56 Easy Budget-Friendly Recipes

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Assortment of budget-friendly recipes including oatmeal, sloppy joes, polenta, and more

If you’ve been in a grocery store lately, you’ve likely noticed some sticker shock when it comes to food prices (thanks, inflation!). Meat, eggs, oils, and seafood have seen the biggest increases (source), but your overall grocery bill has likely taken a hit, too. To help ease the strain on your wallet, we’ve compiled our top budget-friendly tips and easy recipes including breakfasts, snacks, sides, dinners, and desserts.

Budget-Friendly Menu Tips

  • Buy fruits and veggies that are in season, and include frozen as needed
  • Opt for plant-based sources of protein like tofu, lentils, and other beans/legumes
  • Shop in the bulk section for lower prices on items like grains, beans, dried fruit, nuts and seeds, and spices
  • Prepare more meals at home instead of eating out
  • Plan ahead so ingredients get used in multiple meals each week and don’t go to waste (pro tip: you can sort by ingredient in our recipe index)

Now, let’s put these tips into action with some delicious plant-based recipes!

(Note: Dietary symbols listed throughout for easy navigation!)

Breakfasts

Bowl of Instant Pot oats topped with sliced banana, brown sugar, and pecans
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Instant Pot Oats (Fast, Creamy Oatmeal!)
A quick and simple method for making PERFECT, creamy oats in the Instant Pot. Just 1 ingredient and 20 minutes required!
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Glass of our plant-based Chocolate Protein Shake topped with fresh raspberries and hemp seeds
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Chocolate Protein Shake (Protein Powder-Free!)
Simple 7-ingredient, plant-based shake made with protein-rich whole food ingredients and NO protein powder. Creamy, chocolaty, naturally sweetened, and just 1 blender and 5 minutes to prepare.
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Glass of our vegan carrot cake smoothie topped with shredded carrot and coconut
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Creamy Carrot Cake Smoothie
A dreamy, creamy smoothie infused with the flavors of carrot cake! Just 7 wholesome ingredients required, including banana, carrot, plant milk, and spices.
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Jar of Peanut Butter Overnight Oats topped with sliced banana and strawberries
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Peanut Butter Overnight Oats (5 Ingredients!)
EASY peanut butter overnight oats made with just 5 ingredients and 5 minutes prep time. Naturally sweetened, vegan, gluten-free, and so delicious.
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Using a wooden spoon to stir a batch of Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola on a baking sheet
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Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola
6-ingredient crispy peanut butter granola sprinkled with dark chocolate chips! Simple, fast, and seriously satisfying.
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Jugs of non-dairy milk for our Complete Guide to Dairy-Free Milk
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How to Make Oat Milk
A quick and easy 2-ingredient, 5-minute way to make homemade oat milk! Naturally creamy and sweet, and perfect for smoothies, granola, and more!
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Top down shot of a straw in a jar filled with My Favorite Green Smoothie recipe
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My Favorite Green Smoothie
A creamy, sweet vegan green smoothie with banana, peanut butter, spinach, flaxseed, berries, and almond milk. The perfect healthy breakfast or afternoon snack.
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Partially eaten stack of Vegan Carrot Coconut Pancakes
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Vegan Carrot Coconut Pancakes
Vegan pancakes made with whole-wheat flour, carrots, coconut, and walnuts. Light, fluffy, and flavorful. Perfect with walnuts, coconut, and hot maple syrup.
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Topping two slices of toast with British baked beans
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Easy Baked Beans on Toast (British-Inspired)
Flavorful, British-inspired baked beans on toast! An easy, versatile, and delicious plant-based meal. Just 1 pot and 30 minutes required!
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Stack of mini egg-free Sopapilla Pancakes topped with butter and honey
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Mini Sopapilla Pancakes
Fluffy cinnamon-scented pancakes that are both dairy- and egg-free. Topped with cinnamon-sugar, butter, and a little honey or maple syrup, these taste JUST like a sopapilla, only no frying required.
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Plate of roasted sweet potato, avocado, baba ganoush, and Vegan Chickpea Scramble
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Fluffy Chickpea Scramble (30 minutes!)
A hearty chickpea scramble in 30 minutes with a secret ingredient that binds the chickpeas and makes them fluffy! A delicious, nutritious (10-ingredient), plant-based meal.
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Plate of Southwest Tofu Scramble and Vegan Breakfast Potatoes for a delicious meal
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Southwest Tofu Scramble
Savory, Southwest-inspired tofu scramble with lots of veggies and a simple 5-ingredient sauce. Just 10 ingredients, 30 minutes, and 1 pan required!
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Cast iron skillet filled with Tofu Chilaquiles
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Chipotle Tofu Chilaquiles
30-minute Vegan Chilaquiles with 5-ingredient chipotle sauce, DIY baked chips, and a hearty tofu scramble on top! Flavorful, fast, and seriously satisfying.
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Snacks

