30 cheap vegan meals that taste expensive

Author: Rachel Smith

These ideas for cheap vegan meals are perfect for when you want great taste but don't want to spend much. All recipes are made with fewer than 10 ingredients and are both flavoursome and satisfying.

Lots of people believe that cooking vegan recipes is expensive, this is a common misconception. But the reality is that you can create delicious, vegan dishes that don’t have to break the bank and use easy to find ingredients.

Here is a collection of cheap vegan meal ideas that all contain fewer than 10 ingredients (minus salt, oil, and water), but taste like they should be much more expensive!

Many of these cheap vegan meal ideas make good use of storecupboard ingredients so you don’t even need to go shopping to make them! Simply keep a good stock of all the basics in your cupboard and cooking delicious but cheap vegan meals will suddenly become a lot easier.

1. Vegan Mac and Cheese

This mac and cheese recipe is so simple to make and will please even the pickiest of eaters!

Easy Vegan Mac and Cheese Recipe with Cashews

2. Vegan Lentil Bolognese

This easy vegan bolognese recipe uses store cupboard items like dried lentils and spices to create a cheap vegan meal that makes great leftovers to enjoy the next day too.

Vegan lentil bolognese

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3. Vegan One Pan Gnocchi with Creamy Autumn Vegetables

Perfect for feeding the whole family, this gnocchi recipe is packed with flavour and stirred into a rich and creamy soya cream sauce.

budget recipe

4. Vegan Lentil, Pepper & Spinach Balti

This vegan Balti recipe is packed full of flavour and is perfect to cook in bulk to have later or to share with friends.

budget recipe

5. Vegan Sweet Potato Cakes

For something a bit different, try these sweet potato cakes topped with smashed avocado.

budget meal

6. Vegan Potato, Beetroot & Bean Boulangere

This blend of potatoes, veggies and beans is great for a filling family dinner on a cooler summer evening.

cheap vegan meal

7. Vegan Roasted Vegetable Tart

Perfect for sharing, this delicious vegetable tart is one of those cheap vegan meals that’s pleasing on the eyes and the mouth. You can also swap out the veggies for whatever you have in the fridge.

budget vegan meal

8. Vegan Jerk Smoked Tofu

This Jerk Jamaican tofu is paired with pineapple salsa and coconut rice for a meal packed with flavour.

cheap vegan meals

9. Vegan Tapas: Andalusian Spinach & Chickpeas

Popular in tapas bars across Andalusia, this easy recipe means you can enjoy tapas from the comfort of your own home.

budget vegan meals

10. Vegan Chimichangas with Smoky Beans

If you love burritos then this vegan chimichangas recipe is a must-make. It uses affordable ingredients like black beans and chipotle chilli paste to make a wallet-friendly meal that’s full of flavour.

Vegan chimichangas

11. Vegan Sausage Casserole

For a hearty classic family meal at home, try this sausage casseroles that is full of flavour.

Vegan sausage casserole is one of our favourite cheap vegan meals

12. Vegan Korean Aubergine & Sesame Spinach

Although the exotic flavours of this dish will take your tastebuds on a journey, you only need a few easy-to-find, affordable ingredients to make this Korean-inspired dish.

Vegan Korean Aubergine & Sesame Spinach

13. Vegan Turmeric Tofu & Wild Rice

When cooking on a budget, it’s important to ensure your meals keep you fuller for longer. The vegan protein-packed dinner with tofu and wild rice is simple but utterly delicious and totally satisfying.

Vegan Turmeric Tofu & Wild Rice

14. Miso Aubergine with Tofu & Brown Rice

Any recipe with miso is guaranteed to make your mouth water! Here it’s used to infuse the aubergine with flavour, and combined with a sticky miso sauce it’s real winner.

Miso Aubergine with Tofu & Brown Rice

15. Easy Roasted Cauliflower Curry

Not only does this recipe contain just 10 ingredients (including oil!), it’s ready to eat in a speedy 30 minutes.

