Monday, June 8, 2020

14 Meatless Meals for under $1 Per Serving

This post is on Meatless Meals.  I can easily skip the meat on some of the recipes I have, like taco soup or chili for example.  Those recipes have lots of flavor from the spices so it makes a difference.  I found a variety of recipes on the internet.  I am using Walmart's regular prices.  I will also share the modifications I made to reduce the cost of the recipe if needed.

Meatless Meal #1

Little Quinoa Patties

These quinoa burgers taste pretty good.  Instead of making 11-12 like the recipe says, I made 8 larger ones and so my cost analysis is using 8 servings.  They were only 42 cents per patty/burger...amazing!  My husband is not a fan of quinoa, but he liked them as well.  I will definitely make them again and again.  Since the link to the recipe is above, by just clicking on the title, I will just do the cost analysis on this post.

I used 1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of Parsley instead of the 1/4 cup fresh.  I also used Panko type bread crumbs.

Quinoa - $1.49
Eggs - 80 cents
Salt - 1 cent
Parsley - 4 cents 
Parmesan Cheese - 42 cents
Garlic - 16 cents
Bread crumbs or crackers - 42 cents
Oil - 2 cents

Cost to make recipe:  $3.36
Servings:  8
Cost Per Serving:  42 cents

Meatless Meal #2

Thai Pineapple Fried Rice

I must say that I was pleasantly surprised by this recipe.  The only reason I made it was because I didn't want to go to the store and I had some things in the fridge that needed to be used up.  I didn't follow the recipe exactly, but it still tasted great and I would recommend making it.  The link to the recipe can be found by clicking on the title.  Below is the cost analysis and the changes I made.  If you used coconut oil which sure adds to the flavor, cashews, cilantro, fresh pineapple and lime, like the recipe calls for, you would go over the $1 per serving budget.  This is a good recipe to make to clean out the fridge of your extra produce.

Oil - 4 cents  (If you use coconut oil, it is 35 cents)
Eggs - 40 cents
Pineapple - 75 cents (I used 3/4 of a can of pineapple because that is what I had)
Onion - 46 cents (I used a regular onion because I didn't have green onions on hand)
Garlic - 16 cents
Cashews - Eliminate because of the cost (would be an extra $1.66)
2 cups cooked rice, white or brown - 24 cents
Soy Sauce - 6 cents
Chili Sauce or Sriracha - I used 3 Tablespoons chili sauce, about 6 times as much  - 13 cents
Lime - 28 cents (I didn't have it so I put it a little bit of broccoli instead)
Salt and Pepper to taste - 5 cents
Fresh Cilantro - 15 cents (I skipped this as well because I didn't have any)

Total cost for the recipe:  $2.72
Servings - 3
Cost per serving - 91 cents

With all my substitutions, the cost was more like $2.29 or 77 cents per serving

Meatless Meal #3

Jerk Potato and Black Bean Curry

I had some extra potatoes I needed to use this week, so I looked for a meatless meal with potatoes.  I found this one, which ended up being pretty good, but I warn you that it does have a kick.  It leaves your mouth burning a bit like when you eat jalapenos.  Since the recipe was too expensive, I had to tweak it a lot, but it still turned out well and tasted great.  I only used half of the spices and it still was flavorful.  This isn't a good recipe for people who don't like a bit of zing.  Since you can click on the title to get to the recipe, I will just record what I did to make it under $1 per serving.  The says it serves 4, but it definitely makes more than that even with reducing or eliminating some of the ingredients.  We had this over rice the next day, but noodles would work as well.  Because of the spiciness of the recipe, I would eat it over something.  For my cost analysis, I added the cost of the rice and increased the servings.

