Our Favorite Four-Ingredient Meals

four ingredient recipes

These four-ingredient meals aren't scary to make. Promise. Credit: Sara Björk

This “four”-themed post is part of our FBG Birthday Week celebration! Check out all of the special four-year birthday posts and huge giveaways here!

We gave you our favorite four-minute workouts and now? Well, it only seemed appropriate to share our best four-ingredient recipes, too! Lots of people avoid cooking because they think it takes hours and complicated recipes, but it doesn’t have to be that way. When we’re in a rush, we love to whip up these quick and easy four-ingredient meals!

Four-Ingredient Recipes to Try

Erin’s Four-Ingredient Meal: A couple of my go-to lunches have the same basic concept with a couple of swaps. For a quick Mexican lunch fiesta, I top a corn tortilla with either beans or spicy fat-free refried beans, sliced avocado and a little cheese. (Salsa, too, if you’re feeling feisty!) For an easy lunch, I make a quick sammie: whole-grain bread, sliced turkey or chicken breast, a slice of whatever cheese I have on hand and avocado. The lesson? Cheese and avocado can make anything tasty!

Kristen’s Four-Ingredient Meal: It may not be as complex as Jenn’s Big-Ass Salads, but this spinach salad is darn good. Toss baby spinach, fresh strawberries, diced avocado and chickpeas for a filling four-ingredient meal. The trick with this one is to use plenty of strawberries so that you can mash some of them up and use in place of dressing!

Tish’s Four-Ingredient Meal: You can never go wrong with a smoothie, and this smoothie doesn’t disappoint. Simply blend rice milk, blueberries, cherries (my favorite!) and chia seeds (also my favorite!). Play around with the proportions until you get the smoothie consistency that you dig.

Jenn’s Four-Ingredient Meal: Always a sucker for brinner, this four-ingredient recipe is good any time of day! Simply whip together egg whites, nitrate-free smoked turkey (I like the kind from Trader Joe’s, of course), some chopped yellow bell pepper and a handful of spinach, and then cook in a pan over medium heat until scrambled. Filling, high in protein, packed with veggies—it’s a four-ingredient knockout.

Because we’re all about getting new quick and easy meal ideas, we’re bribing you to tell us what your favorite four-ingredient meal. Leave your ideas in the comments, and we’ll select one lucky U.S. reader to win a copy of Bob Harper’s (swoon!) new book, The Skinny Rules, in about a week. So get to cooking—I mean commenting! —Jenn



Comments

  1. says

    My favorite four ingredient meal is lasagna !

    Whole Wheat lasagna noodles, shredded 2% cheese, 98% lean ground beef and Hunts brand Garlic Tomato sauce.

    Y’all know how to make lasagna…right ?

  2. says

    My favorite 4 ingredient meal is my oatmeal at breakfast! 1/2 cup old fashioned oats, 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1 tbsp natural peanut butter & 1 tbsp. Ideal Brown Sugar Blend!

  3. alh1203 says

    Egg with a runny yolk, sprinkle of mozzarella, whole wheat toast with homemade strawberry jam. Perfect blend of sweet and savory, dip the toast in the runny yolk, oh yum.

  4. Andrea says

    My favorite smoothie: unsweetened vanilla almond milk, unsweetened cocoa powder, PB2 (powdered peanut butter – you MUST try this stuff if you haven’t already), and a frozen banana. Yum!

  5. says

    I have a few ideas!

    breakfast smoothie: coconut milk, sliced frozen banana, frozen baby spinach, and vanilla whey protein powder

    breakfast: oats, chia seeds, cottage cheese, and blueberries

    lunch: tortilla, shrimp, Frank’s red hot, and cabbage

    dinner: pizza made with pita, pesto, caramelized onions, and goat cheese

    Thanks for sharing your ideas!

  6. Amy A. says

    Simple caprese salad! Grape tomatoes, mozzerella balls, basil and olive oil! Plus seasoning lol. I like to serve it with a crusty baguette :)

  7. Debbie says

    Like Jenn I also love spinach. I put it in soup and I know Bob is big on getting lots of water in your diet. So my Spinach & Quinoa Soup is simple and most would add a few more ingredients like tomatoes, but I use:

    Spinach, quinoa, onion and water.

    You need to make the quinoa but it’s worth it to stay gluten-free and enjoy this high protein soup.

