It doesn't take much to create a dinner that's both delicious and helps to keep your diabetes in check! These easy 3-ingredient dinners (not including salt, pepper and oil) start with pantry staples and use additional flavor-packed ingredients to create some amazing meals.

Advertisement
3-ingredient diabetes dinners
Photo by: Carolyn A. Hodges, RD
| Credit: Photo by: Carolyn A. Hodges, R.D.

Stock up on a handful of staples so you're ready to whip up any one of these five delicious dinners in minutes! In addition to basics like oil, salt and pepper, these fast and flavorful recipes call for just three simple ingredients, including essentials you likely already have in your pantry or freezer (like canned beans, boxed soup and frozen vegetables). Leaning on a few store-bought shortcuts like bagged salad kits and pre-made sauces means you can add lots of flavor to dishes without lots of ingredients. Each recipe is loaded with vegetables and incorporates a good balance of protein and higher-fiber carbs to help to keep blood sugar stable.

These meal ideas are diabetes-friendly and heart-healthy, meaning they each contain 2 to 4 carb servings (30 to 60 grams of carbohydrate), are low in saturated fat and keep sodium in check (while still being full of flavor). What's more, these recipes are ready in just 15 minutes or less. They each make enough for two to three servings but are easily doubled.

Chicken Caesar Flatbread

3-Ingredient-Diabetes-Chix-Caesar-Flatbread
Credit: Photo by: Carolyn A. Hodges, R.D.

A frozen cauliflower-based pizza crust becomes the crispy base for this no-fuss flatbread. Pick up a Caesar-style salad kit to save you the hassle of needing to buy lots of other ingredients (everything's included in the kit!), and use rotisserie chicken breast to simplify prep even more.

Make It Yourself:

  1. Bake a 6-ounce frozen cauliflower pizza crust according to package directions until it's golden brown and crispy; remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.
  2. Toss together a 10-ounce Caesar salad kit according to package directions, reserving Parmesan cheese; fold in 6 ounces shredded rotisserie chicken breast.
  3. Top the prepared crust with salad and sprinkle with the reserved Parmesan; cut into 6 pieces. Serve any extra salad on the side.

Serves: 3

Butternut Squash and Cauliflower Soup with Chickpea "Croutons"

EW-3-Ing-Diabetes-Butternut-Cauli-Soup-Chickpea-Croutons
Credit: Photo by: Carolyn A. Hodges, R.D.

Bulk up boxed butternut squash soup with frozen cauliflower florets, then top off your bowl with crispy chickpea snacks for major crunch (they're often found near the dried fruit and nuts at your grocery store). Because prepared soups are typically higher in sodium, look for light or reduced-sodium versions of your favorites.

Make It Yourself:

  1. Bring a 32-ounce container of reduced-sodium pureed butternut squash soup to a simmer in a saucepan. Stir in 2 cups frozen cauliflower florets and continue to cook until the cauliflower is heated through, 3 to 4 minutes; season to taste with ground pepper.
  2. Divide the soup between 3 bowls and top each with ¼ cup crispy chickpea snacks.

Serves: 3

Lentil Curry with Cauliflower Rice

3-Ing-Diabetes-Lentil-Curry-Cauli-Rice
Credit: Photo by: Carolyn A. Hodges, R.D.

Combine precooked lentils (often located in the produce section of your grocery store) with an Indian-style simmer sauce for a super-fast and flavorful curry. Serving it over riced cauliflower bumps up the vegetables and keeps carb servings in check. To be mindful of the salt, look for simmer sauces with less than 350 mg sodium per ¼-cup serving.

Make It Yourself:

  1. Prepare a 10-ounce bag of frozen cauliflower rice medley (with carrots and peas) according to package directions; divide between 2 bowls.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine a 9-ounce package of refrigerated cooked lentils and ⅓ cup curry simmer sauce. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through. Serve over the cauliflower rice.

Serves: 2

Black Bean Fajita Skillet

3-Ing-Diabetes-Lentil-Curry-Cauli-Rice
Credit: Photo by: Carolyn A. Hodges, R.D.

You can often find pre-sliced and ready-to-cook fresh vegetables in your grocer's produce section. Use these to your advantage to cut down on dinnertime prep. Here, pre-sliced fajita vegetables are sautéed with canned black beans and Southwest seasoning, then topped with cheese for a quick and easy Tex-Mex-inspired meal.

Make It Yourself:

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add a 12-ounce package sliced fajita vegetables (bell peppers and onions) and sauté until soft, about 10 minutes.
  2. Stir in a 14.5-ounce can no-salt-added black beans (rinsed), ½ teaspoon salt-free Southwest-style seasoning and ¼ teaspoon salt; cook for 1 minute more.
  3. Divide the vegetables and beans between 2 bowls and top each with 2 tablespoons coarsely grated Cheddar cheese.

Serves: 2

Peanut Zoodles with Edamame

3-Ing-Diabetes-Peanut-Zoodles-Edamame
Credit: Photo by: Carolyn A. Hodges, R.D.

A package of fresh zucchini noodles gets tossed with shelled edamame and store-bought peanut sauce in these 5-minute, no-cook vegetable noodle bowls. Because prepared sauces and dressings are commonly high in sodium, scan the label and opt for those that contain 150 mg sodium or less per tablespoon.

Make It Yourself:

  1. In a large bowl, combine a 12-ounce container fresh zucchini noodles with 1 cup shelled edamame (thawed if frozen).
  2. Top with ⅓ cup prepared Thai-style peanut sauce or dressing and toss gently until well-coated; Divide between 2 bowls.

Serves: 2