6 Easy Vegetarian Meals for Students
Whether you are a veg lover, a sworn meaty who is thinking about eating healthier, or even if you just want to make more of a conscious effort to reduce your meat intake and carbon footprint, then this article is the ideal read for you!
Buying meat substitutes can sometimes be expensive, especially if you are a university student… So why not try out some of my following suggestions that’ll save you both time and money.
As an experienced vegetarian, I have hunted down cheaper food for years, and that is why I’ve compiled some recipes together that everyone can afford and love.
Many of the ingredients listed below are versatile and can be used in other delicious recipes too! By investing in cupboard stored ingredients (like herbs and spices), you’ll be able to knock up any of these tasty meals from scratch in no time.
All ingredients in this article are sourced from Tesco unless otherwise identified.
(Other supermarkets are available for purchasing the items.)
- VEGAN MUSHROOM STIR-FRY (GLUTEN FREE)
Love Super Noodles? Then you’ll love this vegan mushroom stir-fry! Tofu is a fantastic meat substitute as it is not as expensive as many Quorn products (and it is packed full of naturally sourced nutrients.)
Either share this tasty vegan dish with your flat mates or freeze the rest for when you’re tired after a hard day of lectures.
Serves 3 – £1.90 per person
What you’ll need:
- Bag of mushroom stir-fry – £1
- Freeze dried rice noodles – £1 (Pack of 4 portions)
- Cauldron tofu – £2.50
- Sesame oil – £1.50
- Soy sauce – £1
Add a pinch of cayenne peppers for extra spice and flavour!
Add the freeze-dried noodles to the pan with boiled water and cook until soft. Then with a frying pan and oil, begin to cook the bag of mushroom stir-fry and tofu until hot. Add the veg and tofu to the noodles and add a tablespoon of sesame oil and soy sauce. Eat and enjoy!
- VEGAN RED LENTIL AND POTATO CURRY (VEGAN AND GLUTEN FREE)
Love curry? Then you’ll love this homemade veggie alternative!
Take a personal spin on a classic curry and make it with your own hands! A benefit of this is that you get to control the spice levels and suit it to your liking. (It’s also super healthy…)
Serves 3 – £2.25 per person
What you’ll need:
- Tin of chopped tomatoes – 30p
- Tin of coconut milk – Approximately 50p (from Lidl)
- Bag of new potatoes – £1
- 1 red pepper – 55p
- Bag of red lentils (use half) – 70p
- Curry powder- tablespoon – 90p
- Cardamom pods (use 5) – £1
- Bay leaves (use 3) – £1
- Garam masala – £1
Add a teaspoon of turmeric for extra flavour and some cayenne pepper for extra spice!
Served well with vegan naan bread which can be found in Morrisons for £2
Chop up half the bag of the potatoes and boil them in a pan. Whilst they’re boiling, chop up the red pepper and onion and fry in the pan with the spices. Once the onion starts to go translucent, add the tinned tomatoes, coconut milk, the lentils, and the bay leaves. Let it simmer. The amount of cayenne pepper that you add is up to you and your spice level tolerance. If spice isn’t for you, add a bit more garam masala for extra flavour. Once the curry starts to boil, drain and add the potatoes. Serve with cooked rice.
- THE 10 VEGETABLE MEDITERRANEAN PASTA (Vegan and gluten free)
Every student loves pasta. It’s quick, it’s easy and it’s affordable. But why not try your ordinary pasta with a twist? (Yes, you students! The twist is vegetables.)
Serves 2- £1.60 per person
What you’ll need:
- Tray of Mediterranean veg – £1 (from Lidl)
- Tin of 5 bean salad – 60p
- 60g bag of pasta – £1
- 1 tin of chopped tomatoes – 60p
Add cheese to make the sauce creamy, or alternatively add a tablespoon of nutritional yeast to make this recipe vegan.Method:
Blend the tomatoes and vegetables with a hand blender or smoothie maker to make the base sauce for your dish.
Boil a portion of pasta in a pan. When it is thoroughly cooked, drain the pasta and add it back into the pan. Add the tin of 5 bean salad, the sauce you blended earlier and mix!
- VEGAN PAD THAI (Gluten free)
Love a good Chinese takeaway? Then why not try making this very veggie Pad Thai! Save yourself from scrolling through UberEATS and make this delicious, healthy alternative. There should even be enough to share around your flat, so everyone can enjoy it!
Serves 3 – £2.83 per person
What you’ll need:
- Tamarind – £1.29 (from Lidl)
- Brown sugar – £1
- Soy sauce – £1.50
- Rice noodles – £1.70 (Pack of 2 portions)
- Sugar snap peas – £1
- Stir-fry veg mix – £1
- Pack of unsalted peanuts – £1
Add some vegetable spring rolls if you fancy a side too!
Cook the noodles in a pan filled with boiling water.
Whilst your noodles are cooking, add the crumbled tofu and the grated tamarind into a warm frying pan with a dash of oil and a teaspoon of brown sugar. Cook on medium heat for 3-5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Add the prepared vegetables and sugar snap peas along with the tofu, and then add the contents of the frying pan to your drained noodles. Add a dash of soy sauce and you’re good to go!
- VEGGIE NORTHERN STEW (Vegan and gluten free)
There’s nothing better than a warm winter classic, or a fantastic cure to freshers’ flu! Bundle up with this delicious stew that will make you feel like you are back home.
Serves 2 – £1.85 per person
What you’ll need:
- 1 bag of new potatoes – £1
- Punnet of mushrooms – £1
- 1 red onion – 30p
- Vegetable OXO cubes – £1
- 1 Tin of butter beans – 50p
Finely chop the mushrooms and onions and boil them in a pan of water. Crumble a stock cube into the pan when the they have started to become soft. Once they are fully cooked, drain the vegetables from the pan and blitz them in a food processor, hand-held blender, or smoothie maker with a small amount of the stock. Add the blended gravy back to the pan and mix in the drained potatoes.
Feel free to add some Quorn pieces or extra veggies to make it that little bit tastier and healthier!
- QUORN LASAGNA
Love Italian food but don’t want to miss out on a classic? This delicious Quorn lasagna is the perfect ‘what mum would make’ meal, with a veggie twist!
Serves 2 – £3.22 per person
- Fresh egg lasagna sheets – £1
- 3 garlic cloves – 30p (Pack of 3)
- 1 small onion – 15p
- 1 jar of pasta sauce – £1
- Quorn mince Family pack – £3
- Cheese – £1
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- 2 tablespoons of plain flour
- A mug of milk
Add one and a half cups of Quorn mince to a lightly oiled, hot frying pan until it is defrosted. Then add the garlic and the finely chopped onion. Add the jar of pasta sauce and stir together.
For the cheese sauce – Add the butter, plain flour, cheese and milk to a pan and continuously stir with a spatula or wooden spoon. It should bubble and begin to go thick (if looks too thick- add a splash of more milk). A vegan alternative to cheese is nutritional yeast.
Use a small oven-proof pasta dish (or a foil carton left over from a Chinese takeaway), and put a thin layer of the mince mixture in the bottom of the dish. Add a fresh lasagna sheet on top of the mince and then a layer of cheese sauce. Repeat these two more times. Bake in an oven at gas mark 7 or 220 degrees for 30 minutes.