Food processor filled with a batch of our homemade Seedy Sunflower Butter recipe
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Super Seedy Sunflower Butter
Super seedy sunflower butter with chia, hemp, flax, and pumpkin seeds — perfect for toast, baked goods, oats, and more! Creamy with a slight crunch, six ingredients, and vitamin and mineral-rich!
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Top down shot of a bowl filled with homemade Vegan Cheez Its
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Vegan Cheez Its
30-minute cheesy vegan crackers that taste just like Cheez Its! Simple, fast, and surprisingly close to the original. So cheezy!
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Bowl of Cheesy Sunflower Kale Chips
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Sunflower-Coated Cheesy Kale Chips
Amazingly cheesy, crispy kale chips baked in a sunflower seed-nutritional yeast coating! Healthy, simple ingredients, BIG flavor and nutrients!
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Cooling rack filled with homemade Vegan Pumpkin Apple Muffins topped with oats
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Vegan Pumpkin Apple Muffins
These one-bowl pumpkin apple muffins include plenty of pumpkin puree and sautéed cinnamon apples. Plus, they're vegan, ridiculously moist, and positively scrumptious.
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Batch of Vegan Banana Crumble Top Muffins on a white linen
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Vegan Banana Crumb Muffins
Super moist, flavorful vegan banana nut muffins with a crumb top! 30 minutes and one bowl required, and so delicious!
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Bowl of homemade hummus topped with olive oil and paprika
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Easy 5-Minute Microwave Hummus
6-ingredient hummus that comes together in 5 minutes and is magically transformed into the best hummus thanks to the MICROWAVE! Trust me. It’s the best hummus I’ve ever made at home!
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Top down shot of a jar of our bbq roasted chickpeas recipe
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Crispy BBQ Roasted Chickpeas
Easy to make, crispy chickpeas roasted until golden brown and tossed in smoky BBQ spices! Just 8 ingredients required, naturally vegan, and gluten-free!
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Two plates of Baked Sweet Potatoes with one having savory toppings and the other sweet
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Baked Sweet Potatoes 2 Ways!
Easy, healthy baked sweet potatoes two ways — savory and sweet! The perfect 30-minute, plant-based meal or snack when you don't feel like cooking.
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Sides

Spoon resting on a plate of Roasted Potatoes with a bowl of ketchup
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Perfect Roasted Potatoes
Perfect roasted potatoes every time! No boiling required, 1 pan, 30 minutes, perfectly crisp edges, and tender inside. The ultimate brunch side!
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Wooden spoon scooping up roasted cabbage on a baking sheet
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Perfect Roasted Cabbage (Quick & Easy!)
A quick and easy tutorial for making PERFECT roasted cabbage every time! Crispy, delicious, and versatile. Just 3 ingredients, 1 pan, and 25 minutes required.
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Cast-iron skillet piled high with Patatas Bravas topped with Spicy Sauce
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Simple Patatas Bravas
Classic patatas bravas, only healthier! Baked crispy potato wedges topped with a spicy tomato sauce. Keep vegan by omitting aioli and cheese. Fresh herbs make a bright, earthy finish. 10 ingredients. Perfect for a crowd.
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Baking sheet of perfect roasted carrots with fresh rosemary and thyme
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Perfect Roasted Carrots (Quick & Easy)
Perfect roasted carrots that are tender with caramelized, crispy edges. Simple ingredients and methods required, plus options for adding flavor with spices or herbs!
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Slice of the best vegan cornbread with a bite taken out
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Perfect Vegan Cornbread
Easy-to-make, fluffy, perfectly sweet vegan cornbread made with 10 ingredients. The perfect comforting side to soups and chilis, or to bake into croutons for salads or stuffing.
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Cutting board with a stack of Vegan Naan topped with fresh parsley
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Easy Vegan Naan
Fluffy, tender, vegan naan made with 7 simple ingredients! The perfect snack or side for Indian dishes like curry, lentil soup, or chutney. Also makes a delicious wrap!
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Holding the sides of a bowl of vegan polenta
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Easy Vegan Polenta (Super Creamy!)
How to make vegan polenta in 1 pot with 3 ingredients! Creamy, comforting, versatile, and so delicious!
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Dinners

