The Best 3-Ingredient Recipes We Found on TikTok

These super simple, recipe developer-vetted recipes come together as easy as one, two, three.

June 07, 2022


Photo by: PhotoAlto/Laurence Mouton/Getty

PhotoAlto/Laurence Mouton/Getty

Sometimes you want to stretch out and take your time cooking or baking a complex, multi-ingredient, multi-step dish. But for those times when you just want to quickly whip up a snack, dessert or even a hearty meal while keeping ingredients and prep to a bare minimum, TikTok is there for you with a bunch of super simple recipes that require only three ingredients. Yes, three.

We scoured TikTok for three-ingredient recipes that looked especially appealing and then asked Food Network recipe developer Amanda Neal to weigh in with her thoughts.

Here are nine easy-peasy, expert-vetted, three-ingredient recipes you can pull together in one, two, three!

@patrickzeinali You prolly have all these ingredients in your kitchen RIGHT NOW! #fypシ #crispy #potato #3ingredientsrecipes #baked #easyrecipe #simplerecipe ♬ original sound - Patrick Zeinali

Crispy Potatoes

“You prolly have all these ingredients in your kitchen RIGHT NOW!” writes Los Angeles-based TikToker @patrickzeinali of the three-ingredient recipe for crispy potatoes he shares in a video that has been viewed 1.3 million times. The strikingly simple dish is made from russet potatoes (peeled, chopped, boiled), butter and salt — mashed together and then piped into cute little bite-size portions and baked in an oven. Neal says the recipe sounds “really tasty” and like “a fun alternative to baked mashed potatoes.” She also thinks it would make a great party appetizer. “I would try cooking these in an air fryer or in the oven on a convection setting, to really get the outside golden brown and crisp,” she suggests.

@iamnotachef Reply to @arianaaa_p 3 ingredient Crème Brûlée #dessert #cremebrulee ♬ 水に流して - Édith Piaf

Crème Brûlée

“Love at first bite” — that’s what TikToker @iamnotachef says of his three-ingredient crème brûlée, which has racked up a whopping 22 million views. It’s made from ice cream, eggs and sugar. Neal appreciates the ingenuity. “Frozen ice cream is made from an ice cream base called crème anglaise — a creamy sauce made from eggs, milk, sugar and vanilla,” she explains. “It just so happens that creme brûlée is also a crème anglaise base, but it’s baked in a water bath and topped with a crunchy layer of caramel. So this recipe is very smart to utilize a store-bought frozen ice cream — or custard — and turn it into a crème brûlée.” Take note: Neal advises those attempting this recipe to steer clear of dairy-free ice cream or frozen yogurt. “You need an egg-based custard ice cream for this recipe to work,” she says.

@fitgreenmind Gnocchi are the best way to potato 🥔😌 #gnocchi #veganrecipes #easyvegan #vegancooking ♬ Originalton - Maya Leinenbach

Homemade Gnocchi

Did you know you need only three ingredients — potato, flour and salt — to make gnocchi? Yep, Maya Leinenbach (@fitgreenmind) shows us it can be that simple. (Bonus: This video, which has garnered 4 million views, is vegan, too.) “I love this recipe because I think homemade pasta is intimidating if you’ve never made it before,” says Neal. “This shows how easy homemade gnocchi can be.” Neal notes that, if you want to enjoy your gnocchi with sauce, you can use jarred tomato sauce or store-bought pesto and, with the addition of just one more ingredient, enjoy dinner.

@bdylanhollis We’ve been lied too #baking #vintage #cooking #cookies ♬ original sound - B. Dylan Hollis

Magic Peanut Butter Cookies

A cookie without butter, salt, baking powder, even flour? It seems impossible. But that’s what makes these cookies, which come together using only peanut butter, sugar and egg, “magic,” just as B. Dylan Hollis (@bdylanhollis) has dubbed them. Neal calls the recipe, which has generated 19.6 million views, “genius” and says that part of its magic is that the cookies are also gluten-free. “I love this recipe and have made it a couple times,” she says, adding that Hollis’s reaction “was my reaction as well the first time I made these cookies.” Neal says using smooth peanut butter will yield the best results, but adds that, if you’d like a little extra crunch, crunchy peanut butter will work, too.

