40+ Cheap Vegan Meals On A Budget (Under $1.5 /Serving)

Indulge in these scrumptious yet affordable vegan meals, all priced under $1.5 per serving, making them an ideal choice for those on a tight budget seeking to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Despite the low cost, these dishes are packed with flavor and nutrients, ensuring a satisfying dinner experience. For more budget-friendly vegan recipe ideas, explore our curated collections of vegan canned food recipes, pantry staple recipes, banana-based treats, beginner-friendly vegan recipes, and more.

Fried Rice


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Indulge in a delicious bowl of vegan fried rice without breaking the bank or compromising on health. This versatile dish is deceptively easy to prepare and can be effortlessly elevated with the addition of vegan chicken, marinated tofu, or a medley of vegetables tailored to your palate.

Vegan Tempeh Bolognese


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While the notion of vegan Bolognese may seem daunting at first, it’s actually a culinary delight that can be easily achieved by combining fragrant herbs with the rich flavor of crumbled tempeh. This plant-based twist on the classic Italian dish is sure to please even the most discerning palates when served over a bed of fresh pasta.

Scalloped Potatoes

There’s something undeniably comforting about a warm, creamy scalloped potato dish. But what takes it to the next level is the addition of savory, spice-infused vegan sausages that transform this side dish into a satisfying main course. To really bring out the best flavors, be sure to select sausages with a robust blend of spices and pair them with a tangy vegan yogurt for a delightful contrast.

Vegan Ramen Soup


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Ramen, often perceived as a challenging dish to make from scratch, surprisingly becomes a breeze when adopting a plant-based approach. The aromatic trio of ginger, garlic, and sesame oil harmoniously combines to craft a velvety broth that’s both rich and tantalizingly tangy.

Spicy Black Bean Soup


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In a flavorful fusion, a humble can of beans takes center stage in this vibrant black bean soup. As the foundation for a rich tapestry of Mexican-inspired flavors, the beans are elevated by a trifecta of zesty elements: spices that ignite the senses, a burst of lime juice’s brightness, and a sprinkle of fresh herbs’ subtlety. For added indulgence, consider crowning the beans with creamy vegan cheese, velvety avocados, or crunchy tortilla strips – the possibilities are endless.

Vegan Mac and Cheese without Cashews


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The quintessential comfort food, mac and cheese, is a crowd-pleaser that transcends dietary restrictions. This plant-based recipe shines by eschewing cashews in the sauce, making it accessible to those with nut allergies. The versatility of this dish lies not only in its creamy, gooey goodness but also in the ability to incorporate an array of vegetables, allowing for endless flavor permutations.

Vegan Pot Pie


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While traditional pot pie recipes often rely on meat as the star of the show, this vegan version proves that plant-based goodness can be just as rich, satisfying, and flavorful. By incorporating chickpeas and an abundance of colorful vegetables into a tender, flaky crust, this recipe is sure to become a favorite among vegans and non-vegans alike. The budget-friendly ingredients make it an excellent option for those looking to save on groceries without sacrificing taste or quality.

Vegan Sloppy Joes


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Vegan sloppy joes are a delightful meal option that’s quick to prepare, healthy, and enjoyable for both weekday dinners and weekend lunches. The combination of smoked paprika, garlic, vinegar, and mustard in the sauce gives it a rich depth of flavor, while crumbled tempeh cleverly replicates the texture of beef, making this dish an excellent substitute for traditional sloppy joes.

Mujadara


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The humble mujadara dish shines with its trifecta of affordability, flavor, and ease of preparation. A harmonious blend of rice and lentils forms a satisfying base, while the addition of various vegetables allows for creative flexibility and a great way to use up any lingering fridge contents.

Vegan Hummus Pasta


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While traditional pasta sauces are delicious, there’s something special about pairing hummus with warm noodles and fresh vegetables. The creamy, savory dip from chickpeas creates a unique and tasty combination that can be elevated by adding Kalamata olives, cherry tomatoes, and a drizzle of olive oil for a Mediterranean-inspired twist.