Bowl of Simple Miso Soup made with greens and tofu
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15-Minute Miso Soup with Greens and Tofu
An inspired take on Japanese miso soup with tofu, green onion, and loads of greens. Just 15 minutes from start to finish, and so flavorful and comforting.
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Spoon resting in a skillet of Vegan Shakshuka with fresh cilantro
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1-Pot Chickpea Shakshuka
Savory, flavorful shakshuka with chickpeas made in 1 pot in 30 minutes! A hearty yet healthy dish suitable for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!
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Hamburger filled with cabbage, green onion, and our Vegan 'Pulled Pork' recipe
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The Best Vegan “Pulled Pork” Sandwich!
Healthy, 10-ingredient vegan "pulled pork" sandwich with tons of smoky, sweet flavor and 17 G PROTEIN per serving!
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Holding a bowl of vegan potato leek soup
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Creamy Vegan Potato Leek Soup
Creamy, comforting, flavorful potato leek soup that’s plant-based, gluten-free, and easy to make. Made in 1 pot with just 9 simple ingredients!
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Chopsticks beside a bowl of Vegan Fried Rice topped with tofu
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Easy Vegan Fried Rice
Easy, 10-ingredient vegan fried rice that’s loaded with vegetables, crispy baked tofu, and tons of flavor! A healthy, satisfying plant-based side dish or entrée.
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Wood board with three buns filled with sliced onions and our Vegan Sloppy Joe recipe
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Vegan Sloppy Joes
Hearty, flavorful Vegan Sloppy Joes made with fresh, simple ingredients, naturally sweetened, and they require just 30 minutes! Savory, smoky, perfectly sweet — a delicious plant-based meal!
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Wooden spoon in a pot of Tomato and Vegetable White Bean Soup
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Tomato and Vegetable White Bean Soup
A hearty 1-pot winter soup that's brothy and tomato-infused and chock-full of hearty veggies like squash, kale, and potatoes. White beans provide extra protein and a buttery finish. The perfect healthy lunch or dinner for colder months.
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Close up shot of a bite of penne arrabbiata
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Easy Penne Arrabbiata
Perfect arrabbiata sauce made in 1 pot with 8 pantry staples. Incredibly spicy, garlicky, vibrant tomato flavor. Gluten-free friendly and naturally vegan.
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Holding a pot of Spiced Sweet Potato Lentil Soup made with green beans
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1-Pot Spiced Sweet Potato Lentil Soup
1-pot lentil soup made with sweet potatoes, green beans, and warming spices! The ultimate easy meal to enjoy throughout the week or to please a crowd. 
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Bowls of yellow split pea soup topped with roasted sweet potato
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Creamy Yellow Split Pea Soup (Instant Pot Friendly!)
Creamy, Ethiopian-inspired yellow split pea soup made in the Instant Pot. A delicious, comforting plant-based side or main. Just 1 pot and 9 ingredients required!
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Bowl of Mediterranean Baked Sweet Potatoes for a simple and healthy vegan meal
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Mediterranean Baked Sweet Potatoes
Simple, 30-minute baked sweet potatoes topped with roasted chickpeas, a simple garlic-herb sauce, and a parsley-tomato salad. Delicious, fresh, healthy, and naturally vegan and gluten-free.
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Holding a bowl of creamy sweet potato lentil soup topped with coconut milk and pepitas
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Warming Red Lentil Sweet Potato Soup (Instant Pot!)
Creamy sweet potato and red lentil soup infused with coconut milk and warming spices. The ultimate fall and winter dish. Made in the Instant Pot and perfect for meal prep!
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Chickpea Sunflower Sandwich on a cutting board
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Chickpea Sunflower Sandwich
30-minute Chickpea Sunflower Sandwich with smashed chickpeas and roasted sunflower seeds in a simple dressing. Sandwiched between two slices of bread and topped with my secret garlic sauce, this is healthy lunch perfection.
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Big bowls of Red Lentil Chili garnished with sliced jalapeno, cilantro, and red onion
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1-Pot Red Lentil Chili
Hearty red lentil chili made in 1 pot with simple ingredients! A smoky, flavorful, protein- and fiber-rich plant-based meal perfect for cold nights and feeding a crowd.
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Bowl of Vegan Minestrone beside vegetables, vegan parmesan, and gluten-free noodles
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1-Pot Vegan Minestrone (Gluten-Free)
Easy, 1-pot vegan and gluten-free Minestrone! Simple, wholesome ingredients, 30 minutes to prepare. SO delicious and perfect for fall and winter!
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Plate of Lentil Mushroom Stew Over Mashed Potatoes
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Lentil Mushroom Stew over Mashed Potatoes
Super delicious and hearty mushroom lentil stew gravy over mashed potatoes! Entirely vegan, gluten-free, and grain-free. A delicious and easy-to-make 10-ingredient meal or side!
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Simple Curried Lentil Veg Soup SQUARE
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Curried Kale, Potato & Lentil Soup (1-Pot!)
Hearty, comforting curry lentil soup with potatoes and kale! Big curry flavor in this 1-pot soup that comes together in less than 45 minutes. The perfect satisfying, healthy, plant-based meal.
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Bowls of our delicious 1-Pot Black Bean Soup topped with avocado, tortilla chips, and avocado
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Easy 1-Pot Black Bean Soup
Easy-to-make, comforting black bean soup made with simple ingredients in 1 pot! A 30-minute meal or side that’s customizable and incredibly satisfying.
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Picking up a taco from a plate
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1-Pot Smoky Lentil Vegan Taco “Meat”
Easy vegan taco “meat” made with lentils, carrots, and TONS of smoky spices! Just 30 minutes required for this flavorful, 1-pot dish!
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Bowls of Everyday Vegan Lentil Soup beside a tray of vegetables
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1-Pot Everyday Lentil Soup
An easy, everyday recipe for lentil soup with potatoes, carrots, kale, and simple herbs and seasonings. The perfect plant-based main or side that requires just 10 ingredients, 1 pot, and about 30 minutes to make.
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Desserts

