24 Simple Plant-Based Recipe Ideas for Under $1 a Serving
Contrary to popular belief, a plant-based diet is among the most cost-effective, healthiest ways to eat, according to an Oxford University report.
To prove it, we've assembled 24 of the best, simplest recipes to make for breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner, that will cost you less than $1 per serving. Yet the old misconceptions remain: A recent survey found that 71 percent of consumers are hesitant to adopt a plant-based diet for fear that it will break the bank. But the exact opposite is true.
Filling your shopping cart with plenty of fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, and seeds is not nearly as expensive as one that's full of meat, fish, cheese, and processed foods. So, If you're looking to save money and spend less on groceries, the most affordable way to eat is a plant-based diet. An Australian study found that it's possible to save over $1,250 a year at the grocery store by cutting out meat and dairy and eating more plant-based foods.
Take This Plant-Based Grocery List to the Store
To help you get started or support your ongoing plant journey, we created an easy-to-follow guide that will help you budget and save money when you eat plant-based, including mindless tricks we don't always think of, like buying certain items in bulk.
We also compiled a plant-based groceries shopping list to bring to the store so you know exactly what to buy in a time crunch and still get away with spending less money than you would be having spent more time scanning the aisles.
For the easiest way to shop and enjoy plant-based eating, we complied seven easy, plant-based breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack recipe ideas that are all under $1 a serving. In these recipes, you'll find the dollar amount next to each ingredient as well as a total cost per serving and for the entire dish.
24 Simple Vegan Recipes That Cost Less Than $1 Per Serving
1. One-Pan Vegan Southwest Sweet Potato Hash Wrap
Dig into the bright colors and bold flavors of this southwest sweet potato hash which features spices like cumin, ancho chiles, and smoked paprika to spice things up.
2. Vegan Apple Pie Parfait
Enjoy all the sweet and spicy flavors of apple pie in parfait form – vanilla-infused cashew cream is sandwiched between layers of caramelized apples and chewy cookie crumbles.
Recipe: Vegan Apple Pie Parfait
3. Vegan Lemon Ricotta Pancakes
No dairy is necessary for the makings of the ricotta — just cashews! Blended together with lemon and a touch of salt, you're left with a creamy consistency that makes these pancakes tender and moist. Paired with a DIY soy “buttermilk,” each bite is fluffy, airy, and soft.
Recipe: Vegan Lemon Ricotta Pancakes
4. Vegan Cashew Yogurt
This dairy-free cashew yogurt is the rich and creamy treat you’ve been needing in your life. Pair it with fresh fruit and granola for the ultimate gut-friendly breakfast or snack!
Recipe: Vegan Cashew Yogurt
5. Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip
In 30 minutes or less, you can dip into the rich, creamy, cheesy flavors of a plant-based spinach artichoke dip.
Recipe: Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip
6. Vegan Buffalo Chicken Dip
Made with meaty pulled jackfruit, creamy cashew-based cheese, and spicy red-hot sauce, this vegan 'chicken' buffalo dip delivers big, bold flavors that will have everyone lining up for seconds! Serve it with your choice of bread or chips. For an even healthier option, add carrot sticks and celery to the side.
7. Vegan Spinach Ricotta Hand Pies
Spinach "Ricotta" Hand Pies are the perfect appetizer, light supper, or even a healthy snack for busy days when you’re on the go. You don’t have to worry about portioning when you have these delicious convenient, hand-held pies at the ready. (Make extra and freeze the rest.)
8. 3 Ingredient All-Natural Fruit Snacks
Sweet or sour gummies are a must for most kids (and adults) when it comes time for an afternoon snack. Make them without all the usual added sugar, gelatin, preservatives, and artificial colors of the store-bought ones. With just 3 ingredients and ready in 5 minutes, you'll want to pop them like... candy!
9. Homemade Tortilla Chips
Make crispy, crunchy, perfectly salted tortilla chips from home with this easy two-ingredient recipe. Skip deep-frying and processed oils and use avocado oil for a healthier chip.
10. Creamy Vegan Tomato Bisque
This plant-based tomato bisque is the more sophisticated cousin of the classic tomato soup we all grew up on. Perfectly ripened San Marzano tomatoes come together with flavorful vegetables like celery, onions, and garlic before a cashew cream is added to the mix for richness.
Recipe: Creamy Vegan Tomato Bisque
11. Vegan Tuscan Chickpea Soup
Enjoy the delicious flavors of the Mediterranean with this Tuscan chickpea soup. Savory Italian spices accompany a fire-roasted tomato broth and creamy chickpeas. Serve your bowl with some crostini and top with vegan parmesan for a hearty lunch or dinner.
