5 Simple, Affordable Plant-Based Dinners That Your Family Will Love
One of your goals this year is probably to eat more plant-based. If you're trying to feed your family plant-forward meals that are equally as delicious as they are affordable, you've come to the right place. Eating plant-based is actually more cost-effective than eating a meat-filled diet, with a recent study finding that families can save an estimated $1,260 annually by switching to plant-based, and another that found that on average, meat-free eaters spend $23 at the grocery store per week.
Here, we rounded up five incredibly flavorful yet simple meals that are affordable. Although we don't have exact calculations for your local grocer or supermarket, most of these meals ring it at or under an estimated $10 for the whole meal, not including spices and seasonings which we have assumed you already have in your cabinet.
1. Vegan Chili
Prep Time: 15 Min
Cook Time: 1 Hour, 20 Min
Total Time: 1 Hour, 35 Min
Yields 8-10 Servings
- 4 Tbsp Avocado Oil
- 1 Large Yellow Onion, diced
- 6 Cloves Garlic, minced
- 8 oz Mushrooms, sliced
- 1 Tbsp Cumin
- 2 ½ Tbsp Chili Powder
- 1 Tsp Dried Oregano
- 1/2 Tsp Salt
- ¼ Tsp Smoked Paprika
- 28oz Canned Diced Tomatoes
- 28oz Canned Crushed Tomatoes
- 7 Oz Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce, canned *optional
- 2 Dried Bay Leaves
- 14oz Canned Kidney Beans drained and rinsed
- 14oz Canned Chickpeas drained and rinsed
- 14oz Canned Black Beans drained and rinsed
- In a large pot or dutch oven, heat up your oil over low heat. Add your onions and garlic and stir around cooking it for 3-5 minutes or until translucent. Add your mushrooms and cook for an additional 5-8 minutes or until mushrooms soften and onions start to brown.
- Add your cumin, chili powder, dried oregano, salt, and smoked paprika. Stir and cook for 1 minute or until fragrant. Add your canned diced tomatoes and canned crushed tomatoes. If you are using the Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, add this in at this step. Stir it all together until evenly mixed. Cover and let it simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
- Once 1 hour has passed, add the drained and rinsed kidney beans, chickpeas, and black beans. Stir it in until evenly combined. Cover and let it simmer for additional 10 minutes or until beans are heated through. Ladle it into a bowl and serve with some fresh herbs, a slice of your favorite bread, and enjoy!
Calories 599, Total Fat 5.4 g, Sat. Fat 0.8 g, Sodium 292 mg, Total Carbs 106.6 g, Fiber 29 g, Sugar 16.7 g, Protein 36 g
2. Black Beans & Kale Stuffed Sweet Potato
Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Cook Time: 45 Minutes
Total Time: 50 Minutes
- 4 Medium Sized Sweet Potatoes
- 2 Cloves of Garlic, minced
- 15oz Can of Black Beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 Cup Kale, chopped
- 1 Tsp Smoked Paprika
- 1 Tsp Onion Powder
- ½ Tsp Allspice
- ¼ Tsp Cumin
- ¼ Tsp Pepper
- Pinch of Salt
- Any of your favorite toppings (avocados, hummus, tahini, vegan cheese, etc)
- Preheat your oven to 425F and line a baking tray with parchment paper. Using a fork or knife, poke a few holes in your sweet potatoes for ventilation. Bake in the oven for 45-55 minutes.
- Once done baking, carefully remove from the oven and allow it to cool.
While your sweet potatoes are cooling, make the black bean and kale mixture. In a medium-sized pan heat up some oil over medium-high heat.
- Add your minced garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes or until it starts to brown. Add your chopped kale, black beans, and all the spices and seasonings.
- Mix around and cook for 4-5 minutes. Or until your beans are heated all the way through and your kale has softened.
- To assemble, carefully cut your sweet potato down the middle to split it open. Add your black bean and kale mixture along with any other toppings. I really like to use mashed avocados and drizzle a bit of tahini over the top. Enjoy!