1 1/2 to 2 pounds potatoes
2 T. Canola oil instead of sunflower oil to save money and I had it on hand
1 Onion instead of 2
1 large carrot
1/2 teaspoon dried ground ginger (I would definitely use 1 T. grated fresh in the future), but I didn't     have any at the time.
1 1/2 tablespoons Jerk seasoning
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 can black beans
1 Can of tomatoes with green chilies (instead of a can of tomatoes and a green chili)
Chicken broth instead of veggie stock since that was all I had on hand
1 Red pepper instead of 2 because of the price
1 teaspoon dried coriander, but I would use 2 T. fresh cilantro instead to save 31 cents
Salt and pepper to taste
I left out the celery since I didn't have any at home at the time

Cost analysis:

Potatoes- 85 cents
Oil - 4 cents
Onion - 46 cents
Carrot - 18 cents
Ginger - small chunk of fresh - 25 cents
Jerk seasoning - 28 cents
Thyme - 11 cents
Black beans - 72 cents
Tomatoes with green chilies - 68 cents
Chicken broth - 50 cents
1 Red bell pepper - $1.38
Salt and pepper to taste - 5 cents
Fresh Cilantro - 16 cents  (dried coriander is about 47 cents)
Rice - 24 cents  (2 cups dry or 4+cups cooked)

Total cost for the recipe:  $5.74
Servings: 6 generous portions
Cost per serving:  96 cents per serving

Meatless Meal #4 - I posted this with casseroles, but since it is meatless and people loved the recipe, I am posting it again in the meatless list of meals.

Macaroni and Cheese

I used this recipe but substituted the sharp white cheddar for sharp orange cheddar to save $1.16.  You can also use margarine instead of butter to save an additional 33 cents.

Cost analysis:

Pasta - 82 cents
Salt - 1 cent
Milk - 82 cents
Butter/Margarine - Butter 47 cents, Margarine 14 cents
Flour - 3 cents
Dijon Mustard - 3ccents
Pepper - 4 cents
Cayenne Pepper - 5 cents
16 oz. Sharp cheddar cheese  $3.58
Romano cheese - 5 oz   $1.39

Total cost for the recipe:  $6.91
8 servings
Cost per serving:  87 cents per serving

Meatless Meal #5

Lasagna Primavera

Cutting down this recipe has been a challenge.  If you want to make the recipe, click on the title and it will take you there.  One of the other Spendwise Moms made this recipe, and she used leftover veggies in her fridge.  She also tried it with tomato paste, Italian seasoning and water instead of store bought Marinara sauce.  Her kids liked it as well.  Lasagna uses a LOT of cheese and that adds up.  I tweaked the recipe a lot, but here is the final result to put it under $1 per serving:

I eliminated the carrots and broccoli since they didn't sound like they belonged in lasagna.  You can use whatever veggies you want if you shoot for the same price total.

Zucchini - 92 cents  (Walmart has this for 92 cents each.  I figured one is enough since it should give me about 2 cups.

Frozen spinach - instead of a 20 ounce frozen I went with the $1.00 spinach that weighed 15 ounces.

Ricotta cheese - $1.41 Instead of 3 cups, I did about 1 1/2 cups.  You can also use cottage cheese, but put it in the food processor first since you don't have chunks that look unappetizing with the reddish sauce.  There isn't too much difference in cost at Walmart, so I would suggest the Ricotta.

Salt - 1 cent

Mozzarella cheese - $1.67    I used half of the cheese it called for to save money.

Parmesan cheese - 59 cents    I used between 1/2 to 1//3 the amount of Parmesan cheese called for.

Sauce - 92 cents   Instead of Pasta sauce from the store, I substituted with tomato paste, water and Italian seasoning.

Italian Seasoning - 5 cents

Lasagna noodles - $1.06

Total cost for the recipe:  $7.63
8 servings
Total cost per serving:  96 cents

Meatless Meal # 6

Vegetarian Chili

This recipe took some time to figure out the cost, but luckily it wasn't too hard to get it to fit into the under $1 meals.  Feedback on this recipe was that it was a bit spicy, even without the green chilies.  Click on the title for the link to the original recipe.  Here is what I did and the cost analysis.

2 tablespoons Vegetable oil instead of Olive oil - 4 cents
Onion - 46 cents
Garlic - 20 cents
Red bell pepper - $1.38
Chili Powder - 16 cents
Oregano leaves - 7 cents
Cumin - 4 cents
Basil - 17 cents
Seasoning Salt - 2 cents
Cayenne pepper - 5 cents
Paprika - 2 cents
Black Pepper - 4 cents
Sugar - 1 cent
24 oz. canned tomatoes - $1.24
Black beans - 2 at 72 cents each or $1.44
Pinto beans - 72 cents
Green chilies, regular not fire roasted - 76 cents
Canned corn - 35 cents
Chicken broth instead of veggie broth - 29 cents
Bay leaf - 19 cents

Lime - left it out!  Would have been 42 cents more if not which would have gone over by 7 cents.

