A common barrier to cooking is seeing a mouthwatering recipe only to click and discover it requires double-digit ingredients, two of which you’ve never heard of. It doesn’t have to be that way. Delicious, healthy dishes can be crafted from just three ingredients. Skeptical?

Just check out this list and get cooking.

Note: Olive oil, salt, and pepper don’t count as any of the three ingredients since most people have those on hand all the time (along with beer, of course).


1. BBQ Chicken-Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

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Photo: The Comfort of Cooking

We kind of have a thing for sweet potatoes. With 4 grams of fiber, more potassium than a banana, and only 103 calories per medium baked, who wouldn’t? Tangy BBQ sauce contrasts delightfully with the subtly sweet tater.

2. Taco Lime Grilled Chicken

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Photo: Closet Cooking

This recipe is perfect for tacos, but you’ll want to put this chicken on everything. Made with lime and taco seasoning, it’s perfect to throw on top of a salad, on a wrap, or inside a DIY burrito bowl.

3. Apricot Glazed Chicken

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Photo: The Seasoned Mom

Jam isn’t just for toast! This creative recipe uses apricot jam for a delicious marinade that you’ll want to make over and over again. It may sound fancy, but this apricot chicken only takes five minutes to prep.

4. Slow Cooker Chicken Salsa

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Photo: Gimme Some Oven

This recipe requires only two minutes of prep work plus two minutes of shredding, while your slow cooker works for four to eight hours. We like that trade-off!

And since this really only requires two ingredients (chicken and salsa), you can wrap it up in a tortilla, put it atop quinoa, or serve with avocado as the final ingredient.

5. Perfect Roast Chicken

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Photo: Iowa Girl Eats

That’s right, a Sunday night dinner can be made from three ingredients, and two of them are salt and pepper! If you have time, add some veggies to complete the meal.

6. Grilled Chicken Skewers

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Photo: Pinch of Yum

The secret recipe to this awesome grilled chicken? Soy sauce, honey, and smashed garlic. That’s it! It tastes great on chicken, but it also tastes great glazed over salmon or shrimp.

7. Marinated Chicken

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Photo: Get Sweet Smart

Simply combine Italian dressing and soy sauce to marinate this delicious chicken. Just check the ingredients of the dressing — it can pack in a lot of sugar — or make your own for an even healthier version.

8. Apple Juice Chicken

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Photo: Oatmeal with a Fork

It may bring back memories of preschool snacks, but apple juice — we’re talking pure, unsweetened juice — is not solely for kiddos. It cooks down to a sweet, thick sauce similar to Chinese sauces — but is much healthier.


9. Easy Chili

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Photo: I Heart Naptime

When comfort food cravings hit on cold winter days, cook up some ground beef and add a can of chili beans and fresh canned tomatoes. This is the type of chili that’ll warm you to the bone and soul.

10. Dried Beef Dip

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Photo: My Baking Addiction

This awesome beef dip goes great with veggies, toast, or tossed in a salad. Make a big batch so you can use the leftovers as a healthy snack.

11. Garlic Prime Rib

Rubs are an excellent and super-simple way to infuse meat with loads of flavor. Garlic, thyme, and olive oil lend a classic, herby taste to your roast.

12. Dijon–Brown Sugar Marinated Steak

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Photo: Iowa Girl Eats

Great for those meat and potatoes nights, this marinade balances savory and sweet, and works for any cut of steak.


13. Grilled Peanut Butter Bacon Banana Sandwich

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Photo: Nancy’s Cravings

A fancy-looking peanut butter and bacon panini? Sign us up. This is a Snapchat-worthy recipe that only takes a few minutes to put together.

14. Cajun Dijon Grilled Pork Tenderloin

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Photo: Plain Chicken

In addition to tasting great on sandwiches, Dijon mustard is a flavorful addition to any marinade. This recipe uses Dijon with orange juice and Cajun seasoning for pork that has a unique citrusy kick.

15. Gnocchi with Chicken Sausage and Spinach

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Photo: Family Food on the Table

Gnocchi might be hard to pronounce, but this recipe is easy to make. Just throw in some spinach and sausage for a quick and light Italian-inspired meal. Feel free to add lots of spices and chopped veggies if you have more time.

