Frugal Vegetarian Recipes

Meatless meals can help you slash your family's grocery bill.

If you're looking for an easy way to save money, consider adding frugal vegetarian recipes to your family's diet.

Enjoying Frugal Vegetarian Recipes

While many people choose to adopt a vegetarian lifestyle out of concern for the ethical treatment of animals, a vegetarian diet is also a great way to save money. Research has proven that a vegetarian diet can lower your grocery bill. It may even save you money on healthcare costs, since vegetarians are less likely to suffer from obesity or chronic illness.

If you're not entirely comfortable with the concept of completely eliminating meat from your diet, try designating one or two nights per week to experiment with frugal vegetarian recipes. Designate a small binder to keep track of your favorite dishes, taking notes on what goes over well with the picky eaters in your family. Then, as you gain confidence in your cooking skills, you can consider adopting a vegetarian diet on a more permanent basis.

To learn more about how a vegetarian diet can help you achieve your frugal living goals, check out Go Vegetarian to Save Money from MSN.com.

Vegetarian Burritos

Burritos are a popular meal with kids and adults alike. These yummy vegetarian burritos are also quick to make. You need just 15 minutes from start to finish!

Ingredients:

  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can corn
  • 1 can black beans
  • Grated cheddar or jack cheese
  • Flour tortillas
  • Red pepper, cumin, or chili powder (optional)

Directions:

  1. Combine corn, beans, and tomatoes into a pan. Heat until boiling, then simmer for approximately five minutes.
  2. Add any applicable spices.
  3. Warm up tortillas in your microwave.
  4. Spoon filling onto tortillas and sprinkle a small amount of cheese on top.
  5. Wrap the tortilla around the filling before serving.

To make this recipe even cheaper, try using dried beans, produce from your garden, or homemade tortillas.

Vegetarian Chili

A slow cooker is a great tool for the busy cook. Simply throw the ingredients into the pot before you leave for work and enjoy a home-cooked meal when you return.

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 1 can olives (sliced in half)
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 small zucchini
  • 8 ounces mushrooms
  • 1 can each of red kidneys, garbanzo beans, white kidneys, and black beans
  • 2-1/2 cups prepared brown rice
  • 1/8 tsp. powdered red pepper
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 2 tsp. oregano

Directions:

  1. Chop vegetables and lay them on the bottom of your slow cooker.
  2. Add seasonings, beans, and rice. Do not mix together.
  3. Cook 6 to 8 hours on the lowest setting.
  4. Stir before serving.

If you opt to use dried beans for this recipe, remember to soak and cook the beans before you begin.

Faux Chicken Parmesan

A vegetarian diet doesn't mean you have to give up your favorite recipes completely. With soy substitutes, you can enjoy healthy and affordable versions of many traditional meals.

Ingredients:

  • 1 box of whole wheat pasta
  • 1 jar of spaghetti sauce
  • 1 pack of soy chicken patties (Morningstar and Boca are two popular brands)
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Cook the pasta as directed.
  3. Put the frozen soy chicken patties in a small baking dish. Cover with sauce and cheese, then bake for about 15-to-20 minutes.
  4. Serve the patties over the pasta.

Additional Resources

For more great frugal vegetarian recipes, visit LoveToKnow Recipes. You may also wish to pick up one of these vegetarian cookbooks:

Frugal Vegetarian Recipes