Spanish Rice and Beans


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With its rich history spanning centuries, rice and beans has become an iconic staple in many cuisines. This humble dish is a masterclass in simplicity, offering a trifecta of benefits: it’s filling, comforting, and easy to prepare. Moreover, the cost-effectiveness of this meal is unparalleled, making it an attractive option for those on a budget. The versatility of rice and beans allows for creative expression, as you can choose to serve it as-is or elevate its flavor profile with the addition of tofu, vegetables, or plant-based meat alternatives.

Instant Pot Tomato Soup


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Indulge in the comforting familiarity of childhood favorites, reinvigorated with sophisticated flavors. Instant Pot tomato soup is a masterclass in balancing simplicity and complexity, boasting a delicate spice profile and an unctuous creaminess. The game-changer? A judicious addition of almond butter, which coaxes out the inherent earthy tones of tomatoes and herbs, resulting in a velvety texture that’s sure to delight.

Vegan Pasta Fagioli


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For many, there’s no beating the comfort and warmth of a hearty, cold-weather meal like pasta fagioli. This recipe is a perfect blend of small pasta shapes and creamy cannellini beans in a rich, slightly spicy tomato sauce broth. To take it to the next level, consider adding some plant-based meat substitutes or vegan cheese for an enhanced flavor profile.

Chickpea Tikka Massala


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With its rich flavors and bold spices, tikka masala is a culinary masterpiece that belies its simplicity and affordability. This delectable dish, made with humble chickpeas, shines when paired with fluffy basmati rice or quinoa and served alongside crispy vegan naan bread, creating a satisfying meal that’s sure to please even the most discerning palates.

Vegan Lentil Loaf


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Meatloaf is often considered one of the ultimate comfort foods, with many individuals placing it at the top of their list. The versatility of lentils allows for a seamless transition to a meatless version, which can be molded into a traditional loaf shape or used as a filling for bell peppers.

West African Peanut Stew


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This delectable peanut stew is a true flavor sensation, bursting with an array of savory notes. To further enhance its nutritional profile, consider adding a selection of leafy greens like kale, rich in essential vitamins and minerals. While the stew stands perfectly well on its own, it takes on an even more satisfying quality when served alongside a comforting bowl of brown rice, white rice, or the warm, flaky texture of naan.

Spicy Italian Arrabiata Beans


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Incorporating Arrabbiati, a vibrant red sauce infused with a spicy kick, can elevate more than just pasta dishes. This versatile condiment pairs surprisingly well with white beans, adding depth and excitement to an already nutritious meal. When you’re short on time but still craving a satisfying dinner, this recipe delivers. Its comforting warmth is perfectly complemented by a crusty loaf of bread, making it an excellent standalone option or a delightful accompaniment to your favorite carb.

Vegan Black Bean Burger Patty


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With simplicity in mind, these vegan black bean burgers require minimal ingredients – just black beans, flour or oats, salsa, and salt. The result is a patty that’s easily grillable or pan-fryable, allowing for endless customization options. From classic condiments to creative combinations, the possibilities are endless with these straightforward and delicious vegan black bean burgers.

Easy Vegan Vegetable Ramen


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This quick and easy oil-free ramen recipe is not only budget-friendly but also packed with flavor. The combination of noodles, vegetables, and a savory broth infused with garlic, onion, ginger, and rice vinegar creates a satisfying meal that can be customized to suit your taste preferences. Feel free to substitute the vegetable ingredients with your favorite options or whatever you have on hand, making this recipe an excellent choice for a stress-free dinner.

Tuna Pasta Salad


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Indulge in the delightful combination of flavors and textures in this vegan ‘tuna’ pasta salad, where chickpeas take center stage. Not only does it tantalize the taste buds, but it also boasts an impressive speed-to-prepare factor – perfect for a quick summer meal. As your pasta cooks, simply combine the remaining ingredients to craft a satisfying meal that’s ready in mere minutes.

Smoky Potato Chickpea Stew


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As the mercury drops, there’s nothing quite like curling up with a warm, aromatic bowl of smoky stew that’s packed with flavor. To create this cozy masterpiece, simply combine potatoes and chickpeas with curry powder and red pepper flakes. Not only is this dish a perfect remedy for cold winter nights, but it also freezes beautifully, making it an ideal option for meal prep enthusiasts. So go ahead, serve each bowl with a crusty piece of bread, and let the comforting goodness wash over you.

