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These simple, plant-based meals combine convenience with plenty of flavor.

Sara Haas RDN, LDN
March 31, 2021
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3-ingredient plant-based meals
Credit: Sara Haas

Complex meals are not what you need right now! Life is busy and dinner shouldn't add to the chaos, which is why we created these easy three-ingredient meals. Not counting basics we all have in our kitchen, like olive oil, salt and pepper, these dinners use just three ingredients to create the delicious plant-based combinations you see below. They prove that a tasty, plant-forward meal is possible any day of the week.

3-Ingredient Refried Bean & Pico de Gallo Tostadas

3-ingredient tostada
Credit: Sara Haas

Corn tortillas + refried beans + pico de gallo

You could buy pre-made tostadas, but making them is easy—and healthier! A light coating of olive oil and a simple bake in the oven is all they need. Then it's just a simple matter of topping with refried beans and store-bought pico de gallo to complete this easy three-ingredient meal.

Make It Yourself:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lay 8 corn tortillas on a large baking sheet. Use a pastry brush to brush both sides lightly with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bake for 5 minutes, flip and cook until lightly browned, about 5 more minutes.
  2. Spread the contents of one can of warmed refried beans evenly over the tortillas and top each with pico de gallo.

3-Ingredient Smashed Roasted Potatoes

3-ingredient smashed potato
Credit: Sara Haas

Potatoes + marinara + mozzarella

A jar of marinara and a sprinkling of shredded mozzarella cheese transforms these roasted, smashed potatoes into something really delicious. We leave the skins on for added nutrition and crisp them up in the oven before topping with the sauce and cheese.

Make It Yourself:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with foil and coat it generously with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Scrub four Yukon Gold potatoes and prick all over with a fork. Place on a microwave-safe plate and microwave on High, turning once or twice, until soft, about 10 minutes. Using tongs, carefully transfer the potatoes to the prepared baking sheet and let cool slightly. Using the back of a large spatula, gently smash the potatoes to flatten them to about ½-inch thickness. Drizzle them with 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon cracked black pepper. Roast for 20 minutes.
  3. Remove the potatoes from the oven and evenly top them with 1/2 cup marinara sauce and 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese. Bake until the cheese is melted and golden, 8 to 10 minutes.

3-Ingredient Cheese Tortellini with Tomatoes & Basil

3-ingredient tortellini
Credit: Sara Haas

Cheese tortellini + cherry tomatoes + basil

Store-bought cheese tortellini can be tasty as is, but they get even more delicious when you add slow-roasted cherry tomatoes and fresh basil. Roasting these little red globes of goodness in olive oil brings out their natural sweetness and boosts your body's ability to utilize the lycopene stored in those tomatoes.

Make It Yourself:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place 2 pints cherry tomatoes in a shallow baking dish or pan; add 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper and toss to combine. Roast for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 200° and continue to cook until the tomatoes are soft and juicy, about 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling water, cook 1 pound of cheese tortellini according to package directions. Drain.
  3. Add the roasted tomatoes to the drained tortellini and toss. Garnish with 1 cup thinly sliced fresh basil.

Spicy 3-Ingredient Kimchi Veggie Burger (without the bun)

3-ingredient kimchi burger
Credit: Sara Haas

Veggie burger + Sriracha mayo + kimchi

Veggie burgers are a healthy plant-based protein to keep in your freezer for easy last-minute meals. We left off the bun, to keep this a three-ingredient recipe, but you can certainly serve it on a whole-grain bun or inside a whole-grain pita. If you can't find Sriracha mayonnaise at your grocery store, simply make it yourself. Combine 1 teaspoon Sriracha (or any kind of hot sauce) with 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise.

Make It Yourself:

  1. Cook 4 vegetable burgers following package directions.
  2. Place the burgers on plates and top each with 2 teaspoons Sriracha mayonnaise and ½ cup kimchi.

3-Ingredient White Bean & Pesto Risotto

3-ingredient risotto
Credit: Sara Haas

Risotto + cannellini beans + pesto

Prepared pesto is a lifesaver when it comes to adding loads of flavor, fast! Here we pair pesto with creamy Parmesan risotto and crispy roasted cannellini beans for a healthy plant-based dinner. It doesn't get easier or tastier than this easy three-ingredient recipe!

Make It Yourself:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F and coat a large baking sheet lightly with 1 teaspoon olive oil.
  2. Prepare 1 (5.5-ounce) box Parmesan-style risotto according to package directions.
  3. Meanwhile, drain and rinse 1 (15-ounce) can of cannellini beans. Toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon cracked black pepper and spread out on the prepared pan. Roast, stirring once halfway through, until crispy and golden, about 20 minutes.
  4. Portion the cooked risotto into bowls. Top each with roasted beans and drizzle with pesto.