Vegan On A Budget | 10 Cheap Vegan Recipes To Follow

vegan food, budget friendly, vegan curry

With the cost-of-living crisis not showing any signs of ending anytime soon, it’s now more important than ever to try and manage your finances. However, eating on a budget doesn’t have to mean boring! Vegan diets are well suited to small budgets; most vegan recipes contain commonly sourced, inexpensive ingredients. Still not sure? Check out our tips for eating vegan on a budget and recipes below.

Can You Be Vegan On A Budget?  

It’s absolutely possible to be vegan on a budget! Many plant-based sources of protein are cheaper than meat alternatives. For example, a tin of chickpeas costs on average just 65p, whilst a pack of two chicken breasts costs over £2.* In 2020, the cost of an average weekly vegan food shop was £16.47, whilst a non-vegan shopping basket cost almost £2 more.  

Tips For Going Vegan On A Budget  

  • Plan your meals: deciding on meals in advance and making a list makes it more likely you will only buy what you need. This not only saves money by eliminating the purchase of unnecessary items but also reduces food waste. 
  • Choose frozen: frozen foods are often much cheaper than fresh alternatives. Most frozen fruit and veg are picked and frozen at the peak of freshness, which maintains a maximum nutrient content. Frozen foods don’t spoil as quickly as fresh, which again, leads to less food waste.  
  • Think about where you shop:  many places now have zero waste or refill shops, which can sometimes be cheaper than supermarkets for ingredients such as oats, pasta or cereal. Weekly markets may also have cheaper fruit and vegetables, and these are often easily accessible at the weekend.  
Cost Of Living: Money Saving Tips For Your Plant Based Diet


Cost Of Living: Money Saving Tips For Your Plant Based Diet

2022-12-05 09:19:53By Lujain Alhassan

Cheap Vegan Meals  

All the recipes below use basic store cupboard ingredients and work well when on a tight budget. All of these can also be easily frozen, which make them perfect for meal prepping.

 Jacket Potato Recipe  

Nutritional Information per portion (serves 1)

Energy  260kcal 
Protein  5g 
Fat  4.6g 
Of which saturates  0.6g 
Carbohydrates  45g 
Sugars  3g 
Fibre  5g 
Sodium  1.1g 

Equipment You’ll Need  

  • Fork 
  • Sharp knife  
  • Baking tray  


  • 1x medium-large baking potato
  • Sea salt
  • 1 tsp olive or vegetable oil
  • Vegan toppings: Baked beans, vegan cheeze, vegan chilli or coronation chickpea mix.  

 How To Make A Jacket Potato  

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4/350F. Rinse the outside of the potato and dry thoroughly.
  2. Using a fork, pierce the potato in several places (this will help it to cook evenly). Drizzle the potato with 1 tsp olive oil and then rub evenly over the potato. Sprinkle with salt.
  3. Cook for 60-90 minutes until crispy on the outside and soft in the middle. Turn over halfway through cooking for an even bake.
  4. To serve: slice down the middle to release the steam and load with your favourite vegan toppings. Ideas include vegan Cheeze, Baked beans, vegan chilli or coronation chickpea mix.  

 Cooking Tips  

  • If you are short on time, the potato can be microwaved for 5 minutes, before baking in the oven for half an hour. Don’t forget to pierce the potato before microwaving it!  
  • These can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for up to a month. Defrost thoroughly before use.  
  • Classic combinations include baked beans with vegan cheese, coronation chickpea mix, or vegan chilli.  

