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Six Ingredient Tuna Pasta Bake recipe

Six Ingredient Tuna Pasta Bake recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Pasta
  • Pasta bakes
  • Tuna pasta bakes

A super easy, cheap, filling and tasty tuna pasta bake that you're likely to be able to make even when the cupboards are bare. Enjoy!

91 people made this

IngredientsServes: 8

  • 425g cooked macaroni
  • 100g frozen garden peas
  • 1 (185g) tin tuna, drained
  • 1 (295g) tin condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 120g grated Cheddar cheese
  • 100g corn flakes, crushed

MethodPrep:15min ›Cook:30min ›Ready in:45min

  1. Preheat oven to 180 C / Gas 4.
  2. In a baking dish, combine the macaroni, peas, tuna and soup. Mix well, and then top with cheese.
  3. Bake at 180 C / Gas 4 for about 20 minutes, or until bubbly. Sprinkle with crushed corn flakes, and bake for another 10 minutes. Serve hot.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(5)

Reviews in English (6)

This is a fanatastic recipe, easy to do and cook. I changed the peas for sliced mixed mushrooms, they all mixed in well together. The result a delicious and well filling meal, very, very easy to do and cook.-26 Aug 2013

Cooked this last night, very easy. Only had penne pasta and no cornflakes but it was still delicious! I will definitely be cooking it again!-28 Jan 2013

Hi ladylochinver, Many thanks for your comment. No need to add the water here, as the macaroni is already cooked. Using the condensed soup without adding water results in a thick, creamy sauce with practically no effort. If you try the recipe, do post a review!-22 Jun 2011

Tuna Pasta Bake

Because everybody has a can of tuna, pasta, canned tomato and some sort of dried herbs in the depths of their pantry, everybody should have one wickedly delicious Tuna Pasta Bake recipe up their sleeve!

Pasta baked in a homemade tomato sauce topped with melted cheese, this Tuna casserole is juicy and full of flavour and bears no resemblance to the usual acts of desperation associated with canned tuna meals! After a CREAMY tuna pasta bake? Try Tuna Mornay!

Ingredients for Tuna Pasta Bake:

  • 2 cans tuna in water
  • 1/4 cup dehydrated onion
  • 3 large slices dehydrated elephant garlic
  • handful dehydrated mushrooms
  • 1 14.5 oz. can small-diced tomatoes
  • 4 oz. whole wheat rotini (the spirally pasta!)
  • 2 teaspoons of vegetable stock to flavor the pasta cooking water tablespoon red wine (optional)
  • Italian dried herbs - a good pinch or two to taste
  • olive oil as needed
  • 4 oz. crème fraîche, OR plain yogurt, OR sour cream
  • dash of black pepper
  • 4 oz. approx. coarse shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 slices bread, made into bread crumbs

Grown Up Tuna Pasta Bake Recipe that Kids will Love

All hell is breaking loose. You abandoned any attempt at creative play hours ago and the bickering upstairs would indicate that a full-scale atrocity is underway. Homework litters the kitchen table and a million Hama beads are skating under the fridge. To make matters worse, it is 5 o’clock and the freezer is offering you nothing but a bald fish finger and some chewy-looking ice-cream.

Plus it was Friday food at school today, so pizza isn’t an option, and Actually Daddy will be home looking to be fed in half an hour too. The knee-jerk reaction, of course, is to pour the last of the Pinot Grigio into a glass and open a packet of posh crisps in the hope that inspiration will strike, but sadly I’ve found that procrastination only serves to heighten the hunger-fuelled tension. Although the wine does at least take the edge off how you feel about that.


We were compensated for creating the video below. However all opinion, words and imagery are mine.

I’m on a mission to stop creating 6 meals a day. My kids need to learn how to eat what the grown-ups eat, and we need to meet them halfway. Now The Bug will famously declare Wagamama’s Chilli Squid his favourite food, but I’m aware that he is weird in this respect. GG is a steak and veg kind of girl, but unless we sell the house we can’t afford that style on a daily basis, so I’m on the hunt for decent, easy, inexpensive food that all of us enjoy.

I was recently asked by Sainsbury’s to create a video demonstrating a simple family recipe. I chose their Tuna Pasta Bake recipe, which looked simple to make, and contained nothing that my children could complain about. You can follow the steps we took in the video, or there is a link to the original recipe below.

Sometimes, you just don’t have the energy to cook a meal. When that happens, turn to this tuna salad sandwich recipe . If you’ve got canned tuna, mayonnaise, some seasonings, and an element of crunch, you’ve got dinner covered. Now, there’s an easy recipe on a budget for ya.

The salad can be put on bread, crackers, or a bed of greens. Plus, any leftovers become the makings of tomorrow’s lunch!

And, if you feel like warming it up, try adding some to grilled cheese for a delicious melt.