Close up shot of vegan chocolate chip cookies topped with flaky salt
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Classic Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies (1 Bowl!)
The perfect classic vegan chocolate chip cookie made in 1 bowl! Salty-sweet, buttery, slightly crisp edges, tender center, and gooey chocolate chips. Just 9 ingredients and simple methods required!
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Bowls of Banana Ice Cream in an assortment of flavors
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Easy Banana Ice Cream (Tips + 10 flavors!)
The ultimate guide to making EASY, perfect 1-INGREDIENT banana ice cream every time! We’re sharing our top tips and tricks, plus 10 delicious flavors!
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Stack of perfectly cut gluten-free vegan Brownies with pecans and dark chocolate chips
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Easy Vegan Gluten-Free Brownies
10-ingredient vegan gluten-free brownies that are naturally sweetened, fudgy, rich, and studded with chocolate chips and nuts!
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Tall glass of our PB Banana Shake surrounded by ingredients to make it
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Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Shake
Easy, 5-ingredient chocolate peanut butter banana shake with a thick, creamy texture and tons of chocolate-peanut butter flavor! A perfectly healthy vegan breakfast, snack, or dessert.
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Holding a Vegan Funfetti Cupcake topped with frosting and rainbow sprinkles
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One Bowl Vegan Funfetti Cupcakes
1-bowl vegan funfetti cupcakes that taste JUST like the real thing! Fluffy, sweet, and loaded with vegan buttercream and sprinkles.
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Slice of amazing Vegan Chocolate Cake on a plate
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1-Bowl Vegan Chocolate Cake
1-bowl vegan chocolate cake made in less than 1 hour with simple ingredients. A 2-layer buttercream-frosted cake that’s moist, fluffy, and rich with chocolate flavor.
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Pan of the World's Easiest homemade Cinnamon Rolls drizzled with icing
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The World’s Easiest Cinnamon Rolls
Easy cinnamon rolls with just 7 ingredients and no complicated steps. Just proof, roll out, and bake! Plus, they’re vegan and SO delicious, fluffy, and gooey!
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Skillet piled high with Coconut Sugar Caramelized Plantains and coconut whipped cream
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Coconut Sugar Caramelized Plantains
5-ingredient, 15-minute coconut sugar caramelized plantains! Refined sugar-free, vegan, gluten-free, and so delicious.
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If you try any of these recipes, let us know! Leave a comment or take a picture and tag it @minimalistbaker on Instagram. Enjoy, friends!

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