Easy and Cheap Vegetarian Recipes Anyone Will Enjoy

Vegan tacos with black beans, sweet potato and guacamole and tortillas flatbread


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Vegan tacos with black beans, sweet potato and guacamole and tortillas flatbread

Veggie Forward

Whether you're a committed vegetarian or vegan, a "reducetarian," or just someone who'd like to focus on a more plant-based diet, the recipes in this roundup of meatless meals will have you putting dinner on the table with little fuss or expense. From soup and pasta dishes to veggie burgers, egg-based recipes, and more, there's a wealth of nutrition and flavor here.

Related: 50 Easy Recipes You Can Make in 20 Minutes or Less

Homemade Tofu Stir Fry

Peanut Tofu Satay Curry

Here's a handy one-pot recipe that uses tofu, peanut butter, umami-laden tamari, and tons of veggies, herbs, and spices for a truly yummy meal. Serve over rice with roasted peanuts and a squeeze (or more) of lime. 

Related: Rhian's Recipes

Spinach Lasagna
Cheese and Broccoli Stuffed Potatoes

Loaded Baked Potatoes

Fully loaded  baked potatoes are inexpensive and easy meal to fit almost any dietary preference. This vegan, gluten-free version is simple and cheap, and can easily be adapted for paleos, omnivores, and more.

Recipe: Well Vegan

Homemade Green Vegan Burgers

Spring Pea Veggie Burgers

Peas give texture as well as a lightly sweet and earthy flavor to this veggie burger. recipe. The addition of chickpeas gives the patty some substance, and bread crumbs and eggs help hold the mixture together. These get served on brioche buns with a tasty mayo-sriracha condiment, crisp cucumbers, and creamy avocado slices.

Recipe: Joy The Baker

Related: Can’t Get Ground Beef? This Meatless Burger Fooled Our Tasters

Three-Bean Chili

Three-Bean Chili

This simple vegetarian chili uses mixed dried beans, crushed tomatoes, beer, and plenty of seasoning for maximum flavor and nutrition at a minimal cost. You can substitute canned beans for the dry beans, but keep in mind they can cost up to three times as much.

Recipe: Smitten Kitchen

Squash Risotto
Close up Baked Chicken and Cheese Quesadillas served with Salsa and Guacamole on stone plate.

Vegetarian Quesadilla Recipe

These quesadillas are fast, delicious, and packed full of veggies. The crisp tortillas, melted cheese, kidney beans, and barbecue sauce make them a favorite for the whole family. 

Recipe: My Green Toddler

Falafel balls
Nataly Hanin/istockphoto


For vegetarian with a Mediterranean spin, try making fresh falafel, which is prepared with cheap ingredients like chickpeas, vegetables, and spices. Serve over salad, rice, or in a pita for a tasty meat-free meal.

Recipe: Tori Avey

Related: Where to Find Great Greek Food in Every State

Mushroom Ragout and Polenta

Mushroom Ragu and Polenta

Polenta is one of the more affordable grain options, and while this recipe calls for a variety of wild mushrooms, cheaper button mushrooms will work, too. Use mushroom or veggie broth to make this recipe truly vegetarian. 

Recipe: Emeril Lagasse

Stuffed Peppers

Orzo Stuffed Peppers

These stuffed peppers only take about 15 minutes to prepare. For a true vegetarian option, sub veggie broth for the chicken broth. To amp up the presentation factor, use a mix of red and yellow bell peppers.

Recipe: Giadzy

Related: 11 Grilling Recipes That Showcase Summer Produce

Simmered in Curry

Thai Red Curry with Vegetables

Many Thai recipes can be made meatless, and this red curry — rich and comforting but entirely veggie-based — is one of them. The recipe is written to be adaptable, meaning you can sub in whatever veggies you have on hand.

Recipe: Cookie and Kate

Homemade Grilled Cheese with Tomato Soup
Skillet Eggplant Parmesan

Skillet Butter Beans with Pizza Cheese & Spinach

Any one-pot meal is a hit in our book. This one uses only a few ingredients and takes less than 30 minutes to make. The recipe developer recommends serving it alongside crunchy bread and a simple arugula salad.

Recipe: Kitchen Skip

Spinach quiche, gluten free
Stuffed Manicotti

Stuffed Manicotti

Manicotti is an easy, cheap, and yummy dinner option. This classic combines pasta, red sauce, and cheese, and includes punchy parsley and flavorful nutmeg for a tasty end result.

Recipe: Food.com

Homemade Bean and Cheese Burrito
Squash Mac and Cheese

Squash Mac and Cheese

Squash is one of the more nutritious and less expensive vegetables you can cook with, and it also adds a creamy texture and subtle depth of flavor to this mac and cheese dish. Note: To make this dish vegetarian, sub in veggie broth for the chicken broth. 

Recipe: Martha Stewart

Broccoli-Cheddar Frittata
Vezzani Photography/shutterstock
Three Cheese Nachos
Noppawan Laisuan/istockphoto

Three-Cheese Skillet Nachos

Who can say no to nachos? This meatless version keeps things simple with chips, cheese, and beans, and invites home cooks to pile on toppings such as black olives, avocado, cilantro, green onion, and more. 

