budget, or put them in regular rotation to shrink your weekly grocery store total.

01 of 15

Vegan Black Bean Burgers

Vegan Black Bean Burgers
Katherine Martinelli

Buying pre-made frozen veggie burgers can easily eat into your budget. Instead, whip up a batch of these homemade black bean burgers to tuck into a bun with your favorite toppings.

02 of 15

Greek Lentil Soup (Fakes)

lentil soup on a blue wooden surface
Buckwheat Queen

Brown lentils cook until tender with a blend of onion, carrot, and tomato in this traditional Greek dish. Recipe creator Diana Moutsopoulos says, "It is traditionally served with a drizzle of olive oil and lots of vinegar. Though the vinegar is of course optional, try it. It lifts the lentils and adds another dimension of flavor!"

03 of 15

Vegan Black Bean and Sweet Potato Salad

Vegan Black Bean and Sweet Potato Salad with a wedge of lime
My Hot Southern Mess

While many vegans are tired of being relegated to sad and soggy salads when dining out, this recipe is anything but boring. Chunks of roasted sweet potato combine with black beans, fresh onions, and tangy lime juice for a southwestern-inspired dish.

04 of 15

Chana Masala (Savory Indian Chick Peas)

chickpea stew
Elizabeth Faranda

Save money by skipping the Indian takeout and instead whip up a yummy pot of this chana masala. A richly spiced sauce coats tender chickpeas, perfect for serving over a bed of basmati rice.

05 of 15

Quick and Easy Refried Beans

Quick and Easy Refried Beans
naples34102

With hints of cumin and fresh garlic, this ultra easy recipe sure beats any refried beans that come from a can. Use these in burritos, enchiladas, tacos, and more!

06 of 15

Amazing Simple Thai Tofu

Thai tofu with cilantro and rice
Descolada

Tofu is a cheap staple for many vegan diets, and most of the time it can be found at even lower prices if you visit an Asian market to stock up. Here it's dressed up with a savory peanut butter sauce and sprinkling of flaked coconut.

07 of 15

Three-Bean Vegetarian Chili

Three-Bean Vegetarian Chili in a white bowl
Ham

Made with a trio of peppers and three types of beans, this vegan chili packs flavor in every bite. Dress up your bowl with a sprinkling of non-dairy cheese and a dollop of guacamole. For extra crunch, toss in a few sliced radish rounds.

08 of 15

Lentil Tacos

lentils in hard taco shell with sour cream and guacamole
Buckwheat Queen

Lentils make a taco filler that is shockingly similar to beef when stuffed into crunchy taco shells. "Why oh why can't we leave 100 stars? These are amazing tacos," says Buckwheat Queen.

09 of 15

Simple Tomato Soup

Simple Tomato Soup
Barbara

By using canned tomatoes, you can enjoy this flavorful soup all year long, even when it's not tomato season. Serve with a big slice of crusty bread for dunking.

10 of 15

Mexican Rice and Beans

Mexican Rice and Beans in a white bowl
Soup Loving Nicole

Beans and rice are a cheap vegan staple, but this recipe takes them to a new level. Using poblano peppers, onions, and plenty of spices, this may be your new go-to dish for when it's time to tighten up your grocery spending.

11 of 15

Zesty Quinoa Salad

Zesty Quinoa Salad
Linda(LMT)

Although it's not as budget-friendly as rice, quinoa is a great option if you're tired of eating the same grains over and over again. Here it's tossed in a tangy lime dressing before getting mixed with beans, tomatoes, and green onions.

12 of 15

Vegan Black Bean Quesadillas

Vegan Black Bean Quesadillas
DownHomeCitySisters.com

You'd never guess that the secret to this "cheesy" quesadilla would be great Northern beans. They're blended with tomatoes, nutritional yeast, and seasonings to create a gooey sauce that's mixed with the black beans. Serve with a side of guac or salsa for dipping.

13 of 15

Spicy Vegan Potato Curry

Spicy Vegan Potato Curry
-JC-

The humble spud gets a spicy makeover in this bold curry recipe. Reviewer Kim says, "I love this curry! I've made it twice now. It's good right away but the next day the flavors are excellent." Making this dish perfect for prepping over the weekend and reheating for lunches all week long.

14 of 15

Baked Tofu

Baked Tofu on a green plate
Casablancaise

Having a container of already seasoned and baked tofu on hand can stop you from dialing your favorite takeout joint once your stomach starts to rumble. By baking up a few blocks, you'll be able to create easy (and cheap) meals by tossing tofu into salads, slicing it for sandwiches, or just eating it as-is with dipping sauce.

15 of 15

Mexican Bean Salad

Mexican Bean Salad
lutzflcat

This salad has a burst of flavor in every bite with three types of beans, two colors of bell pepper, and sweet corn all dressed in a tangy citrus dressing. "This is a wonderful, tasty, and colorful salad. Very attractive served in a trifle bowl, or any clear glass bowl," says naples34102.

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