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Eating less meat isn’t just good for your health; it’s great for your budget. If you want to stretch your dollar farther at the grocery store incorporate these easy meatless meals into your week.
And for this frugal vegetarian of almost a decade, that’s a movement I can get behind. Because meat can break a grocery budget faster than a late night pizza delivery.
I won’t try to convince you to totally give up meat but even giving it up for a day a week can have a positive impact on your wallet, your health, and the environment. So I’ve compiled some of my favorite budget-friendly (and delicious!) vegan and vegetarian recipes to start you out.
Meatless Monday Recipes for Breakfast
1. Breakfast Bowl
That coconut milk and maple syrup in this bowl are on point! I just use quick oats from Aldi, I’ll also sub walnuts because I prefer them to almonds. The thing with breakfast bowls is they’re so customizable and super easy!
2. Sweet Potato & Kale Hash
If you’ve got a little time in the morning you’re in for a treat with this one. I love hashes and this one has sweet potatoes so it’s doubly delightful. You could even serve this for dinner, like I have, if you love all things breakfast.
Meatless Monday Recipes for Lunch
3. Jalapeno Popper Grilled Cheese
This grilled cheese is great on its own or with a yummy tomato soup. I sought out this recipe when my in-laws gave me a bag of jalapenos. I love poppers but wanted to make a meal out of them. This did the trick and we make it whenever we find ourselves with a bunch of jalapenos.
4. “Better than Tuna” Salad Sandwich
Think of making a tuna salad sandwich the way you normally would except sub canned tuna for mashed chickpeas. For me most of the flavor is in the add-ins anyway. And you can always sub out the vegan mayo for regular if you’re hesitant.
5. Black Bean & Corn Salad With Chipotle Honey Dressing
One of my favorite summer recipes, I make a big batch and eat all week. I leave out the red onion because it’s not my thing but otherwise this recipe is perfect and one of the few I make over and over again.
6. Peanut Noodles
I use all the gluteny noodles for this one. The sauce is quick, easy to make, and has all the peanut buttery yum.
Meatless Monday Recipes for Dinner
7. Meatless Lasagna
This is recipe numero uno in our house. There is no vegetarian dish we love more than lasagna. And it’s really easy to make vegan. Sub out the regular cheese for shredded almond milk mozzarella from Trader Joe’s or Fresh Market. It’s delicious.
8. Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Soup
This one is also tried and true to us. My husband isn’t a big fan of soup but will devour this, as do our omnivorous friends! It’s so forgiving and flexible, I can leave something out, throw in a leftover sweet potato, carrot, or onion, and still get a great taste.
I often freeze the ingredients for later use. The frozen contents can go straight into the slow cooker in the morning and be ready for blending when I get home.
9. Gouda and Spinach Shells & Cheese
Smoked gouda is my favorite cheese. It is everything. And when you combine it with carbs that are delicious and spinach the makes you feel healthy, it’s a powerful combination. I love this dish.
10. Southwestern Egg Rolls
For some reason, I have a problem with burritos and enchiladas. They never turn out as delicious as the restaurant makes them. For some other reason, these egg rolls turned out better than any wrapped Mexican dish I’ve ever made. They’re bonkers good.
11. Smoky Tortilla Soup
This soup is the bomb, great flavor and texture for a blended soup. If you don’t have an immersion blender this recipes can easily be put in the blender. And next time I make this I’m going to sift my cornmeal. It came out a little chunky for me.
12. Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
Once you have smoked paprika it’s a spice you’ll want to have on hand at all times. It gives these yummy cabbage rolls a great smoky flavor. I double the recipe because these babies microwave well the next day.
13. One Pot Spaghetti & Vegetables
The fewer dishes the better IMO. You can literally chop everything up, throw it in a big pot with noodles, and come back when it’s done. And there are very few things I love more than pasta.
14. Butternut Squash Chipotle Chili
I’m obsessed with chipotle chilies in adobo. And I’m obsessed with them in this chili. I always have some on hand. The trick to not letting a can go to waste is to put the contents straight into the blender with a bit of water and freeze the puree in and ice tray to use whenever. I often sub squash for sweet potatoes and it’s just as yummy.
15. Wild Rice Burrito Bowl
This one is my go-to when I’m craving Chipotle. (Obsessed with the restaurant as well.) Sometimes I’ll sub with brown rice or whatever I have on hand. Roasted chickpeas are so good, even my skeptical husband likes them. I roast them with olive oil and garlic powder at 400 degrees F for 40 minutes.
I’ll even eat them by themselves with this falafel spice mix. SO GOOD.
16. Buffalo Cauliflower Wraps or Tacos
I use this recipe for making crispy buffalo cauliflower then throw them in a flour tortilla with romaine, avocado and a drizzle of ranch. I am hungry just thinking about them!!
17. One Pan Mexican Quinoa
I love this recipe because it’s one pan and the only cutting required is a jalapeño and an avocado. Super quick, super easy, and I could live solely on Mexican food so it’s a winner in my house.
18. Vegetable Jambalaya
I had a Vegetable Jambalaya at Pat O’Brien’s in Orlando and I could not eat it fast enough. It was so flavorful. I scoured the Internet for a copycat recipe and this is the closest I’ve found. I add some corn and zucchini to complete it.
The original has a squash-creole sauce that I wish I could nail down but I haven’t been successful.
19. Sun Dried Tomato and Goat Cheese Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
I love sun-dried tomatoes and they are the bomb in some baked sweet potatoes. Instead of spinach, I like to crisp some kale in the oven during the last 10 minutes of roasting the sweet potatoes. It’s somewhere between raw and chip and gives an extra little crunch that rounds out the dish.
What are your favorite meatless meals that keep your budget in check?