Vegan Mac And Cheese Recipe  

Nutritional Information per serving (serves 4)

Energy  332kcal 
Protein  11.7g 
Fat  5.8g 
Of which saturates  0.4g 
Carbohydrates  57.4g 
Sugars  1.2g 
Fibre  4.4g 
Sodium  0.5g 

 Equipment You’ll Need  

  • Large saucepan (for the pasta) 
  • Small saucepan (for the sauce) 
  • Medium-sized baking dish
  • Food processer or blender
  • Whisk 


  • 400g macaroni pasta
  • 2x slices sourdough bread
  • 1 tbsp Myvegan organic hemp seeds
  • 10g nutritional yeast
  • 400ml unsweetened almond milk (or other dairy free milk)
  • 50g plain flour
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • Pinch of salt  

 How To Make Vegan Mac And Cheese  

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C on the grill setting.
  2. Cook the macaroni pasta according to packet instructions and set aside.
  3. To make the white sauce, add the flour, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, mustard, almond milk and a pinch of salt to your small saucepan. Cook over a medium heat until the mixture begins to bubble – whisk continuously to prevent lumps forming. You may need to add a splash of almond milk if the mixture becomes too thick.
  4. Once the sauce is ready, stir in the pasta, then spoon the mixture into a baking dish.
  5. To make the topping, add the bread, hempseeds and nutritional yeast to a food processor and blend until a bread crumb consistency is reached. Scatter the breadcrumbs over the pasta.
  6. Cook under the grill for 10 minutes until golden on top.

Cooking Tips  

  • Be patient! This recipe uses a traditional method for making white sauce. It can take a bit of time to reach the desired consistency, but it’s definitely worth the wait.  
  • Add a portion of your five a day to this meal by serving with a side salad, or stirring in some spinach towards the end of the cooking process.  
  • Don’t have sourdough? Not a problem – any crusty loaf will work just as well.  

Vegan Bolognese Recipe  

Nutritional Information per serving (serves 4)

Energy  487 kcal 
Protein  6.3g 
Fat  7.6g 
Of which saturates  0.9g 
Carbohydrates  17.1g 
Sugars  4g 
Fibre  5.9g 
Sodium  0.6g 

Equipment You’ll Need  

  • Colander  
  • 2x medium saucepans  
  • Sharp knife
  • Chopping board
  • Can opener  


  • 1x 400g tin of green lentils
  • 1x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 6 x sundried tomatoes
  • 200g chestnut or white mushroom
  • 1x medium carrot
  • 1x medium onion
  • 1 tbsp vegetable or olive oil
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsps dried mixed herbs
  • 400g spaghetti pasta
  • Boiling water – enough to cover your pasta 

How To Make Vegan Bolognese  

  1. Add your pasta to a pan along with the water; adding the water already boiled will speed up the cooking process. Bring to a boil and cook for 10-12 mins. Once cooked, drain the pasta in a colander.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, chop the sundried tomatoes, mushrooms and onions into thin slices. Finely dice the carrots. Drain and rinse the lentils.
  3. Add mushrooms, onions and carrots to a pan, along with the olive oil. Cook on medium-high heat until the vegetables are softened. Add the drained lentils, chopped tomatoes, soy sauce, mixed herbs and sundried tomatoes. Stir well so that the sauce is evenly distributed. Turn down the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the bolognese has thickened. Serve with your pasta.  

 Cooking Tips  

  • Whilst not essential, adding 125ml (one glass) of red wine will really help to bring out the flavours in this dish.  
  • To give this meal a boost of vitamin B12, top it with a generous sprinkle of nutritional yeast. This will also add a cheesy flavour without having to use a vegan cheese alternative.  
  • Don’t like mushrooms? Substitute with other ‘meaty’ vegetables such as aubergine or jackfruit. 

Vegan Sausage Casserole  

Nutritional Information per portion (serves 3)

Energy  265kcal 
Protein  14.7g 
Fat  6.6g 
Of which saturates  3.4g 
Carbohydrates  36.7g 
Sugars  5.5g 
Fibre  7.6g 
Sodium  1.5g 

Equipment You’ll Need 

  • Sharp knife 
  • Chopping board  
  • Colander or sieve
  • Casserole dish
  • Can opener 


  • 6x vegan sausages (frozen or fresh)
  • 1x 400g tin of chickpeas
  • 1x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1x red onion
  • 2 x fresh bell peppers
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp dried chilli flakes  

Instructions/ How To Make A Vegan Sausage Casserole 

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas mark 4/350F.
  2. Chop the peppers and onions into thin slices and add to your casserole dish.
  3. Drain and rinse the chickpeas in your colander, then add to the casserole dish with the chopped vegetables.
  4. Add the chopped tomatoes, paprika and chilli flakes to the casserole dish and give everything a good stir. Press the sausages gently into the casserole mix.
  5. Cover and cook for 40-45 mins, giving everything a stir halfway through. If you find the sauce is too runny, then add 1-2 tbsp plain flour and mix well.  

