I’ll admit that with my busy life, I sometimes forget to go grocery shopping. This leaves me struggling to figure out what to do for dinner. Sure, my kids like cereal, but they can’t eat cereal every day of the week.
So, this lead me to the internet scouring for ingredients that I already had in the fridge and pantry to make dinner with.
I was able to find a lot of 3-ingredient recipes. I’ve tried them all and I love each one of them, so I want to share them with you.
10 Dinner Recipes With Just 3 Ingredients
#1. Salsa Chicken
Salsa chicken is something I make frequently. It’s quick and easy and you can make it with leftover chicken breast or you can cook it ahead of time.
I make this when I have absolutely nothing left to make dinner with other than chicken and I always have salsa in the house for football season.
For salsa chicken, all you need is ½ cup of chicken, 2oz of salsa, and 4oz of cheese. Put it all in a bowl and heat it up.
If you have enough chicken, you can make individual bowls of salsa chicken. It’s a great idea for those late nights or nights when you’re completely wiped out from the day.
The recipe for salsa chicken can be found here.
#2. Baked Caesar Chicken
Yes, chicken is a popular ingredient for quick 3-ingredient meals. It’s usually something everybody has on hand whether leftover or in the freezer. I have a lot of chicken laying around because it’s one of the cheapest meats to buy. Baked caesar chicken is a family favorite and it’s so easy to make.
For baked caesar chicken, you’ll need skinless boneless chicken breast, creamy caesar dressing, and parmesan cheese. You can also add coarsely chopped fresh parsley if you choose. Beat the chicken until it’s ½ inch thick, pour the dressing into a baking dish and place the breasts in it and flip them so they’re coated. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, top with cheese, broil for 3 minutes and serve.
This dish makes the house smell so nice. I love to make it on cold days and days when I’m in a rush. If you need something quick and easy, click here for the recipe.
#3. Creamy Ramen Noodles
Ramen is a quick and easy meal that you can make in just 5 minutes. However, plain ramen isn’t exactly everybody’s favorite, so that’s why I use a recipe with a twist. It turns ramen soup into a pasta dish that’s mouthwatering and cheap.
For creamy ramen noodles, you’ll need butter, milk, and one package of ramen noodles. You’ll also need water, but I don’t count this as an ingredient.
You’ll need to cook the noodles per the package instructions. However, you’re going to drain the water once it’s cooked. Return the noodles to the pan, and add the butter, milk, and seasoning packet. You can omit the seasoning if you don’t like it. Stir until everything is melted and blended. It’s that simple!
If you’re looking to try something new and easy, click here for the recipe.
#4. Cacio e Pepe
Pasta is one of the cheapest things you can buy right now. At most stores, a box of spaghetti is $1-$3 depending on the brand. This Cacio e Pepe dish is creamy, peppery, and absolutely delightful on the tastebuds. My kids even like it and they’re not the biggest pasta fans.
To make Cacio e Pepe, you’ll need Pecorino Romano cheese, dried spaghetti of your choosing, and coarsely ground black pepper. You will also need ice water or very cold water. Grate the cheese and grind the pepper.
Mix it into the cheese. Add pasta to boiling water and cook until al dente. The next part is a little tricky, so I’ll leave it up to the recipe instructions.
The result is a creamy, peppery pasta dish that your family will love. Click here for the recipe.
#5. Root Beer Pulled Pork
Pulled pork is amazing. You cook it in the crockpot, leave it for the day, and you can come home to a house that smells heavenly and mouthwatering. Root beer pulled pork is something I love to make because of how tasty and cheap it is. This recipe makes enough pulled pork for 10 to 12 servings and takes just 10 minutes to prepare.
To make root beer pulled pork, turn on your crockpot to low. You’ll need pork shoulder, root beer, and barbecue sauce. Put everything in the crockpot and let it cook for 8 to 10 hours on low.
You could crank up the heat and cook it for 4 to 6 hours on high, but I prefer to slow-cook it. It seems to taste better that way. Once it’s done, shred it and serve it on your favorite buns.
This is a meal fit for a king and requires minimal effort. If you want to try it, click here for the recipe.
