Minimalist recipes are those that have 10 ingredients or less and no more than about 5 steps. The ingredients will also be quite simple and consist mainly of minimally processed, whole foods.

When you’re trying to eat more minimalist, choosing recipes that are more simple is key.

Better yet if the meal is so simple you don’t even actually need a recipe for it!

While there is definitely a time and place for more complex dishes, keeping your everyday meals simple helps to avoid overwhelm and burnout.

It also makes meal planning and grocery shopping as a minimalist a lot easier!

These minimalist cooking recipe suggestions and tips for choosing a minimalist recipe should help you eat simply or eat a more minimalist diet!

minimalist recipe on laptop with recipe ingredients on white kitchen counter

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How to find minimalist recipes

Minimalist cookbooks:

One of the fastest ways to find minimalist recipes is to just buy a minimalist cookbook!

All the recipes inside are already considered to be minimalist, so you don’t have to do any specific searching!

Just flip through the pages and get some inspiration!

Here are some suggestions I have for you.

Minimalist-Bakers-Everyday-Cooking-Plant-based cookbook Minimalist-Kitchen-Wholesome-Essential-Techniques Minimal-Cookbook-Minimalism-Delicious-Ingredient-ebook Easy-5-Ingredient-Healthy-Cookbook-Delicious-ebook

Minimalist kitchen recipes:

You can also find some excellent recipes online from other recipe bloggers.

Some of my favorites are:

Minimalist Baker: more than just baking, she creates some tasty recipes with simple, whole food ingredients.

Toby Amidor Nutrition: Toby has tons of simple recipes with just 5 ingredients or less on her website and in her many cookbooks! Plus, she’s a dietitian so you can be sure her recipes are healthy and well balanced.

If you’ve already gone through the recipes in those cookbooks and blogs, or are just looking for a minimalist version for a specific recipe, check out the following tips on how to figure out if a recipe is minimalist or not…

Tips to Find Minimalist Recipes

Key words to use when searching for a minimalist recipe:

When searching for recipes online, use keywords like the ones below in your search to increase your chances of finding recipes that won’t be complicated.

  • simple
  • 1-pot
  • easy
  • 10 ingredients or less
  • sheet pan
  • 30 minute
  • instant pot

Check the ingredients list for precooked items:

Once you find a recipe, look at the ingredients and make sure the recipe isn’t calling for something that is already cooked.

This is a huge pet peeve of mine!

Lots of recipes say they only take 15 minutes, but that’s only if you already have the main ingredients ready-made, or as leftovers!

For example, if you don’t have cooked chicken on hand, a recipe that calls for cooked chicken will take you longer to make than it states because you’ll have to cook the chicken before starting.

Recipe formulas

Any good chef knows certain recipe formulas that can be mixed and matched into multiple different recipes by just changing out the ingredients.

Think of these as “base” recipes, where the amounts of certain ingredients change, but you can switch out the flavors and create a whole new recipe!

For example, a basic home made vinaigrette salad dressing consists of 1 part acid to 3 parts oil.

You can interchange basically any oil or vinegar (or acid, like lemon juice) in these ratios, plus add herbs and seasonings to make unlimited combinations of vinaigrettes.

In a meal format, this might look like a stir fry consisting of:

  • 1 part protein (ex: chicken, beef, tofu, shrimp)
  • 1 part carb (ex: rice, noodles)
  • 2 parts veg (ex: broccoli, bok choy, mixed veggies)
  • sauce/seasoning to taste (ex: teriyaki, honey ginger, sweet & sour)

There are lots of different recipes that start with the same base amounts of foods and cooking methods, and just change the flavors to add variety. Things like soup, curry, stew, stir fry, salads, sandwiches, sheet pan meals, pasta sauce, or casseroles are some examples.

This is how we mainly cook at home because it’s so easy and doesn’t require a lot of thinking!

Use tried-and-true recipes more than new ones:

When choosing a recipe, use ones you already know well if possible.

Even if a recipe says it will take 30 minutes, if you’ve never cooked it before, it might take you longer.

That’s because you might spend extra time reading and double checking the recipe, or it might include a cooking technique you’re not as comfortable with.

Keep it simple and include no more than one new recipe a week to avoid overwhelming yourself.

Incorporate a new recipe you want to try by simply adding the recipe to your meal plan for the week.

If it’s a hit, add it to your master list of meal ideas to make again!

Limit of 1 recipe at a time

In addition to just trying one new recipe per week, try to only use one recipe per meal.

That means choosing one dish meals more often, such as sheet pan meals, soups, stews, casseroles, etc.

It can also mean making simple side dishes and garnishes that don’t even require recipes, such as steamed carrots with fresh dill or parsley.

Believe me, you’ll thank me when you’re not having to juggle 3 different recipes at a time while cooking!

Streamline your meal planning

Include recipes with similar ingredients within the same week of your meal plan so special ingredients like fresh herbs don’t go to waste after being used in only one meal.

Not only does this save money on groceries, it also makes it easier to choose what recipes to cook for the week when you have a shared ingredient to link several recipes together.

This is one thing I teach in my Minimalist Meal Planning Workbook.

The Minimalist Meal Planning Workbook completely simplifies meal planning and takes you step-by-step through the process so you can stick with it once and for all!

More meal planning ideas:

Top 7 Minimalist Meal Planning Techniques To Simplify Meal Planning
7 Totally Free Meal Planning Printables
Simple Meal Planning Ideas
Minimalist Meal Plan: 3 Reasons Why You Need One!
Minimalist Meal Planning Tips for People Who Hate Meal Planning

Now you know my best tips for choosing a minimalist recipe and some ideas for where to find minimalist recipes, I hope you agree that finding a simpler recipe can be quite easy! It will definitely save you time and sanity once you get the hang of it!

Let me know below which of these ideas for minimalist cooking recipes you found most helpful!

You might also like:
11 Minimalist Cooking Tips To Simplify Meal Time
Eating a Minimalist Diet (Dietitian Approved!)
Minimalist Grocery List

how to choose a simple minimalist recipe stop using 'quick' recipes that actually take an hour! frugalminimalistkitchen.com picture of white kitchen countertop with laptop and salad recipe ingredients

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