10 Dinners You Can Make with 5 Ingredients or Fewer

updated Apr 1, 2020
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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.

1. Lemony Broccoli Pasta

This super-simple pasta dish pleases kids and adults alike. It gets its veggie power from broccoli and peas, and its bright, salty flavor from the lemon (zest and juice!) and Parmesan cheese. This is a dinner you can feel good about serving your family.

Get the recipe: Lemony Broccoli Pasta

(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

2. 5-Ingredient Baked Potato Soup

You’d never know this creamy, dreamy soup only had five ingredients. The key is making the basic components do double duty. Crisp up some bacon to use as a topping, and reserve the fat for sautéing! Use the white parts of the green onion in the soup, and save the green parts for garnishing right before serving!

Get the recipe: 5-Ingredient Baked Potato Soup

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

3. Roasted Chicken Thighs with Fennel and 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.

Get the recipe: Roasted Chicken Thighs with Fennel and Lemon

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

4. Tuscan Tortellini Pasta

This simple weeknight meal doesn’t even require that you boil the tortellini first. You just simply drop them in to a skillet of fresh tomato sauce, stir in some spinach, and top with Parmesan cheese. Easy dinner perfection!

Get the recipe: Tuscan Tortellini Pasta

(Image credit: Christine Han)

5. How To Make a 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.

Get the recipe: How To Make a Chicken and Roasted Vegetable Sheet Pan Meal

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

6. Spaghetti Aglio e Olio

This Italian pasta dish might sound fancy, but it’s actually super easy to pull off. You just need some olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, fresh parsley, and Parmesan and you’ve got a comforting dinner in no time.

Get the recipe: Spaghetti Aglio e Olio

(Image credit: Christine Han)

7. 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.

Get the recipe: Slow Cooker Ginger Chicken Congee

(Image credit: Christine Han)

8. 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!

Get the recipe: Pesto Tortellini Pasta Salad

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

9. 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!

Get the recipe: Panko-Crusted Salmon with Dill and Lemon

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

10. Easy 5-Ingredient Black Bean Veggie Burgers

Finally! A veggie burger that doesn’t have a long, intimidating list of ingredients that comes together quickly! The patty seriously only calls for five ingredients, and one of them is avocado. Yeah, you’re gonna wanna make these ASAP.

Get the recipe: Easy 5-Ingredient Black Bean Veggie Burgers

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