#6. Instant Pot Penne Pasta
Pasta is a great comfort food and I love to make it. It’s so easy to whip up a pasta dish. This particular pasta dish is super easy and delicious. It’s saucy and creamy, and the sauce clings to the pasta like a magnet. It’s a dish that I make a lot of and I save it for the next day because it tastes so much better after it sits.
To make instant pot penne pasta, you’ll need marinara sauce, penne pasta, and heavy cream. Turn your instant pot or electric pressure cooker on, add a jar of marinara to the bottom of the pot, put the pasta over the sauce, and pour 1 ½ cups of water into the marinara jar and pour over the pasta.
Set the cooker on high pressure for 6 minutes. It will take roughly 13 minutes to come up to pressure. When the cooking time is done, release the pressure and turn the cooker off. Add the heavy cream in it and stir to combine.
When the pasta comes out, it’s thick and creamy. You can add anything else to it you want such as garlic powder, onion powder, pepper, etc. Click here for the full recipe.
#7. Hummus Crusted Chicken
I always have a container of hummus laying around. It’s great for dipping carrots and crackers in. However, it’s also great for coating chicken breasts. Who would have thought? It’s a very low-effort way to coat chicken in flavor. It leaves a wonderful golden-brown crust and the inside is moist and delicious.
Hummus-crusted chicken requires just 3 main ingredients. You’ll need skinless boneless chicken breast, hummus, and smoked paprika. You can also use black pepper and kosher salt for seasoning if you have it. Dry the chicken and season as you would. Spread the hummus over it and sprinkle paprika on top. Bake for 20 minutes until opaque then broil it for 3 minutes until the hummus is dry to the touch.
My favorite thing about this recipe is that it’s simple and delicious. If you want to try hummus-crusted chicken, click here.
#8. Easy Quesadilla
I’m not going to lie, I’ve made this a lot. I make it when I just don’t feel like making a full meal. My kids love to snack on these, which makes my life so much easier. Cheese quesadillas are easy to make and take just a couple of minutes.
You can make these quesadillas in a few different ways. All you’ll need are some soft taco shells, the cheese of your choosing, and a microwave. Put shredded cheese between two soft taco shells, microwave for 1 minute, and serve with salsa. You could use a quesadilla maker for this as well. You can add anything you have on hand to the inside of the quesadilla such as refried beans, avocado, and chicken.
Check out the recipe here.
#9. Cheesy Garlic Broccoli
Cheesy garlic broccoli is an amazing dish to serve on a busy day. It’s also a great way to get the kids to eat their veggies. I think they’d eat any veggie if it was covered in cheese. Not only is this dish tasty, but it’s simple to make. It can be made with different variations of ingredients and you can play around with the recipe to your liking.
Cheesy garlic broccoli is one of the easiest recipes to make. You need broccoli crowns, shredded cheddar cheese, and 3 garlic cloves. You can also use minced garlic if that’s what you have on hand. Spread the broccoli in a casserole dish, stir the garlic and cheese together in a bowl, and sprinkle it over the broccoli. Bake it for 25 minutes and enjoy.
If you want to try broccoli and cheese, click here.
#10. Pigs In A Blanket
Pigs in a blanket are an amazing treat for any day of the week. If you’re in a pinch, you could certainly make these for dinner. My kids love to eat them all of the time. They’re super easy to make and they’re tasty. I even let the kids make them on their own and I throw them in the oven.
Pigs in a blanket require just 1 sheet of puff pastry (crescent rolls work too), hot dogs, and cheddar cheese. Slice the pastry into 6 even rectangles and place a slice of cheddar on top of each pastry piece. Put a hot dog on the cheddar and then roll it up. Slice each roll into 3 even pieces and bake them for 15 minutes. This recipe makes 18 servings.
If you want to make pigs in a blanket with your family, click here for the full recipe.
There you have it. Those are my top 10 favorite 3-ingredient recipes. They’re all very easy to make and most of the don’t require any special equipment. They can also be altered, so you can substitute an ingredient if need be. I hope that these recipes help you on those busy days and if you’ve forgotten to grocery shop. We’ve all been there.