Healthy 3-Ingredient Dinners for Busy Weeknights

Hey, friends!

Two of the biggest challenges that our nutrition clients face is not having enough time to prepare healthy food and not knowing what to eat. I even had a client recently ask me: “How do you overcome just not really wanting to cook?” Oooooh, yes, I’ve totally been there. I definitely go through phases where I’m just OVER cooking and don’t want to make the effort. Anyone else with me?

Not everyone loves cooking, but they still want to eat healthy dinners on busy weeknights. I personally love the idea of 3-ingredient meals that you can quite literally throw together. I don’t want to spending hours and hours in the kitchen, and I firmly believe that healthy eating doesn’t need to be super time-consuming or difficult. All of these recipes have simple ingredients that you can find at most grocery stores or you might even already have in your kitchen!

These recipes for healthy 3-ingredient dinners for busy weeknights are definitely favorites in the Haupert household. We make these recipes again and again. I hope you guys find them as convenient, healthy, and delicious as we do! And, of course, I’d love to hear about your favorite quick/easy dinner recipe. Feel free to share in the comment section below! 🙂

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Crock-Pot Masala Chicken 

Trader Joe Masala Simmer Sauce

If you’re a Trader Joe’s fan, you will especially love this recipe, but if there’s not a store near you, you can easily swap the Trader Joe’s Masala Simmer Sauce for another brand or similar simmer sauce. Ok, here’s a super simple crock-pot recipe that you NEED to try. Just place two-three large chicken breasts (1.5-2 pounds) in your crock-pot along with a full bag of Trader Joe’s frozen Fire-Roasted Peppers & Onions and a jar of TJ’s Masala Simmer Sauce. Cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours until chicken is cooked through. Serve chicken, peppers, onions, and Masala sauce over cauliflower rice or brown/white rice. Easy as that! You’ll have dinner (and leftovers for lunch) in no time!

Crock-Pot Chicken Cacciatore

Crock-pot Chicken Cacciatore

Similar to the recipe above, this Crock-Pot Chicken Cacciatore requires your crock-pot + chicken breast and frozen peppers and onion, but, this time, you use 24 ounces of pasta sauce. Just pop everything in your crock-pot and cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours until chicken is cooked through. Serve over pasta, zoodles, quinoa, rice, or eat alone.

Sweet Potato Hash

3-Ingredient Healthy Sweet Potato Hash

Another family favorite! The recipe works great with ground beef, turkey, or chicken, so you can totally customize it to your liking. Same goes for the veggies: Try kale, broccolini, or frozen versions (i.e. chopped spinach).

The Easiest Chicken Fajitas You’ll Ever Make 

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These are seriously the easiest chicken fajitas you’ll ever make, especially if you have some Fajita Magic Seasoning on hand!

Cowboy Caviar Cauliflower Rice Bowl

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Another favorite in our house! If you can’t find jarred Cowboy Caviar, a jar of salsa with black beans and corn (or any kind of salsa, really) works well in this recipe too. You can also substitute white or brown rice, quinoa, or pasta for the cauliflower rice.

Hummus Chicken Salad

hummus chicken salad

One of our clients’ favorite recipes! It’s such a quick and easy meal to throw together, and you can eat it in so many different ways: on a sandwich, in a wrap, over salad greens, or alone by itself. You can also play around with the hummus flavors and veggies. Right now, I’m digging basil pesto hummus with chopped cucumbers. Mmm!

Cheesy Brussels Sprouts with Sausage

Another go-to in our house! Be sure to buy the Brussels sprouts already shredded… it makes life so much easier!

Deconstructed Shepherd’s Pie

ingredients_from_Trader_Joes_

An oldie, but goodie, especially if you’re a Trader Joe’s shopper. This recipe works with just about any frozen mixed veggies and/or mashed or sweet potatoes.

