10 Dinners You Can Make with 5 or Fewer Ingredients

updated Nov 16, 2023
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(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

Ever look at a recipe with a long list of ingredients and just feel … tired? I’ve been there too. There’s a time and place for trying out new recipes with interesting ingredients and multiple steps, but the end of a long day is not one of them.

For those times, there are super-simple, stripped-down recipes — the ones that call for five ingredients or fewer (not counting olive oil, salt, and pepper, since those are staples in almost everyone’s kitchen!). Here are 10 recipes with short ingredient lists that are big on flavor.

5 or Fewer Ingredients Dinner

1 / 10
Lemony Broccoli Pasta
A weeknight-friendly pasta made with broccoli, peas, and lots of olive oil.
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2 / 10
5-Ingredient Baked Potato Soup
Spoiler: No baked potatoes are required for this soup. Just one freezer shortcut will get you from done to devoured in less than 30 minutes!
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3 / 10
Roasted Chicken Thighs with Fennel & Lemon

Using bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs here ensures juicy meat every time. Add to that the crispy, caramelized sear you get from roasting on a sheet pan and the bright, bracing combination of a lemon, garlic, and white wine marinade and you’ve got a perfect dinner. Just add some rice or crusty bread.

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4 / 10
Tuscan Tortellini Skillet
A quick tomatoey tortellini skillet dinner that calls for just 5 ingredients.
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5 / 10
Chicken and Roasted Vegetable Sheet Pan Meal

This is the ultimate “recipe” to have on hand for those nights you don’t know what to make for dinner. Just throw a protein and some veggies on a sheet pan and in 30 minutes you’ll be sitting down to a satisfying meal.

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6 / 10
Spaghetti Aglio e Olio
A classic Italian recipe for spaghetti with olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, and parsley.
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7 / 10
Slow Cooker Ginger Chicken Congee

This chicken congee practically cooks itself in the slow cooker. It’s fragrant with ginger, but other than that it’s a very simple dish. The customization lies in the toppings! Roasted peanuts, sliced scallions, fresh cilantro, and tamari or soy sauce are all great options.

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8 / 10
Pesto Tortellini Pasta Salad

If you have jars of pesto and roasted red peppers in your pantry and a package of tortellini in your fridge or freezer, you’ve got the start of a satisfying salad. Just add fresh cherry tomatoes and you’re all set!

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9 / 10
Panko-Crusted Salmon with Dill and Lemon

This is the simple salmon supper you’ve been looking for. It might sound weird, but this recipe calls for rubbing a mixture of mayonnaise, dill, lemon zest, and salt on top of a salmon fillet before covering it with a layer of panko. The result is juicy, flavorful fish with a crispy coating. Delicious!

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10 / 10
Easy 5-Ingredient Black Bean Veggie Burgers
Easy vegetarian black bean veggie burgers, made with pantry staples and ready in 30 minutes.
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