33 Genius Three-Ingredient Recipes (2024)

Yep, it really can be this easy.

Rachel SandersPublished on March 22, 2014Chris RitterPublished on March 22, 2014
33 Genius Three-Ingredient Recipes (3)

1. eggs + flour + Nutella = easy brownies

33 Genius Three-Ingredient Recipes (4)

Nutella / Flickr: gymnasticks

With a hint of hazelnut. Get the recipe.

2. milk + pasta shells + cheddar = creamy mac and cheese

33 Genius Three-Ingredient Recipes (5)


You slowly cook the pasta right IN the milk, so it gets super creamy. Then just stir in cheese and the sauce makes itself. Such a "why didn't I think of that?" Get the recipe.

3. peanut butter + sugar + eggs = peanut butter cookies

33 Genius Three-Ingredient Recipes (6)


Bonus: They're (accidentally) gluten-free. Get the recipe.

4. bananas + eggs + coconut flour = paleo pancakes

33 Genius Three-Ingredient Recipes (7)


Also gluten-free, but delicious for everyone. Get the recipe.

5. fennel + red onion + orange = self-dressing winter salad

33 Genius Three-Ingredient Recipes (8)


This recipe from Molly Stevens' roasting cookbook is brilliant because you just squeeze the juice from a caramelized, roasty orange over everything to dress it. Get the recipe.

6. nuts + dates + dried fruit = energy bars

33 Genius Three-Ingredient Recipes (9)


Don't mess with the dates (they keep everything cohesive and sweet) but use whatever kind of combos you like for the fruit and nuts: Try cherry-almond, apricot-almond, cranberry-pecan, or apple-cinnamon-walnut. Get the recipe.

7. tomatoes + onion + butter = perfect tomato sauce

33 Genius Three-Ingredient Recipes (10)


It's fair to call this sauce from Italian cooking queen Marcella Hazan (RIP!) one of the classic recipes of the century; you get something amazingly rich and delicious from just three ingredients and practically zero work. Canned or fresh tomatoes both work, so you can make it year-round. Get the recipe.

9. sugar + orange juice + salt = orange sorbet

33 Genius Three-Ingredient Recipes (12)


Even OJ gets bored of breakfast sometimes. Get the recipe.

10. chocolate chips + peanut butter + sea salt = peanut butter cups

33 Genius Three-Ingredient Recipes (13)


PB&C: a love story for all time. Get the recipe.

11. hazelnuts + sugar + egg whites = hazelnut cookies

33 Genius Three-Ingredient Recipes (14)


These classic Italian cookies are called brutti ma buoni: ugly but good! Get the recipe.

12. coconut cream + peanut butter + maple syrup = peanut butter mousse

33 Genius Three-Ingredient Recipes (15)


A dead-simple dessert that vegans (and everyone else) can enjoy. Get the recipe.

13. basil + olive oil + salt = pesto

33 Genius Three-Ingredient Recipes (16)

The Bitten Word / Flickr: galant / Creative Commons

Classic pesto usually has cheese, garlic, and nuts, but this super-streamlined version proves that they're not mandatory to make a delicious sauce. Get the recipe.

14. cake mix + orange juice + Greek yogurt = creamsicle cake

33 Genius Three-Ingredient Recipes (17)

Get the recipe.

This cake is low-fat but still super moist. Get the recipe.

15. jalapeños + scallion cream cheese + bacon = jalapeño poppers

33 Genius Three-Ingredient Recipes (18)


This recipe calls for chives/scallions and cream cheese as separate ingredients, but you're too clever for that. Get the recipe.

16. cooked fruit + sugar + whipped cream = fruit fool

33 Genius Three-Ingredient Recipes (19)


This traditional British dessert works with almost any fruit. Try rhubarb and strawberries in the spring, or stone fruit in the summer. Here's how to make it.