Recipe Summary

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes, plus more for garnish
  • 3 cans tuna, well drained
  • 2 cans crushed tomatoes, with juice
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano, thyme, or rosemary
  • 1 pound penne or fusilli pasta

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat.

Heat a medium saucepan and add the olive oil, swirling to coat the pan. Saute the onion and garlic until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the red pepper flakes. Add the tuna and stir, being careful not to break up the chunks too much.

Stir in the tomatoes, season with salt and black pepper, bring to a boil, and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 20 to 30 minutes. Add the chopped herbs a few minutes before serving.

While the sauce is simmering, cook the pasta, drain, and toss with the sauce. Top with a drizzle of olive oil and an extra sprinkle of red pepper flakes.

  • 5 large potatoes
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 leek, sliced
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • ½ small bell pepper, diced
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 can tuna (15oz), drained
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Cook the potatoes

Peel the potatoes and cut into quarters and place in a saucepan of hot water. Boil potatoes until soft, then remove from the heat, drain and set aside.

2. Boil the eggs

Boil the eggs in a saucepan of water until hard-boiled. Remove from the heat and allow to cool before removing the shells and slicing. Set aside.

3. Make a white sauce

Add butter to a small saucepan and heat on medium heat. Once melted, add the flour and whisk until a paste forms. Allow cooking for a further one minute then add all the milk. Continue heating and occasionally whisking until the sauce thickens. Set aside.

4. Make the vegetable and fish mixture

Heat vegetable oil on a medium-high heat, then add the onion and cook for 2 minutes. Add the carrots, leek, and celery and continue cooking until they begin to soften. Toss in the capsicum and Worcestershire sauce and cook until all the vegetables are soft. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the tuna and stir through until the fish is evenly distributed. Stir in the white sauce, then remove from heat and scoop into a medium-sized casserole dish.

5. Construct the dish

Preheat the oven to 355°F (180°C) in preparation for the final bake.

Mash the potatoes with a knob of butter and a splash of milk. Season with salt and pepper. Continue to add extra milk slowly until the consistency is creamy and smooth.

Scoop out the potato onto the fish and smooth it out. Sprinkle the cheese over the top and bake until the cheese is golden brown.

Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving with crusty bread and a fresh garden salad.

Quick Note: Once the fish and vegetables are cooked, I prefer to transfer them to a casserole dish and to top with potato and cheese. If there are leftovers, it is easy to place the casserole dish in the fridge. However, to save time and dishes during cooking, you may want to cook the veggies and fish in a skillet. You can then top with the potato and transfer the skillet directly to the oven.

Tips for a better tuna bake

  • Cook the vegetables for longer than you would, a stir-fry. They should be soft and well cooked to enhance their flavor.
  • Mushrooms and corn are also suitable ingredients for adding to this tuna bake. They’ll help bulk out the volume if you’re cooking for more than four people and will also enhance the dish’s nutrition.
  • Sprinkle a layer of Parmesan or Cotija cheese on top of the cheddar for a stronger cheese flavor.
  • Season the vegetable with salt and pepper early in the cook and add more, if required, throughout the cook. This will provide better flavor than adding it at the end of the recipe.
  • Chili is an excellent addition to the vegetables for a hit of spice. Avoid this option if you have guests that dislike spicy food.

Cheap and Easy Recipes Using Canned Tuna

Here are 25 meals that you can make tonight with that canned tuna that has been sitting in your pantry forever.

Tuna Sandwiches & Patties

Plain tuna sandwiches can get pretty boring. I remember dreading eating soggy tuna fish sandwiches every day for lunch in elementary school. My mother was not very creative with her brown bag lunches.

These tuna "sandwiches" are flavorful, crunchy, and won't leave you hungry for more. There are also some delicious tuna patty recipes that you can enjoy by themselves or stick them on a bun and enjoy as a sandwich.


Spicy Tuna Quesadilla with 2-Ingredient Blue Cheese Dressing

These quick and easy spicy tuna quesadillas are a fun twist on a classic. While not technically a "sandwich" they are crispy, cheesy, and have a hint of spicy goodness.

Top them off with a drizzle or dollop of blue cheese dressing.

Tuna Cakes

These Tuna Cakes are just like crab cakes … but without the hefty price tag. Made from canned tuna and topped with baked vegetables, they’re sure to please even the pickiest of eaters.

You can also enjoy these with a side or rice or make some keto cauliflower mash.

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Two Cheese Tuna Mexi Melts

This is not the bland tuna melts you remember as a kid. A new take on an old favorite that pairs Mexican flavors with healthy broccoli slaw, two kinds of melted cheese and canned tuna.

These two cheese tuna mexi melts are crunchy, flavorful, and easy enough to throw together on a busy weeknight.

