Fast, healthy 4-ingredient dinners

Published on Mon Sep 24 17:00:00 UTC 2012
Michelle Edelbaum

Fast, healthy 4-ingredient dinners

With two little boys at home, I’m on a mission to streamline my dinner routine. My focus? Simplify. One of the awesome parts of working as the digital editor at EatingWell Magazine is that I’m surrounded by amazing healthy food every day. The problem is, I think I can go home and cook all of these awesome recipes on a weeknight, when what I really need to do is just get a healthy, simple meal on the table so my family can still have some time to enjoy our night.

Recipes to Try: 20-Minute 5-Ingredient Dinner Recipes

I combed EatingWell’s recipe database and found these healthy, super-simple 4-ingredient dinners to help me eat well but cook simply. (I didn’t count kitchen staples like salt, pepper, oil, flour, sugar against my 4-ingredient limit.) And they’re all ready in 30 minutes or less of cooking time, most in 20 minutes—plenty of time to steam a vegetable on the side and make instant brown rice or quinoa.

The other bonus of these 4-ingredient dinner recipes? They’ll minimize my grocery shopping too!


Pork Chops au Poivre

Turn your dining room into a French bistro when you dress up pepper-crusted pork chops with a rich, creamy brandy sauce. Serve with roasted sweet potato slices and green beans.


Apple, Sauerkraut & Cheddar Quesadillas

This combination may seem unusual—until you try it. The sweet-tartness of the apple, creaminess of the cheese and bite of the sauerkraut work together beautifully in this easy hot sandwich. Serve with oven-roasted potatoes or a green salad.


Grilled Steaks Balsamico

A simple marinade of pureed dried figs and store-bought balsamic vinaigrette adds intense flavor to steak. This recipe is adapted from Lori Welander’s grand prize-winning recipe from the 2003 National Beef Cook-Off.


Mustard-Crusted Salmon

This updated French bistro dish makes a simple dinner any night of the week. You might want to consider doubling the batch and using the remaining salmon in a tossed salad the next day, or even as the salmon topper in the Warm Salmon Salad with Crispy Potatoes.


New England Fried Shrimp

Who doesn’t love a crunchy fried shrimp? This version takes virtually fat-free shrimp out of the deep fryer and pan-fries them in a little bit of oil instead. With 9 grams of total fat and 213 calories per serving, you can feel good about enjoying them.


Stir-Fried Spicy Chicken TendersStir-Fried Spicy Chicken Tenders
A bag of frozen peppers and onions can be a quick start to a stir-fry; here, it’s combined with almost fat-free chicken tenders for a speedy dinner. Serve this dish with warm polenta rounds or brown rice.


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