So you need cheap, but you want vegetarian. Well you’ve come to the right spot. Here’s a dozen cheap vegetarian meals that are not only inexpensive, but delicious.
You know those times that there’s just nothing left in your fridge and cupboard? When it’s late at night and there are no stores open? When you’ve already spent all your weekly budget for food? You could eat some dried up bread with ramen, but you ate that for the last 10 days. Why not try one of these?
One Dozen Weird & Extremely Cheap Vegetarian Meals For ‘Bare Cupboard’ Times
Note: I didn’t bother with exact measures of how much of what do you need as you can easily look it up. I hope that’s alright.
Eggs, spinach, and puree recipes
Where I am from his is a relatively common meal, and it’s easy to make (and that’s probably why my mom made it so often). The preparation involves a fair amount of mashing and mixing, so it’s perfect stressed out people. Cook spinach, mix it up, cook potato, mash it, and cook or fry eggs and put them on top of spinach and potato puree. If you don’t feel like doing all of this, use frozen spinach and instant mashed potatoes.
Would be great for breakfast if anybody gave a shit about it. Take 2-3 eggs, break them, and mix them up with a fork. Add some salt and pepper to the mixture, and throw in anything you have at home; herbs, toothpaste, grated cheese, bacon, mushrooms. Spill this eggy soup onto a heated and oiled frying pan, and 2 minutes later fail at the attempt to flip it around in one piece.
Great to make in a crockpot. Basically what you do is take a couple of cans of beans (kidney, black, garbanzo) and some raw chopped tomatoes and throw it all in a big ass cooking bucket. Add some water, chili powder, ground cumin, garlic. Add onion, corn, peas, zucchini, or whatever else you might have at home.
Gordon Ramsey’s broccoli soup recipe
Cook broccoli, jam it into a mixer. Done. I used to add rolled oats to any soup, it’s almost like a salty breakfast muesli except it’s not.
Heidi’s mac and cheese recipe
I made this recipe up when I had almost no food at home, and it must have been 3am so I couldn’t go to a store to buy some. Despite the fact I live very near the center of one of Europe’s capitals, we are lucky to be able to get a pizza of the size and taste of a A5 office paper.
So you cook some pasta, for example macaroni. While it boils chop up half an onion (with kitchen gloves on), and fry it in hot oil. Add whatever spices you have available, fry a little more, and put in some tomato puree or concentrate (I suppose tomato juice could work as well). Stir and add cooked pasta and eat it out of the vok (not a requirement). You can add tuna or grated cheese to the recipe and it’ll be awesome.
My mom’s idea of macaroni recipe
My mom isn’t exactly famous for preparing complex and sophisticated meals, and she is SUCH an inspiration for me in this regard. Oftentimes, my and my brother’s lunch consisted of the following: cooked pasta, butter, breadcrumbs. Parenting is easy.
Tofu something recipe
In my notes for this post it says that you should sauté some tofu. I don’t know what that means, but the ‘e’ has that line above it, so it must be legit. So after you do that, add some vegetables (frozen, says the note), and add soy sauce, which I believe is the only thing you’ll be tasting in this meal.
Cauliflower puree recipe
I learned this recipe in those three weeks when I was eagerly visiting the gym. In order to cut down on carbohydrates, you need to eat more veggies to fill you up, and cauliflower puree is just perfect for that. Recipe is really, really complicated; cook cauliflower and mash it.
Filled potatoes recipe
This is where salad dressing (or a regular mayo) finally comes into play. Mix it with some canned tuna and stuff it into baked potatoes. Prior to stuffing, create a large hole in each of the potatoes using a spoon. Afterwards, put it back into the oven for a couple of minutes so it gets crispy. Spice up with pepper or chili.
Pasta salad recipe
Great as a lunch-in-the-box: hard boiled eggs, mayo, cooked pasta, seasonings and any vegetable, mix it and eat. Another plus is that it doesn’t need to be heated up if stored in the fridge. Instead of pasta, you could use rice.