Chili Lime Tuna Fishcakes (Gluten-Free)

Elevated fishcakes with a zesty twist! Chili Lime Tuna Fishcakes that are gluten-free, egg-free, dairy-free, & soy-free, without the oil and baked in the oven.

With a secret nutty ingredient for a super flavor-packed & healthy recipe, your family will love for dinner or lunch!

Stuffed Tomato Tuna Melt

While technically not a sandwich. this Stuffed Tomato Tuna Melt recipe is low carb and gluten-free. It makes a great quick lunch or dinner!

If you want a healthy and fun side to add, try out these crispy kale chips!

The Best Tuna Patties

A quick, easy, and budget-friendly recipe for tuna patties that are crunchy on the outside, tender on the inside and bursting with tons of flavor from simple ingredients like onion, mustard, spices, and fresh lemon.

Pair with some fragrant rice and some steamed veggies.

Easy Tuna Patty Recipe

An easy tuna patty recipe made without breadcrumbs. Healthy and made with mashed potatoes and veggies, these patties can be eaten either hot or cold.

Easy Cheesy Tuna Panini Recipe

This easy Cheesy Tuna Panini is the perfect quick dinner or quick lunch to make! Pair up with a soup for a warm cozy meal that feels you up!

This is such a simple recipe to make, even my 10-year-old son can make this on his own for a quick lunch.

Spicy Tuna Melt Calzone

This spicy tuna melt calzone recipe will be a hit among all ages! Perfectly filled and warmed calzones featuring a cheesy tuna center is the perfect year-round.

This is also a great recipe to make ahead and freeze.

Tuna Pizza with Lemon Dill Aioli

I would have never thought to put tuna on a pizza, but why not?!

An easy and delicious pizza recipe with canned tuna! Made with a unique lemon dill aioli sauce that will make your taste buds sing!

Tuna Casseroles & Rice Dishes

Tuna casseroles are great because you can make them in so many different ways and incorporate so many different ingredients.

Tuna and rice also pair well together in these frugal and delicious dishes.


Almost Homemade Bacon Cheeseburger Hamburger Helper

Tuna Noodle Casserole

A classic recipe for a tuna noodle casserole, topped with cheese and French fried onions.

I highly suggest using fresh or frozen peas to give this amazing recipe even more flavor and texture.

Tuna Pasta Bake

This frugal tuna pasta bake recipe is sure to be a family favorite. Made with fresh ingredients like bell peppers and cherry tomatoes adds an extra level of flavor!

This is also another great recipe to make ahead when you meal plan and freeze for later.

Tuna Thai Red Curry

A stunning tuna Thai red curry made in just a few minutes for a light and easy meal.

Gluten-free and paleo, this tuna Thai red curry is lightened up and served over simple coconut cauliflower rice to bring it all together!

Better For You Tuna Pasta Casserole Recipe

When it comes to easy dinner recipes for the family, nothing beats a casserole. This better-for-you tuna pasta casserole swaps out a few of the classic ingredients for healthier ones, for a casserole that is both delicious and guilt-free!

Instead of breadcrumbs, this tuna casserole is topped with whole wheat crackers, yum!

Tuna Broccoli Ranch Casserole

Not your classic tuna noodle casserole — this is a healthy and easy tuna casserole recipe with broccoli, cheddar cheese, and ranch dressing. Only six ingredients, low carb, and keto-friendly.

My kids love that is has that classic ranch flavor, I love that it's mostly broccoli!

Cheap & Easy Tuna Casserole

This quick and simple tuna casserole is the perfect dish to make when on a budget! It also freezes extremely well, so it’s great to double and save half as a make-ahead meal.

This is one recipe that is almost always on my meal plan for when I am keeping the budget tight.

Incredible Tuna Pie - Low Carb with Gluten Free Option

A simple canned tuna turned in an incredible Tuna Pie. It’s made with the addition of green beans and lots of cheese.

And the best part. it’s low carb and gluten-free.

Easy Tuna Casserole Recipe

This Easy Tuna Casserole is perfect to whip together for a busy weeknight!

With not much prep work just throw everything in the pan and bake!

Tuna bolognese

A fun twist on the traditional Italian bolognese, this super simple dish only takes 15 minutes to make.

This tuna bolognese will quickly become a family favorite for busy weeknights.

Tuna Rice and Tuna Salad Recipes

Now I am not going to give you some boring old recipe for a soggy tuna salad sandwich. These tuna salad and tuna and rice recipes are packed with flavor and will have you going back for seconds.


Healthy Tuna Salad Wrap- 2 ways

Apples and pickles give this basic, healthy tuna salad recipe a sweet and sour crunch. I’ll show two you different ways to take this simple recipe and make a healthy tuna salad wrap.

The perfect on the go meal or for a quick lunch at work.

