9 Recipes to Make with 5 Ingredients or Less

Staff Writer
Easy alternatives to grilled cheese dinners when you want to keep things simple
Juice-Box Salmon
Marcus Nilsson

Juice-Box Salmon

After a long, busy day, making a complicated dinner can be the last thing you want to do —  especially if you’re really hungry. Slapping some cheese between two pieces of bread and calling it a night sounds really tempting. So does ordering take out. But we've come up with an alternative: low-maintenance dishes made with five ingredients or less*. 

Inspired by James Tanner’s new cookbook, Take 5 Ingredients, we’ve rounded up recipes from our site that also meet the same requirements. For uncomplicated weeknight meals, try some of the dishes below, and we promise that you'll be surprised by what you can accomplish with so few ingredients. (And no, they're not all pasta recipes.)


Scallops with Chorizo, Arugula, and Dill

Scallops and chorizo make a fantastic pairing and are brightened with spicy arugula and herbaceous dill. 



Juice-Box Salmon

An inventive way of using kids’ juice boxes to flavor a piece of salmon.




Braised Pork

Tender, braised meat alone makes a satisfying dinner, but this recipe also comes with clever ways to turn leftovers into two new meals.  



Herb and Mustard-Coated Lamb Rack

It’s hard to believe such a beautiful and hearty dish only uses five ingredients.




Crab Linguine with Lemon, Basil, and Chile

Light and easy-to-cook crab pairs well with summery basil to create a refreshing and filling dinner.



15-Minute Quesadillas with Homemade Salsa

If you buy store-bought salsa (or have leftovers from another night), this cheesy and gooey recipe makes a quick and easy dinner.

Easy Pan-Roasted Pork Chops

Perfect on their own or with a side of steamed greens that will still keep the dish under five ingredients.


Hanger Steak with Salsa Piccante

Chef Jonathan Waxman's recipe is packed full of flavor and still meets the under-five ingredient requirement. Impressive, right?


Easy Roast Chicken


A recipe that's simple to throw together and cook in the oven, plus any leftovers will make great sandwiches the next day.


*Note: This does not include oil, salt, and pepper.