10 Cheap Vegan Meals

Looking for budget-friendly recipes? These cheap vegan meals are perfect for students, families and people trying to save

Dish and carrots on kitchen worktop
Image Credit: Unsplash

Recent research from Kantar found that vegan meals eaten at home cost 40% less than those based on meat and fish. In fact, staple vegan foods such as oats, lentils, pasta and chickpeas are among the cheapest foods around.

Whether you’re looking for healthy, protein-packed breakfasts or hearty dinner recipes you can batch cook and freeze, we’ve got you covered.

Budget-Friendly Ingredients

There are many budget-friendly ingredients you can stock up on and use to create an array of plant-based meals. Here are some kitchen basics to use as building blocks for cheap dishes:

  • Oats
  • Lentils
  • Rice
  • Quinoa
  • Pasta and spaghetti
  • Beans
  • Chickpeas
  • Tofu (some supermarkets offer cheaper prices)
  • Tinned produce, especially tomatoes
  • Potatoes

Cheap Vegan Meal Ideas

Some of our go-to vegan meals on a budget are:

  • One-pot dishes such as curry, chilli, bolognese or stew
  • Jacket potatoes topped with chickpea tuna, baked beans or chilli
  • Overnight oats
  • Homemade granola or muesli
  • Stir fries (frozen veggies work just as well)
  • Homemade soups
  • And when all else fails, beans on toast!

10 Budget Vegan Recipes

1. Spiced Apple Porridge & Grilled Pears

If you ask us, oats are among the most versatile breakfast foods. As well as being delicious and filling, they’re rich in fibre, iron, B vitamins and other important nutrients.

There are endless ways to customise porridge and overnight oats, but this spiced apple porridge will leave you feeling full and super-charged.

Vegan spiced apple porridge
Image Credit: Wrapped in Newspaper

2. Easy Peasy Vegan Muesli

Shop-bought muesli can be expensive and loaded with added sugars, so making your own can save you money as well as being healthier.

Our muesli recipe is simple to make and full of nutritious ingredients, including oats, dried fruit and seeds.

Vegan muesli
Image Credit: Jane Land

3. Garlicky Butterbean Toast Topper

Want to jazz up beans on toast without breaking the bank? This recipe includes just a few kitchen basics and it’s full of plant-powered goodness.

Butterbeans are delicious on toast, especially when combined with mushrooms, garlic, spring onions and spinach.

Garlicky Butterbean Toast Topper
Image Credit: Aine Carlin

4. Coronation Chickpea Sandwich

Sometimes, the vegan twist on a traditional dish is better than the original. This is one of those times!

In this recipe, chickpeas and sultanas substitute chicken, giving you a delicious, protein-packed lunch that doesn’t cost a fortune.

Coronation chickpea sandwich
Image Credit: Chris Shoebridge

5. Chickpea Tuna Sandwiches

This alternative to tuna mayo is one of our most popular recipes, and when you try it, you’ll see why.

It’s quick and easy to make the chickpea ‘tuna’ by mashing chickpeas with a fork and adding a few basic flavours. The mixture keeps well in the fridge for a few days, making it ideal for packed lunches throughout the week.

Chickpea tuna sandwich
Image Credit: Ethics & Antics

6. Tofu and Edamame Stir Fry

Tofu makes it easy to get protein in a vegan diet and you can use it in so many dishes. Combine with stir fry noodles, edamame and veggies for a seriously yummy meal full of protein and fibre.

Tofu and Edamame Stir Fry Vegan Recipe
Image Credit: Chris Shoebridge

7. Red Lentil Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherd’s pie is another classic British dish that can be made vegan with a few simple swaps. In this recipe, the lentils replace mince, making it a hearty evening meal or leftover lunch. It’s also suitable for batch cooking and freezing.

Vegan shepherd's pie. Potatoes, lentils and seasonal garden vegetables casserole.
Image Credit: AdobeStock

8. Spaghetti Bolognese

Is there anything more comforting than a spaghetti Bolognese? This is among the many cheap vegan meals you can rely on again and again, as it’s filling and quick to prepare. You can use either lentils or meat-free mince to recreate this classic dish.

Vegan spaghetti bolognese
Image Credit: AdobeStock

9. Warm Dal With Spinach

You really can’t go wrong with dal, the ultimate winter warmer. This recipe is full of enticing aromas and flavours and can be made inexpensively.

Warm dal with spinach
Image Credit: Tibits

10. Roasted Aubergine Lasagne

This herby lasagne is the ultimate family meal. The combination of puy lentils and aubergines replace the meat in this recipe, making it a tasty alternative to this iconic dish. If you’d like to keep the meaty texture, you can swap lentils for a vegan mince.

Roasted Aubergine Lasagne
Image Credit: Jackie Kearney

Find more cheap vegan meal ideas in our budget recipe section.

Thinking of trying vegan?

Veganuary inspires and supports people all over the world to try vegan for January and beyond. Millions of people have already taken part. Will you join them?