Our Best Two Ingredient Recipes The Whole Family Will Love

These simple family-friendly recipes save you time, money, and groceries. Need we even mention they're also healthy and delicious?

Some meals call for pulling out the recipe books, compiling a long grocery list of exotic ingredients, and preparing a complex dish that knocks everyone's socks off. And then there are days when your kids are home from school—clamoring for a steady supply of snacks and small meals—and there's just no time or energy for a trip to the grocery store.

The good news: We've compiled some easy, quick, healthy recipes that your whole family will love, each with only two ingredients. Yes, you read that right. These recipes are a lifesaver on busy days, so you can rest assured knowing you're prepared for any hurry-up meal or snack situation.

Cinnamon Applesauce

This no-added-sugar applesauce may be less sweet than what you're used to, but the cinnamon adds so much flavor you may not even notice. The key is to use good quality, naturally sweet apples, since they're the star of the show.

  1. Peel, core, and chop 4 apples.
  2. Place them in a saucepan with ½ teaspoon cinnamon and ½ cup water (or more if you like a thinner applesauce).
  3. Cook over medium heat for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the apples are soft, and then mash with a potato masher or fork.

To skip the mashing step, throw everything into a slow cooker on the high setting for 4 hours, and the apples will fall apart on their own.

Peanut Butter Nice Cream

Perhaps you've heard of "nice cream," which is essentially ice cream made from frozen bananas. It's a delicious, dairy-free alternative to regular ice cream, and makes good use of overripe bananas you have sitting around. We take it one step further with the classic combination of peanut butter and banana for this creamy, healthy treat.

  1. Slice up four bananas and freeze in advance—it should take about 2 hours if you lay them out in a single layer.
  2. Toss the frozen slices into a powerful blender or food processor, and blend until creamy. (You may have to occasionally stop and scrape down the sides to really get that silky, ice cream texture.)
  3. Once smooth, add 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter and blend to mix in.

Voila! You have peanut butter nice cream. No one will guess this dessert has only two ingredients and no added sugar.

Slow-Cooker Enchilada Chicken

This recipe couldn't be easier for getting dinner on the table after being gone all day.

  1. In the morning, place four chicken breasts (or as many as you need) into your slow cooker.
  2. Add your favorite jarred enchilada sauce, enough to cover the chicken completely.
  3. Set the slow cooker on high for 3 hours or low for 6 hours.

Come home from work and you have perfectly tender chicken ready to be shredded and eaten by the forkful, placed atop a salad, or burrowed into a burrito. Not a fan of enchilada sauce? Try an Asian marinade, jarred marinara, or simply salt and pepper.

Date and Oat Energy Bars

Pre-packaged bars are convenient, but they can be pricey and often come with a long list of mystery ingredients. Luckily, it couldn't be easier to make your own no-bake energy bars. All you need are caramel-y medjool dates and quick-cook oats.

  1. Soak 1 cup pitted dates (in enough warm water to cover) for a few hours.
  2. When the dates are soft, pulse them in a food processor with the water you soaked them in until you have a thick paste. (Add more water as necessary.)
  3. Add ½ cup oats and continue processing, adding more oats until you have a thick dough that pulls away from the sides of the food processor.
  4. Press the mixture into a baking dish lined with parchment paper and chill in the frig for about 1 hour.
  5. Remove and cut into whatever-sized slices you prefer.

These keep best in the fridge, but they won't last long!

Banana Pancakes

Eggs and ripe bananas are all you need to make this uber-healthy breakfast that's sure to be a hit with the whole family. Start with one large ripe banana and two eggs, but make as many as you need using a ratio of one large egg-to-¼ cup mashed banana.

  1. Process the banana-egg mixture in a blender or hand-held mixer, smoothing out the lumps.
  2. Heat a nonstick pan with a spritz of vegetable oil, and then pour the banana mixture into the pan to make small pancakes, about 1 tablespoon batter for each.
  3. Cook on low for about 1 minute (letting the bananas slowly caramelize), flip, and then cook for another 30 seconds to 1 minute (depending on how browned you like them).

Top with maple syrup or honey, or just eat them plain and let the natural sweetness of the banana shine through.

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