Here are two easy, tasty, vegan cottage pie recipes. They are ideal if you are on a tight budget.

There are two recipes below…

  • black bean vegan cottage pie recipe
  • green lentil vegan cottage pie recipe

Both recipes are easy, high in vegan protein, filling and tasty!

Vegan cottage pie fillings for batch making on a budget

Vegan cottage pie recipes on a budget

I’ve developed these recipes with a tight budget in mind (please find the cost breakdown in the next paragraph).

You can feed a family of 8 for less than a fiver with the cottage pies.

If you live alone, then you can batch make and freeze your vegan cottage pie into portions. 

This is the cost breakdown based on an average supermarket in the UK. You can easily adapt this for the USA and other countries, depending on what you have available. For example, you might have a different bean or lentil that is less expensive or more readily available.

Black bean vegan cottage pie recipe cost breakdown

    • Potatoes £1
    • Dry black turtle beans £1.80
    • Courgette (zucchini) £1.15
    • Passata £0.78
    • Creamed coconut £0.73
    • Spices £0.30

£5.76 total

(£0.72 per serving – based on 8 portions)

Green lentil vegan cottage pie recipe cost breakdown

    • Potatoes £1
    • Dry green lentils £1.45
    • Celery £0.22
    • Passata £0.78
    • Creamed coconut £0.73
    • Spices £0.30

£4.48 total

(£0.56 per serving – based on 8 portions)

 

Green lentil cottage pie for batch making on a budget

Buying beans and lentils in bulk and storing them

Dried beans and lentils are one of the best foods that you can buy in bulk and keep for long-term storage. They are cheap and have a very long shelf life if you store them correctly.

Bulk buying can save you money in the long run. It also means that, if there are food shortages, or if money gets really tight, then you’ll have a high-protein vegan, calorie-dense supply of food available. If you are worried about food shortages, then you can stock up on canned beans for your vegan cottage pies too. Sometimes it can be cost-effective to stock up on pre-cooked canned beans too if you are on a budget.

Dry black turtle beans

Cooking dry black beans and lentils on a budget

Black beans and lentils cook more quickly if you soak them overnight. So remember to soak them in advance to save on cooking time when you make your cottage pie recipe the next day.

If you are watching every penny then you might prefer to use a pressure cooker or a thermal cooker if you have these available. 

Use a regular cooker and a pan with a lid

Most people just have a stove and a pan. This works perfectly fine.

Using a pressure cooker will save loads of time

If you have a pressure cooker then black beans will take less than 10 minutes to cook. This is an excellent budget option.

Using a thermal cooker is the best budget option for cooking beans

If you are interested in super-budget cooking then consider a thermal cooker. This also saves money.

You basically soak the beans or lentils overnight. Then boil them for about 10 minutes. Next, you put the beans or lentils in the thermal cooker (a cooker without the need for electricity or other fuel) which locks in the heat! This will cook your beans in their own heat over the next few hours.

Here is my full article on how to cook black beans from scratch: 
The best way to cook black beans from dry

Use up any extra vegetables in your vegan cottage pie

In the black bean cottage pie recipe, I am using courgette (zucchini) and in the green lentil cottage pie, I am using chopped chard or spinach and sweet pepper. The vegetables however are totally interchangeable.

You can use up any other vegetables that you have on hand. This is ideal if you need something used up quickly, if you have a surplus of a certain vegetable or if you have found anything on sale and don’t know what to do with it. Simply chop them up and cook them in. 

Vegetables

Other vegetables I might put in my vegan cottage pies include…

  • carrot
  • parsnip
  • leek
  • onion
  • green beans
  • runner beans
  • sweet potato
  • fresh herbs
  • spinach
  • sweet corn
  • mushrooms
  • peas
  • beetroot
  • cauliflower
  • swede (rutabaga)

Watch this video guide first (recipes directly below)

Vegan cottage pie for batch making

Black bean vegan cottage pie on a budget

Yield: 8 to 10 portions
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes

A tasty, cheap black bean vegan cottage pie recipe. This ideal for a large family or for batch-making on a budget.

Ingredients

  • 500g (2¾ cups) dry black beans
  • 3 courgettes (zucchini)
  • 500ml (2 cups) water
  • 1 litre (4 cups) passata (or blended tinned tomatoes)
  • 1 heaped tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Pinch of chili or black pepper
  • 100g (half a block) creamed coconut

Mashed potato topping

  • 2 kg (4.5lbs) potatoes
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 heaped tablespoon onion powder (optional)
  • 250ml (1 cup) water (or plant-based milk)

Instructions

  1. Soak the black beans overnight and then cook them in a pan. It should take about 45 minutes to cook them if you use a regular cooker and pan with a lid. See tips for this above in the article too.
  2. Strain and rinse your black beans.
  3. Chop your courgette into small cubes and toss into the pan along with the water and black beans, passata, coriander, paprika, chili and salt.
  4. Bring it to the boil.
  5. When it comes to the boil. Turn the heat down and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes with the lid on.
  6. Then add the coconut. First, chop your creamed coconut into little pieces and mix in until the coconut has melted. This should help create a thick creamy sauce.

