I'm new to Hungry Girl and not much of a cook. I want to make healthy meals for my family, but I get overwhelmed by massive ingredient lists. Can you suggest some recipes with only a handful of ingredients?
Hi Minimalist Mama,
Welcome to Hungry Girl! Confession: I'm not much of a cook either. (I'm more of a mad scientist in the kitchen!) Most HG recipes are very easy to make and don't call for lots of ingredients. In fact, here are eight dinners with no more than five ingredients each! (FYI: Salt, pepper, and basic dried seasonings don't count toward the ingredient tally.)
Mama Shelly's Slow-Cooker Chicken
1/4th of recipe (about 1 3/4 cups): 270 calories, 4g total fat (0.5g sat. fat), 663mg sodium, 21.5g carbs, 5g fiber, 12g sugars, 35.5g protein
Slow-cooker recipes are ideal for busy folks, and this one
is especially easy. Mixing stewed tomatoes with balsamic vinegar was a stroke of genius. So much flavor! Hearty chicken, green beans, spinach... Throw it all in the pot, and check dinner off your to-do list.
Spaghetti Squash Pie
1/4th of pan: 300 calories, 8g total fat (4g sat. fat), 645mg sodium, 22.5g carbs, 5g fiber, 9.5g sugars, 34g protein
This comfort-food bake
is so delicious I'm getting hungry just writing about it! It has all the flavor of decadent Italian food without the super-high calorie count. The beef makes it extra filling, and the portion size is HUGE. BTW, if you want to save some time or effort, cook the spaghetti squash in a microwave or slow cooker. Here's how
Orange Teriyaki Chicken
1/4th of recipe (about 3/4 cup): 202 calories, 3g total fat (0.5g sat. fat), 745mg sodium, 15g carbs, 1.5g fiber, 7g sugars, 26.5g protein
Chinese, please! Give your family what they want without ordering greasy takeout. This sweet 'n savory chicken
is insanely delicious and so simple to make. I love
the crunch the water chestnuts bring, too. Add a side of steamed veggies, and dinner is served.
1/2 of recipe (about 2 cups): 247 calories, 8g total fat (4g sat. fat), 789mg sodium, 30g carbs, 9.5g fiber, 18.5g sugars, 20.5g protein
If you haven't cooked with zucchini noodles yet, this take on pasta Alfredo
is a great place to start! You'll save hundreds and hundreds of calories. You don't even need a veggie spiralizer... You can make this with a standard veggie peeler. It's a great meatless meal -- check out all that protein! Although, sometimes I toss in precooked shrimp or chicken... So good!
BBQ Chicken Foil Pack
Entire recipe: 270 calories, 4g total fat (1g sat. fat), 581mg sodium, 23g carbs, 2.5g fiber, 14.5g sugars, 34g protein
In addition to a sparse ingredient list, this chicken recipe
has another exciting perk: hardly any cleanup! Baking food in a packet of foil is seriously one of the world's best cooking hacks. Just multiply this recipe as needed to feed the whole family. Bonus: You can easily swap out the sauce and veggies for your family's favorites. (Marinara and broccoli rock
Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers
1/4th of recipe (1 stuffed pepper): 250 calories, 8g total fat (4g sat. fat), 674mg sodium, 14.5g carbs, 3.5g fiber, 7g sugars, 30g protein
Tossing a cheesesteak-inspired filling inside bell peppers
instead of carby hoagie rolls makes for a decadent yet healthy meal! Some people think ground beef is off-limits due to its fatty nature, but the trick is to get the extra-lean kind (4% fat or less). The stats are even more impressive than lean ground turkey! Pair this with salad for a full meal, or enjoy it as a super satisfying snack.
Onion Goodness Burger
1/5th of recipe (1 patty): 180 calories, 8g total fat (3g sat. fat), 550mg sodium, 3g carbs, 0g fiber, 1g sugars, 22.5g protein
I'll raise your five ingredients and give you just two! These simple burger patties
are shockingly delicious. The onion soup/dip mix is loaded with flavor. Throw your patties onto lettuce buns or 100-calorie flat sandwich rolls. And what's a burger without fries? Add a pile of these baked carrot fries
, and your entire meal still has less than five ingredients!
Shrimp 'n Slaw Marinara
Entire recipe: 289 calories, 3g total fat (<0.5g sat. fat), 770mg sodium, 31g carbs, 14g fiber, 15g sugars, 36.5g protein
Dinner does not get any easier than this seafood-topped pasta swap
. Broccoli cole slaw gets all noodle-y and delicious when cooked until soft. Grab some marinara from the pantry and some shrimp from the freezer, and dinner is a go! This recipe serves one, but it's easy to adjust for a group. It's great with chicken too!
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