life hacks
BY: LBL Team

5 Easy, Healthy Meals with Minimal Ingredients to Make at Home

Healthy recipes that only need a few ingredients

We get it — being stuck in your home all day and night during this challenging time is no fun. And it can easily cause you to stress eat unhealthy food. But, it’s actually crucial that you maintain a healthy immune system as much as possible right now, and part of that is eating nutritious meals. Need some inspiration? Here are five easy, healthy meals with minimal ingredients that you can make at home:

1. Gemelli with broccoli rabe, bacon, and chickpeas

You can sub penne for gemelli in this recipe if it isn’t available. You can also make this recipe vegetarian by omitting the bacon. This recipe yields four servings.


  • 1 pound chopped broccoli rabe
  • 8 ounces uncooked gemelli pasta
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper


  • Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a large Dutch oven
  • Add broccoli rabe to a skillet with cooking oil and sautee for a few minutes
  • Add pasta to the Dutch oven and cook according to package instructions
  • Drain the pasta in a colander, reserving 3/4 cup pasta water
  • Cook bacon in a skillet until crisp
  • Remove bacon from skillet and reserve one tablespoon drippings
  • Add the chickpeas and garlic to the skillet along with drippings
  • Sautee a few minutes and add the broccoli rabe
  • Add the salt and fresh pepper
  • Stir in pasta, 3/4 cup pasta water, and bacon
  • Toss well and serve

2. Black bean and corn chili

This soup is a cinch to make, especially if you have a crockpot. Dress up this dish with a dollop of sour cream and sliced green onions. This recipe serves six.


  • 2 teaspoons chili powder blend
  • 1 14-ounce package frozen seasoned corn and black beans
  • 1 14-ounce can vegetable broth
  • 1 15-ounce can seasoned tomato sauce
  • Reduced-fat sour cream
  • Sliced green onions


  • In a large Dutch oven, combine the frozen corn mixture, broth, chili powder, and tomato sauce
  • Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes
  • Then uncover and simmer for five minutes, stirring occasionally
  • Ladle the chili into bowls
  • Top each serving with sour cream and onions

3. Grilled cherry tomato and goat cheese pizza

You can also use heirloom tomatoes instead of cherry tomatoes to add a unique and flavorful twist. If you don’t have access to a grill, you can just bake the pizza in an oven instead.


  • 1 14-ounce can refrigerated pizza crust dough
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 garlic clove, halved
  • 1 cup of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 3/4 cup crumbled goat cheese


  • Prepare grill to medium heat
  • Unroll the pizza dough onto a large baking sheet coated with cooking spray
  • Pat dough into a 12 x 9-inch rectangle
  • Lightly coat the dough with cooking spray
  • Place the dough on a grill rack coated with cooking spray
  • Grill one minute until lightly browned
  • Turn the crust over and rub with garlic
  • Sprinkle with cherry tomatoes and cheeses
  • Grill again for three minutes and serve

4. Halibut with lemon pesto

Homemade pesto made with lemon rind and juice enhances the natural flavor of the fish in this dish. Add a salad to this dish for a complete meal. This recipe serves four.


  • 4 6-ounce halibut
  • Cooking spray
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1 cup basil leaves
  • 1-ounce grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
  • In a large baking dish, add halibut skin side down and drizzle with oil
  • Sprinkle with salt and pepper
  • Bake for 15 minutes
  • In a food processor, combine the remaining five ingredients and process until finely minced
  • Serve grilled fish over pesto

5. White bean and arugula salad

You can make this simple salad in less than ten minutes. Pair it with some protein for a complete meal. This recipe contains four servings.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup sliced red onion
  • 3 cups baby arugula


  • Combine the oil, rind, juice, mustard, salt, and pepper in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk
  • Add the beans and onions
  • Toss well to coat
  • Add the arugula
  • Toss gently to combine and serve
  1. “5 Ingredient Cookbook: Fresh Food Fast,” Cooking Light, n.d.
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