Raise your hand if you don't like spending hours cooking dinner. Ummmm….same. These no-fuss 2-ingredient recipes are here to save the day! From entrees to sides and even desserts, we've got you covered!

2-ingredient citrus grilled chicken, from Shelf Cooking

Grab your kitchen inventory printable and your meal planner because we're about to go to town! Today, we're giving enough you super simple ideas to last for WEEKS! How simple? 2-ingredient simple!

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Try these recipes so you can spend less time in the kitchen and more time doing what you love. You don't need takeout or delivery when you can whip up a 2-ingredient recipe in no time! Let's do this, you guys.


Okay, before we dive into dinner, breakfast, and dessert ideas galore, let's get a quick little disclaimer out of the way! For all you skeptics out there wondering how you can possibly make tasty, filling foods with just two ingredients, here's what you need to know. Seasonings don't count! So, use salt, pepper, garlic salt, or whatever you have in your spice rack to add flavor to these recipes.

If you have fresh herbs in the freezer or you grow your own in the kitchen, you can use those too! We're always proponents for using up what you've got. But since we're not fans of making multiple grocery store runs each week, we're sharing recipes that you should be able to make with ingredients from your fridge, freezer, or pantry.

Got it? Okay, here we go! First up, 2-ingredient chicken recipes we think you'll love.


cream cheese chicken, from Shelf Cooking

Everyone has chicken in the freezer, right? Whether you've got bags of shredded chicken or drumsticks and breasts ready to use, we've got ideas for you! Try one of these 2-ingredient recipes:

  • Lemon Pepper Chicken – Marinade your chicken in lemon juice and zest, then sprinkle with salt and pepper before grilling or sauteeing! Serve with spinach, green beans, or asparagus for a healthy meal.
  • Italian Chicken – Toss your chicken in a ziplock bag with some Italian Dressing and marinade for a few hours. Come dinnertime, bake at 350°F for 45 minutes to an hour or until it comes to temperature. You can also dice the chicken, skewer it, and toss it on the grill.
  • BBQ Chicken Legs – Round up a few chicken legs, marinate them in your favorite BBQ sauce for about an hour, then grill and baste them with more sauce. You can also broil them for around 15-minutes!
  • BBQ Chicken Sandwiches – Try our favorite crockpot recipe, or pull a bag of shredded chicken from the freezer and toss it with sauce.
  • Teriyaki Chicken – Smother any cut of chicken in your favorite teriyaki sauce, then bake, grill, or cook in the crockpot.
  • Cream Cheese Chicken – Season 2-3 chicken breasts with salt, pepper, and garlic powder, place in a crockpot, and top with cream cheese. Cook for 4-6 hours on low or 6-8 hours on high. Shred and serve over pasta, rice, or veggies.
  • Salsa Chicken – Throw a few chicken breasts in the crockpot, then dump a jar of salsa on top. Cook for 4-6 hours on low or 6-8 hours on high, then shred and serve in tacos or quesadillas. You'll have leftovers to freeze, too!
  • Pesto Chicken – We LOVE pesto around here. Just top your chicken breasts with pesto and bake at 350°F for 45 minutes to an hour. Yummy!

There you go! A week's worth of the easiest chicken recipes ever. Double these recipes and freeze some for later, and you'll have a whole other week covered, too. Score! Ready to move on? Let's talk beef!


simple beef pot roast, from Shelf Cooking

All chickened-out? We don't buy a ton of red meat, but we stock up when we can find it on sale! Here are some crazy easy ways to cook beef:

  • Dump & Go Pot Roast – If you ever see chuck roast on clearance, stock up! Store it in your freezer until you're ready to use it. You can cook it in the slow cooker with a cup of water and a $1 packet of seasoning and consider your dinner done. Easy peasy!
  • Easy Sloppy Joe's – Cook some ground beef with salt, pepper, and garlic salt. Stir in your favorite sweet BBQ sauce, and then serve on buns if you have them!
  • Chili Lime Skirt Steak – Marinate a skirt steak in some chili pepper and lime juice and then grill! This is a great summer meal that goes well with a salad and corn on the cob.
  • Hamburgers – Mix your ground beef with the seasonings of your choice, form into patties, grill, or broil, then toss on a bun and enjoy! No one ever complains about burger night around here.

Now you have at least four more meal ideas! Again, we suggest doubling or tripling some of these to use in the future. Shall we keep going? If you're looking for some simple sides to serve alongside these main dishes, then keep reading!


2-ingredient roasted carrots, from Shelf Cooking

Getting kids (and even adults) to eat their veggies is all about preparation! Plain veggies are a little dull. These 2-ingredient side dishes? Full of flavor! Try one of these:

  • Green Beans with Bacon – Use fresh, frozen, or canned — it doesn't matter! Boil with a little salt and pepper and a handful of bacon bits. It's our go-to!
  • Honey Glazed Carrots – Sprinkle with salt and pepper, drizzle with honey, then roast your carrots. So, SO good!
  • Parmesan Zucchini Rounds – Kids love these, and we do, too! Just slice your zucchini into rounds (think chips), drizzle with a little cooking oil, and sprinkle a generous portion of Parmesan cheese on top. Bake at 450°F for 25-30 minutes and prepare to be amazed!
  • Avocado Deviled Eggs – Instead of adding mustard and mayonnaise to your yolks, mash up some avocado. It's healthy and tasty!
  • Garlic Asparagus – Trim some asparagus, toss with olive oil and minced garlic, then bake at 400°F for around 20 minutes.

Now you've got five new sides to try! They're all healthy, easy, and super cheap to make, so that's a win.


2-ingredient keto chaffles, from Shelf Cooking

No, we're not going to tell you to scramble an egg and serve it with toast! These ideas are MUCH more fun:

  • Banana Pancakes – Here's a great breakfast idea for toddlers, but to be honest, adults love it, too! Just whisk an egg and a banana to make a pancake batter, then cook on a griddle or skillet. You don't even need syrup if you don't want it! You can top with any fresh fruit you have in the fridge. Yogurt makes a great dipping sauce, too.
  • Pigs in a Blanket – Wrap some sausage links in crescent roll dough, then bake at 375°F for about 20 minutes. Just be sure to cook your sausage first! Optional third ingredient: maple syrup makes a great dipping sauce.
  • Keto Chaffles –Whether you're on a keto diet or not, we think you'll love this! Just mix two large eggs and one cup of shredded cheese, then pour one-fourth of that batter into your waffle iron and let it do its thang! It should only take about 2-3 minutes to cook.
  • Avocado Toast – Mash a fresh avocado, add some salt, pepper, and garlic salt, then spread on a slice of toast. Easy breakfast of champs!

Yum! Maybe we'll do breakfast for dinner tonight. Before we start cooking dinner, anyone up for a 2-ingredient dessert idea?!


two glasses of chocolate mousse, from Shelf Cooking

Sign us up for all the desserts! And if they're 2-ingredients? Heck yes! That's even better. You have to try these sweet treats:

Is it just us or are you drooling now, too? They're all so tasty!


We hope these recipes help make your weeknights a little easier! As you can see, cooking simple meals at home can be a heck of a lot cheaper than ordering takeout.

We'd love to add to this list, so let us if you have any favorite 2-ingredient recipes! Just drop a comment below.

Multiple 2-ingredient recipes, from Shelf Cooking

Looking for more tips and tricks that will make meal planning a breeze?

We're TOO excited for you to try all these! Enjoy!