Cooking Tips  

  • This dish is filling on its own but can also be served with some fresh crusty bread, couscous, or any other source of carbohydrate.  
  • The recipe is extremely versatile – if you don’t like red onion, swap for spring onions or leeks. Any other vegetables can also be added; mushrooms, carrots and aubergine all work well.  
  • If your casserole dish doesn’t have a lid, then cover with foil. This helps to soften the veg and prevent them going crispy.  

Vegan Massaman Curry  

Nutritional Information per serving (serves 4) 

Energy   414 kcal 
Protein   14.7g 
Fat  32.3g 
Of which saturates  14g 
Carbohydrates  14.4g 
Sugars  8.9g 
Fibre  4.2g 
Sodium  1g 

Equipment You’ll Need  

  • Chopping board  
  • Sharp knife  
  • Can opener
  • Frying pan or sauté pan 


  • 280g firm tofu  
  • 350g mushrooms, sliced
  • 200g green beans, trimmed and chopped
  • 1 x red pepper, deseeded and sliced
  • 1 x onion, peeled and sliced
  • 400ml coconut milk
  • 2 tbsps. of Massaman curry paste
  • 2 tablespoons of Myvegan organic peanut butter (crunchy works best)
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce 

How To Make Vegan Massaman Curry

  1. Chop the tofu into cubes, and thinly slice the onions and pepper. Add the coconut oil to a pan, along with the peppers and onions, frying on medium heat until soft. 
  2. Add the curry paste, peanut butter and tofu. Stirk and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add the mushrooms, green beans, coconut milk and turmeric, along with the soy sauce 1btsp at a time (taste after each addition – you may not want all 4 tbsp). Cook for 10 minutes until the vegetables are soft.
  4. Serve with rice, chopped spring onion and coriander. 
Easy Vegan Massaman Curry Recipe


Easy Vegan Massaman Curry Recipe

2022-02-23 15:55:05By Jenessa

Cooking Tips  

  • Depending on where you shop, coconut oil is not always budget-friendly. If you are struggling to find reasonably priced coconut oil, substitute it for regular vegetable oil.  
  • Choose tofu that’s firm or extra firm, as this will hold best during cooking. Before using, drain the tofu and gently squeeze in the kitchen roll to remove the excess water.
  • To make the perfect rice to serve this with, rinse the rice before use. Use a 3:1 ratio of water to rice, add these to a saucepan, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 12 mins, then turn off the heat. Leave the lid on the pan and leave it to sit for 15 mins – it’s then ready to serve.  

Vegan Burger Recipe  

Nutritional Information per serving (serves 4)

Energy  344 kcal 
Protein  20g 
Fat  8g 
Of which saturates  1g 
Carbohydrates  56g 
Sugars  6g 
Fibre  6g 
Sodium  1.3g 

Equipment You’ll Need  

  • Sharp knife 
  • Chopping board 
  • Colander
  • Food processer of blender
  • Mixing bowl
  • Frying pan 
  • Can opener  


  • 1x 400g tin of chickpeas 
  • Zest of 1x lemon, plus the juice of ½ a lemon  
  • 1 tsp ground cumin 
  • 1 tbsp pea protein isolate (unflavored)
  • Bunch of coriander
  • 100g breadcrumbs
  • 1x medium onion
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4x burger buns
  • 1 large tomato
  • ½ cucumber  

