Quick and Simple 3 Ingredient Recipes From Scratch

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To help you get into a routine that will hopefully take some stress off of your busy days, we’ve come up with a list of all kinds of easy things that you can make, from appetizers to desserts, that only have 3 ingredients! And unlike many of the “3 Ingredient Recipes” lists that I’ve seen around, these dishes are all made with non-processed foods. Make sure you save this list for later because I’m sure that you are going to need it soon!

To help you get into a routine that will hopefully take some stress off of your busy days, we've come up with a list of all kinds of easy things that you can make, from appetizers to desserts, that only have 3 ingredients! And unlike many of the "3 Ingredient Recipes" lists that I've seen around, these dishes are all made with non-processed foods. Make sure you save this list for later because I'm sure that you are going to need it soon!

Easy 3 Ingredient Recipes

Sometimes, seasons get busy. Adjusting to new routines for back to school, spending long days in the garden, or holidays can all throw me off my schedule. The last thing I want to do after a long, hard day is to come into the house and heat my kitchen to make a fancy supper.

But of course, we still have to eat whether I feel like cooking or not! So, on busy days, I like to turn to two of my favorite meals: slow cooker meals and meals with few quick and easy ingredients.

It’s a shame that we’ve begun to believe that a recipe must have many ingredients to be tasty. I think it’s a belief that likes to complicate our already complicated lives. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

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Real foods can be wonderfully tasty without many items added, and I hope this list of recipes will inspire you to rethink your meal plans.

*Please note, I did not include salt, pepper, water, or oil in the 3 ingredient requirement since these are basic cooking staples.


Appetizers with 3 Ingredients

We often make a whole meal just of appetizers and fresh garden veggies. Just pick a few that go together and enjoy a quick and easy meal!

Crispy Cucumber Chips
Tomato Broccoli Cream Cheese Bites
Bean & Hatch Chile Dip
Cheesy Baked Tomatoes
Chilled Pear & Ginger Soup
Salsa Dip
Bacon-Wrapped Dates


Main Dishes with 3 Ingredients

Just because it’s the main dish doesn’t mean it needs to be complicated. A great, simply seasoned meat main dish can be paired with a buttered veggie to make a simple meal.

Slow Cooker Steak & Onions
Lemon Pepper Chicken
Cajun Flank Steak
Crock Pot Shredded Beef
Quick Spaghetti Sauce
3 Ingredient Banana Waffles
3 Ingredient Tomato Soup
Creamy Cauliflower Soup
Chicken Pizza Crust
Salsa Chicken
Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Tenders
3 Ingredient Pizza Dough


3 Ingredient Side Dishes

If you want something a little more special to go along with your meal besides a plain veggie, here are some simple sides that are tasty.

Gluten Free Bacon Wrapped Asparagus
Parsley Potatoes
Roasted Cauliflower
3 Ingredient Mac and Cheese
Thyme Roasted Vegetables
Candied Carrots
Sauteed Zucchini and Fennel


3 Ingredient Desserts

Dessert doesn’t have to take you all day to make. If you feel like having a special treat with your meal just check out these easy 3 ingredient dessert recipes!

3 Ingredient Ice Cream
Simple Chocolate Truffles
Easy Peanut Butter Cookies
Quick Raspberry Compote
Yogurt Fruit Dip Recipe
Frugal Ice Cream
Pumpkin Spice Nice Cream
Strawberry Nice Cream
Mango Frozen Yogurt
Raspberry Sherbert

Good food doesn’t need to be complicated. Toss a few things together and you can have a wonderful, filling meal for the whole family.

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Which of these 3 ingredient recipes will you make first?

Me and KadyMerissa has been blogging about and living the simple life since 2009 and has internationally published 2 books on the topic. You can read about Merissa’s journey from penniless to freedom on the About Page. You can send her a message any time from the Contact Page.

These Easy 3 Ingredient Recipes were originally posted on Little House Living in April 2015. It has been updated as of September 2023.

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  1. Thank you for this article. Most of the few-ingredient recipes are completely unhealthy, fat-laden, artery-clogging, processed junk. One’s health is a high price to pay for convenience! I will be trying the Banana Freezer Fudge tonight to use up some bananas 🙂

    1. Wow. Were you not taught that if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all? Your comment is not nice at all, not very pleasant to read & extremely rude.

      1. Vesna, I read that as “most of the OTHER few-ingredient recipes are unhealthy”, since she was thanking Merissa for posting this. Unless she responds differently, I am choosing to think she was being complimentary here, not mean-spirited.

  2. Love the concept behind this article. Thank you for compiling all of these simple recipes for us.

  3. Thank-you for taking the time to prepare this list for us and sharing it. there were a few things that caught my eye and I am going to try.

  4. All of these recipes look delicious! It’s hard to choose which to try first 🙂
    Thanks for sharing at the Wonderful Wednesday BH!

  5. I love recipes with just a few ingredients! Years ago my MIL bought me a cookbook and the ingredients for each recipe took up a whole page of their own. Needless to say, I have yet to make anything from that cookbook (it’s the thought that counts, right?

    1. Oh, I know what you mean. The first thing I do when I’m looking at a cookbook is skip to the recipes and ingredients lists. That method seems to weed out quite a few that could have joined my collection!

  6. This is so helpful. Being a full-time working mother and part-time student, I’m left with very little time to actually think. 3 ingredient meals are my FAVE! Pinning and stumbling this.

  7. These all look good. Nothing like knowing what’s in your food, unlike what we buy in stores! Visiting from Craftastic Mondays.

  8. oh my so many excellent recipes that take 3 ingredients or less! I see at first glance at least 4 I want to try!

  9. What a great collection of recipes, thanks so much for sharing with us at Full Plate Thursday!
    Miz Helen

  10. Hi Merissa. These are my kind of recipes and recipes that use real food, not jars or packets. Thanks so much for sharing at Thriving on Thursdays. I’m featuring this post at tomorrow’s party. Hope to see you again.

    Anne @ Domesblissity xx

  11. Loved it!! I love simple recipes that use ingredients that everyone can find at the market:) Thank you for sharing your wonderful creativity with us at Friday Favorites! I hope you will join us again this week! Hugs- Christine at Must Love Home

  12. Hi Merissa! Such a wonderful collection of recipes here! Thank you so much for linking up with us at Dishing It & Digging It. Have a fabulous week 🙂

  13. I really need to get back into planning meals, this is a great list. Thanks for sharing on #HomeMattersParty

  14. Lots of great choices here. I just mentioned having “snacky” dinner to my son the other night and he looked at me like I was crazy. I can’t believe I haven’t done that with him before.

  15. This is greatly needed by me. I just refuse to eat processed food most of the time, even when encouraged to do otherwise. Thanks a lot.

  16. Thanks for the recipes,much appreciated. Comments by Prarie hen were a complement to you as she is correct,your recipes are awesome.