Pasta is really cheap and you can add pretty much whatever you like to it- frozen peas, onions, carrots, celery, peppers, olives, broccoli, canned beans, tomatoes, capers or really anything you happen to have on hand. Dress it with mayo or oil and vinegar and whatever spices you like- curry can be really good in a mayo based pasta salad, italian seasonings are good in an oil and vinegar based one.
‘Under the bridge’ dinner recipe
Another cold meal that can be awesome when you don’t have time to cook anything; open a can of beans or lentils, rinse them up well (Really. Well.). Season with vinegar, olive oil, pepper, salt, and add some fresh onions.
Oriental Broccoli Salad recipe
Broccoli salad (oriental salad)
-1 pkg (12oz)of broccoli slaw (in prepared salad section of grocery store)
-4 green onions chopped
-2 packages ramen noodles crushed up
-10 oz of sliced almonds (toast at 350*F for 10 min)
-1/2 cup oil
-several shakes soy sauce
-2 squeezes of yellow mustard
-2 caps of cider vinegar
-1/2 cup sugar
(I usually use a little less sugar and less oil)
$0.29 bechamel pasta sauce recipe
In all honest, I made up that $0.29, and it’s very likely that actual cost of this meal is even lower. I suppose it depends on the prices, but just check out the ingredients in this instructions: heat up milk, melt some butter in it, add some flour, salt, and pepper, and mix it into a smooth paste. See that? You could virtually borrow all of these from your neighbors – just saying. Combine this with any vegetable and/or pasta.
Veggie Chili recipe
Veggie Chili can be a real cheap vegetarian meal. Look at the average costs of ingredients below
- One onion (15 cents)
- 2 garlic cloves (10 cents)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil (25 cents)
- Can of chickpeas ($1)
- Can of black beans ($1)
- Can of diced tomatoes ($1)
- Can of kidney beans ($1)
- 3 carrots, chopped (20 cents)
- Spices! (30 cents) Chilli powder, cumin, cayenne, coriander, tumeric… I get these at the bulk store. You can get the amount of loose spice that would fit in a store-bought spice jar for under $1.
Cooking with Lentils is Cheap!
Lentils. The hero of frugal vegetarians.
- Half a diced onion
- Couple diced celery stalks
- Couple of large carrots sliced on the bias
- Half a diced zucchini
- 1/3 cup of lentils
- 1 cup of water
- 1 tsp of bouillon (chicken, veggie, doesn’t matter)
- 1 tsp of minced garlic
- 1/2 tsp of liquid smoke
Cook down the veg for like 5-10 mins in a saucepan. When they’re soft, throw the lentils and everything else in. Cover that shit, bring to boil, reduce to simmer, let it simmer til the water is absorbed.
Vegetarian Spicy Tortilla Soup
Best spicy tortilla soup:
- 1 box vegetable broth
- 2 cans diced tomatoes (I sometimes only use one if you don’t want tomato overload)
- 1 can Rotel
- 1 can tomato soup
- Juice from 3 limes
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion (The recipe calls for the whole onion but I don’t like that much. I usually just put in about 1/4 of a large onion)
- 2 cloves garlic (I usually just buy minced garlic and put in about a tablespoon)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
Sauté onion and garlic with butter and olive oil in a large pot. Add rest of ingredients. Let simmer for 1 hour, occasionally stirring. Serve over tortilla chips with avocado, cheese, and cilantro. You can make this with chicken and chicken broth if you’re an omnivore, but it’s cheaper without it and still very filling. Makes 5-6 bowls.
Hummus is a great, cheap vegetarian option
Make a huge bowl of hummus!
- Simple Recipe:
- Big can of Chickpeas (precooked)
- Salt or soy sauce
Put all the ingriedients in a blender and add some of the .. uh broth(?) from the can if its to thick. If you want to be super frugal, buy dried chickpeas instead. Put them in water over night and then cook them for 1.5h. (change water before) Top it all of with some olive oil and spices