These easy recipes for Vegetable Biryani and Lentil Cheese Bake combine to make a flavorful and healthy budget dinner for vegetarians. They each serve 4 people.

A healthy vegetarian dinner for four can be created with these easy recipes that use store cupboard items. Made from inexpensive ingredients that are available year-round, the recipes suit those who are on a budget.

These dishes look good and taste great with a mingling of interesting flavors to tempt the taste buds. Even non-vegetarians will enjoy these recipes as side dishes to their meat meals.

If there are any leftovers, they can be re-heated gently the next day in the microwave.

Vegetable Biryani Dinner Recipe

vegetable biryani

The secret to making a good biryani is not to stir the rice while it is cooking!


  • 1 onion
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 425 mls water
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 carrot, diced small
  • 225g long grain rice
  • 75g sultanas
  • 175g peas (frozen)


    1. Slice the onion finely and dice into small pieces.

    2. In a large saucepan, gently fry onion in the oil for 5 minutes till soft but not browned.

    3. Stir in the curry powder, cinnamon and ginger and fry for 2 minutes to release the flavours of the spices.

    4. Mix the tomato paste with the water and add to the saucepan with the carrot. Bring to the boil.

    5. Add the rice and raisins, cover the saucepan, turn down the heat and let gently simmer for 20 minutes. Do not stir during this time.

    6. In the microwave, or in a separate saucepan, cook the frozen peas.

    7. After the 20 minutes, check to see if the rice is cooked by tasting a few grains. The rice should fluff up with a fork, having absorbed most of the liquid.

    8. Add the cooked peas to the rice and serve.

Lentil Cheese Bake Recipe

Lentil Cheese Bake Recipe

Using canned food from your store cupboard and some fresh vegetables, this recipe for Lentil Cheese Bake can be made throughout the year as part of a filling and tasty vegetarian dinner.


  • 375g red lentils
  • 2 onions, chopped finely
  • 1 can tomatoes
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 can sweetcorn kernels
  • 1/2 green capsicum, diced
  • 1/2 cup celery, diced
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups grated tasty cheese


    1. In a casserole dish, put the lentils, chopped onions, tomatoes and water. Cover casserole.

    2. Bake at 200 degrees Celsius for 35 minutes, stirring once during the cooking time.

    3. Add the corn, capsicum,celery and parsley. Mix in well.

    4. Bake, covered, for another 10 minutes.

    5. Uncover and sprinkle the top of the Lentil Cheese Bake with the grated cheese.

    6. Grill until it is golden and bubbling.

Together with a green salad, the Vegetable Biryani and Lentil Cheese Bake provide a satisfying, easy, budget, vegetarian dinner that will have the family wanting more!