4-Ingredient Recipe Guide

4 ingredient recipes

The Secret to Making Delicious 4-Ingredient Recipes

Using fewer ingredients doesn’t have to mean less flavor! Let your favorite ingredients shine on your plate by enhancing their natural flavor – all while creating a delicious quick-and-easy meal. Check out Chef Kenzie’s 3-ingredient egg salad. Best of all, learn how to build your own 4-ingredient recipes to make meal preparation a breeze.

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Secret to Building a 4-Ingredient Recipe

4-Ingredient recipe? Yes, please! Using fewer ingredients is an effective strategy to preparing quick, budget-friendly recipes. Unfortunately, fewer ingredients is often (mistakenly) associated with less flavor. The reality? All you need is the right seasoning to prepare delicious dishes – without having to use all the ingredients in your pantry.

Choosing your 4 Ingredients

When preparing a 4-ingredient recipe, you’re using fewer ingredients, so make them count. Think of using naturally flavorful foods that provide the taste and texture you’re looking for. Choose the basics: Protein, Fat, Slow Carbs. Then add seasonings to round out the recipe and make it interesting.


Generally speaking, higher-fat proteins tend to have more flavor than lower-fat proteins. Choosing ingredients such as eggs, bone-in skin-on chicken thighs, 15% fat ground beef, fried tofu, or shredded beef can be a great way to add flavor to a recipe.


Once you’ve picked your protein, it’s time to add a fat. Rather than choosing neutral flavored fats (such as butter or oil), try choosing fats that have their own distinct flavor. Some examples include; toasted oils (ie: toasted sesame oil), coconut/coconut oil, nuts/seeds (especially flavorful when toasted), avocados, or cheese.

Slow Carbs

Finally, choose your slow carbohydrate. Sometimes, a slow carbohydrate can be added to achieve a particular texture (ie: adding white beans to a creamy dip). Other times, slow carbohydrates can add sweetness (ie: corn or cooked sweet potato in Phase 2, or apples, berries, and other fruits in Phase 1).

Elevating Flavor with Seasonings

Once you have chosen your protein, fat, and slow carbohydrate, it’s time to elevate the natural flavors of each. There are three components to a meal that naturally elevate flavors: acid, fat, and salt. Add a few flavoring ingredients that have acid, fat, and salt to your meal. (NOTE: One of your main ingredients is a source of fat – therefore, you may not need to add another source of fat for flavor).

Acid: Lemon juice (or other citrus juices), Greek yogurt, kefir, tomatoes, etc.

Salt: Pickled vegetables, soy sauce, seasoned salt, sea vegetables, salt-cured ingredients, etc.

Fat: Nut butter, oil, avocados, cheese, coconut, nuts/seeds, etc.

Breaking Down Chef Kenzie’s 3-Ingredient Egg Salad

Protein: Eggs: a high-fat protein. Eggs are lower in protein and higher in fat than other options, so she chose to pair it with a higher-protein fats and slow carbohydrates to maintain balanced ratios.

Fat: Tahini: a naturally flavorful source of fat. Tahini is also higher in protein in comparison to other sources of fat.

Slow Carbohydrate: White beans: add a bit of extra protein and achieve a creamy texture.

Additional Flavorings: Chef Kenzie added fresh herbs, salt, pepper, and a squeeze of lemon to enhance the natural flavors of her dish.

Have a bit of extra time or energy? Add some optional extras like shredded vegetables or

Try These Other 4-Ingredient Recipes

**All recipes are P1 ratios.

  1. Apple Tuna Salad
    1. Protein: 4 ounces tuna (canned in oil and drained)
    2. Fat: 1 avocado
    3. Slow Carbohydrate: 1 apple
    4. Seasonings: Acid: lemon; Salt: kosher salt
    5. Optional Extras: non-starchy vegetables (shredded carrots, shredded cabbage, etc.) and herbs (parsley, cilantro, etc.)
  2. Ground Beef Lettuce Cups
    1. Protein: 3-4 ounces 15% fat beef
    2. Fat: 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
    3. Slow Carbohydrate: 1/2 cup black beans
    4. Seasonings: Acid: 1 cup tomatoes; Salt: Kosher salt or salsa
    5. Optional Extras: non-starchy vegetables (shredded carrots, shredded cabbage, etc.) and herbs (parsley, cilantro, etc.)
  3. Deep Fried Tofu Stuffed Sweet Potato (P2)
    1. Protein: 1 Serving Deep Fried Tofu
    2. Fat: 1/4 recipe Thai Peanut Sauce (about 2 tbsp)
    3. Slow Carbohydrate: 1 cooked sweet potato (5″)
    4. Seasonings: Acid: squeeze of lime; Salt: drizzle of soy sauce
    5. Optional Extras: non starchy vegetables (shredded carrots, shredded cabbage, etc.) and herbs (parsley, cilantro, etc.)

What are your favorite 4-ingredient recipes? Comment your combinations below or snap a picture and post it to our Facebook group – we always love to see what you’ve been cooking!

Check out more Phase 1 Recipes to add to your meal rotation HERE! 

Looking for More Dairy-Free or Quick-and-Easy Recipe Ideas?

Check out our downloadable meal planning classes. Each class comes with an eBook including a Specialized One-Week Meal Plan and Prep Sheet, or Specialized Recipes, as well as Additional Resources prepared by Chef Dawn Ludwig and Chef Kenzie Osborne. Each class also has the option to add-on downloadable presentation slides for more recipes and extra resources.

Salmon Salad

Tahini Egg Salad

Kenzie Osborne
This three ingredient egg salad has a unique twist that boasts an extra rich and creamy texture. The salad is a complete P1 meal - making it the perfect quick and easy on-the-go lunch!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Main Course, Salad
Servings 1 serving


  • 3 eggs, hard boiled
  • 1 ½ tbsp tahini
  • ½ cup cooked white beans
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • Parsley, green onions, and optional herbs (to taste)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Lettuce leaves and/or vegetable crudités, for serving


  • Blend together the eggs, tahini, white beans, and lemon juice.
  • Add parsley, green onions, and/or other herbs of choice. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Serve with lettuce cups and/or vegetable crudités.




Fat: 46%
Carbohydrates: 29%
Protein: 25%
Calories: 510
Keyword Dairy-Free, Phase 1, Quick and Easy

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