Recipe: Vegan Tuscan Chickpea Soup
12. Creamy Dairy-Free Leek Soup
Ready in under 45 minutes and requiring just 10 ingredients, this potato and leek soup is really going to hit the spot! It’s naturally creamy (from potatoes and cashews), ultra-comforting, and extremely easy to make. Now that’s a triple whammy!
Recipe: Vegan Leek Soup
13. Moroccan Carrot Salad
When you’re in the mood for a healthy, flavorful, easy-to-make meal, this Moroccan carrot salad covers all bases! It’s the perfect recipe to make for a side dish with soup or a sandwich, a light dinner, or a hearty afternoon pick-me-up.
Recipe: Moroccan Carrot Salad
14. Kale Salad with Vegan Creamy Chipotle Dressing
This roasted vegetable and kale salad is about to shake things up. Say goodbye to boring, lifeless salads and hello to this smoky, sweet, flavor-infused recipe! Topped with a creamy chipotle dressing, you won't believe how easy, rich, and delicious this salad is.
15. Vegan French Onion Soup with Cashew Cheese
Enjoy a completely vegan French onion soup made in the comfort of your own home. Carmelized onions are covered in an umami-rich broth, then topped with baguette slices and melty dairy-free cheese.
Recipe: Vegan French Onion Soup Recipe
16. Baja Cauliflower Tacos with Homemade Chipotle Mayo
Baja “fish” tacos — but hold the fish! These tacos are made Ensenada-style with plant-based ingredients instead. Freshly made corn tortillas are filled with beer-battered cauliflower, creamy chipotle mayo, fresh pico de gallo, and shredded cabbage. Enjoy these with a watermelon margarita!
17. Vegan Beet Gnocchi
Make this impressive gnocchi infused with beets for your next date night dinner. This vibrant root vegetable will not only turn your meal a beautiful pink color but will also add a boost of vitamins and minerals.
Recipe: Vegan Beet Gnocchi
18. Dairy-Free, Vegan Vegetable Risotto
Add this creamy, comforting, flavorful vegetable risotto to your kitchen repertoire – It’s the perfect way to use up all those leftovers hanging out in your fridge for a romantic dish to serve. In this version, savory mushrooms, bright bell peppers, and sweet green peas pair together extremely well – but feel free to use whatever vegetables are available and in season.
Recipe: Dairy-Free Vegetable Risotto
19. Vegan Chickpea Pot Pie
This chickpea pot pie is loaded with protein-rich chickpeas and mixed with hearty vegetables like carrots, celery, and green peas. Try this plant-based version for a twist on the classic recipe.
Recipe: Vegan Chickpea Pot Pie
20. Vegan Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie
This vibrant sweet potato and lentil Shepherd’s pie is packed with hearty vegetables and savory spices like thyme and rosemary. It’s guaranteed to fill your kitchen with warm and cozy aromas.
21. Vegan Mini Burrito Cups
Is there anything cuter than mini burrito cups? They are easy to make, fun to eat, and great for any occasion. These tiny tortilla bowls make the perfect finger food for parties and backyard barbecues. Stuffed with refried beans, cilantro-lime rice, jackfruit, and melty “cheese”, the cups are baked to perfection. Top them off with fresh pico de gallo, guacamole, and dairy-free crema for a flavor-packed recipe.
Recipe: Vegan Mini Burrito Cups Recipe
22. Vegan Thai Green Curry
Creamy, spicy, and full of authentic flavors and textures, this Thai vegetable green curry is delicious, healthy, and easy to make. Serve it with a side of jasmine rice, fresh chilies, and lime wedges for the perfect meal.
23. Jamaica Paletas, Mexican-Style Popsicles
Cool off with vibrant and refreshing flor de Jamaica paletas as the weather turns warmer! Serve these Mexican-style popsicles for your friends and family — they’ll be a hit!
Made with dried hibiscus flowers, eating this treat is both delicious and healthy. Roselle hibiscus have been consumed for centuries as a medicinal herb, providing benefits like lowered blood pressure, boosted immunity, and stabilized blood sugar levels.
24. Watermelon Margaritas
What could possibly be better than a margarita? A watermelon margarita (okay, they’re both equally delicious)! This recipe is naturally sweetened, hydrating, and ultra-refreshing. It’s the perfect drink for spring and summer nights.
Only three ingredients are required — fresh watermelon, lime juice, and tequila Blanco. Add a lime and salt rim, and that's it! The best part about this margarita is how easy it is to customize.
Recipe: Best Watermelon Margaritas Ever
For more delicious and easy plant-based recipes, check out The Beet's recipe column.
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