Calories 452, Total Fat 1.3 g, Sat. Fat 0 g, Sodium 894 mg, Total Carbs 95.9 g, Fiber 19 g, Sugar 18.6 g, Protein 17.9 g
3. Mushroom and Spinach One Pot Pasta
- 1 Tbsp of Oil
- 3 Cups of Mushrooms, sliced
- 1 Large Onion, sliced
- 3 Cloves of Garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp Fresh Parsley, chopped
- 8oz of Pasta of choice
- 4 Cups of Water, or non-dairy milk (you can also do half of each)
- 1-2 Handful of Spinach
- ½ Tsp Salt
- ½ Tsp Pepper
- Crushed Red Pepper flakes to garnish
- In a large pot or large deep pan, heat up about 1 Tbsp of oil over medium heat. Add your mushrooms, onions, and garlic to the pan and saute for 3-5 minutes or until mushrooms start to brown and onions become translucent. Add your parsley to the pan and saute it with the mushroom mixture for 1 minute.
- Add your Pasta and your water to the pan. Bring your water to a simmer, let it simmer for 8-10 minutes stirring occasionally with tongs. The water will begin to reduce and the starches from the pasta will start to mix in with the leftover water, creating a subtle creaminess.
- When most of the water has reduced, add your spinach, salt, and pepper, and stir it in until your spinach becomes wilted and is well combined with the rest of the pasta.
Taste for any adjustments on salt and pepper and serve right away. Garnish with some extra chopped parsley and some red pepper flakes. Enjoy!
4. Vegan Hearty Vegetable Soup
Prep Time: 15 Min
Cook Time: 45 Min
Total Time: 1 Hour
- 2 Tbsp Cooking Oil
- 4 Cloves Garlic, minced
- 1 Medium Onion, sliced
- 1 Cup Carrots, cut into chunks
- 1 Lb Baby Potatoes, cut into chunks
- 2 Celery Sticks, chopped
- ¼ Cup Soy Sauce, or Tamari if gluten-free
- 3 Tbsp Tomato Paste
- 1 Tsp Salt
- 1 Tsp Black Pepper
- 1 Tsp Paprika
- ¼ Tsp Dried Rosemary
- 1 Litre Vegetable Stock
- 2 Tbsp Cornstarch
- 4 Tbsp Water
- 14oz Can Cannellini Beans
- In a large pot, heat up your oil over medium heat. Add your garlic and onions, and saute for 5 minutes or until onions soften and become translucent.
- Add your carrots, baby potatoes, and celery. Cook for another 5 minutes. Add your soy sauce, tomato paste, salt, black pepper, paprika, and dried rosemary. Mix it in until combined.
- Add your vegetable stock and give it a quick stir. Bring to a simmer. Once simmering, cover with a lid leaving a crack to let the steam out. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- In a small bowl, add your cornstarch and water. Mix until combined to create a cornstarch slurry. Add this slurry to your soup and mix it in. Mix your beans in the soup, and let it heat it up for about 5 minutes. Serve in a bowl with your favorite bread, and enjoy!
Calories 299, Total Fat 6.6 g, Sat. Fat 2.1 g, Sodium 1519 mg, Total Carbs 40 g, Fiber 15.9 g, Sugar 5.5 g, Protein 15.3 g
5. Chickpea & Kale in Spicy Pomodoro Sauce
Prep Time: 10 Min
Cook Time: 35 Min
Total Time: 45 Min
Yields 6 servings
- 4 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 6 Cloves Garlic, thinly sliced
- 28 Oz Canned Whole Peeled Tomatoes, crushed by hand
- ½ Tsp Fennel Seeds
- 1 Tsp Chili Pepper Flakes
- 1 Tsp Salt
- 4 Oz Kale, roughly chopped
- 28 Oz Canned Chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- Fresh Parsley
- Vegan Parmesan
- In a large skillet or pan, heat up your extra virgin olive oil over low heat. Add your garlic to the pan and cook for 5 minutes over low heat, or until it slightly starts to brown.
- Add your crushed tomatoes, fennel seeds, chili pepper flakes, and salt. Stir until combined. Cook and let it simmer over low heat for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally. If you don’t want your sauce to be spicy, you can omit the chili pepper flakes.
- Add your kale to the sauce and stir it into the sauce until it wilted. Stir in your chickpeas until evenly mixed and cook for 3-5 minutes, until chickpeas are heated through.
- Garnish with fresh parsley and vegan parmesan. Serve over a bed of rice, pasta, or eat as is with a side of sliced baguettes. Enjoy!
Calories 592, Total Fat, 17.4 g, Sat. Fat 2.2 g, Sodium 537 mg, Total Carbs 86.5 g, Fiber 24.2, Sugar 15g, Protein 27g