  8. Stephanie says

    I make a big pot of vegetable soup that is my lunch all week.

    2 big cans of diced or crushed tomato (I use one of each)
    1 bunch of greens (collards, chard, kale, spinach, whichever one you grab)
    1 onion, diced
    2 zucchini, diced

    Add in water until you get the thickness you want, season it up as desired, simmer for a half hour or so.

    It’s a great base soup that can be doctored up a million ways by adding a grain or beans to make it heartier, or switching up/adding more veggies if you want more ingredients (so next year when you’re 5 years old I’ll admit that I usually dice a carrot in there, too).

  9. dana says

    like tish, I’m all about a quick smoothie. frozen banana, spinach, cottage cheese/Greek yogurt, and wheat germ. thinned out with water if necessary. so yum!

  10. says

    My favorite four ingredient entree is a breakfast dish. I guess that is mixing it up, but we can’t forget the most important meal of the day! Every day I prepare plain oatmeal with almond milk and garnish with fresh fruit and almonds. Four easy and healthy ingredients? Oatmeal, almond milk, fresh fruit, and almonds. The best part about this breakfast is it incorporates so many superfood that it keeps me full all morning and into my afternoon. Because of this, I am not struggling mid-morning and prior to lunch. By the time lunch arrives, I am ready to eat but not at a point of starvation. Therefore, I eat a healthy lunch. It’s a cycle of eating clean and living happy!

  11. Alye says

    Mediterranean Egg White Omelet with egg whites, spinach, feta & hot sauce. That last one might have thrown you off but try it!! Everything is better with a little spice! ;)

  12. Meghan says

    Tuna salad/sandwich

    Tuna, light or organic mayo, tomato and whole wheat tortilla

    Mix the first three ingredients(can add more but I don’t) and then spoon onto tortilla!!

    Good hot or cold:)

  13. says

    Favorite 4 ingredient meal, especially for lunch is a chicken wrap. I take a whole wheat tortilla, add some grilled chicken breast, some spinach or some other leafy green, and a little crumbled blue cheese. YUM!

  14. says

    My favorite 4 ingredient meals …
    Breakfast –toast, peanut butter, bananas, honey
    Lunch — spinach, red onion, craisins, poppy dressing
    Dinner — stir fry — chicken, broccoli, teriyaki sauce, rice

  15. Heather H says

    My favorite four ingredient meal is probably soup. With the right seasonings (Old Bay, pepper) it’s amazing.

    Whole wheat noodles or rice
    Low sodium chicken broth
    Chicken breast
    Chopped fresh spinach

    It sounds simple, but I love it.

  16. Janice says

    My 4 ingredient breakfast most mornings:
    Oats
    Protein powder
    Almonds
    Berries

    Delicious and oh so filling!

  17. Erin K. says

    One of my fav 4 ingredient meals….lettuce + leftover chicken + leftover roasted veggies + black bean and corn salsa= fast, easy, and super yummy!

  18. Jeanne says

    My favorite 4 ingredient meal is similar to FBG Jenn’s – a veggie omelette. 2 egg whites, mushrooms, green pepper, tomatoes – yummy and easy for any meal!

  19. Michelle S. says

    My favorite 4 ingredient meal gets me going in the morning when I crave something warm and savory – my own egg mcmuffin sandwich: egg whites, turkey sausage, whole grain english muffin, low-fat american cheese. yum!

  20. says

    My kids love My Mac N Cheese Dinner. It’s not super healthy, but it’s super AWESOME!
    1. Smoked sausage links (whichever kind you’d like) (I’ve also used ground pork, chicken, turkey, or beef and it’s just as good. Just depends on your preferences and diet)
    2. 2% Kraft Deluxe Mac N Cheese
    3. Ro Tel tomatoes with green chiles
    4. shredded 4 cheese mexican mix or parmesan cheese, depending on your taste

    Grill sausage as you usually would or cook in a frying pan, preheat oven to 350, make mac n cheese as directed and drain can of tomatoes with chiles.
    When mac n cheese is done, mix in an oven safe casserole dish, and dice sausage. Add sausage, drained tomatoes and if using shredded cheese add about 1/4 cup (not the parmesan, it dries the dish out bad) all to the mac n cheese and mix together well. Sprinkle enough shredded or parmesan cheese to cover the top of the dish and put in the oven for 5-10 mins until top is a light golden brown color.
    Dish out onto paper plates with plastic utensils and listen for inappropriate yummy noises. SO. FREAKING. YUMMY. And it only takes a total of 20 mins including baking. PLUS, there’s minimal clean up! WIN WIN WIN WIN!