@thatdudecancook Fettuccine Alfredo is only 3 ingredients #pasta #alfredo #foodlover #learnontiktok ♬ Call on me Eric Prydz - Dayna Dolan

Fettuccine Alfredo

The key to this three-ingredient fettuccine Alfredo is using real parmesan cheese (a.k.a., “Parmigiano Reggiano”) from Italy, notes Sonny Hurrell (@thatdudecancook) before enthusiastically demonstrating how to make the rich pasta dish using only fettuccine, unsalted butter and the aforementioned really good cheese, in a video watched by more than 1.5 million TikTokers. “I think most people think of fettuccine as super creamy and cheesy, thanks to loads of heavy cream and parmesan,” says Neal. “But I love it’s really quite simple to make, and can still be decadent with just butter, starchy pasta water and a generous addition of good parmesan.” Neal adds that, while fettuccine is the best pasta to use for this dish, you could also sub in another long noodle, such as spaghetti or buccatini, if that’s what you happen to have on hand.

@thebigmansworld_official 3 ingredient no bake brownie bites. #healthyrecipes #healthydessert #ketodesserts #lowcarbdessert #foodtok ♬ FEEL THE GROOVE - Queens Road, Fabian Graetz

No-Bake Brownie Bites

Pretty much anything made with the three ingredients in these no-bake brownie bites — peanut or almond butter, cocoa powder, maple syrup — would sound delicious. But it’s particularly impressive how well they apparently stand on their own. “No flour, no eggs and no butter needed” says the voiceover in @thebigmansworld_official’s video, viewed 358,000 times. Neal says there’s no need for the optional chocolate chips either. “They provide some added chocolatey flavor but are mostly there for texture,” she notes. That makes this a true three-ingredient treat. “I love that you can use almost any nut butter for this recipe,” Neal says. “I would also use a nice Dutch processed cocoa powder for a rich, chocolate flavor.”

@pinacooks ✨Cacio e Pepe✨ can you believe it’s only 3 ingredients?! #italianfood #cacioepepe ♬ Playdate - OnePunchMatt

Cacio e Pepe

“You really don’t need heavy cream, olive oil or even butter to make a perfectly creamy cacio e pepe,” says @pinacooks in a three-ingredient recipe video viewed 3.2 million times. What do you need? Peppercorn, Pecorino-Romano cheese and pasta. The recipe is “another example of how delicious and simple some pasta dishes are,” Neal says. She finds the Pecorino-Romano ‘paste’ particularly intriguing. “It’s fun to watch it turn into a beautifully creamy sauce,” she adds. “Plus, you can use almost any pasta shape for this recipe.”

@dishedit Will you make these? #shortbread #3ingredientrecipes #3ingredientshortbread #easyrecipe #tiktokrecipe #foodtok #foodie #fyp #foryou #cookies #dessert ♬ Coffee Music - Cafe Music BGM channel


Salted butter, powdered sugar, all-purpose flour and you’ve got yourself some yummy shortbread. As for the optional fourth ingredient — vanilla — mentioned in @dishedit's video, which has 287,400 views, Neal says it’s not required. “Vanilla extract would definitely provide a little more flavor — or even a frosting or glaze would be a nice addition,” she says, “but these shortbread cookies would still be delicious on their own” with just the three aforementioned ingredients. Neal says you can follow the video’s suggestion method — rolling out and using cookie cutters to cut the cookies into shapes, or you can skip that step and just press the dough into a baking pan and bake it like a bar cookie. The latter method, she notes, “will cut down some overall prep time,” making an already simple process simpler still.

@petitecakery 3 Ingredient Ice Cream 🤯🔥🥶 #easyicecream #icecreamrecipe #homebaker #strawberryicecream #foodtok ♬ original sound - Maliah

Ice Cream

Is this the easiest ice cream recipe ever? Calling for only sweetened condensed milk, heavy whipping cream and vanilla extract, it just might be. Yet Neal calls the three-ingredient recipe depicted in self-taught baker @petitecakery’s popular (5.2 million views) video, “a classic.” “I love this recipe because the ice cream turns out super creamy and fluffy even when frozen solid,” she says. Neal suggests swapping in mint extract or almond extract for the vanilla extract, if you want a different flavor profile — while still keeping the ingredient count to three. So in addition to being easy, this recipe gets points for adaptability, too.

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