Taco Salad

easy taco salad

Ok, technically, this meal is three ingredients (ground beef, taco seasoning, lettuce), but you’ll probably want to add a few additional things to your salad (salsa, shredded cheese, guacamole, etc.), but the base “recipe” is super simple! 🙂

Potato And Chorizo Dobladas

potato__Chorizo_Dobladas__001

This recipe also works with mashed sweet potatoes. Be sure to buy your chorizo already ground up. I bought chorizo sausages once, and it just wasn’t the same and kind of a pain in the butt to break it up.

Question of the Day

Your turn! What’s your favorite quick and easy dinner to make during the week?

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24 Comments

  1. These are my favorite “recipe” posts that you have. My husband is a TERRIBLE cook but always asks how he can help in the kitchen. I feel confident that I can buy the ingredients at Trader Joe’s for him and *fingers crossed* he won’t mess it up. Thank you!

  2. Thanks for the recipe inspiration! I’m curious about the sauces and packaged stuff..how is the sugar content? Their convenience cannot.be.beat (and sometimes that take the cake), but I’ve never had great luck finding pre-made sauces and and veggies with sauce that don’t have crazy high amount of sugar.

  3. I love that the TJ’s Fire Roasted Peppers and Onions are a recurring theme in recipes lately. I always have a bag in the freezer! They are so tasty and easy to throw into the crockpot or pan. We love your baked chicken fajitas recipe. We also like to take ground turkey and bake it in half a pepper top with some cheese!!

  4. Quick and easy is great! All of these recipes include pre-packaged “ingredients” and I’ve never found pre-packaged shortcuts to stack up nutritionally against using fresh ingredients. Given that your blog is taking on more of a ‘Designed to Fit Nutrition’ advertising feel it would be interesting to read a post on how you chose the pre-packaged shortcuts that you do choose and how these options stack up nutritionally against their non-packaged rivals. Do you recommend these recipes only when in a pinch and tight on time or are these quick options healthy enough to be consumed daily? This additional information would be very helpful with weekly meal planning and would be interesting to read given your nutrition knowledge.

  5. Thanks for this post, it is very helpful. I am a working mother with 2 daughters playing sports, this is easy enough they can start many of these.

    1. I’m not a vegetarian/vegan, but you could always remove the meat from these recipes and replace with a high-protein vegetarian source. I also really love the blogs Oh She Glows and The Healthy Apple for vegetarian/vegan recipes! 🙂

  6. These are great ideas! I am a lifelong vegetarian who is now cooking for her paleo diet focused husband. I’m always looking for easy recipes to attempt to make for him. Otherwise it’s…”Here is what I am having plus a side of ground beef for you.” 😉

    My favorite quick and easy meal is stir fry with whatever veggies we have on hand plus quinoa.

  7. These speak to my soul. Time is so hard to come by. Saving this to come back to when I do my meal planning for the week! I like using thin n trim chicken sausages to add protein to a green or grain salad when we are pressed for time since they are pre cooked and you just have to heat them up.

  8. Thanks! I love Cowboy Caviar, so glad I read that post from a while back. It’s a staple now!

    Fried eggs on Ezeikiel avocado toast with hot sauce is my go to. Or a nuked sweet potato topped with black beans, eggs, cumin, chili powder, avocado and salsa.

  9. Thanks for posting! Really looking forward to trying these recipes. I am a working mon and dinner time is always crazy. And we are in a real dinner rut.

  10. This post came at the best time! I had all the sweet potato hash ingredients in my fridge and am making it right now!

  11. We do a similar meal to your Cowboy Caviar rice bowl — ground beef, black beans, rice, and peas. Salsa and avocado optional. My daughter is two and a half (just a few days younger than Quinn!) and will DEVOUR it. She usually eats more than me! Thanks for the ideas 🙂

  12. Random Question – have you ever tried freezing the shredded brussel sprouts from Trader Joe’s? I live about 1.5 hours away and love the Cheesy Brussels Sprouts with Sausage but hate shredding them myself – was wondering if I might be able to stock up while I am there next time to make it easier on myself meal prepping. Thanks!

    1. I haven’t tried freezing them, but it might work! I tried freezing the butternut squash, but it ended up totally mushy and gross, but Brussels sprouts have a difference texture/consistency.

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