To serve: chilli sauce and vegan mayo 

How To Make A Vegan Burger  

  1. Add the chickpeas, lemon zest, cumin, Pea Protein Isolate and half the coriander to a food processor. Whizz until smooth.
  2. Once blended, add these ingredients to a bowl along with 80g of breadcrumbs. Finely dice ½ the onion and add this to the mix; the consistency should become firmer and dough-like.
  3. Shape 4 burgers and pat the remaining 20g of breadcrumbs onto either side of the burgers. Pop in the fridge for 10-30 minutes. Chop the remaining onion, cucumber and tomato into slices to top your burger.
  4. Heat the oil in a frying pan until hot. Add the burgers and fry for 4 minutes on either side (medium heat works best). Once cooked, slice each burger bun and fill it with your burger patty, a slice of tomato, red onion, cucumber, and your sauce of choice.
Pea Protein Burger Recipe


Pea Protein Burger Recipe

2022-11-11 11:20:07By Amelia Dunn

Cooking Tips  

  • To make your own breadcrumbs at home, stale bread actually works best. Tear slices of bread and add to a food processor or blender – blitz for 10 seconds at a time until the breadcrumbs are formed.  
  • To make the burger patties easier to form, slice the onion as finely as possible. This will prevent big lumps from stopping the patties from rolling nicely.
  • This recipe should make four burgers – to help with cooking time, use your hands or a fork to flatten each of the burger patties after shaping.  

 Vegan Pad Thai Recipe  

Nutritional Information per serving (serves 2)

Energy  1130kcal 
Protein  37.7g 
Fat  69g 
Of which saturates  28.8g 
Carbohydrates  98.7g 
Sugars  39.5g 
Fibre  7.7g 
Sodium  1.4g 

Equipment You’ll Need  

  • 1x small saucepan  
  • 1x frying pan 
  • Whisk
  • Sharp knife
  • Chopping board  


  • 200g rice noodles
  • 120g Myvegan organic peanut butter
  • 30-85ml soy sauce
  • 4 tbsp coconut sugar
  • ½ tsp sriracha
  • 340ml coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1x thumb of ginger
  • 3x cloves of garlic
  • 100g firm tofu
  • 3x stems of spring onions
  • 1x handful of beansprouts  

How To Make Vegan Pad Thai  

  1. Cook the rice noodles according to the packet instructions. Finely chop the spring onions and cut the tofu into cubes.
  2. In the meantime, make the peanut sauce by combining the peanut butter, soy sauce, coconut sugar, sriracha, and coconut milk to a small pan. Slowly bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 2-3 minutes until the sauce thickens. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  3. Heat a large frying pan over medium heat along with the sesame oil. Add the ginger and garlic and fry for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add in the drained noodles and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the soy sauce and coconut sugar, stirring continuously. Add in the tofu, mix well, and cook for another 2-3 minutes. 
  5. Add more soy sauce (if needed), chopped onions and beansprouts. Keep stirring to prevent the ingredients sticking – add a dash of water if the pan looks too dry. Cook for another 3 minutes. It should now be ready to serve! 
Vegan Tofu Pad Thai | Vegan Recipes


Vegan Tofu Pad Thai | Vegan Recipes

This recipe can be on your table faster than you can even order take out.

2022-01-07 08:07:46By Jenessa

Cooking Tips  

  • When serving, top with unsalted peanuts, a sprinkling of coriander and a wedge of lime for maximum flavour combinations!  
  • To cook rice noodles, they are usually added to a bowl along with boiling water. This is covered and left for 10-15 minutes and then drained before serving.  
  • If you don’t like rice noodles, flat noodles or udon noodles work equally well in this dish – just check the label to make sure that egg is not used as an ingredient.  

