Yay! Cheap and easy. Let’s dance! Not only are these meals the super affordable & beginner friendly but they cook super fast. The soup takes 5 minutes to make. The pasta dishes take maybe 10-15 minutes and the quinoa dish takes 20 minutes. And only 1 minute of actual prep time. Throw it together and you’re practically done.
Feel free to double or triple any of these recipes to make the most care-free meal preps ever 🙂
The bow tie pasta was a mistake to buy since it costs a little extra at aldi compared to their other pasta options. Below shows the price but I calculated it using the cheaper pasta and not the bow tie. Self serving math, I know. Most of the prices below are from aldi. I buy bulk herbs and spices which is super cheap.
Vegan Lipton Noodles – 50 cents! (1 serving)
Is there a better name for this? It’s like a creamy, buttery gravy. This was my absolute favorite of the 4 recipes. And it was the cheapest!
1.5 TB vegan butter or oil (too lazy to figure out butter cost), 4 oz pasta (20 cents), 1.25 water, 2 ts bouillon (20 cents, I used vegan chicken “better than bouillon” brand), 1 TB corn starch (5 cents)+ water, spices (5 cents, dried onion, garlic, parsley, chives)
- Boil water and add bouillon, vegan butter and pasta. Cook with lid on for the amount of time the pasta box suggests.
- Once pasta is almost done cooking add extra water, spices and corn starch slurry. If this thickens up too much add a dash of water. ENJOY
Vegan Quinoa Bean Mexican Bowl – $1.02 per serving (4 servings)
Too legit to quit. Perfect meal prep right here. I’ve seen this recipe on every one pot meal post out there. This one is so great! I’ve been wanting to make this for a while now. Add guacamole on top would be legit. This could be eaten in a flour tortilla like a burrito, dipped with tortilla chips or in a salad. I LOVE grains and lettuce. I vote salad.
1 can black beans (55 cents), 1 can corn (70 cents?), 1 can diced tomatoes (89 cents), 1 cup quinoa (190g, $1.39) handful spinach (30 cents), 2 cups water, 2 ts bouillon (20 cents,I used vegan chicken “better than bouillon” brand), 1 TB chili, 2 ts cumin, 1 ts salt (5 cents for spices/salt)
- Drain corn, drain and rinse beans, don’t drain tomatoes. Throw everything except spinach into a large pot and cook for 20 minutes.
- If your canned tomatoes are extra juicy then you may need to cook for an extra minute or two. If your quinoa needs a dash of extra water feel free to add that.
- Once quinoa is cooked add a handful of spinach. ENJOY
Vegan Lasagna In A Bowl – $1.10 per serving (2 servings)
If you were super cheap you can cut out the vegan cheese. This is good as a basic bowl of pasta but once you add a few extra ingredients it elevates the dish to lasagna status. You will not regret a nice bowl of pasta. I know some of you guys love to pour nutritional yeast onto your pasta. Man I LOVE pasta. Aldi pasta is 5 cents an ounce 🙂
8 oz pasta (40 cents), 2 cups water, 2 serving pasta sauce (20 cents), handful spinach (30 cents), handful olives (30 cents?), 2 oz vegan cheese ($1)
- Boil two cups of water then add pasta. Place lid on top and set your timer to whatever the cook time for your pasta is.
- Take lid off then add sauce. If your pasta is still a little crunchy or has some extra water left in the pot just cook a few more minutes with the lid off. You can also thicken the sauce with a TB of tomato paste (optional).
- Add spinach, chz and olive and anything else you’d like. ENJOY
Smoky Bean Soup – $1.24 per serving (2 servings)
Smoky canned chipotle sauce would have been so good but I was trying to reduce cost so I’m cutting corners. Grilled onion and garlic would have been nice…….but again cutting corners. And I feel good about it. Oh, this soup would be great with flavorful tortilla chips! Doesn’t aldi sell salsa flavored tortilla chips? I feel like they do.
1 can refried beans (75 cents), 1 can black beans (55 cents), 1 can diced tomatoes (89 cents), 1 ts vegan bouillon (10 cents), 1/2 cup water, smoked spices (I used chipotle, smoked paprika optional), spices (5 cents, onion, garlic), lime juice (15 cents), handful cilantro, vegan plain yogurt optional, hot sauce optional
- Pour canned tomatoes with juice into a pot. Add drained and rinsed black beans and refried beans.
- Dissolve bouillon into water and mix into beans & tomato. Add as much or as little water as you want for desired thickness.
- Add spices, lime juice, hot sauce, cilantro or whatever else you’d like. ENJOY