Five cheap and easy vegetarian meals for freshers

8 mins read

When you are first learning to cook for yourself it is good to start by having some set recipes that you can use on repeat, but that are also easy. Many veggie recipes online that claim to be easy often end up being expensive and complicated.

Here are some recipes that can be found online, simplified so that they use limited ingredients and take little time to prepare. A lot of these recipes repeat ingredients so you can use them more than once.

In order to get the best value for money on these recipes, if you are doing online shops I recommend shopping with Sainsbury’s as it is the cheapest supermarket online.

Alternatively, if you do your shopping in person I would recommend going to an Aldi or Lidl as they are great value for money. There is both a Lidl and Aldi in Stirling town.

Halloumi burger with sweet chilli mayonnaise

Cost: Under £10.00


  • 1 block of halloumi cut into thick slices
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 bag of salad (You can use any type salad you want)
  • 4 toasted burger buns
  • Mayonnaise
  • Sweet chilli sauce
  • 2 tbsp of butter

Additional Ingredients

  • Tomatoes
  • Onions
  • Anything else you like to put in your burger

Step 1: Put one tbsp of olive oil into a pan with a good amount of salt and pepper. Once the pan has heated up place all the chopped halloumi slices onto the pan and start frying. After both sides begin to brown add a bit of butter. When the butter has melted after a further few minutes, take the halloumi off the heat.

Step 2: Take your sweet chilli sauce and mayonnaise and mix the two together creating your sweet chill mayonnaise sauce.

Step 3: Take your toasted burger buns and prep them by adding in your sweet chill mayonnaise sauce. Then your salad, plus anything else you have added to your burger, and finally add a few of the grilled halloumi pieces. Sandwich them all together between the two halves of your bun and enjoy!

Veggie sausage & tomato pasta

Cost : Under £6.00


  • 2/3 of your favourite veggie sausages chopped into chunks
  • 150g of pasta or spaghetti
  • 1 can of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 clove of crushed garlic
  • 1 half onion
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil

Additional ingredient-

  • 1 tbsp of Tomato puree
  • Paprika or similar spices

Step 1: Heat the olive oil in a pan and add the garlic and onion, fry for one min until the onions are golden. Then, add your chopped sausages and fry until cooked through. They should begin browning on the outside.

Step 2: Add in the tomato purée (if you have) and tomatoes, add salt and pepper to season the pasta sauce. If you are wanting to add a bit of a kick to your pasta you can add Paprika and any other spices you may have in your cupboard. Allow the sauce to simmer for 10 minutes until the sauce begins to thicken slightly.

Step 3: While the sauce cooks, boil the pasta according to pack instructions and drain. Stir the cooked pasta into the sauce for one or two minutes. If you wish you can sprinkle some cheese on top of your pasta as a finishing touch.

Pitta bread pizzas

Cost: Under £6.00


  • 4 wholewheat pitta breads
  • 4 tbsp of tomato puree / pesto
  • 50g of mozzarella (if you cannot find this feel free to use any other cheese you have in your cupboard)
  • 6/7 cherry tomatoes

Additional Ingredients

  • Bell peppers
  • Mushrooms
  • Plus any other vegetables you like to have on your pizza

Step 1: Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Whilst the oven is heating up, spread your tomato puree/pesto on top of each your pitta breads. Then top with your mozzarella cheese, tomatoes plus any other additional toppings you want.

Step 2: Place your pitta breads on a baking tray/baking sheet and place in the centre of your oven. Cook the pittas for 10 minutes until the cheese has melted and the tomatoes are cooked. Place pittas on a plate and they are ready to eat.

Credit: Sainsbury’s

Quorn chicken, halloumi, sweet chilli and avocado salad

Cost: Under £8.00


  • 7/6 Quorn chicken nuggets
  • 1 half block of halloumi cut into slices
  • Sweet chilli sauce
  • 1 half avocado cut into slices
  • 1 bag of salad (Again, choose any type of salad you like)

Step 1: Place seven or eight Quorn chicken nuggets and your slices of halloumi onto a baking tray. Cook the nuggets according to the instructions on the packet. Bare in mind you might need to take out the halloumi slices before the nuggets as they should only take about five minutes to cook in the oven.

Step 2: While the nuggets cook. Wash your salad and place it in a bowl. Cut up half an avocado and put the slices into the bowl with your salad.

Step 3: Once the nuggets and halloumi slices are cooked. Put them in with the salad and avocado. Cover the salad in some sweet chilli sauce as a salad dressing.

Vegetable stir fry

Cost: Under £8.00


  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 spring onion, cut into small pieces
  • 1 garlic clove, cut into small pieces 
  • 1 Small piece fresh root ginger
  • 1 carrot, cut into matchsticks
  • 1 red pepper, cut into thick matchsticks
  • 25g baby sweetcorn, cut into small chunks 
  • 2 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 2 tbsp low-salt soy sauce
  • A packet of noodles / rice  

Additional Ingredients

  • 1 courgette
  • 35g suger-snap peas, trimmed

Step 1: Heat a pan (or a wok if you have one) on a high heat and add the olive oil. Add the spring onions, garlic, ginger and stir-fry for one minute, then reduce the heat. Make sure you do not brown the vegetables.

Step 2: Add the carrot, red pepper, baby corn and any other vegetables you wish to add to the stir-fry and fry for two minutes. Do not overcrowd the wok/pan and keep the ingredients moving.

Step 3: Add one tablespoon water, hoisin and soy sauce and cook over a high heat for a further two minutes or until all the vegetables are cooked but not too soft. Serve with noodles or rice.

Featured Image Credit: BBC Food

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