Total cost for the recipe:  $7.65
Servings:  8
Cost per serving:  96 cents

Meatless Meal #7

Easy Lo Mein

When I first chose recipes, I tried to find ones I thought would provide a good variety.  I didn't take the time to see how much they cost beforehand, so this is another recipe that had to be tweaked a lot.  But, feedback was that it was enjoyed and worth making.  The person making it didn't like mushrooms, so they used snow peas.  You can click on the title for the original recipe.  I will share what was tweaked and the cost analysis below:

Spaghetti - 41 cents   A note on the recipe said you could substitute, so since it was cheaper it was.

Canola oil - 2 cents   Replaced the olive oil called for.

Garlic - 18 cents

Mushrooms - 94 cents   The mushrooms were cut in half to just 1 cup and used regular mushrooms instead of cremini mushrooms.

1/2 Red bell pepper  - 69 cents   Cut this in half to fit in the budget

Carrot - 18 cents

Snow peas - Left out when tweaking, but if you like them it is another 52 cents

3 cups baby spinach - Just got a bunch of fresh spinach


Soy sauce - 11 cents
Sugar - 1 cent
Vegetable oil - 1 cent   Replaced sesame oil to cut cost.  Sesame tastes better.
Ginger - 11 cents
Sriracha   - 2 cents

Total cost for the recipe:  $3.96
Servings:  4
Cost Per Serving:  99 cents

Meatless Meal #8

One Pan Mexican Quinoa

This recipe worked out pretty easily in the under $1 per serving budget.  The feedback was positive.  I left out the avocado, lime juice and fresh cilantro as garnishes, but they would definitely add to make it better.  The link to the original recipe can be found by clicking the title.  I will just record the cost analysis and what little bit of tweaking I did.

Oil - 2 cents    Used vegetable oil instead of olive
Garlic - 18 cents
Jalapeno, minced - 7 cents
1 cup quinoa - $1.32 since I had to get organic from Walmart
Chicken Broth - 29 cents   Used instead of veggie broth.
Black beans - 72 cents
Canned tomatoes - 74 cents   Used instead of fire roasted
Canned corn - 32 cents
Chili powder - 3 cents
Cumin - 2 cents
Salt and pepper - 5 cents   I used regular salt, not kosher

Avocado - left out, but would have been 78 cents
Juice of Lime - left out, but would have been 42 cents
Fresh cilantro -left out, but would have been  8-12 cents

Total cost for the recipe:  $3.76
Servings:  4
Cost per serving:  94 cents per serving

Meatless Meal #9

Slow Cooker Potato and Corn Chowder

This recipe was inexpensive and was better than I had expected.  One of the other Spendwise Moms had made it, but I had some potatoes that needed to be used so I thought I would give it a try as well.  I didn't have any whipping cream, but I did have some sour cream so I put about a cup of that instead.  It turned out well.  The original recipe can be found by clicking the title.  I made some changes, but not a lot.  You could easily follow the recipe and still be way under the $1 amount per serving.

Potatoes - 64 cents for Russets instead of the $1.49 for Red Potatoes
Corn - 50 cents for canned corn opposed to 84 cents fro frozen
Flour - 2 cents
Chicken stock - $1.50 for 3 cans and I added a little bit of water to cover the shortage
Thyme - 18 cents
Oregano - 5 cents
Garlic Powder - 2 cents
Onion Powder - 2 cents
Salt and Pepper - 3 cents  I used regular salt instead of Kosher
Butter - 6 cents for Margarine, 19 cents for butter
Cream - 32 cents

Total cost for the recipe:  $3.34
8 Servings
42 cents per serving

Meatless Meal #10

Easy Black Bean Burgers

These burgers are easy and taste pretty good and turn out pretty well.  Even my husband will eat them, as long as there is enough sauce!  One of the other Spendwise Moms made these, but I had some chopped up nuts I wanted to use up so I went ahead and made them as well.  These are a good source of protein and nice for a change from the typical hamburger.  Click on the title for the original recipe.  I didn't change anything for this recipe at all.  I made 3 burgers, which were definitely large enough.

