7 Five-Ingredient Recipes That Make Meals Easy

Meal prep for an hour or two on weekends and reap the rewards all week. That’s the idea, at least—if you can find the right recipes. To help, I’ve rounded up seven simple five-ingredient recipes to make your next meal prep quick and easy. The best part? You can prepare all of them in 20 minutes or less, and some in less than 10 minutes.

This simple five-ingredient pasta dish takes only five minutes to prepare and includes fresh salmon for an extra bit of protein. Simply boil the bucatini pasta, brown the salmon and red onion, and heat the pasta sauce in a separate pan. Combine all the ingredients when they’re ready, and toss to evenly coat the pasta.

Who says ham is only for special occasions? This simple recipe has just five ingredients and takes only 10 minutes to prepare. It may be quick and easy, but it doesn’t lack flavor. Combine peach preserves, maple syrup and grainy mustard in a bowl, and whisk until everything is combined. Save half the mixture for glazing, and coat the ham with the rest. Glaze the ham every 30 minutes until it’s cooked.

It doesn’t get much easier than this five-ingredient pork chop recipe by Kerrylow on Food52. Season the pork well and grill it on both sides, browning and cooking it through. Prep the balsamic plum reduction while the pork chops are on the grill. Combine the balsamic and plums in a pan, and simmer until the balsamic is reduced by half. When the pork chops are ready, top them with the reduction and enjoy.

Fresh summer squash pizza with just five ingredients? Yes, please. This recipe was adapted by Genius Recipes from Jim Lahey at Sullivan Street Bakery. You can make the basic pizza dough in the recipe or substitute your favorite dough, and the rest is pretty straightforward. Simply grate the zucchini, combine it with salt and gruyere cheese and coat the dough evenly. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, and you’re done.

Steak and asparagus were meant for each other—and they can go on the grill side by side, making this the easiest meal on the list. ButcherBox ships fresh grass-fed and grass-finished beef, heritage pork, and organic, free-range chicken straight to your door. Order a few steaks for delivery and pick up some fresh asparagus from your local grocery store. Season the steak appropriately, and let it come to near room temperature as you fire up the grill. Coat the asparagus in olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Grill to your favorite temperature, and you have a quick and easy meal in less than 30 minutes.

This simple recipe from Fulton Fish Market involves tossing large scallops in garlic, thyme, olive oil and lemon juice, and then placing them in an air fryer for a perfect cook. Air fryers are game changers in the kitchen. They’ve gone beyond a fad to become a staple in many kitchens. I make shrimp in an air fryer, as well, and no method has ever been better. If you’re looking for a great entry-level air fryer, the PowerXL Vortex Air Fryer at Kohl’s is a good pick.

One-Pot, Five-Ingredient Sweet Potato Hash

This fantastic five-ingredient recipe is perfect for meal prep, since it’s a true one-pot meal. Start with a little olive oil in a large pot. Toss in the onions and poblanos, and cook until lightly browned. Add the ground beef and chop it up, browning it. Finally, add the diced sweet potatoes and cook until they soften but are still firm. I season it with only salt and pepper, but you can add spices to your liking.



  • 4 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into medium chunks
  • 1 pound 80/20 ground beef
  • 2 poblano peppers, diced
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Some of the recipes above come from Rakuten partners such as Safeway, Food52 and Fulton Fish Market. If you shop at any of them in store or online as a Rakuten member, you’ll be on your way to earning Cash Back. Haven’t joined yet? It’s simple and takes only a couple minutes. Sign up here.

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