12 Impossibly Easy 3-Ingredient Dinners

published Mar 25, 2023
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Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Amelia Rampe

Lately by the end of the week, I have absolutely zero energy to cook or I’m lazy and don’t feel like cooking. That’s when I lean on dinners with the fewest possible ingredients and the smartest grocery-store shortcuts. Some rely on ready-made items like salad dressing or hummus, while others start with pre-prepped produce to save time. Whatever helps you get dinner on the table.

Here are 12 ridiculously-easy three-ingredient recipes for when you need to spend the bare minimum effort to get dinner on the table.

1 / 12
Mixed Mushroom Sheet Pan Gnocchi
A pack of gnocchi, pre-sliced mushrooms, and shallots and a sheet pan is all you need for this sheet pan dinner (see lead image). If you don't have mushrooms or shallots, improvise and throw whatever you have on the pan. The gnocchi, which get crispy on the outside, but stay tender on the inside are the star.
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2 / 12
3-Ingredient Baked Caesar Chicken
Think of this as the baked chicken equivalent of Caesar salad. All it takes is a pack of boneless chicken breast, your favorite Caesar dressing, and grated Parm.
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3 / 12
Cacio e Pepe
A good bowl of creamy, peppery cacio e pepe is one of the most dreamy pasta dinners around. Period.
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4 / 12
3-Ingredient Yogurt Marinated Chicken
The yogurt marinade in this recipe makes for flavorful, juicy chicken every single time.
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5 / 12
Tomato Soup with Gnocchi and Spinach
Meet our favorite way to upgrade tomato soup and stretch it to feed the whole family. Any boxed version will do, a couple cans, or the container you have stashed in your freezer.
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6 / 12
Hummus-Crusted Chicken
Hummus is for more than just snacking; it's also our favorite low-effort way to give boneless chicken breast a big boost of flavor. Here, it partners with a sprinkling of smoky seasoning to give ho-hum chicken breasts a tender, golden-brown crust and a moist interior.
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7 / 12
3-Ingredient Oven-Baked Cajun Chicken Breasts
Here's all the proof you need that you don’t need much to cook up really great chicken breast for dinner. With a little help from the spice cabinet and a staple we all have in the fridge, you’ll get a juicy, super-savory, and slightly smoky piece of chicken.
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8 / 12
Creamy Mushroom and Asparagus Dumpling Skillet
Even though this recipe calls for dumplings from Trader Joe's, any kind of tortellini or mini raviolis make a great substitute for this 20-minute skillet dinner.
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9 / 12
3-Ingredient Pesto Zoodle Bowl
Keep this in your back pocket for those nights you really don't want to cook. All you need is some zucchini noodle, an egg or two, and a jar of pesto, and bam, you've got dinner.
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10 / 12
Warm Sesame Brussels Sprouts and Lentil Salad
This is the most delicious way I know to turn lentils into dinner. It's a huge time saver to start with pre-steamed lentils, but if you can't find them, simply cook up a pot of brown or green lentils.
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11 / 12
3-Ingredient Slow Cooker Root Beer Pulled Pork
This big batch of saucy shredded pork almost feels too good to be true. With just a few ingredients and barely any effort you've got plenty of meat to feed the whole family. Perhaps a couple times over. Pile it on sandwiches, stuff it into tacos, or use it to finish off a grain bowl.
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12 / 12
Instant Pot Penne Pasta
Instant Pot penne is saucy and creamy, and comes together in under 20 minutes.
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This post was originally published on The Kitchn. Read it there: 12 Impossibly Easy 3-Ingredient Dinners