Cheap Vegan Recipes for College Students: Quick and Easy Meals on a Budget

As a college student, we’ve all been here, right? Dorm life, tough lectures, and loads of noodles topped with ketchup….

How about we up the game and get creative with affordable, plant-based meals that not only taste fantastic but reel in those likes on Instagram? Yes please!

As a college student, you may be on a tight budget and looking for ways to save money. Eating a vegan diet can be a great way to save money on groceries, but it can also be challenging to find affordable and tasty vegan meals.

Fortunately, there are many cheap vegan recipes that are perfect for college students on a budget.

Lets Dive in.

Essentials of a Vegan Pantry

As a college student, you might be on a tight budget and may not have access to all the ingredients you need for vegan cooking.

However, with a well-stocked pantry, you can make a variety of delicious and healthy vegan meals without breaking the bank.

Here are some essentials to keep in your vegan pantry.

Stocking Simple Ingredients

Investing in simple ingredients that are versatile and can be used in many recipes is a great way to save money and time. Here are some examples:

  • Grains: Rice, quinoa, oats, and pasta are all affordable and can be used in a variety of dishes.
  • Legumes: Beans, lentils, and chickpeas are excellent sources of protein and can be used in soups, stews, salads, and more.
  • Nuts and seeds: Almonds, cashews, chia seeds, and flaxseeds are all great sources of healthy fats and can be used in smoothies, oatmeal, and baked goods.
  • Spices and herbs: Salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and dried herbs like basil, oregano, and thyme can add flavor to any dish.

Plant-Based Diet Staples

When following a plant-based diet, it’s important to have certain staples on hand to ensure you’re getting all the nutrients you need. Here are some examples:

  • Nutritional yeast: This is a great source of vitamin B12 and can be used to add a cheesy flavor to dishes.
  • Tofu and tempeh: These are both great sources of protein and can be used in stir-fries, salads, and sandwiches.
  • Non-dairy milk: Soy, almond, and oat milk are all great alternatives to dairy milk and can be used in smoothies, baking, and cooking.
  • Fresh produce: Vegetables and fruits are essential for a healthy, whole-food, plant-based diet. Some affordable options include carrots, potatoes, bananas, and apples.

By having these simple and affordable ingredients in your pantry, you can create a variety of delicious and healthy vegan meals.

Plus, many of these items are gluten-free and oil-free, making them suitable for a variety of dietary needs. So, next time you’re at the grocery store, stock up on these essentials and get creative with your cooking!

Easy Vegan Recipes for Busy Students

Quick Breakfast Ideas

Starting your day with a healthy breakfast is essential, but it can be hard to find the time to make something nutritious when you’re rushing to get to class.

Here are some easy vegan breakfast ideas that you can make in just a few minutes:

  • Overnight oats: Mix rolled oats, almond milk, and your favorite toppings (like fruit, nuts, and seeds) in a jar and let it sit in the fridge overnight. In the morning, you’ll have a delicious and filling breakfast ready to go.
  • Smoothie bowls: Blend frozen fruit, almond milk, and your favorite vegan protein powder in a blender and top with granola and fresh fruit for a satisfying breakfast that’s packed with nutrients.
  • Avocado toast: Toast a slice of whole-grain bread and top with mashed avocado, salt, and pepper for a quick and easy breakfast that’s full of healthy fats.

Simple Lunch Solutions

When you’re in the middle of a busy day of classes, it can be tempting to grab something unhealthy from a vending machine or fast food restaurant. But with a little bit of planning and preparation, you can make healthy and satisfying vegan lunches that will keep you going throughout the day. Here are some ideas:

  • Microwave pasta: Cook a serving of whole-grain pasta in the microwave and mix with your favorite veggies and a simple sauce (like olive oil and garlic) for a quick and easy lunch that’s packed with fiber and protein.
  • Chickpea curry: Mix canned chickpeas with your favorite curry sauce and serve over brown rice or quinoa for a filling and flavorful lunch that’s easy to make ahead of time.
  • Salad jars: Layer your favorite veggies, beans, and grains in a jar and top with a simple dressing for a portable and nutritious lunch that you can take with you on the go.