16. Pulled Pork

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Photo: Sweet Phi

Normally we don’t advocate for soda, but cooking with it in a slow cooker pretty much guarantees sweet meat that’s never dry — meaning there’s less of a need to pour on extra sauce, which often contains excess sodium and sugar.

17. Brussels Sprouts with Sausage

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Photo: In the Kitchen with Kath

Three ingredients and one pot are all you need for this healthy, melty dinner. If you’re feeling fancy, pick your favorite cheese and sprinkle it on top.


18. Bacon Wrapped Buffalo Shrimp

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Photo: Cooking for Keeps

Hot sauce isn’t just for chicken wings! These spicy shrimp have tons of flavor, and they’re wrapped in bacon. Can it get any better?

19. Six-Minute Seared Ahi Tuna Steaks

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Photo: Bowl of Delicious

Ahi tuna isn’t just for sushi restaurants. This easy recipe will make you feel like a chef, and, oh yeah, it only takes six minutes to cook! Just throw in some tuna steaks with soy sauce, olive oil, and spices, and you’re all set.

20. Baked Salmon with Pesto and Pecan

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Photo: Manila Spoon

This fish gets sweet and tender in the oven with a flavor boost from pesto and pecans. The blogger uses canned pesto, but if you have a little extra time, you can even make your own. Make a side of Brussels sprouts for a complete meal.

21. Sriracha Marmalade Glazed Salmon

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Photo: Healthy Seasonal Recipes

In our kitchen, the only thing that runs out as fast as avocados is Sriracha. The signature sauce is good on everything, and it makes for an awesome glaze for this salmon recipe.

22. Bulgarian Shopska Salad

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Photo: Wander Cooks

This dish may sound like something new, but the recipe is simple: tomatoes, cucumber, and feta. It’s a classic salad that’s great on its own, tossed into some mixed greens, or on the side of grilled meat or seafood.

23. Grilled Peaches with Brioche

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Photo: Peanut Butter and Peppers

This recipe takes three ingredients we love on their own (bread, peaches, and cheese) and combines them for ultimate flavor. Sweet peaches, toasted bread, and gooey cheese can’t be beat. Drooling yet?

24. Italian Roasted Cauliflower Soup

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Photo: Tori Avey

It makes sense: Cauliflower can stand in for creamy mashed potatoes and hide in super fudgy brownies, so of course the veggie makes a thick, delicious soup. Bonus: This recipe only takes 10 minutes to whip up.

25. Easy Tomato Soup

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Photo: Inspired Taste

OK, this isn’t just a recipe — it’s more of a formula for perfect tomato soup. But technically it’s three ingredients: onions, olive oil (which we consider a staple), and tomatoes — all things likely to be in your cabinet.

Pair with the grilled cheese above for an easy, soul- and body-nourishing lunch or dinner.

26. Roasted Parmesan-Pesto Potatoes

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Photo: Two Peas and Their Pod

Potatoes are an awesome addition to any meal, but when you add in Parmesan and pesto, they become the star of the show. Eat this recipe as a snack, light meal, or on top of a green salad.

27. Macaroni and Cheese

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Photo: Sweetest Kitchen

Mac and cheese doesn’t have to come from a box — but you already knew that, right? This recipe lets you take control, plus it takes no longer than the there’s-no-way-that’s-natural orange stuff.

Simply cook whatever noodle you’re craving in your milk of choice and stir in your favorite shredded cheese. Then devour.

28. Coconut Lime Quinoa

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Photo: Simply Quinoa

Lime and coconuts aren’t just for tropical drinks. This simple quinoa recipe is perfect for a quick dinner or a flavorful side dish. It also tastes great as the base of a burrito bowl.

29. Black Bean Soup

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Photo: The Thirsty Feast

Though the ingredient list is minimal, this soup is a nutritional knockout: Black beans are high in fiber, protein, iron, vitamin B-6, and magnesium.

30. Peanut Butter Cups

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Photo: Eating Bird Food

How can three ingredients — sugar not included — taste like peanut butter cups? No idea, but after one bite, you won’t care.

31. Oatmeal Fruit Crumble

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Photo: The Kitchn

Baking doesn’t require tons of steps. This recipe uses packaged oatmeal, butter, and fruit for a tasty single-serving dessert. Top with your favorite fruit or a dollop of Greek yogurt for a healthier swap on whipped cream.