Cuban-Style Tuna Meal Prep Bowls (Gluten-Free, Paleo)

A healthy meal prep recipe in a pinch! These Cuban-Style Tuna Meal Prep Bowls are gluten-free, paleo, and perfect for a well-rounded lunch!

With plantain chips, fresh veggies, jalapeno tuna, and a zesty dairy-free yogurt, you’ll be powering through that midday slump!

Avocado Tuna Salad Recipe

This Avocado Tuna Salad Recipe is quick and easy to make and full of flavor and texture.

Perfect for a quick lunch or a simple low carb meal packed with protein and healthy fats.

Tuna Egg Salad Recipe

An EASY tuna egg salad recipe! See how to make this tuna salad with eggs in just 10 minutes.

Plus, tuna and egg salad is healthy and perfect to make ahead to pack for a quick lunch.

Tuna White Bean Salad with Red Wine Vinaigrette

You’ll love this Tuna & White Bean Salad with Red Wine Vinaigrette dressing! It’s a really healthy, low-calorie lunch or dinner option, and is ready to eat in less than 5 minutes!

Easy Tuna Rice Salad

This budget-friendly tuna rice salad is amazingly delicious. Quick, and easy, perfect filling meal or side dish for busy moms.

Yes we can! 17 delicious ways with tinned tuna, from salade nicoise to melts and fishcakes

W hen you think about it, tinned tuna is a miracle. The spoilage window for fresh oily fish is measured in days or even hours, but I bought a tin of tuna last week with a best before date of Christmas 2027. I wish I could guarantee I will still be good to go in seven years.

The original selling point of tinned tuna was its blandness – a less fishy alternative to sardines, it was marketed as tasting like chicken – which makes it a versatile, if not immediately inspiring ingredient. You can pay a little or a lot for tuna – anywhere from 59p to £10 a tin – and it will probably be in the form of steaks or flakes, packed in oil or brine it may well come in a jar instead of a tin. Most recipes specify what type to use, but I wouldn’t sweat it. Tinned tuna is a culinary compromise, so just use what you have, unless it is the really expensive sort and you are saving it for a special occasion. Something is bound to come up in the next seven years.

(Possibly) authentic . Claudia Roden’s salade nicoise. Photograph: Jean Cazals/The Observer

Officially, you are not meant to put tuna in salade niçoise, although this is often said about most of this classic salad’s familiar ingredients – you could make a whole salade niçoise out of stuff that is supposedly verboten. But, with 17 recipes to find, we are hardly in a position to be doctrinaire, so here is a version – from Claudia Roden, no less – that contains tuna and still makes bold claims to authenticity, originating as it does from a restaurant in Nice.

Popping with colour . Rosie Birkett’s tuna, white bean and radish salad. Photograph: Rosie Birkett

Tinned tuna plays a feature role in many other salads. Rachel Roddy’s white beans with tuna and onion contains most of the recipe in its name – nothing else is required but a dressing of oil and vinegar and a handful of chopped parsley. Rosie Birkett’s variation uses spring onions and adds radishes and raw fennel.

Angela Hartnett omits the onion and replaces the white beans with a mix of fresh green, yellow and runner beans. Alison Roman – who may or may not be pleased with the sobriquet “the New York Nigella” – presents her spiced black lentil salad with tuna, radish and purple potatoes as a sort of “fridge clean-out meal”. She must have a big fridge.

Apparently, more than half of the tinned tuna consumed in the US is made into sandwiches. The tuna sandwich blighted many an American childhood, including mine, while the tuna melt – a sort of toasted cheese version – is a small but definite improvement. It is normally her milkshake that brings all the boys to the yard, but Kelis also has a lot to say about the proper way to make a tuna melt – you can find her recipe here.

Comfort food . the mighty tuna melt. Photograph: istetiana/Getty Images/iStockphoto

It is also possible to make passable fishcakes with tinned tuna, although this may stretch your definition of fishcake. This version, for example, is baked rather than fried. It sounds a bit like putting six portions of potato salad in the oven, just to see what will happen. Whatever happens, it serves six.

Tinned tuna is the main ingredient of tonnato sauce, an Italian fixture commonly served over thinly sliced veal. As with any quintessential staple, there are about a million ways to make tonnato it is difficult to find two identical recipes for corroboration, but if you chuck all the fundamental ingredients (tuna, anchovies, garlic, oil, egg yolk and lemon juice or vinegar) into a food processor and blend until you have something with the consistency of mayonnaise, you won’t have gone far off the right track.

Rachel Roddy’s tonnato also has parsley and mustard in it. The one Delia Smith uses for vitello tonnato contains neither, but does include capers. Yotam Ottolenghi uses tonnato to accompany grilled cauliflower steaks his contains pickled green peppercorns.

