14 of the Best Cheap and Healthy Two-Ingredient Meals, According to Reddit

14 of the Best Cheap and Healthy Two-Ingredient Meals, According to Reddit
Photo: Kritchai7752, Shutterstock

When it comes to simple meals that can fit into any nutritional plan, Reddit’s r/EatCheapandHealthy is a gold mine for ideas. My favourite thread at the moment is this one in which someone asked for “stupidly easy food pairings.” Things you can just throw together on the same plate or in the same skillet and have a great meal or snack. There are, it turns out, a ton of them, so let’s dig in.

Hummus and vegetables

Photo: Robyn Mackenzie, ShutterstockPhoto: Robyn Mackenzie, Shutterstock

There’s something about a bowl of hummus that can make an entire bag of baby carrots, container of snap peas, or a sliced cucumber just…disappear. Make your own hummus or grab a tub from the store, and dip any fresh veggie you’ve got.

Apples and peanut butter

Photo: Brent Hofacker, ShutterstockPhoto: Brent Hofacker, Shutterstock

This is one of those snacks I had all the time when I was preschool aged, but somehow keep forgetting about as an adult. Slice an apple, throw a spoonful of peanut butter into a bowl, and you’ve got a sweet-and-savoury snack that’s a lot more filling than just an apple by itself. Upgrade it with a drizzle of honey, and consider almond butter if you’re feeling fancy.

Broccoli and cheese

Photo: Andi Berger, ShutterstockPhoto: Andi Berger, Shutterstock

This doesn’t have to be a soup or a melty cheese sauce (although it can be). Broccoli and its kin (like cauliflower) are excellent with any kind of cheesy topping. Butter and parmesan work particularly well. Pro tip: buy your veggies frozen, they’re cheaper and just as good.

Yogurt and blueberries

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Sure, you can make a parfait with granola and coconut and your favourite fancy toppings, but you can also throw some blueberries into a bowl of Greek yogurt (or, really, any yogurt) and instantly have a nutritious and delicious snack.

I use plain Greek yogurt, mixed with protein powder, and I add a drizzle of honey while I’m at it. But you can do any combination that speaks to you. Raspberries are great, too.

Rice and eggs

I’m not going to bring up rice and beans, which have been the star of nearly every one of these roundups. You already know. But have you been sleeping on rice and eggs? Several redditors acknowledge the joy of preparing a sunny-side-up egg and letting the yolk run out onto a bed of rice. You could also scramble the egg or slice it omelet-style — and now we’re just a few veggies away from a fried rice recipe.

Bread and olive oil

Photo: Fabio Balbi, ShutterstockPhoto: Fabio Balbi, Shutterstock

Does this count as healthy? I’m not exactly sure (except that anything can be healthy in the right context), but it sure is cheap and delicious. Dip some bread in oil, and bring some garlic or balsamic vinegar into the mix if you want to be fancy.

Sausage and cabbage

Photo: Jim Bowie, ShutterstockPhoto: Jim Bowie, Shutterstock

Don’t want to go to the trouble of making stuffed cabbage rolls? Good news: there’s a simpler meal. “I just used the bagged precut coleslaw mix from the grocer,” says one redditor, “dice some sausage, cook in veggie broth in a pan… good to go.” Another makes a similar dish with kielbasa and sauerkraut.

Cheese and crackers

Photo: Edward Fielding, ShutterstockPhoto: Edward Fielding, Shutterstock

What’s an easy way to shut up a hungry toddler, and a fancy hors d’oeuvre you can serve at a gallery opening? Cheese and crackers, ideally with a side of grapes, once your diner is past the choking hazard stage. You can prepare this meal for yourself. Saltines and cheddar would be my pick, but any type will do.

Anything on toast

Photo: Joe Gough, ShutterstockPhoto: Joe Gough, Shutterstock

Beans on toast is a classic dish in the UK, and it’s time we adopt the tradition. (Heinz canned baked beans are the approved topping, apparently.) When you think about it, that’s not too different from putting hummus on toast, another winner. Redditors also chimed in to recommend avocado on toast, sliced tomato on toast, and eggs on toast. It turns out you can turn almost any leftovers in your fridge into a full meal by simply placing them atop a slice of toast. Brilliant!

Fruit with Tajin

Photo: Matthew Hulet, ShutterstockPhoto: Matthew Hulet, Shutterstock

Watermelon with Tajin seasoning is great, which is a fact I already knew thanks to our food and beverage editor Claire Lower. The seasoning is made with chilli powder, lime, and salt, and it adds a spicy, savoury twist to sweet fruit. (Trader Joe’s also makes a knockoff.) Redditors chimed in to recommend it on mango, pineapple, cucumber, and especially jicama.

Sweet potatoes and apples

Photo: Ildi Papp, ShutterstockPhoto: Ildi Papp, Shutterstock

Remember this one when the weather gets chilly again: sweet potatoes and apples can be sautéed or roasted together, ideally with sage and, one redditor recommends, smoked paprika. The combination makes a great veggie side dish, or a base for sausage or other proteins. Sweet potatoes and black beans also go well together, if you’re looking for another combo.

Apples and cheddar

Photo: Darryl Brooks, ShutterstockPhoto: Darryl Brooks, Shutterstock

Sweet/savoury pairings are driving a lot of the best combinations on this list, so here’s one more. Have slices of apple with slices of sharp cheddar. Granny Smiths are great here: their crunch stands up well to the texture of the cheese.

Watermelon and feta

Photo: Mironov Vladimir, ShutterstockPhoto: Mironov Vladimir, Shutterstock

Watermelon’s sweetness goes great with savoury seasonings (see also: Tajin) and feta is another standout. Redditors also recommend combining feta or a similar cheese with peaches (fresh or grilled), or with pears.

Celery and cream cheese

Photo: Elflaco1983, ShutterstockPhoto: Elflaco1983, Shutterstock

That hollow in a rib of celery can hold peanut butter and raisins, as in the classic “ants on a log,” or you can fill it with cream cheese. Consider topping with everything bagel seasoning.

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