17. chicken + cola + soy sauce = glazed coca-cola chicken

33 Genius Three-Ingredient Recipes (20)

18. chocolate wafers + cream + sugar = icebox cake

33 Genius Three-Ingredient Recipes (21)


If you've never experience cookies and cream melded into one magical substance, you're in for a great surprise. Nabsico "Famous" chocolate wafers are the classic, but you can try it with any kind of thin cookie. Here's how to make it.

19. pork shoulder + root beer + BBQ sauce = easy pulled pork

33 Genius Three-Ingredient Recipes (22)

pork shoulder / food52.com // sandwich / tablespoon.com

What your slow cooker was born to make. Get the recipe.

20. frozen bananas + peanut butter + toppings = vegan soft-serve sundae

33 Genius Three-Ingredient Recipes (23)


If you don't know that blending frozen bananas = amazing, instant vegan ice cream by now, I don't even know what to tell you. Get the recipe.

21. egg roll wrappers + string cheese + egg = mozzarella sticks

33 Genius Three-Ingredient Recipes (24)


East meets West meets stomach. Get the recipe.

22. tomatoes + scallions + olive oil = summer pasta sauce

33 Genius Three-Ingredient Recipes (25)


Veggies do double duty: Blend some of the fresh tomatoes and scallions into a purée to use as a sauce for the hot pasta, then chop up the rest and toss 'em in. Get the recipe.

23. lemons + cream + sugar = lemon pudding

33 Genius Three-Ingredient Recipes (26)


This is genius because the acid in the lemon juice sets the pudding all by itself — no gelatin necessary. Get the recipe.

24. chicken + honey mustard dressing + pretzels = honey mustard chicken tenders

33 Genius Three-Ingredient Recipes (27)


The kind of dinner so easy you don't really have to think about it. Get the recipe.

25. shredded coconut + condensed milk + vanilla = coconut macaroons

33 Genius Three-Ingredient Recipes (28)

Garrett Ziegler / Flickr: garrettziegler / Creative Commons

Not just for Passover! You can amp these up by dipping them in chocolate if you feel so inclined. Get the recipe.

26. shredded potatoes + parmesan + scallions = individual hash brown cups

33 Genius Three-Ingredient Recipes (29)


Cooking the potatoes in a muffin tin is a cute, easy way to serve them for a large group. Get the recipe.

27. coconut milk + sugar + flavoring = vegan ice cream

33 Genius Three-Ingredient Recipes (30)


You'll need an ice cream maker if you want it to be really creamy and fluffy, but it's worth it. Try using anything you like to flavor the ice cream — the coconut base is quiet enough to work with vanilla, chocolate, coffee, fruit, you name it. Get the recipe.

28. sweet potato + white beans + tahini = veggie burgers

33 Genius Three-Ingredient Recipes (31)


OK, this is sort of cheating on the number of ingredients since you might need to throw a handful of flour or breadcrumbs in there too, depending on how squishy the mix is. But they're still dead simple. Get the recipe.

29. self-rising flour + shortening + buttermilk = biscuits

33 Genius Three-Ingredient Recipes (32)


Use White Lily self-rising flour, if you can find it, to get fine-textured and super-fluffy biscuits. Get the recipe.

30. ice cream + whipped topping + crust = mint chip ice cream pie

33 Genius Three-Ingredient Recipes (33)


Works with any flavor of ice cream. Get the recipe.

31. flour + butter + powdered sugar = shortbread cookies

33 Genius Three-Ingredient Recipes (34)


Sometimes the simplest things are the best things. Get the recipe.

32. potatoes + cream cheese + bacon = mini potato skins

33 Genius Three-Ingredient Recipes (35)


Bake once, mix the inside of the potatoes with the cheese and bacon, then bake again. Twice as good! Get the recipe.

33. chocolate + eggs + butter = flourless chocolate cake

33 Genius Three-Ingredient Recipes (36)


The definition of a "keeper" recipe: foolproof, seriously delicious, and perfect for basically any occasion. Get the recipe.

Also on BF: 34 Insanely Simple Two-Ingredient Recipes


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