Sam Harris’s tuna involtini requires a basic tonnato that omits even garlic, rolled up inside roasted red peppers and served as an antipasto or as party food. These empanadillas employ the same combination – tuna and red pepper – sealed inside dough and baked like little Spanish pasties.

In crust we trust. Tuna and red pepper makes a great empanadilla combination. Photograph: Elena Korobova/Alamy Stock Photo

Being the kind of thing you happen to have when you don’t have much of anything else, tuna naturally features in a lot of quick and slightly desperate pasta dishes. Spaghetti in a basic sauce made from garlic, olive oil and tomatoes, with a tin of tuna stirred in near the end of cooking, along with some chopped parsley, forms one of those meals I fall back on several times a month, out of a failure of imagination, will or both. Angela Hartnett’s penne with tuna and cherry tomatoes is simpler still, a perfect dish for children to eat and learn to make.

Tuna is a solid, almost structural component of bakes, retaining a certain firmness while everything else in the dish turns to a pleasing mulch. Nigel Slater’s baked tomatoes with tuna and borlotti is the purest from of this – just open a few tins, combine and bake together until the dish takes on a deceptively homemade air. Ottolenghi’s baked orzo puttanesca is technically a pasta dish, but it is a similar store-cupboard-emptying exercise, as long as your cupboard runs to orzo, capers and preserved lemons.

Simple as can be . pasta with tomato and tuna. Photograph: Lilechka75/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Ottolenghi also does a lovely harissa-spiced tuna picnic cake, which is not really a cake at all, but a sort of solid-state salad – baked and then chilled overnight – that travels well and can be sliced.

Finally, from the kitchen of Allegra McEvedy, comes a deeply intriguing dish of Scandinavian provenance: the Norwegian tuna pasta bake. The ingredients are like a colour chart for posh house paint, incorporating as they do almost every possible shade of off-white: milk, butter, cream cheese, onion, pasta, flour, breadcrumbs and, of course, tuna. This is not just lockdown food it is overwintering-at-an-Arctic-research-station food. Enjoy – and see you in the spring.

The Guardian aims to publish recipes for sustainable fish. For ratings in your region, check: UK Australia US.

Kid-Friendly Vegan Lunch and Dinner Recipes

8. Creamy Pantry Pasta

This 10-Ingredient Creamy Vegan Pantry Pasta is made with just a handful of everyday pantry staples and is an excellent option for an easy weeknight dinner. It’s creamy, cheesy, and smoky and indulgent yet healthy family-friendly meal.

If your kids aren’t into smoky flavors, just omit the smoky paprika or substitute it with regular paprika.

9. Vegan Tuna Salad Sandwich

This Vegan Tuna Salad Sandwich is made with chickpeas and hearts of palm, seasoned with dulse flakes for a taste of the ocean, and finished with classic American ingredients like sweet pickle relish. It’s the new “I can’t believe it’s not tuna!”

If your kids are into tuna sandwiches, they’re going to LOVE this vegan version.

10. Creamy Pumpkin Mac and Cheese

The BEST vegan mac and cheese you (or your kids) will ever taste! Made with wholesome ingredients like roasted pumpkin and cashews, but super creamy and indulgent, so you can feel good about serving your kids mac and cheese for dinner.

11. Creamy Vegan Cauliflower Soup with Sausage and Kale

This soup is the perfect weeknight dinner for the whole family. Hearty yet wholesome and made with just 10 ingredients, it’s a soup with bits of vegan sausage that makes for the ultimate comfort food! Instant Pot instructions included.

If your kids aren’t able to eat spicy food, make sure to not use a spicy vegan sausage and omit the red pepper flakes. Also, I recommend chopping up the kale very finely so that your kids don’t pick out a piece of kale and say “I HATE kale!”

12. Green Goddess Grilled Cheese

With gooey vegan cheese and pesto lathered between crispy buttered bread, your kids won’t even notice that there are greens hiding in these decadent grilled cheeses. But omit the pickled jalapeños (I’ve been told kids don’t like spicy peppers)!

13. 15-Minute Creamy Avocado Pasta

What parent doesn’t appreciate a 15 minute meal? Quick, easy, and foolproof, this creamy avocado pasta is perfect for hectic weeknights. With just a few pantry staples and some ripe avocados, you can have dinner on the table in just 15 minutes.

Supplement with your kids’ favorite protein, like crispy beans or baked tofu.

14. Easy Vegan Tacos

Tacos are a perfect family-friendly meal because everyone, both young’n and old, loves tacos. These tacos are made with only pantry ingredients, but if you have extras like fresh cilantro, vegan cheese, or ingredients to make fresh salsa, feel free to jazz them up!

To make this recipe a bit more kid friendly, do the following:

Use a mild-flavored salsa and serve it on the side

Go easy on the chili powder in the Refried Beans

Omit the jalapeño peppers in the in the Cashew Crema if your kids can handle a little bit of heat, use 1 jalapeño pepper but remove all the seeds and membranes.