Cost Analysis:

Black beans - 72 cents
Garlic - 18 cents
Scallions - 9 cents
Walnuts - 67 cents
Oats - 9 cents
Chili Powder - 2 cents
Paprika - 2 cents
Soy sauce - 6 cents
Red wine vinegar - 7 cents
Maple syrup - 3 cents
Oil - 2 cents

Total cost for the recipe:  $1.97
3 Servings
Cost Per Serving:  66 cents

Meatless Meal #11


I love hummus.  It is a healthy food that tastes good with veggies or bread.  It is a good way to get your family to eat beans as well.


1 can Garbanzo beans, drained
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup Tahini
Salt and Pepper to taste

Place in a food processor and mix until smooth.  If it is too thick, add a little olive oil or water to thin it out.  You can add paprika, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, parsley or a combination of your choice if desired.

Cost analysis:

Garbanzo beans - 72 cents
Lemon - 48 cents
Tahini - 73 cents
Salt and Pepper - 3 cents

Total cost for the recipe:  $1.96
Servings:  3 large 1/2 cup servings
Cost per serving:  66 cents

Meatless Meal #12

Turkish Red Lentil Soup

This is another healthy inexpensive legume recipe.  It is easy to make as well.  You could cut costs by getting the onion and potato somewhere else where the prices may be lower.  The recipe can be found by clicking on the title.  I didn't make any changes to the recipe.

Cost Analysis:

Oil - 4 cents
Onion - 46 cents
Water - 0
Red Lentils - 58 cents
Potato - 62 cents
Paprika - 15 cents
Onion Powder - 7 cents
Garlic Powder - 7 cents
Balsamic vinegar - 9 cents
Salt - 1 cent
Pepper - 2 cents

Cost for the entire recipe:  $2.09
Servings - 4
Cost per serving:  53 cents

Meatless Meal  #13

Cheesy Enchilada Rice Skillet

The feedback from this recipe was good.  The only challenge was that it was about 25 percent more than the budget we had.  I made some changes below included in the cost analysis.  The original recipe can be found by clicking on the title.

Rice - 29 cents
Oil - 2 cents   I used vegetable oil instead of olive oil
Garlic - 14 cents
Onion - 23 cents  I used half of what the recipe called for
Green pepper - 38 cents   I used half of what the recipe called for
Corn - 25 cents
Black beans - 36 cents
Mild enchilada sauce - 65 cents - I used 1/2 cup instead of 3/4 cup
Green enchilada sauce - 65 cents
Chili Powder - 2 cents
Cumin - 1 cent
Oregano - 2 cents
Salt and pepper - 3 cents   I used regular salt, not Kosher
Mexican blend shredded cheese - 84 cents - I used 3/4 instead of 1 cup
Cilantro - 8 cents  Used just a bit less

Total cost for the tweaked recipe:  $3.95
4 Servings
Cost per serving:  99 cents

Meatless Meal  #14

Black Beans and Rice

The feedback I got from this recipe was that it didn't work out as well as the person hoped, but it tasted fine.  They didn't think they cooked it long enough.  The original recipe can be found by clicking on the link of the title.  I made a few changes for this recipe,  but because it served enough people that it was easier to fit in the budget.

Oil - 8 cents   I used vegetable oil instead of olive oil
Green Pepper - 38 cents   I used half
Onion - 23 cents   I used half
Garlic - 34 cents I used about 4 cloves
Black beans - $1.44
Canned tomatoes - 74 cents
Chicken broth - 50 cents
Thyme - 16 cents
Bay leaf - 19 cents
Oregano - 3 cents
Water - 0
Cilantro - 12 cents
Salt and pepper - 3 cents
Rice - 43 cents

Cost for the whole recipe:  $4.67
5 Servings
Cost per serving:  94 cents

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