6 Delicious Dinners You Can Make with Just 3 Ingredients

By K. Aleisha Fetters |

Whip up one of these nutritionist-approved meals in no time.

pasta with tomato sauce and peas

Thanks to the internet, finding a dinner recipe that sounds amazing has never been easier. But then you notice the ingredients section is longer than your grandkid’s Christmas list, and it’s back to Google you go. Click, scroll, repeat.

Sound familiar? You’re not alone. That’s why we asked top nutritionists for their favorite dinners that include just three ingredients—without skimping on flavor.

These six meals may very well become your new dinnertime manual.

1. Chicken Sausage Pasta

“This simple trio provides protein from the sausage, carbs from the pasta, and fiber from the peppers,” says Alissa Rumsey, R.D., creator of the 5-Minute Mindful Eating Exercise. “Plus, you get a full serving of vegetables!”

Her recommendation: Make extra, and eat the leftovers for lunch the next day.

How to make it: Cook whole wheat pasta according to package instructions. Combine cooked pasta with diced, roasted bell peppers and your preferred chicken sausage. Optional: For an extra dose of flavor, add premade tomato sauce.

2. Lemony Broiled Salmon with Brussels Sprouts

If you’re a lover of lean protein but have exhausted your chicken breast recipes, it’s time to serve up salmon. The fish is a great source of calcium, vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, and protein, says Keri Gans, R.D.N., author of The Small Change Diet.

That’s great news, considering three out of four of those things are on our list of five nutrients you’re probably not getting enough of. Plus, eating omega-3 fatty acids can help people lower their blood pressure, according to an analysis in the American Journal of Hypertension.

How to make it: Broil a salmon fillet (4 ounces, about the size of a deck of cards) in a preheated oven for 7 to 8 minutes. Serve with steamed Brussels sprouts, and top with fresh lemon juice.

3. Sirloin Burger with Sweet Potato

“A good piece of meat doesn’t need any additional seasoning or even a bun,” says Gans, who recommends making your burgers with lean sirloin. Her favorite way to serve up burgers: on top of a fiber-rich sweet potato.

Fun fact: One medium sweet potato contains four times your recommended daily intake of vitamin A, which helps promote healthy vision and immunity. It also provides potassium, which helps keep your bones strong.

How to make it: Grill up a burger (4 ounces), and serve on top of a baked sweet potato. You can cut the potato in half to make it more like a bun if you prefer. Top with Havarti cheese, and let melt for gooey goodness.

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4. Filling Farro Bowl

Farro is a healthy, nutty grain that’s rich in protein and fiber. Combine it with broccoli roasted in olive oil to get a tasty infusion of greens and healthy unsaturated fats, Rumsey says.

How to make it: Toss 1 cup broccoli florets with olive oil, and roast in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes at 400˚F. Meanwhile, boil water, add ¼ cup dry farro, boil until it’s al dente, and then drain the water. Combine the farro and broccoli, and enjoy!

5. Chicken Chickpea Salad

If you’re craving a protein-packed salad, look no further. Both chicken and chickpeas are brimming with muscle-building nutrients, says Gans, noting that chickpeas are also a great source of heart-healthy fiber.

If you want to add a fourth ingredient to the recipe (we won’t tell), a drizzle of olive oil is great for rounding out your salad and even increasing nutrient absorption, she says.

How to make it: Top a bed of mixed greens, kale, or spinach with 3 ounces roasted chicken breast and ½ cup chickpeas.

6. Veg-tastic Pasta

This is about as easy as pasta gets. Just make sure to choose a tomato sauce that’s low in sugar, Gans says. Some jars will even say “no sugar added.”

How to make it: Combine ½ cup cooked whole wheat pasta with premade tomato sauce and ½ cup frozen peas. The warm pasta will quickly make the peas the perfect temperature.

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