If your child isn’t a big fan of smoke flavors, omit the smoked paprika or use regular paprika in the Cashew Crema.

15. Pumpkin Lasagna Soup (Instant Pot recipe)

If your kids like lasagna and creamy soup, they are going to love this creamy pumpkin lasagna soup (and so will you)!

It’s a marriage of lasagna and cozy pumpkin flavors, this soup is the ultimate comfort food in a bowl. And thanks to the Instant Pot, it’s incredibly simple and quick to make, so you can spend more time playing with your kids / cleaning up after them and less time in the kitchen.

16. One-Pot Vegan Chili Mac

One of the keys to making kid-friendly vegan recipes? Minimizing cleanup.

This protein-packed chili meets pasta is just the ticket! Easy and quick and made with simple ingredients, this is a perfect hearty weeknight-friendly and budget-friendly dinner! Easy to make gluten-free, soy-free, and oil-free.

To make this more kid-friendly:

Substitute the tempeh with a half can of extra beans. Tempeh can be bitter for many palates.

Go easy on the spices: cut the chili powder in half, omit the cayenne pepper, use regular paprika instead of smoked paprika, use less cumin, etc.

17. Burrito Bowl Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

If your kids enjoy burritos or burrito bowls (or Chipotle!), then it’s time to introduce them to this healthy homemade upgrade! Creamy black beans, a 5-minute salsa, guacamole, and pan-fried corn get stuffed into sweet potatoes for a healthy yet delicious spin on a burrito bowl!

To go easy on the spice, go easy on the chili powder in the pan-fried corn and omit the jalapeño in the guac.

18. Cashew Cream Pasta

Cashew cream is my favorite all-purpose condiment! Pair it with some cooked pasta and you have an easy, creamy, indulgent yet healthy pasta recipe! And what kid doesn’t like creamy pasta?

Add some cooked beans and whatever veggies you have on hand for a complete, balanced meal (and more importantly, a kid-friendly vegan recipe).

The Cashew Cream Pasta is “meal” #1” in this blog post.

19. The Best Vegan Mashed Potatoes

Are there any kids who don’t like mashed potatoes? If your kids go crazy for mashed potatoes like most kids, you have to try these mashed potatoes. Light and fluffy yet creamy, these vegan mashed potatoes are the best of both worlds.

Made with a flavor-packed miso butter, these mashed potatoes are irresistible for both kids and adults. And sure, mashed potatoes alone don’t qualify as “lunch” or “dinner,” but I think they still belong on this list :)

20. One-Pot Pumpkin Alfredo

Say goodbye to a sink full of dishes and hello to this one-pot pumpkin pasta (and what parent doesn’t like minimizing dishwashing?)! This is the creamiest pumpkin Alfredo pasta ever and a great, kid-friendly vegan recipe! This one-pot pumpkin pasta is like a fall hug in a bowl, with warming flavors of pumpkin and nutmeg and woodsy herbs like rosemary and sage.

Since kids can be a bit sensitive to garlic, I recommend using a bit less than the recipe calls for.

47 Quick and Healthy 3-Ingredient Recipes

A common barrier to cooking is seeing a mouthwatering recipe only to click and discover it requires double-digit ingredients, two of which you’ve never heard of. It doesn’t have to be that way. Delicious, healthy dishes can be crafted from just three ingredients. Skeptical?

Just check out this list and get cooking.

Note: Olive oil, salt, and pepper don’t count as any of the three ingredients since most people have those on hand all the time (along with beer, of course).


1. BBQ Chicken-Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Share on Pinterest Photo: The Comfort of Cooking

We kind of have a thing for sweet potatoes. With 4 grams of fiber, more potassium than a banana, and only 103 calories per medium baked, who wouldn’t? Tangy BBQ sauce contrasts delightfully with the subtly sweet tater.

2. Taco Lime Grilled Chicken

This recipe is perfect for tacos, but you’ll want to put this chicken on everything. Made with lime and taco seasoning, it’s perfect to throw on top of a salad, on a wrap, or inside a DIY burrito bowl.

3. Apricot Glazed Chicken

Jam isn’t just for toast! This creative recipe uses apricot jam for a delicious marinade that you’ll want to make over and over again. It may sound fancy, but this apricot chicken only takes five minutes to prep.

4. Slow Cooker Chicken Salsa

This recipe requires only two minutes of prep work plus two minutes of shredding, while your slow cooker works for four to eight hours. We like that trade-off!

And since this really only requires two ingredients (chicken and salsa), you can wrap it up in a tortilla, put it atop quinoa, or serve with avocado as the final ingredient.

