27 Cheap, Filling Vegetarian Recipes
One of the easiest ways to slash your grocery bill is to cut down on the amount of meat you eat. We have pulled together some of our favorite budget-friendly, veg-focused recipes for those looking for cheap and healthy. These recipes are full of legumes, whole grains and plant-based proteins to keep you full and fueled for whatever the day brings (without emptying your wallet).
Eggs in Tomato Sauce with Chickpeas & Spinach
Simmer eggs in a rich tomatoey cream sauce studded with chickpeas and silky spinach for a super-fast vegetarian dinner. Serve with a piece of crusty bread to soak up the sauce. Be sure to use heavy cream; a lower-fat option might curdle when mixed with acidic tomatoes. Source: EatingWell.com, July 2018
Easy Lentil Salad
This easy lentil salad is a great salad to have around for a quick lunch for work or home. You can buy precooked lentils to cut down on prep time or easily cook your own at home.
Grilled Summer Vegetable Panzanella
This grilled vegetable salad is filled with summer zucchini and eggplant that are marinated in an herby dressing. Crusty country-style bread helps soak up the flavors. The optional feta cheese adds a briny finishing note. To keep sodium in check, reduce the amount of salt in the salad if you opt to use the feta.
3-Ingredient Refried Bean & Pico de Gallo Tostadas
Making your own tostadas is easy. Use store-bought corn tortillas, brush them with olive oil and bake to crunchy perfection! Here we topped the tostada with refried beans and fresh pico de gallo for an easy 3-ingredient meal.
Beet & Potato Salad
This beet and potato salad, tossed with a combo of sour cream, vinegar and sweet pickles, is slightly sweet and tangy. To make prep go faster, you can skip roasting the beets yourself and use prepackaged cooked beets instead.
Veggie-Packed Okonomiyaki (Japanese Pancake)
This savory Japanese pancake is typically made only with cabbage. Our version includes zucchini and carrot too. Top with fried eggs to make it a meal.
Parmesan White Beans
Stash mirepoix blend—a basic building-block combo of chopped carrots, celery and onion—in your freezer and save some serious prep time on this simple bean side dish.
Pepper, Pesto & Spinach Stromboli
Stromboli can often be heavy with meat and cheese, but this version is packed with veggies. Nutty fontina is more flavorful than classic mozzarella, so a little goes long way. Serve with your favorite marinara sauce for dipping.
Stuffed Sweet Potato with Hummus Dressing
Hearty yet simple to prepare, this stuffed sweet potato with black beans, kale and hummus dressing is a fantastic 5-ingredient lunch for one! Source: EatingWell.com, October 2017
Vegan Coconut Chickpea Curry
To make this 20-minute vegan curry even faster, buy precut veggies from the salad bar at the grocery store. To make it a full, satisfying dinner, serve over cooked brown rice. When shopping for simmer sauce, look for one with 400 mg of sodium or less and check the ingredient list for cream or fish sauce if you want to keep this vegan. If you like a spicy kick, add a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce at the end. Source: EatingWell.com, August 2018
Avocado Egg Salad Sandwiches
Lighten up classic egg salad by swapping in creamy avocado instead of using mayonnaise. Sandwich it between toasted whole-wheat bread and you've got an easy, packable lunch ready for work or school. Source: EatingWell.com, February 2018
Vegetarian Spaghetti Squash Lasagna
This low-carb riff on classic lasagna layers mushrooms and tomato sauce with spaghetti squash noodles instead of lasagna pasta. Make the layers right in the shell of the spaghetti squash and top with mozzarella cheese for a melty top and fun presentation. Serve with a green salad and a glass of Chianti for an easy, healthy dinner. Source: EatingWell.com, November 2017
Roasted Root Veggies & Greens over Spiced Lentils
This earthy bowl of lentils bursting with Middle Eastern flavors is topped with leftover roasted root veggies from a large batch for an easy weeknight dinner. Keep it vegan or add a drizzle of plain yogurt for extra richness. Source: EatingWell.com, April 2017