Easy Roasted Cauliflower Curry

16. Vegan Butternut Squash & Almond Butter Curry

This creamy butternut squash & almond butter curry is one of the most comforting and easy cheap vegan meals you will ever make. The sweetness of the squash paired with the nuttiness of the almond butter make it so utterly moreish you’ll be back for a second bowl.

Vegan Butternut Squash & Almond Butter Curry is one of our favourite cheap vegan meals

17. Vegan Seitan Saag

Easy to make, jam-packed full of healing spices and positively bursting with flavour – this seitan saag is perfect for a cheap vegan dinner.

Vegan Seitan Saag

18. Aubergine, Tomato & Fenugreek Curry

This curry might sound fancy but it’s actually made from just a few simple, wholesome ingredients for a tasty but healthy meal.

Aubergine, Tomato & Fenugreek Curry

19. Vegan Curried Leek & Lentil Soup

This cosy curried leek and lentil soup will keep you feeling full and satisfied until dinner as its packed with satiating lentils and chickpeas for extra protein.

Vegan Curried Leek & Lentil Soup

20. Vegan Winter Stew

 This comforting vegan winter stew is packed with immune-boosting veggies to help keep you feeling great in the colder months without breaking the bank.

Vegan winter stew is one of our favourite cheap vegan meals

21. Vegan Mediterranean Tuscan Soup

This recipe is perfect for a light lunch or served with freshly baked bread for something more filling.

Vegan Mediterranean Tuscan Soup Recipe

22. Vegan Lentil Soup

This soup-er recipe is so simple to make, but it has a whole rainbow of flavours coming from the mixture of amazing spices, stewed lentils and creamy coconut milk.

Vegan lentil soup

23. Vegan Leek & Sundried Tomato Quiche

You might think making a vegan quiche would be difficult and expensive but in reality this is an easy recipe that only needs a few ingredients to make.

Leek & Sundried Tomato Quiche

24. Tofu & Mushroom Pie

With energy bills on the rise, we’re on the lookout for comforting dishes to keep us warm, and this vegan tofu mushroom pie is just the thing!

Tofu & Mushroom Pie

25. Vegan Teriyaki-Glazed King Oyster Mushrooms with Sticky Rice

Don’t be fooled by the impressive appearance of this recipe – it’s actually a quick and easy vegan meal that won’t leave you out of pocket.

Vegan Teriyaki-Glazed King Oyster Mushrooms with Sticky Rice are one of our favourite cheap vegan meals

26. Vegan Jackfruit Tuna Mayo

Few dishes are more affordable or versatile than the humble jacket potato. Take yours to the next level with a dollop of jackfruit tuna mayo for a filling meal that’s oh-so easy to make.

Vegan jackfruit tuna mayo are one of our favourite cheap vegan meals

27. Vegan Potato Bake with Broccoli & Peanut Sauce

This potato bake recipe may seem simple, but the best things often are! The combination of broccoli and peanut butter in this vegan potato bake recipe make this a real crowd-pleaser.

Vegan Potato Bake with Broccoli & Peanut Sauce

28. Vegan Asparagus Risotto

This creamy risotto is perfect for asparagus season and easy to make in bulk to feed the whole family.

asparagus risotto

29. Vegan Broccoli and Blue ‘Cheese’ Pasta Bake

This pasta bake recipe is loaded with carbs and cheesy goodness, perfect for a family dinner.

cheap vegan pasta

30. Banana Blossom ‘Crab Fish’ Cakes

Crab  might be a pricey ingredient, so making this affordable version of crab cakes with banana blossom is both kinder animals and lighter on your wallet too.

Banana Blossom ‘Crab Fish’ Cakes are one of our favourite cheap vegan meals

Being vegan doesn’t have to cost the earth.

Check out our tips on how to cook vegan on a budget.

Written by

Rachel Smith

Having launched the brand's digital presence in 2015, Rachel shares her love for animals and the planet through her work as Vegan Food & Living’s Digital Editor. As a passionate vegan for over eight years, Rachel loves creating delicious vegan dessert recipes for her award-winning blog, Rawberry Fields. Rachel's recipes and photography have been featured in numerous international print and digital publications including the Daily Mail, Huffington Post, Thrive, and Buzzfeed. You can follow Rachel at @rawberryfields

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