Vegan ready meals and desserts

Although making a vegan meal needn't be difficult or time-consuming, sometimes it's just useful to have a ready meal in the fridge or freezer for a vegan guest.

While the supermarkets are coming up with ever-increasing ranges of vegetarian ready meals, there's still not a huge choice when it comes to vegan ready meals, as most of the vegetarian products include milk or eggs.

Wholefoods shops and Holland and Barrett usually have a better range of ready-made vegan products than supermarkets, if you have one near you it's worth dropping in and having a look what's in the freezer. Use the HappyCow directory to find shops near you.

Supermarket vegan ready meals and 'instead of the meat' products

Here is a list of vegan ready meals I (and some kind people on vegetarian online forums) have spotted in supermarkets. This is not a complete list, I don't eat ready meals very often myself so there are probably some I haven't found yet! If you know of any others, please let me know!

I have also included ready-made items which you can serve a vegan guest instead of a piece of meat in a meat-potatoes-vegetables meal, such as a Sunday roast. Sometimes this is more suitable than a whole separate ready meal if the potatoes and vegetables you're already cooking will be suitable for vegans. (Find out how to veganise a meat-potatoes-vegetables meal.) All 'instead of the meat' products are frozen unless otherwise stated.

I have also started to include ready-made desserts that are suitable for vegans. Now there's really no excuse for serving your vegan guest fruit salad while everyone else has triple chocolate gateau... :-)

Manufacturers do have a habit of changing their recipes with no prior warning, so check the label before buying. Products listed here may not be available in all stores.

Asda

Chilled

Asda Organics nut roast
Vegetable chow mein
Penne arrabiata

Frozen

Penne arrabbiata
Chips and curry sauce

Instead of the meat

Asda spicy bean and nacho burgers
Asda nut cutlets
Grassington's chicken-style fillets

Co-op

Frozen

Linda McCartney chilli non carne

Instead of the meat

Linda McCartney sausages, cornish pasties and country pies
Grassington's multigrain vegetable bakes

Marks and Spencer

Chilled

Vegetable curry (Indian)

Morrisons

Frozen

Linda McCartney chilli non carne
Some of the products in the 'meat-free' range (vegetable burgers etc. - details to follow!)

Chilled

Simply Organic ready meals
Cauldron Sweet potato and aubergine balti

Instead of the meat

Linda McCartney sausages, country pies, sausage rolls
Grassington's Spicy bean burgers, beef-style meatballs, chicken-style fillets and beef-style peppered steak
Goodlife nut cutlets

Sainsbury's

Frozen

Amy's Enchiladas

Chilled

Cauldron Chickpea and spinach balti
Sainsbury's Vegetable dhansak
Be Good To Yourself Wholegrain spaghetti with sun-dried tomatoes and roasted vegetables

Instead of the meat

Sainsbury's Spicy bean quarter pounders
Sainsbury's Vegetarian nut cutlets
Sainsbury's Vegetable Dunkers (nuggets)
Sainsbury's basics vegetable burgers
Sainsbury's free from 2 spicy bean burgers (gluten and wheat free)
Linda McCartney sausages and country pies
Goodlife Butternut squash roast
Grassington's Multigrain vegetable bakes, Spicy bean burgers, Beef-style peppered steaks and Chicken-style nuggets
Birds Eye Mexican Chilli Bean Burgers

Desserts

Treacle tart
Basics apple pie (chilled, large pie - the packs of 6 Basics mini apple pies are also vegan)

Tesco

Chilled

Tesco Value Italian vegetable pasta
Simply Organic ready meals
Pick Me Foods Vegalicious Masala (some - but not all - other products in this range are also vegan)

Instead of the meat

Tesco Meat-free mexican-style bean burgers
Tesco Meat-free chicken-style dippers
Tesco Meat-free vegetable fingers
Tesco Meat-free vegetable quarter pounders
Tesco Meat-free nut cutlets
Tesco Meat-free falafel
Linda McCartney sausages and country pies

Desserts

Woodland fruit strudel (frozen)
Apple strudel (frozen)
Apple and mincemeat strudel (frozen)
Value Apple Pie (frozen)

Waitrose

Chilled

Waitrose chargrilled vegetable pizza

Instead of the meat

Waitrose chunky vegetable quarter pounders
Waitrose Morrocan-spiced couscous grills
Goodlife butternut squash roasts
Goodlife spicy bean quarter pounders
Linda McCartney sausages and country pies
Cauldron carrot and onion burgers (chilled)
Wicken Fen carrot and coriander sausages (chilled)

Grassington's are making an increasing number of vegan products these days. Their Spicy beanburgers, Multigrain vegetable bakes and new 'Gardein' range of meat alternative products (including meatballs, chicken fillets and peppered steaks) are suitable for vegans.

Simply Organic make a range of vegan ready meals including chillies, stews and casseroles.

Tinned or fresh shop-bought soup and bread can be a suitable light meal for a vegan, but check the ingredients for non-vegan ingredients, as many vegetable soups include milk, cream or honey. Also watch out for meat or fish stock, although in Britain these are not usually used in soups described as 'vegetable' and should definitely not be in any 'vegetarian' soups.

Alternatively, have a look at the 10-minute meals page for super-quick recipes and home-made frozen ready meal ideas.