Recipe: Two Peas & Their Pod

Close Up view at crispy fried tofu pieces with chives and sesame in clay dish

Honey Ginger Tofu and Veggie Stir Fry

New to working with tofu? The recipe developer notes this is a good dish for those who are just starting to cook with the soy protein. Add in a sauce filled with garlic, ginger, honey, soy sauce, and more, and boom — you've got a ton of flavor in a plant-based meal. 

Recipe: Pinch of Yum

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Linguine with Mushrooms

Linguine With Mushroom Sauce

Mushrooms have a lot going for them, including a heaping helping of flavor and protein, but the real star of this dish is the creamy Parmesan sauce.

Recipe: Bon Appétit

Minced meat quinoa vegetables stuffed eggplants
Chickpea Sweet Potato Curry
Bartosz Luczak/istockphoto

Chickpea Sweet Potato Curry

Dried chickpeas and sweet potatoes are affordable alternatives to meat, and the two pair well together. With many other veggies in the mix, this vegan version of a curry is hearty, comforting, and tasty.

Recipe: Popsugar



This Middle Eastern one-pan dish of eggs poached in tomato sauce is spicy, tangy, and suprisingly filling. Seasoning canned tomatoes rather than buying premade sauce makes this dish even cheaper.

Recipe: Tori Avey

Related: 13 Simple Ways to Cook Eggs

Vegan tacos with black beans, sweet potato and guacamole and tortillas flatbread

Roasted Sweet Potato Tacos

Tacos are inherently inexpensive, and vegetarian tacos even more so. This savory sweet potato version provides protein and a variety of textures to satisfy even the meat eaters in your family.

Recipe: Veggies Save the Day

fresh lentil stew

Instant Pot Vegan Lentil Soup

Lentils are highly nutritious, affordable, and easy to prepare. This recipe piles on veggies, herbs, and spices, all simmered in a veggie broth. Don't have the listed ingredients on hand? Play around with what you've got in the fridge. 

Recipe: The Gracious Pantry

Related: 30 Easy Soup Recipes That Last for Days

italian beans and rice

Italian-Style Vegetarian Rice and Beans

Putting an Italian spin on two classics, cannellini beans and rice, this less-than-15-minute recipe is perfect for a vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free side dish. The recipe developer suggests adding sautéed tofu or seitan to elevate it to a more substantial (yet still vegetarian) entree.

Recipe: The Spruce Eats 

Eggplant Parmesan

Eggplant Parmesan

Eggplant Parmesan is a wonderful comfort food and incidentally meatless. There's a recipe for a quick marinara sauce included, but you can also use any jarred sauce on hand, helping make this a quick and easy but satisfying meal for any occasion. 

Recipe: Food Network

Related: 20 Comfort Food Recipes That Freeze Well

Cauliflower Steaks

Garlic Parmesan Cauliflower Steaks

These filling cauliflower steaks could be a hearty side dish or even an entree when served with rice. The herbs and garlic give the recipe Italian flair, as does the Parmesan, which adds protein. 

Recipe: Damn Delicious

Cacio e Pepe

Cacio e Pepe

Many Italian pasta dishes are meatless, including the iconic Cacio e Pepe, which is both easy and quick to prepare. This recipe only calls for seven simple ingredients, including black pepper, and should take only about 30 minutes to get on the table.

Recipe: Delish  

Related: 21 Fun Facts You Didn't Know About Mac and Cheese

Cheese Omelet
Stepanek Photography/shutterstock

Cheese Omelet

An omelet is an inexpensive and tasty meal any time of day (brinner, anyone?). This super-simple cheese omelet can be packed with more flavor by adding herbs, veggies, and spice.

Recipe: Jamie Oliver

Zucchini Fritters
Gnocchi and Veggies

Crispy Sheet Pan Gnocchi and Veggies

Having company? This recipe looks impressive, but also takes about five minutes to prep. Just drizzle store-bought gnocchi and veggies with some olive oil, toss with herbs and black pepper, then roast. Voila!

Recipe: The Kitchn

Related: When Is It Worth Buying Organic?

Chana Alu Masala
Rocky89 / istockphoto
Shepherd's Pie

Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie

Shepherd's Pie is delicious and comforting, yes, but can also sit heavy in the belly. This version using mushrooms instead of beef, but the umami in the shrooms helps keep that meaty flavor alive (while not making you feel glued to the couch). 

Recipe: Crunchy Creamy Sweet

Related: 19 Savory Pies From Around The World

vegetarian mushroom meatballs
Homemade Healthy Vegan Lentil Barbecue Sandwich

Veggie Sloppy Joe's

The heart of this lentil-based dish is in the saucy seasoning, which includes chili powder, cumin, and paprika. Yellow onions and green and red peppers help add in a nutritious serving of veggies. 

Recipe: Minimalist Baker

Cabbage rolls with beef, rice and vegetables on the plate. Stuffed cabbage leaves with meat. Gray concrete table
Potato Leek Soup

Potato Leek Soup

Break out that immersion blender to help bring this soup to its creamy conclusion. In addition to potatoes and leeks, this recipe calls for mushrooms, parsley, and veggie broth for a massively nutritious and low-cal meal. 

Recipe: Wake Up And Eat

Related: 50 Cheap and Easy Chicken Recipes