  21. Nicole says

    spinach, yogart, strawberries, kiwi, (& ice- does that count as an ingredient?) in a blender

  22. Shelle says

    Pasta – whole wheat rotini, Trader Joe’s Garlic and Basil marinara sauce, Morningstar Farms veggie crumbles and fresh steamed string beans on the side.

  23. Marjorie Mauk says

    My favorite 4 ingredient dessert!!

    1 sugar-free chocolate pudding snack with 60 calories or less (like the kind by Jell-O)
    1/2 cup Cool Whip Free (thawed)
    1/3 cup Reese’s Puffs cereal
    1 tsp. mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

    Directions:
    In a mid-sized glass, layer half of the following ingredients: pudding, Cool Whip, and cereal.

    Repeat layering with remaining pudding, Cool Whip, and cereal. Sprinkle with chocolate chips, grab a spoon, and dig in!

    MAKES 1 SERVING

  24. Maurya says

    For a quick breakfast, I love 1oz of goat cheese, 1 1/2 tbs 0% Fat greek yogurt mixed spread on a whole wheat toast and top with 1/3 cup raspberries and honey!

  25. Kristine says

    I love a good pita sandwich!

    Whole Wheat Pita
    Roasted Red Pepper hummus (Trader Joe’s is the best!)
    Grilled pepper strips (yellow, green and red or whatever is on hand!)
    Feta cheese

    Just cut upon the pita and stuff the other ingredients inside! So easy and so yummy!

  26. Almira says

    The favorite meal in my house for breakfast is Spanish Tortilla: eggs, potatoes, onions and any other fourth ingredient you can think of: spinach, cheese, tomatoes, peas… The list is endless.

  27. Chrsitine says

    My Favorite Breakfast Smoothie:

    1 c. Skim Milk
    2 TBS. All Natural Peanut Butter (I use Smuckers)
    1/4 c. Oatmeal
    1 scoop Chocolate Protein Powder
    Ice (not counting it in the ingredients since it’s zero calories)

    Mix in a blender. Serves two.

    Yummy! Kids like this one!

  28. says

    My favorite summer recipe: shrimp, granny smith apple, avocado, little lemon juice. Crunchy, and protein packed!

  29. says

    I had to think about this… what do I make that has just 4 ingredients? It’s like everything I make has 2 or 10! LOL I am not sure if anyone will actually like mine, but I thought of some… and they just all happen to involve olive oil.. weird! Yay for healthy fats!

    Breakfast/Lunch – medium or hard boiled eggland’s best eggs, olive oil, paprika & sea salt (I am obsessed with Himalayan pink salt right now, trader joe’s sells it in a grinder) — either dip egg in oil then paprika/salt mixture or cut up the egg and make it sort of like an egg salad
    Side – watercress, shaved parmesan, garlic flavored olive oil, balsamic vinegar
    Lunch/Dinner – portobello mushroom, low fat cheese of choice, rosemary ham (I use Trader Joe’s… minimally processed!), olive oil

  30. says

    Eggs Florentine

    Although it’s made with eggs, this a quick meal any time of day. One serving. Prep time: 10 minutes

    1 cup fresh baby spinach
    4 egg whites
    2 Tbsp reduced-fat feta cheese, crumbled
    1 cup fresh blueberries (or other fruit of choice)

    Coat small non-stick skillet with cooking spray and place it on medium heat. Saute spinache until it wilts. Whisk egg whites until blended. Pur over spinache and stir until eggs are set. Spinkle feta cheese and slide onto plate. Place blueberries on a plate with eggs. Yummmmmm

  31. says

    Breakfast: poached egg on top of sauteed onion, cabbage, 2 oz ham steak (season w/ pepper, red pepper flakes & splash of apple cider vinegar)

    Lunch: Whole wheat & corn tortilla, grilled chicken, avocado & pico de gallo.

    Dinner: Garlic, olive oil, whole bunch of spinach, tossed w/whole wheat pasta.

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