Peanut Butter Noodles


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Indulge in the flavors of Asia without the hassle or expense of takeout by whipping up these quick and easy peanut butter noodles. The secret lies in a spicy peanut sauce that’s a cinch to prepare using pantry staples, making it an effortless solution for a satisfying meal.

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls


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The classic dish of cabbage rolls has been given a modern twist by incorporating Impossible meat into the traditional recipe. Gone are the days of relying on meat-based fillings, as this plant-based alternative brings a new level of flavor and satisfaction to the table. The rolls, topped with a tangy tomato sauce, prove to be a hearty and economical dinner option that’s sure to please even the most discerning palate.

Coconut Chickpeas with Tomatoes


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With their ability to seamlessly blend with bold flavors, chickpeas make an incredibly versatile ingredient in the kitchen. This simple recipe requires just four key components, but feel free to elevate it by adding additional spices or serving the coconut-infused chickpeas over a bed of rice or noodles for a more substantial meal.

Easy Vegan Pizza


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Pizza – the ultimate canvas for creativity! It’s hard to find someone who doesn’t have a soft spot for this classic favorite. And one of the best things about pizza is how effortlessly it can be personalized to suit individual tastes. This quick and easy vegan pizza recipe is a great starting point, featuring a rich tomato sauce, fragrant basil, and creamy vegan mozzarella as its core components. But feel free to get creative and add your own favorite toppings – after all, that’s what makes pizza so much fun!

Broccoli and Potato Soup


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In a culinary marvel, vegan cheese, potatoes, and nutritional yeast conspire to create an indulgent yet dairy-free experience. The Whole Serving’s signature soup boasts a sumptuous texture and deep flavor profile, with creamy undertones that are sure to satisfy even the most ardent cheese lovers.

Bean Quesadilla


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Transforming the humble quesadilla into a mouthwatering masterpiece without relying on dairy products is not only possible, but also incredibly satisfying. A rich and spicy bean paste takes center stage in this recipe, elevating it beyond its traditional cheese-based counterpart. Feel free to add some sautéed veggies or plant-based meat alternatives for added texture, or top with a tangy salsa or pico de gallo for an extra burst of flavor.

Rosemary Garlic White Bean Soup


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Indulge in the simplicity of a culinary masterpiece with this stunning rosemary garlic white bean soup. With an astonishingly short ingredient list of just eight items, you’ll be amazed by the depth of flavor and complexity of this satisfying dish. The best part? It’s incredibly quick to prepare, making it perfect for busy days when you need a warm, comforting meal in no time.

Mexican Sheet Pan


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Imagine coming home to a warm, satisfying meal without the fuss of multiple pots and pans. That’s exactly what this southwestern vegan sheet pan dinner delivers. By combining sweet potatoes, zucchini, peppers, onions, and tomatoes with a blend of spices, you’ll create a hearty summer dish that’s not only easy on the wallet but also refreshingly light. Simply toss all the ingredients onto a sheet pan, pop it into the oven, and let the flavors meld together while you attend to other matters. The finishing touch is an avocado crema that adds a creamy richness without overpowering the natural sweetness of the vegetables.

Thai Bean Curry


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When envisioning a harmonious culinary experience, one that’s as soothing as a bubbling brook on a warm summer day, Thai greens and bean curry might seem like an overwhelming endeavor due to its numerous ingredients. However, rest assured that this delectable dish is actually quite straightforward to prepare. In fact, you can likely whip it up in under half an hour. Serve the curry over a bed of fluffy white rice for a satisfying meal that’s sure to hit the spot.

Fettuccine Alfredo


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Imagine indulging in creamy fettuccine alfredo that not only satisfies your cravings but also boosts its nutritional profile and skips dairy altogether – a feat made possible by the harmonious trio of cauliflower, oat milk, and either nutritional yeast or vegan cheese. This ingenious recipe not only yields a delectable dish but also proves to be an affordable indulgence. The best part? Any leftover sauce can be repurposed as a pizza topping or incorporated into vegan lasagna, making it a versatile and practical addition to your culinary repertoire.