Make the potato mash

  1. Leaving the skins on your potatoes, make sure they are clean. Cutt off any bits that don't look good.
  2. Chop your potatoes into small cubes and put them into a large pan.
  3. Cover the potatoes in the pan with water.
  4. Bring to the boil with the lid on, then reduce to a simmer. Allow them to cook until you can easily pierce your potatoes with a fork. This should take about 10 minutes (depending on the size you have chopped your potatoes).
  5. Strain the potatoes and return them to the pan.
  6. Add the salt, pepper and water or plant-based milk. Mash the potato until it is creamy.

Finishing the black bean cottage pies

  1. You can use one or two large baking dishes if you want to bake your cottage pie on the same day. Alternatively, you can use up to 10 small portion-sized ones for batch making and freezing.
  2. First put the black bean mixture that you have cooked in. Leave plenty of room for the potato to go on top.
  3. Next, gently smooth the mashed potato on top. Start with the edges and then work your way in.

If you want to freeze your cottage pie

  1. If you want to freeze these, then let them cool down before putting a lid and label on. Then freeze them. They will keep for a few months. When you want to use them, simply defrost your cottage pie and then bake for 40 minutes.

Baking your cottage pie

  1. If you are making a large cottage pie then bake in a hot oven at around 200C (400F or gas mark 6) between 45 and 55 minutes.
  2. If you are cooking smaller ones then 40 minutes should be enough.

Notes

Passata (tomato sauce)
Passata is also called sieved or strained tomatoes in the USA. If you can't easily get passata then use canned tomatoes instead. Blend them up first if you can.

Creamed coconut
Creamed coconut comes in a solid block form. It acts as a thickener for sauces. You can usually shop around for this in the UK and USA and find it inexpensively. If you can't find it, then please know that these recipes will still work without it. I do however recommend it if you can get some. What is creamed coconut?

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

Green lentil cottage pie for batch making on a budget

Green lentil vegan cottage pie on a budget

Yield: 8 to 10 portions
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes

An easy, cheap, green lentil vegan cottage pie recipe for upto 10 people. Ideal for batch-making on a budget. High protein and dleicious.

Ingredients

  • 500g (2¾ cups) of green lentils
  • 1 litre (4 cups) of water
  • 1 litre (4 cups) passata
  • 4 celery stalks
  • 1 heaped tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 heaped teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 100g (3.5oz) chard or spinach (optional)
  • 1 sweet red pepper (optional)

Mashed potato topping

  • 2kg (4.5lbs) potatoes
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 250ml (1 cup) water or plant-based milk

Instructions

  1. Chop your celery into small pieces.
  2. Put everything else into the pan (except the chard and sweet pepper) and bring the contents to the boil.
  3. Once it has come to the boil, then reduce to a simmer until the green lentils are cooked. Keep the lid on. Stir occassionaly during the cooking process.
  4. If there is not enough liquid, simply add a little more water.
  5. Chop the chard or spinach and finely chop the red pepper. mix these in along with the coconut.
  6. Decide which baking dishes you want to use. Put the mixture that you have just cooked into your baking dishes. Use a large baking dish or several baking dishes depending on if you are serving the whole thing immediately, or if you or batch-making and freezing.

Making the mashed potato

  1. Leave the skins on your potatoes, but make sure they are clean and and bad bits have been removed.
  2. Chop the potato into cubes, then cover them with water in the pan. Bring to the boil.
  3. Once it comes to the boil, let the potatoes simmer until you can easily pierce them with a fork.
  4. Next drain the water and return the potatoes to the pan.
  5. Add the salt, pepper, onion powder and water, or plant-based milk and then mash.

Making up the green lentil cottage pies

  1. Finish off your cottage pies by evenly spreading the mashed potato on top of the green lentil base.

How to bake your lentil cottage pies

  1. If you are cooking a large one the same day, then bake in the oven for 45 - to 55 minutes. Use a hot oven temperature of about 190C (400F or gas mark 6).
  2. If you are batch making into portions. Then let them cool down before putting lids on and freezing them.
  3. To bake your cottage pies after freezing. Let them defrost (this takes a few hours) and then cook them the same day in a hot oven for 40 to 45 minutes.

Notes

Passata alternative?
If you don't have passata then use tinned tomatoes instead. Blend them up first. Passata is often called sieved or strained tomatoes in the USA.

Creamed coconut alternative?
This recipe works without creamed coconut if you can't get it. It is however a wonderful addition. You can usually find it alongside tinned coconut milk in the supermarket. For this recipe, you can also swap the creamed coconut out for coconut milk if you prefer.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

 

More vegan budget recipes…
Red lentil and butternut squash dhal recipe - gluten-free, vegan by Anastasia, Kind Earth

How to cook black beans from scratch…

How to cook black beans and do you need to soak them overnight?

Pin vegan cottage pie recipes for later…

Vegan cottage pie recipes on a budget with either black beans or green lentils