32. Flourless Chocolate Muffins

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Photo: The Big Man’s World

These Paleo muffins don’t require any flour. Eggs, nut butter, and cocoa powder come together for a dessert that you’ll want to have again, and again, and again.

33. Salted Peanut Butter Ice Cream

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Photo: A House in the Hill

If you haven’t tried to make gluten-free, dairy-free, no-sugar-added “ice cream” from frozen bananas yet, this will have you pulling out the blender or food processor. Top with the two-ingredient chocolate caramel sauce and crushed peanuts to fancy it up.

34. Raw Brownies

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Photo: Vegukate

High in fiber and potassium, dates are a common binder and natural sweetener in vegan and raw desserts. Process them with antioxidant-rich cacao and heart-healthy walnuts for this no-bake dessert.

35. Peanut Butter Cookies

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Photo: Yummy Supper

Free of flour (oh hey, gluten-free friends!), these cookies are dense, chewy, and only require stirring. You can also press down with a fork, if desired, to create the distinguishable lattice pattern on top.

36. Strawberry Banana Popsicles

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Photo: Sally’s Baking Addiction

There’s no need to add sweetener when you make popsicles from whole, natural ingredients like frozen bananas, strawberries, and pineapple juice. They’re healthy, beautiful, and taste just like summer.

37. Vegan Pancakes

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Photo: Sweet Simple Vegan

Nope, these flapjacks don’t call for boxed mix. This recipe is appropriate for Paleo and gluten-free eaters. It’s also free of added sugars and spiked with nutty almond milk — which may have you ditching premade varieties for good.

38. Peanut Butter Energy Bars

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Photo: Minimalist Baker

Let the food processor do all the work to make these soft, chewy treats reminiscent of a peanut butter Larabar. Switch up the nut butter and dried fruit — or try fun ingredients like chocolate chips, crystalized ginger, or coconut — to ensure breakfast, or a snack, is never boring.

39. Sweet Potato Spinach Breakfast Hash

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Photo: County Cleaver

Colorful and a good source of iron for energy and beta-carotene for eye health, this healthier version of hash calls for roasting the potatoes instead of frying them for a sweet yet crispy morning dish.

40. Banana Berry Smoothie

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Photo: Home Made Lovely

Making fancy smoothies sounds great and all, but let’s face it, ain’t nobody got time for that. This easy and classic recipe is perfect for a morning on the run or a lazy Saturday.

41. Cheddar Broccoli Egg Muffins

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Photo: Fit Mama Real Food

Take everything that’s amazing about broccoli and cheddar soup and turn it into a morning meal you can eat with your hands. Genius.

42. Almond Butter Granola Bars

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Photo: Diary of a Fit Mama

One negative about most packaged granola bars: Those wholesome oats can be spiked with generous amounts of sugar. Take control with this recipe by adjusting the honey as necessary so it complements the almond butter perfectly.

43. Baked Eggs in Avocado with Bacon

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Photo: White on Rice Couple

The idea of baking something already soft seems odd — until you eat it and realize how amazing warm, creamy avocado is, especially when topped with an egg and bacon.

44. Bacon and Egg Breakfast Cups

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Photo: Wonky Wonderful

This super-easy meal combines three of our favorites: eggs, bacon, and of course, bread. The recipe uses packaged rolls for the base, but if you’re looking for a healthier swap, try using whole-grain bread or a whole-grain English muffin instead.

45. Avocado Smoothie

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Photo: Omnivore’s Cookbook

This drink gets nice and thick using avocado and banana. Use more or less milk to create your desired consistency, whether that’s drinking through a straw or eating with a spoon.

46. Flourless Peanut Butter Muffins

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Photo: My Whole Food Life

You won’t be able to get enough of these chewy peanut butter muffins that pack in three easy ingredients: bananas, peanut butter, and dates. Try blending up the mix the night before so you can just pop ‘em in the oven while you’re getting ready in the morning.

47. Vegan Waffles

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Photo: The Life List

We usually think of waffles as part of a sit-down brunch, but this simple recipe is perfect for weekday mornings. You may even have these three ingredients in your pantry already: oats, plant-based milk, and vanilla extract.