15 Five-Ingredient Dinner Recipes to Try This Month

updated Feb 13, 2020
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(Image credit: Pinch of Yum)

After a long day of work or school, the last thing you want to cook is a complicated dinner recipe made with a laundry list of ingredients. Sure, there’s a time and place for ambitious cooking projects made with a ton of specialty ingredients, but Wednesday night after a 10-hour shift is not it. So we rounded up 15 of our favorite dinners you can pull off with just five ingredients or fewer — recipes that deliver a ton of flavor without a ton of work.

These are the types of recipes you can turn to time and time again when all you need is something fast, easy, and delicious. So pick a few of your favorites from the list below and keep them in your back pocket — your future self will thank you. (And just a heads up, we went ahead and assumed you had a few staples in your panty — like salt and olive oil — so for some of these recipes, you might actually need to purchase six ingredients if you’re not stocked up.)

(Image credit: Minimalist Baker)

1. Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili from Minimalist Baker

This recipe uses an ingenious shortcut to make it come together in no time. The trick? Using store-bought salsa instead of prepping all of the ingredients (like tomatoes, garlic, and peppers) that are already in salsa. It’ll save a ton of time and make this chili bright and flavorful.

(Image credit: Pinch of Yum)

2. Lemon Chicken with Asparagus from Pinch of Yum

This recipe uses lemon pepper to give the chicken a bright, lemony flavor, but if you don’t have any on hand, you can easily make your own by combining equal parts ground black pepper with fresh lemon zest. It won’t taste exactly the same as the store-bought variety, but it’ll do the trick.

(Image credit: The Endless Meal)

3. Honey Teriyaki Salmon from The Endless Meal

Serve this sweet and savory salmon over rice, veggies, or all on its own for a simple dinner that comes together in less than 20 minutes. (Pro tip: If you put a pot of rice on as soon as you start prepping the salmon, everything should be done at just about the same time.)

(Image credit: Foodie Crush)

4. Chipotle Chicken Taquitos from FoodieCrush

These crunchy taquitos are a cinch to throw together and can be baked or fried based on your preference. While the taquitos themselves only take five ingredients to make, the toppings are extra, so load them up with whatever you have in your fridge and enjoy.

(Image credit: Seasonal Cravings)

5. Caprese Chicken from Seasonal Cravings

Balsamic syrup (also called balsamic glaze or reduced balsamic) can be found in the vinegar section of most grocery stores and gives this chicken a bright pop of sweet and acidic flavor. If you can’t find it (or simply don’t want to purchase it), just reduce half a cup of balsamic vinegar in a small pot until it’s thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

(Image credit: Cup of Jo)

This recipe confits garlic and tomatoes — which is just a fancy term for slowly cooking them in oil. This makes them super sweet and concentrates their flavors, making them the perfect thing to toss over pasta.

(Image credit: NeighborFood)

This recipe takes advantage of store-bought pesto and uses it to season both the chicken and the veggies. It also calls for using both chicken thighs and drumsticks, so feel free to buy the package labeled chicken “pieces” or “parts” to avoid having to purchase both. It may come with a breast in the mix, so feel free to adjust the cooking time if necessary.

(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

Although this soup is called baked potato soup, there’s no actual baking required. This recipe uses a smart shortcut by swapping baked potatoes for frozen hash browns. They make the soup taste just like baked potatoes without having to wait for them to actually bake.

(Image credit: Dinner Then Dessert)

9. Slow Cooker Mongolian Chicken from Dinner, then Dessert

These sticky Mongolian chicken thighs are cooked in a flavorful combination of soy sauce, spices, and dark brown sugar. The dark brown sugar gives the chicken a deep, molasses-like flavor and rich color, but light brown sugar would work just fine.

(Image credit: Damn Delicious)

10. White Chicken Chili from Damn Delicious

Thanks to some clever shortcut ingredients — like store-bought salsa verde and rotisserie chicken — this flavorful white chili is not only made with five ingredients, but also goes from stove to table in just 15 minutes.

(Image credit: Plain Chicken)

11. Smoked Sausage Cajun Alfredo from Plain Chicken

An entire tablespoon of Cajun seasoning gives this creamy pasta a ton of flavor and aggressive pop of heat, so if spicy food isn’t your thing, feel free to cut back and try two teaspoons. It’ll still be super flavorful, but just a bit less intense.

(Image credit: Dinner Then Dessert)

12. Ground Beef Teriyaki Ramen from Dinner, then Dessert

This recipe transforms blocks of instant ramen into something completely new. It’s loaded with ground beef and seasoned with garlic, ginger, and soy sauce, so it’s a far cry from dorm-room ramen.

(Image credit: Jo Cooks)

13. Chicken Enchilada Casserole from Jo Cooks

Although this Mexican-inspired casserole only takes four ingredients to throw together, it does take a full 45 minutes to bake — so make sure to plan accordingly and give yourself some time. (Or assemble it ahead of time and just pop it in the oven when you’re starting to get hungry.)

(Image credit: Foodie Crush)

14. Thai Pumpkin Soup from FoodieCrush

This hearty soup gets all of its flavor from red curry paste, which can be found in the international section of most grocery stores. Cooking the curry paste (the first step of this recipe) may seem strange, but it helps the flavors develop so you don’t end up with a raw garlic or ginger flavor.

(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

The base of these potato nachos only takes five ingredients to make, but you can get as creative as you want with the toppings. Greek yogurt, green onions, and chopped cilantro would all make great additions to this crowd-pleasing dinner.