Vegan Sweetcorn Fritters Recipe  

Nutritional Information per serving (Serves 3)

Energy  229 kcal 
Protein  11.5g 
Fat  8.3g 
Of which saturates  1.3g 
Carbohydrates  24.1g 
Sugars  1.9g 
Fibre  2.9g 
Sodium  0.4g 

Equipment You’ll Need 

  • Sharp knife 
  • Chopping board  
  • Frying pan
  • Can opener
  • Food processor or blender  


  • 200g tinned sweetcorn
  • 4 spring onions
  • 4 tbsp gram flour
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • Handful of fresh coriander
  • Juice of ½ lime
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Myvegan 100% flaxseed powder  

 How To Make Vegan Sweetcorn Fritters  

  1. Add 100g of sweetcorn, the onions, flour, paprika, coriander, lime juice and flaxseed powder to a food processor. Blend until a chunk mixture is formed. Once this has come together, stir through the remaining 100g of sweetcorn.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a pan over a medium heat. Once hot and bubbling, add a large tablespoon of fritter mixture.
  3. Cook for about 2-3 minutes each side, until the fritters are golden brown. You may need to do this in batches, but feel free to add more than 1 fritter to the pan at a time. 
Sweetcorn Fritters Recipe


Sweetcorn Fritters Recipe

A delicious way to sneak some extra veggies into your meals.

2022-02-03 14:47:13By Jenessa

Cooking Tips  

  • Gram flour is another name for chickpea flour; it can usually be found in the ‘world food’ aisle of supermarkets. This is used as a binding agent instead of egg, which is traditionally used in this recipe. Alternatively, this can be substituted for plain flour.  
  • These work well hot or cold and are great for meal prepping. Serve with a fresh side salad and dips of your choice (my personal favourite – vegan mayo or sour cream) 
  • Try not to over-blend your mixture, otherwise, it can become runny and difficult to cook.  

Vegan Meatballs Recipe  

Nutritional Information per serving (serves 4)

Energy  264 kcal 
Protein  10.5g 
Fat  15.2 g 
Of which saturates  1.6g 
Carbohydrates  19.6g 
Sugars  4.1g 
Fibre  6.6g 
Sodium  0.2g 

Equipment You’ll Need  

  • Sharp knife 
  • Chopping board  
  • Frying pan
  • Baking tray
  • Mixing bowl
  • Small bowl (for the flax egg)
  • Food processor or blender 


  • 200g mushrooms  
  • 1x medium onion 
  • 2x cloves of garlic  
  • 50g walnuts
  • 75g gluten-free rolled oats
  • 1 flax egg
  • 1 tbsp vegan Worcester sauce
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp parsley
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp thyme
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper

How To Make Vegan Meatballs  

  1. Finely dice the onions and garlic. Make the flax egg by adding 1 tbsp Flaxseed Powder to 2.5 tbsp of water and mix well. Set aside for 10 minutes until thick. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4/350F.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a pan then add the onions, garlic and mushrooms until soft. Add the Worcester sauce, dried herbs, salt and pepper.
  3. Add the oats and walnuts to a food processor and blend until a breadcrumb like consistency is formed. Transfer this to a mixing bowl.
  4. Add the mushrooms to the food processor and give them a quick blitz until any large lumps are removed. Add to the bowl of walnuts and oats, along with the flax egg and nutritional yeast. Mix well.
  5. Roll the mixture into balls then place on a greased baking tray and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden.  
The Best Vegan Meatballs Recipe


The Best Vegan Meatballs Recipe

Hearty, 'meaty' in texture, and bursting with flavour.

2021-09-15 10:27:08By Jenessa

Cooking Tips  

  • If you are struggling to find vegan Worcester sauce, regular soy sauce is a good substitute – this helps to provide a salty, umami flavour.  
  • Dried herbs are relatively cheap and can be used to add flavour to a variety of dishes. However, if you don’t already own the herbs contained in the ingredients list, one container of mixed herbs should do the job. Just make sure to substitute the correct amount.  
  • These meatballs would traditionally be eaten with pasta, but also work well with roasted potatoes or as a snack on their own! 