Potato Soup


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Indulge in the simplicity and flavor of this vegan potato soup, a hearty blend of potatoes, onions, carrots, and celery, all combined with a touch of subtle seasoning. This comforting dish is surprisingly budget-friendly, with each serving costing just around 50 cents – an unbeatable value for such a satisfying meal.

Spanish Beans with Tomatoes


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Indulge in the simplicity of Spanish beans with tomatoes, a budget-friendly and low-calorie gem. This traditional staple is not only an affordable option but also boasts a flavor profile that’s sure to delight. Savor it as a side dish or pair it with bread for a satisfying snack, or elevate your meal game by serving it over pasta.

Sour Cabbage Soup


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Savoring the essence of summer in every bowl, sour cabbage soup is a culinary delight that transcends seasonal boundaries. Whether served chilled on a sweltering summer day or warmed to comfort during winter’s chill, this tangy and refreshing dish is sure to tantalize your taste buds. The versatility of the recipe allows for a straightforward rendition or creative embellishments with added vegetables, seasonings, or beans, elevating the soup to new heights.

Lentil Dahl


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This delectable lentil dahl recipe checks all the boxes: it’s effortless to prepare, budget-friendly, low in calories, and ready in no time. The best part? You won’t need to spend extra time pre-soaking the lentils since we’re using split lentils that can be quickly mixed with coconut milk and a blend of spices to create a dish that’s both comforting and refreshingly unique.

Easy Pea Soup


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Elevate your meal game with a vibrant and effortless pea soup that’s sure to tantalize your taste buds! This delightful concoction combines the sweetness of frozen peas with the savory depth of vegetable stock, onion, and oil, resulting in a dish that’s not only quick to prepare but also freezer-friendly. Whether you’re looking for a comforting meal or a convenient addition to your repertoire, this pea soup is the perfect solution.

Oven Baked Mushroom Garlic Rice


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This mouthwatering baked garlic and mushroom rice dish is a crowd-pleaser, thanks to its simplicity, affordability, and versatility. Not only does it make a satisfying side dish, but its hearty nature also allows it to stand alone as a main course.

Carrot Ginger Soup


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Carrot Ginger Soup Offers a Triumvirate of Sensory Delights. This vibrant, aromatic, and spicy dish is a treat for the eyes, nose, and taste buds alike. With its quick cooking time and affordable ingredients, it’s an ideal choice for any occasion.

Mexican Shell Soup


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In a delightful fusion of two culinary worlds, this hearty pasta soup combines the warmth of Italian comfort food with the vibrant flavors of Mexico. A simple yet satisfying twist on traditional soups, this recipe is elevated by a clever step: toasting the pasta before adding it to the pot, which yields a rich, nutty flavor that complements the bold spices and herbs.

Cajun Pasta


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The vibrant pasta dish in the photo is just as flavorful as it appears. The secret to its success lies in the unexpected Cajun seasonings that add a delightful kick. This recipe is incredibly versatile, allowing you to use any type of pasta you prefer and easily customize the seasoning to suit your personal taste preferences.

How to eat vegan on a budget?

When it comes to saving money on your grocery bill, there are several strategies you can employ. For starters, consider buying seasonal and local produce. Not only is this better for the environment, but it’s also generally cheaper due to reduced transportation costs.

Another effective approach is to buy in bulk. The more you purchase from a particular supplier or manufacturer, the more likely they are to offer discounts. Meal prep can also be a game-changer. By cooking large batches of food on the weekend, you can avoid ordering expensive takeout during the week and save anywhere from $30 to $50 in the process.

Additionally, incorporating filling ingredients like beans and oats into your meals can help curb snacking habits and reduce impulse purchases. Finally, make sure you’re getting enough protein in your diet, as this can also play a role in reducing cravings for unhealthy snacks. And on a practical note, try not to shop when you’re hungry – it’s all too easy to get caught up in buying unnecessary items when your stomach is growling!

Summary

Indulge in a culinary delight without breaking the bank! These budget-friendly vegan meals are not only delicious but also remarkably affordable, with each serving coming in at under $1.50. Whether you’re on a tight budget or simply looking to eat healthier without sacrificing flavor, these recipes are perfect for anyone seeking a tasty and nutritious dinner option.

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