21/06/2024 8:30 PM

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Swing your Cooking

Easy and Cheap Vegetarian Recipes Anyone Will Enjoy

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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

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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

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The most expensive part of lasagna is generally the meat. This version from Chowhound makes it more affordable by substituting frozen spinach. Three different types of cheese — ricotta, Parmesan, and mozzarella — help keep things flavorful.

Recipe: Chowhound

Related: We Tried 11 Frozen Lasagnas — and This Is the Best

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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 with Lettuce and Tomato

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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

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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

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Risotto and squash are not only delicious together, but they form a union of two very inexpensive ingredients. Add in white wine, Parmesan, garlic, and more and you’ve got a flavorful dinner on the table.

Recipe: Cookie + Kate

Related: 30 Vegetable Recipes for People Who Hate Vegetables

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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

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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

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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

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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

Thai green bean curry

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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 for Lunch

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This all-American classic is low-cost comfort food that’s also a hit with kids. This recipe calls for Pullman loaf for the sandwiches, but you could easily substitute whatever bread you have on hand.

Recipe: Bon Appétit

Related: 19 Ways to Make an Ordinary Grilled Cheese Extraordinary

Homemade Eggplant Parmesan in a Cast Iron Skillet

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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

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This quiche recipe packs in the flavor with crisp asparagus and green onions, nutritious spinach, and savory feta cheese.

Recipe: Two Peas & Their Pod

Related: 26 Easy Breakfast Casseroles to Start Your Morning Right

Stuffed Manicotti

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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

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Start with vegetarian refried beans to make this dish truly plant-based, and then add in spices, rice, cheese, and salsa for an easy meal that will be a hit with the whole family.

Recipe: Food.com

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Squash Mac and Cheese

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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

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Like quiches and omelets, frittatas are egg-based, making them inexpensive and easy to prepare. This heart-healthy broccoli version takes just a few minutes to prepare and provides a complete and nutritious meal.

Recipe: Food Network

Related: 23 Light and Easy Comfort Food Recipes for Warm Weather

Cheese nachos

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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

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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

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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

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Hearty and flavorful, eggplant stuffed with garden vegetables and spices feels like a complete meal even without meat. In summer, find everything at a local farmers market. At other times, use frozen vegetables to keep costs low.

Recipe: Taste of Home

Related: 14 Cheap Meatless Meals for Calorie Counters

Chickpea Sweet Potato Curry

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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

Overhead view of shakshouka on a rustic background.

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Fritters are easy while also feeling like a special treat. These zucchini fritters will ensure that everyone — including the kiddos — eats their veggies while also seriously enjoying the meal.

Recipe: Simply Recipes

Related: 13 Ways to Make the Most of a Zucchini Surplus

Gnocchi and Veggies

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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

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If you love chicken tikka masala, you’ll love chana masala, too. Instead of chicken, the recipe uses chickpeas, which add extra creaminess to the dish and round it out in a way where no one will even miss the chicken.

Recipe: Minimalist Baker

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Shepherd's Pie

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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

Ramen

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If your family loves a noodle dish, they’ll love this recipe that comes together in 15 minutes using ingreident like miso, garlic, ginger, shiitake mushrooms, kale, and a soft boiled egg. To make it vegan, sub tofu for the egg.

Recipe: Love and Good Stuff

Related: 15 Hacks to Make Instant Ramen More Delicious Under $1

vegetarian mushroom meatballs

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These juicy mushroom meatballs can be fried or baked and are ridiculously flavorful either way. And, with 14 grams of protein per serving, you won’t even miss the meat.

Recipe: Cooktoria

Related: 51 Best Old-School Italian Restaurants in America

Homemade Healthy Vegan Lentil Barbecue Sandwich with Slaw

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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.

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Stuffed cabbage is old-country comfort food. This version uses mushrooms, white wine, garlic, rosemary, tomato sauce, and more for a delicious, nutritious, and fun meal.

Recipe: Greatist

Related: Which Fruits and Veggies Go Bad the Quickest and Which Last the Longest?

Potato Leek Soup

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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