Dinner Recipes for Any Night

After a long day of classes and studying, the last thing you want to do is spend hours in the kitchen. But with these easy vegan dinner recipes, you can have a healthy and satisfying meal on the table in no time:

  • One-pot pasta: Cook your favorite pasta with veggies and a simple tomato sauce in one pot for a quick and easy dinner that requires minimal cleanup.
  • Vegan chili: Mix canned beans, diced tomatoes, and your favorite chili spices in a pot and let simmer for a hearty and flavorful dinner that’s perfect for chilly nights.
  • Meal prep recipes: Spend a little bit of time on the weekend prepping ingredients for easy vegan meals like stir-fries, grain bowls, and veggie burgers that you can quickly assemble during the week.

With these easy vegan recipes, you can eat healthy and delicious meals without spending hours in the kitchen.

No-Cook Vegan Meals and Snacks

Refreshing Salads and Sandwiches

Salads and sandwiches are great options for no-cook meals because they’re easy to prepare and can be made in advance.

One option is a chickpea salad sandwich.

Simply mash up some chickpeas with avocado, lemon juice, and your favorite seasonings, and spread it on some bread. You can also add some chopped veggies like celery and onion for extra crunch.

Another option is avocado toast. Simply mash up some avocado and spread it on some toast. You can add some sliced tomato, cucumber, or radish for extra flavor and nutrition.

If you’re in the mood for something a little more substantial, you can make vegan tacos without any cooking. Simply fill a tortilla with some black beans, avocado, salsa, and whatever other veggies you like. You can also use lettuce leaves instead of tortillas for a low-carb option.

Snacks on the Go

Some options include fresh fruit, like apples or bananas, which are easy to carry with you. You can also make your own trail mix by combining nuts, seeds, and dried fruit.

You can make your own energy balls by combining dates, nuts, and other ingredients in a food processor. You can also make your own hummus by blending chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, and garlic in a food processor.

Serve it with some raw veggies like carrots or cucumber for a healthy snack.

Dorm Room Cooking Essentials

As a college student, you may find yourself in a dorm room with limited kitchen space and equipment. However, with a few essential items and some creativity, you can still prepare delicious and healthy vegan meals right in your dorm room.

Microwave Cooking

A microwave can be your best friend in a dorm room. It’s quick, easy to use, and requires minimal cleanup. Here are a few microwave recipes you can try:

  • Mini Microwave French Toast: Combine bread, soy milk, cinnamon, and maple syrup in a mug, microwave for 1-2 minutes, and enjoy a warm and tasty breakfast.
  • Peanut Butter Microwave Mug Cake: Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, peanut butter, and soy milk in a mug, microwave for 1-2 minutes, and indulge in a decadent dessert.

Minimalist Kitchen Gear

When it comes to kitchen gear, less is more in a dorm room. Here are a few essential items you’ll need:

  • Knife: A sharp knife is a must-have for cutting fruits, vegetables, and tofu. Look for a small, lightweight knife that can be easily stored in a drawer or on a shelf.
  • Cup and Utensils: You’ll need a cup for drinking and utensils for eating. Look for reusable options that can be easily washed and stored.
  • Storage Container: Airtight storage containers are perfect for keeping leftovers fresh and preventing odors from spreading in your dorm room.
  • Cutting Board: A small cutting board can be used to chop vegetables, fruits, and tofu. Look for a flexible cutting board that can be easily rolled up and stored.

With these dorm room cooking essentials, you can prepare healthy and delicious vegan meals without breaking the bank or sacrificing taste.

Comfort Food Favorites

When you’re in the mood for something comforting, there are plenty of vegan options to choose from. Try making vegan mac and cheese with nutritional yeast and cashews for a creamy and satisfying meal. You can also make vegan chili by combining beans, tomatoes, and spices in a slow cooker or on the stove.

For a quick and easy comfort food fix, try making vegan grilled cheese sandwiches with avocado and tomato. You can also make vegan pizza by using a store-bought crust and topping it with your favorite veggies and vegan cheese.

No matter what your favorite indulgent vegan treat is, there are plenty of affordable options to choose from.

With a little creativity and some simple ingredients, you can enjoy all of your favorite treats without breaking the bank. And the best part?

You can keep all of these treats in the refrigerator for when you need a quick snack or meal.

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