5. Perfect Roast Chicken

That’s right, a Sunday night dinner can be made from three ingredients, and two of them are salt and pepper! If you have time, add some veggies to complete the meal.

6. Grilled Chicken Skewers

The secret recipe to this awesome grilled chicken? Soy sauce, honey, and smashed garlic. That’s it! It tastes great on chicken, but it also tastes great glazed over salmon or shrimp.

7. Marinated Chicken

Simply combine Italian dressing and soy sauce to marinate this delicious chicken. Just check the ingredients of the dressing — it can pack in a lot of sugar — or make your own for an even healthier version.

8. Apple Juice Chicken

Share on Pinterest Photo: Oatmeal with a Fork

It may bring back memories of preschool snacks, but apple juice — we’re talking pure, unsweetened juice — is not solely for kiddos. It cooks down to a sweet, thick sauce similar to Chinese sauces — but is much healthier.

9. Easy Chili

When comfort food cravings hit on cold winter days, cook up some ground beef and add a can of chili beans and fresh canned tomatoes. This is the type of chili that’ll warm you to the bone and soul.

10. Dried Beef Dip

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This awesome beef dip goes great with veggies, toast, or tossed in a salad. Make a big batch so you can use the leftovers as a healthy snack.

11. Garlic Prime Rib

Rubs are an excellent and super-simple way to infuse meat with loads of flavor. Garlic, thyme, and olive oil lend a classic, herby taste to your roast.

12. Dijon–Brown Sugar Marinated Steak

Great for those meat and potatoes nights, this marinade balances savory and sweet, and works for any cut of steak.

13. Grilled Peanut Butter Bacon Banana Sandwich

A fancy-looking peanut butter and bacon panini? Sign us up. This is a Snapchat-worthy recipe that only takes a few minutes to put together.

14. Cajun Dijon Grilled Pork Tenderloin

In addition to tasting great on sandwiches, Dijon mustard is a flavorful addition to any marinade. This recipe uses Dijon with orange juice and Cajun seasoning for pork that has a unique citrusy kick.

15. Gnocchi with Chicken Sausage and Spinach

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Gnocchi might be hard to pronounce, but this recipe is easy to make. Just throw in some spinach and sausage for a quick and light Italian-inspired meal. Feel free to add lots of spices and chopped veggies if you have more time.

16. Pulled Pork

Normally we don’t advocate for soda, but cooking with it in a slow cooker pretty much guarantees sweet meat that’s never dry — meaning there’s less of a need to pour on extra sauce, which often contains excess sodium and sugar.

17. Brussels Sprouts with Sausage

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Three ingredients and one pot are all you need for this healthy, melty dinner. If you’re feeling fancy, pick your favorite cheese and sprinkle it on top.


18. Bacon Wrapped Buffalo Shrimp

Hot sauce isn’t just for chicken wings! These spicy shrimp have tons of flavor, and they’re wrapped in bacon. Can it get any better?

19. Six-Minute Seared Ahi Tuna Steaks

Ahi tuna isn’t just for sushi restaurants. This easy recipe will make you feel like a chef, and, oh yeah, it only takes six minutes to cook! Just throw in some tuna steaks with soy sauce, olive oil, and spices, and you’re all set.

20. Baked Salmon with Pesto and Pecan

This fish gets sweet and tender in the oven with a flavor boost from pesto and pecans. The blogger uses canned pesto, but if you have a little extra time, you can even make your own. Make a side of Brussels sprouts for a complete meal.

21. Sriracha Marmalade Glazed Salmon

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In our kitchen, the only thing that runs out as fast as avocados is Sriracha. The signature sauce is good on everything, and it makes for an awesome glaze for this salmon recipe.

22. Bulgarian Shopska Salad

This dish may sound like something new, but the recipe is simple: tomatoes, cucumber, and feta. It’s a classic salad that’s great on its own, tossed into some mixed greens, or on the side of grilled meat or seafood.

23. Grilled Peaches with Brioche

This recipe takes three ingredients we love on their own (bread, peaches, and cheese) and combines them for ultimate flavor. Sweet peaches, toasted bread, and gooey cheese can’t be beat. Drooling yet?

24. Italian Roasted Cauliflower Soup

It makes sense: Cauliflower can stand in for creamy mashed potatoes and hide in super fudgy brownies, so of course the veggie makes a thick, delicious soup. Bonus: This recipe only takes 10 minutes to whip up.

25. Easy Tomato Soup

OK, this isn’t just a recipe — it’s more of a formula for perfect tomato soup. But technically it’s three ingredients: onions, olive oil (which we consider a staple), and tomatoes — all things likely to be in your cabinet.

Pair with the grilled cheese above for an easy, soul- and body-nourishing lunch or dinner.

26. Roasted Parmesan-Pesto Potatoes

Potatoes are an awesome addition to any meal, but when you add in Parmesan and pesto, they become the star of the show. Eat this recipe as a snack, light meal, or on top of a green salad.