Citrus Lime Tofu Salad
This veggie-packed salad has plenty of protein and fiber, so you'll feel full and satisfied. Prep the ingredients ahead of time for an easy vegan lunch idea to pack for work. Source: EatingWell.com, December 2017
Cheese Quesadillas with Peppers & Onions
These 15-minute quesadillas are a notch above basic with the addition of sautéed peppers and onions. Let the kiddos load them up with the toppings at the table. Source: EatingWell.com, February 2018
Slow-Cooker Lentil, Carrot & Potato Soup
Puréeing some of the lentil-vegetable mixture, and then combining it with the remaining vegetables and lentils gives the soup a texture that satisfies those who love a creamy soup and those who prefer it chunky. Serve this slow-cooker lentil soup with crackers. Source: Everyday Slow Cooker
Basic Black Beans
Master the technique of cooking dried beans with this basic recipe. The cooking time will vary based on the age and size of the beans, so begin to check for tenderness after 1 1/2 hours and continue cooking until the beans are tender. Source: Diabetic Living Magazine, Winter 2019
Slow-Cooker Curried Butternut Squash Soup
Skip the roasting in this butternut squash soup recipe and let your slow cooker do the work instead. Just load up all the ingredients into the crock pot, set it and forget it for an easy, healthy dinner or packable lunches. Source: EatingWell.com, August 2018
Fall Chopped Salad with Spinach, Butternut Squash, Apples & Cheddar
Who says spinach salads are only for spring? Use autumn's tender crop of fresh spinach and other seasonal vegetables to make this fall salad with roasted butternut squash, apples, cheddar and pecans. This colorful and healthy salad would be a wonderful addition to your Thanksgiving menu, but there's no reason to save it for holidays--serve it along with chicken or pork for a healthy weeknight dinner, or turn it into a main course by adding some chickpeas or chopped chicken or turkey. Source: EatingWell.com, October 2019
Roasted Vegetable Tabbouleh
This classic vegetarian salad is loaded with vegetables, bulgur and chickpeas. Our suggested serving size is 1 1/2 cups, but feel free to cut that in half to serve more people or to make the dish last longer. Source: Diabetic Living Magazine
Pesto Pasta Salad
A creamy pesto sauce turns this simple pasta salad into a delightful dinner. Adding broccoli to the pasta cooking water just before the pasta is done is a convenient way to briefly cook it so that it turns a vivid shade of green and softens slightly. Source: EatingWell.com, June 2018
Curried Lentils and Vegetables
This is a classic dal, perhaps the most commonly eaten dish in India. Dal is a creamy melange of lentils, garlic and, of course, spices. Serve it as a side dish with curry or roasted meats, or as a main dish with warm naan for scooping. Source: Diabetic Living Magazine
Roasted Veggie Brown Rice Buddha Bowl
A healthy and satisfying vegan lunch for one, featuring roasted butternut squash, broccoli, peppers and onions with simple brown rice, lime-marinated tofu and creamy cashew tahini sauce. Source: EatingWell.com, December 2017
Macaroni Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing
Give classic pasta salad a fresher, more flavorful spin. This fast pasta dish calls for avocado to replace some of the mayonnaise, which makes it extra creamy. Whole-wheat elbow macaroni and fresh vegetables lighten up this healthy pasta salad that you'll be making all summer long. Source: EatingWell.com, May 2018
Black Bean Tacos
Mixing mashed canned beans with whole beans and seasonings makes an incredibly simple taco filling from your pantry. Top these speedy 5-ingredient tacos with lettuce, tomato and salsa or any of your favorite taco toppings. Source: EatingWell.com, March 2018
Couscous & Chickpea Salad
Cooked couscous and canned chickpeas come together in this quick lunch salad. The basil vinaigrette makes it taste anything but basic! When in season, we recommend adding fresh chopped tomatoes for a spin on tabbouleh. Source: EatingWell.com, March 2018
Baked Penne Florentine
This comforting and flavorful vegetarian dish is packed with protein. Source: Diabetic Living Magazine