27 Five-Ingredient Dinner Recipes for Stress-Free Meals

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There are few kitchen nightmares that are worse than finding a recipe that sounds ah-mazing, and then you see the ingredient section longer than your phone’s contact list. We share your pain. That’s why these 27 recipes will become your new dinnertime manual: Each includes just five ingredients so you can focus on flavor, not on grocery shopping.

Meat and Poultry

This recipe is so simple, yet doesn’t skimp on flavor in the slightest. Combine four marinade ingredients, pour it over the chicken. Bake. Serve. Done! Pair it with brown rice, serve it over a salad, or shove it inside lettuce wraps.

Say hello to your new favorite no-stress Tex-Mex enchilada recipe. It uses shortcuts like leftover chicken and canned enchilada sauce so you can literally throw dinner together in minutes. Serve with a side salad and (lots of) avocados for a complete meal.

You don’t need many ingredients to turn boring chicken breasts into a dish you’ll want to make on a weekly basis. This brothy and super-filling stew can be made quickly with leftover chicken, or completely from scratch with a slow cooker.

Looks like takeout but can be made in less than 20 minutes? Yes, please! Simply dredge chicken breasts in flour, brown them in a pan, and then sauté the asparagus and lemon to layer on top.

The secret to getting crunchy, perfectly breaded chicken? Use lemon juice in place of an egg wash to keep the breadcrumbs intact. Lemon juice’s acids will keep the chicken super juicy while it pan fries, adding a whole new flavor dimension.

Slice the ham almost all the way through to let the maple syrup, Dijon mustard, brown sugar, and clove mixture seep into every nook and cranny. For serving, get creative: Eat it as a main dish, use it in sandwiches, dice it into your scrambled eggs, add it to a stir-fry. The world is your… ham?

Get dinner on the table with minimal prep by adding a new spin to fajitas: Bake them! Smothered in salsa, peppers, and onions, the dish spends most of its time in the oven, giving you time to de-stress after a long day. Serve in a whole-wheat tortilla, on a salad, or with a side of rice.

Ready to upgrade your tacos? This pineapple salsa chicken is so simple it basically cooks itself. Dump the protein, pineapple chunks (and juice), and favorite salsa in the slow cooker and let time do the work.

Roast sweet bell peppers first, then fill with shredded chicken, quinoa, pesto, and mozzarella cheese. Bake again, then serve. If you like a firmer pepper, skip the pre-roasting step and just bake them with the other ingredients.

Five ingredients and one of them is bourbon? Sign us up. This easy pork marinates for a few hours or overnight—it’s easily whisked together in the morning—and then is grilled or baked in less than 20 minutes. And why not enjoy any leftover bourbon while it cooks?

These simple drumsticks are a dream on busy weeknights or lazy Sundays. Just place all the ingredients in a pan, bring to a boil, and let the sauce do its thing.

Pasta

Ditch that box! You can make your own healthier mac and cheese in about the same time as the boxed stuff. Greek yogurt adds creaminess and protein, while two cups of spinach provide vitamins A and K, plus almost a quarter of your day’s calcium needs.

This inside-out eggroll keeps the fillings you love, like shredded cabbage and carrots, and nixes the deep-fried wrapper. Add ground sausage (or chicken, turkey, or shrimp!), soy sauce, ginger, and green onions for a low-carb, high-flavor dish that’s way better than takeout.

Roast cherry tomatoes to add sweetness and a subtle charred flavor, and crunchy kale to add antioxidants and iron to the mix. Use your favorite bottled creamy dressing to speed things up—we won’t tell.

Roasted butternut squash and fresh arugula transform what could be just another pasta dish into something spectacular. With the goat cheese serving as the “sauce” and a sprinkle of toasted pine nuts, this is a dinner that’s awesome when you’re dining solo yet good enough to serve guests.

One pot of deliciousness coming right up. A simple peanut sauce with soy sauce and sriracha, chicken, and chopped peanuts, this noodle bowl is comfort food at its finest. Feel free to add sauteed veggies like mushrooms, broccoli, and peppers for added flavor.

No need to call in an entire sushi order just to get a bowl of miso soup. With just five ingredients, you can make it right at home in five minutes—seriously. Plus, it’s easily made vegan by subbing mushroom broth for Dashi.

Remember how good plain buttered noodles were when you were a kid? It’s time for an adult version. Angel hair is the perfect pasta, since it cooks up super fast. Add in sautéed spinach, grated Parmesan cheese, and freshly ground salt and pepper—tastes just as good as the simple pasta of your youth.

Veggies

Keep on walking past the frozen food aisle: You can make your own veggie patties with only five ingredients, thank you very much. Eat them as burgers, load them into a wrap, or crumble them into a salad topping. So versatile, and so tasty.

If you’re craving pizza every night, change up the flavor instead of ordering another takeout pie. In this recipe, portobella mushroom caps serve as your “dough.” Pile on all the sauce and cheese you can eat, and add pepperoni and veggies too.

This pumpkin-based soup has all the flavors of your favorite Thai curry, but is easily prepared at home. Add your favorite protein, such as shrimp, chicken, or tofu, to make it a full meal.

Tired of your usual chili recipe? Try this vegetarian version. Smoky and sweet, it’s ready in under an hour (no more waiting all day for this dish). Serve with lots of extra toppings, like guacamole, sour cream, and cilantro. Pro tip: Freeze individual servings for a ready-made dinner or lunch.

Seafood

If you’re nervous about cooking fish, this recipe will ease your fears. Simply brush grainy mustard over superfood salmon, then give it a quick pan sear. Coat with honey mustard, then transfer the fish to the oven. This sweet-and-spicy dish is delicious over a salad or with your favorite greens and brown rice.

Coconut milk and curry paste create a creamy, spicy sauce sans dairy in this super-fast dish. Finish it off with lots of freshly chopped cilantro (or parsley, if you’re one of those folks who can’t stand cilantro!).

Spicy, garlicky, lemony, this shrimp is begging to be part of your next summer dinner. Plus, it’s gluten-free and Paleo-friendly. Serve with French bread (to soak up all that tasty sauce if you’re not Paleo) and a side salad.

Packed with healthy fats, this almond-crusted fish cooks in just five minutes. With every bite of this rich and crispy dish, former fish-haters will regret all they’ve been missing.

Sauté onions, tomatoes, and capers; then add in your favorite boneless, skinless fish. Toss it into the oven and bake until tender and flakey. The best part? This bad boy is ready in less than 30 minutes.

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