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Five Budget Friendly Plant-Based Dinners

Sharon Palmer

Sure, a plant-based diet is good for your overall health, reducing your risks of chronic diseases and obesity. Plus, it’s good for the environment. But that’s not all. Plant-based eating can be easy on your wallet, if you plan well. Why? Because plant proteins, such as beans, lentils, peanuts, and tofu can be a far less expensive addition to your plate than animal proteins. That’s why I put together some of my top five budget-friendly, economical plant-based (vegan) dinners perfect for your dinner table. You can get these meals on the table in under an hour, and for less than $20 for a family of four.

Learn more about my top tips for cutting your food costs while eating a plant-based diet here.

Five Budget Friendly Plant-Based Dinners

Miso Green Beans and Tofu (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

If you are just starting to eat plant-based, I think this Asian-style stir fry is one of the easiest dishes to make because it is so versatile and easy to make. It features a colorful mixture of sautéed fresh vegetables, flavorful ginger-garlic sauce, and crispy tofu that creates a wonderful balanced meal. Plus, it’s easy on the pocketbook. You can substitute fresh green beans for frozen when they are out of season.

Southwest Stuffed Bell Peppers with Black Beans and Quinoa (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

These budget-friendly stuffed bell peppers are a fiesta explosion in your mouth with a quinoa and black bean filling that also features corn and tomatoes. I love to top it off with some home-made creamy vegan ranch dressing made with a plant-based mayo. Serve it with a whole grain and you have a low-cost meal-in-one.

Vegetable Fajitas (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

Vegetable fajitas are a popular plant-based Latin dish, usually served in a cast-iron skillet. This recipe can be finished in 20 minutes by sautéing vegetables such as peppers and onions, heating up beans and toasting corn tortillas for an easy, gluten-free dish on the cheap. When fresh vegetables aren’t in season, turn to frozen to cut the cost. Grow your own herbs to really bring the price point down.

Southwest Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie (Vegan)

This tasty meal-in-one Shepard’s pie can be made into individual meals or as a casserole for the whole family. I added a Latin twist with an economical black bean and corn filling, which is topped with nutrient-rich sweet potatoes. Just add a salad to balance out the meal. Most of the ingredients can be found right in your pantry, so you can save some cash.

Herbed Lentil Patties with Mushroom Sauce (Vegan)

These lentil patties are a super comfort food, which can be made in batches to serve for later meals. The recipe for home-made mushroom sauce that accompanies it is creamy, savory, and oh-so-flavorful. Serve the patties with a side of seasonal veggies and mashed potatoes for your next, healthy, budget-friendly happy meal.

For more budget-friendly meals, check out the following:

Heirloom Bean Cassoulet with Root Vegetables
Summer Vegetarian Chili
Burrito with Refried Beans and Corn
Spicy Lentil Tacos

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