27. Macaroni and Cheese

Mac and cheese doesn’t have to come from a box — but you already knew that, right? This recipe lets you take control, plus it takes no longer than the there’s-no-way-that’s-natural orange stuff.

Simply cook whatever noodle you’re craving in your milk of choice and stir in your favorite shredded cheese. Then devour.

28. Coconut Lime Quinoa

Lime and coconuts aren’t just for tropical drinks. This simple quinoa recipe is perfect for a quick dinner or a flavorful side dish. It also tastes great as the base of a burrito bowl.

29. Black Bean Soup

Though the ingredient list is minimal, this soup is a nutritional knockout: Black beans are high in fiber, protein, iron, vitamin B-6, and magnesium.

30. Peanut Butter Cups

How can three ingredients — sugar not included — taste like peanut butter cups? No idea, but after one bite, you won’t care.

31. Oatmeal Fruit Crumble

Baking doesn’t require tons of steps. This recipe uses packaged oatmeal, butter, and fruit for a tasty single-serving dessert. Top with your favorite fruit or a dollop of Greek yogurt for a healthier swap on whipped cream.

32. Flourless Chocolate Muffins

These Paleo muffins don’t require any flour. Eggs, nut butter, and cocoa powder come together for a dessert that you’ll want to have again, and again, and again.

33. Salted Peanut Butter Ice Cream

If you haven’t tried to make gluten-free, dairy-free, no-sugar-added “ice cream” from frozen bananas yet, this will have you pulling out the blender or food processor. Top with the two-ingredient chocolate caramel sauce and crushed peanuts to fancy it up.

34. Raw Brownies

High in fiber and potassium, dates are a common binder and natural sweetener in vegan and raw desserts. Process them with antioxidant-rich cacao and heart-healthy walnuts for this no-bake dessert.

35. Peanut Butter Cookies

Free of flour (oh hey, gluten-free friends!), these cookies are dense, chewy, and only require stirring. You can also press down with a fork, if desired, to create the distinguishable lattice pattern on top.

36. Strawberry Banana Popsicles

There’s no need to add sweetener when you make popsicles from whole, natural ingredients like frozen bananas, strawberries, and pineapple juice. They’re healthy, beautiful, and taste just like summer.

37. Vegan Pancakes

Nope, these flapjacks don’t call for boxed mix. This recipe is appropriate for Paleo and gluten-free eaters. It’s also free of added sugars and spiked with nutty almond milk — which may have you ditching premade varieties for good.

38. Peanut Butter Energy Bars

Let the food processor do all the work to make these soft, chewy treats reminiscent of a peanut butter Larabar. Switch up the nut butter and dried fruit — or try fun ingredients like chocolate chips, crystalized ginger, or coconut — to ensure breakfast, or a snack, is never boring.

39. Sweet Potato Spinach Breakfast Hash

Colorful and a good source of iron for energy and beta-carotene for eye health, this healthier version of hash calls for roasting the potatoes instead of frying them for a sweet yet crispy morning dish.

40. Banana Berry Smoothie

Making fancy smoothies sounds great and all, but let’s face it, ain’t nobody got time for that. This easy and classic recipe is perfect for a morning on the run or a lazy Saturday.

41. Cheddar Broccoli Egg Muffins

Take everything that’s amazing about broccoli and cheddar soup and turn it into a morning meal you can eat with your hands. Genius.

42. Almond Butter Granola Bars

One negative about most packaged granola bars: Those wholesome oats can be spiked with generous amounts of sugar. Take control with this recipe by adjusting the honey as necessary so it complements the almond butter perfectly.

43. Baked Eggs in Avocado with Bacon

The idea of baking something already soft seems odd — until you eat it and realize how amazing warm, creamy avocado is, especially when topped with an egg and bacon.

44. Bacon and Egg Breakfast Cups

This super-easy meal combines three of our favorites: eggs, bacon, and of course, bread. The recipe uses packaged rolls for the base, but if you’re looking for a healthier swap, try using whole-grain bread or a whole-grain English muffin instead.

45. Avocado Smoothie

This drink gets nice and thick using avocado and banana. Use more or less milk to create your desired consistency, whether that’s drinking through a straw or eating with a spoon.

46. Flourless Peanut Butter Muffins

You won’t be able to get enough of these chewy peanut butter muffins that pack in three easy ingredients: bananas, peanut butter, and dates. Try blending up the mix the night before so you can just pop ‘em in the oven while you’re getting ready in the morning.

47. Vegan Waffles

We usually think of waffles as part of a sit-down brunch, but this simple recipe is perfect for weekday mornings. You may even have these three ingredients in your pantry already: oats, plant-based milk, and vanilla extract.


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