It's no secret that I'm not the biggest cook or baker. I've come to realize that I just wasn't born with whatever patience or multi-tasking gene it takes to actually enjoying making stuff. However, I do love to eat, which is why simple three-ingredient recipes are totally up my alley.
And part of me feels a little bad about not deriving more pleasure from working in the kitchen. It seems like we live in an age where being a total foodie and loving to cook is downright trendy. I can't tell you how many times I've stood around a water cooler listening to someone tell me how they made the "most amazing bok choy last night." And I get it — I really do. Cooking for yourself means you know exactly what's in your food and where it comes from, and it also means you get the satisfaction of reaping the fruits of your own labor. I've even written articles about how cooking for yourself saves you money.
I just honestly still don't like it. I'm not big on planning, I don't like waiting, and I generally just have about 50 things I'd rather be doing. Sorry not sorry. So if you want to cook at home more, but also just can't hop on board the loving-to-cook bandwagon, here are 13 super simple three ingredient or less recipes that should help you out.
1. Two-Ingredient Pancakes
I seriously love these things as a delicious alternative to flour-based pancakes, but I'll warn you that they taste more like french toast. Also, I'm not gonna lie — I often add a secret third ingredient: cinnamon.
2. Oreo Truffles
These are seriously so fun and so tasty. The cream cheese cuts the sweetness of the cookies, meaning it's actually way more suited for an "adult" palate than you might think. Just be sure you leave them in the fridge long enough before and after decorating with the white chocolate, as it makes them look way better overall.
OK — you had to know this one would be in here somewhere. What's easier than putting cheese in a tortilla and popping it in the oven? And you can add whatever accents you want, from peppers and onions, to chicken and green chiles, to just topping with guacamole. It's seriously the best for when you just can't be bothered to cook.
Kebabs are an awesome choice for the low-maintenance cook because they require almost no work and are incredibly versatile. Just marinate the meat of your choice, add your favorite veggies (or fruits!), and throw on the grill. I find that these are especially great for when I'm having people over and want to make it seem like I've done something special with minimal effort.
5. Teriyaki Wings
A baked wings recipe featured in Real Simple is awesome because it will look like you put a ton of effort into something that was actually so easy. This is another one I recommend for when having a lot of people over and for larger get togethers. Because who doesn't love wings?
6. Mac And Cheese
It can be easy to dismiss this childhood staple as not appropriate for us grown ups, but don't underestimate mac and cheese as an awesome option for those evenings when you want something tasty and comforting but just don't feel like whipping up anything elaborate. I personally like to stick with classic cheddar cheese, but a three-cheese mix, or even spicing things up with goat cheese will yield awesome results.
7. BBQ Chicken-Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
This recipe from The Comfort Of Cooking utilizes nothing more than a sweet potato, shredded chicken, and barbecue sauce, and yet the results are awesome! This is a great option for when you're cooking for one or for when you want to impress a larger group.
8. Chicken Caprese Salad
All you need is grilled chicken, tomatoes, mozzarella, and some salt and pepper for this incredibly fresh and simple recipe (and of course it never hurts to add some fresh basil or spices, but you can also totally keep it simple)! You can check out the full recipe from Food&Wine here.
9. Pepperoni Roll Ups
This recipe is a huge hit every time I make it, and everyone is always super impressed with me even though it's just about the easiest thing in the world (not to mention, it's super fun to make). Just pick up some pizza dough from your local store (Pillsbury has a super solid pre-mixed option), some mozzarella, and pepperoni, and you're good to go!
10. Chocolate Pie
OK, this is a recipe my aunt gave me that is so freaking easy yet tastes like it took hours to make. Just mix a container of cool whip with some melted mini chocolate chips, pour into a pre-made pie crust, and chill. It tastes downright decadent. And you can top with some more chocolate chips for decoration.
11. Ice Box Cake
I had never heard of ice box cake until a few years ago, but now that I know about it it's a dessert staple in my house. Just layer a plate with cookies or wafers of your choosing, spread a layer of homemade whipped cream, and repeat until it's "cake height." Leave in the fridge overnight, and the next day you'll have a sliceable and super rich dessert.
12. Grilled Cheese
Much like the quesadilla, a classic grilled cheese is a simple and easy meal that should never be overlooked by us non-cooking types. And again, if you want to spice things up with tomatoes, meats, or other veggies you can totally go for it, but it's also great totally plain.
13. Peanut Butter Brownies
Full disclosure, I've not actually made these yet but they catch my eye every time I see them. If you're a peanut butter lover, or want to make a super easy treat for a peanut-butter loving friend or loved one, definitely think about this recipe. And the fact that it uses minimal flour means it will be a super gooey treat.
Cooking something delicious doesn't necessarily have to take hours or require a ton of prep and ingredients. Just use a few of these recipe hacks and you'll be eating like a queen with minimal effort.