Vegan Stew Recipe  

Nutritional Information per serving (serves 4)

Energy  345 kcal 
Protein  8.4g 
Fat  7.3g 
Of which saturates  1.2g 
Carbohydrates  54.8g 
Sugars  13.2g 
Fibre  11.7g 
Sodium  0.6g 

Equipment You’ll Need  

  • Sharp knife 
  • Chopping board  
  • Measuring jug
  • Frying pan
  • Casserole dish 


  • 1x 400g tin of butter beans
  • 400g carrots
  • 400g butternut squash
  • 400g white potato
  • 1 celery stick
  • 1 large medium onion
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 x vegetable stock cube
  • 600ml boiling water
  • 200ml vegan beer or ale
  • Handful of fresh thyme
  • 2x bay leaves
  • 1-2 tbsp plain flour
  • 1.5 tbsp olive oil 

How to Make Vegan Stew  

  1. Preheat the oven to 180c/gas mark 4/350F. Chop the carrots, squash, potato, celery and onion into large chunks. Add to a pan, along with the oil, and fry on medium heat until the onions are soft. Add the cooked vegetables to the casserole dish.
  2. In a jug, add the stock cube and boiling water. Mix well until the stock cube is dissolved. Add to the casserole dish, along with the tomato puree, beer, bay leaves, thyme and 1 tbsp flour.
  3. Drain and rinse the butter beans. Cover the casserole and cook for 20 minutes, then add the butternut squash and butterbeans. Stir well, then cook for another half an hour with the lid on. If the stew still doesn’t feel thick enough, add the remaining 1 tbsp flour and mix well before serving.  

Cooking Tips 

  • Using a slow cooker instead of an oven is a budget-friendly way of cooking one-pot meals, especially stews and soups. Even better, there’s less washing up to do!  
  • This stew works well served with crusty bread, mashed potatoes or rice. If you want an authentic stew, try making some homemade dumplings and leave them on top of the stew, uncovered, for the last 20-30 minutes of cooking.  
  • If your budget allows, vegan meat alternatives can be added to this dish to boost the protein content. 

Take Home Message  

Eating vegan on a budget may not be as hard as you think! There are a whole host of recipes that work as budget meals, and hopefully, our money-saving tips will also help you stick to your budget. This article is not providing medical advice; if you have any concerns about your health, please make an appointment with your GP or another healthcare professional.  


Is veganism really expensive?  

Vegan meat or dairy alternatives can be expensive however, these typically account for less than 5% of the average vegan’s shopping basket. Basic ingredients such as oats, pieces of bread, pasta, beans and legumes are usually inexpensive, and often form the base of vegan meals.  

How do I start off as a vegan?  

Try not to overcomplicate things – it can be really easy to veganise your favourite dishes, and you don’t have to change everything at once. If you need some tips about becoming vegan, check out this article:

First-Time Vegan? Here's Our Top 10 Tips for Going Vegan


First-Time Vegan? Here's Our Top 10 Tips for Going Vegan

2023-01-26 10:07:11By rachelgreene

How can I be vegan on a budget? 

It’s definitely possible to be vegan on a budget – most vegan shopping baskets cost less than non-vegan baskets. Using frozen vegetables, meal planning, and being thoughtful about your shop can help to cut your costs even further.  

What are the cheapest vegan meals?  

All the recipes listed here are vegan meals that suit those on a tight budget. Using beans and legumes as a source of protein is cost-effective; these foods are also high in other nutrients such as fibre.  

*prices correct at the time of writing (Jan 2023) 

Veganuary. New study finds vegan meals cost 40% less than meat/fish [internet].  Veganuary. Unknown date. Available from:,drink%20goes%20on%20meat%20substitutes  




Rachel is a qualified Associate Nutritionist (ANutr) who holds an MSc in both Applied Human Nutrition and Physician Associate Studies. Over the last year, Rachel's been working as a freelance nutrition writer and coach, with her areas of interest including weight loss and specialist dietary requirements. As well as this, she's contributed towards published research on weight loss, and is currently studying the role of plant-based diets in health-conscious individuals.