The 5-Ingredient Recipes You'll Make All The Time

Let's talk honestly here for a minute, can we? Great! It's easy to get stuck in a rut. You know what we're talking about. Perhaps you got there when even dinners the whole family used to look forward to are met with sighs at worst and indifference at best. Has Taco Tuesday lost its magic? That's when you know things are pretty dire.

Life is super busy, we get it. It's easier to head to the grocery store, switch to autopilot, and pick up the same old ingredients for the same old meals. As delicious as they might be, they're just kind of the same, aren't they?

Here's where we come in. We've come up with a ton of recipes that are just what you're looking for to break up the monotony. But they're not just the sort of recipes you're going to drool over and then forget about. These are recipes you actually have a chance of making in your own kitchen because they only take five ingredients. Just five! For some, you might need to pick up one or two things at the store, but for others, we can almost guarantee you'll have everything you need right in your kitchen or pantry. So, let's mix things up! These are the 5-ingredient recipes you'll make all the time

5-ingredient Caprese salad

There's nothing like serving up an appetizer to make a meal seem extra-fancy. The next time your favorite Italian dish is on the menu, how about dressing it up with a Caprese salad? It's next to impossible to get more Italian than this tasty plate. According to The Sun, it sports a few origin stories, including one that says it was first created in the early 20th century by a patriotic Italian chef who wanted to create a dish that looked like the nation's flag.

Since then, it's become symbolic of the sunny Mediterranean lifestyle, and one recipe you can absolutely make in your own kitchen. It's a dish that proves something doesn't have to be complicated to be delicious. Just check out this 5-ingredient Caprese salad for some tips on how this classic plate all comes together.

Whether you serve it in the traditional sliced manner or dice up your five ingredients for a more salad-like look, this is a delicious, fresh dish that will add some authenticity — and valuable servings toward your five a day — to any Italian meal. This one, however, might take some planning. The fresher your tomatoes and basil are, the better the dish will taste. But, you were looking for something extra special to serve after grocery shopping anyway, right?

5-ingredient lasagna

Even if lasagna is a family favorite, there's a good chance that it doesn't make it onto the dinner table all that often. Making traditional lasagna is a multi-step process that requires a ton of ingredients, a lot of time, and even more patience. Consider all the pre-cooking, the mixing, the layering, more layering, the time in the oven. Honestly, it's the kind of meal that can give you a headache just thinking about it. That's not even counting the clean-up or potential mistakes lurking in the process.

We totally get it. We love lasagna and saving time, too, and thought, "There has got to be a better way to do this!"

After a little creative thinking outside the box (and we'll be honest, this is downright kicking the box out the window), we've absolutely cracked it. This is a delicious, hearty lasagna with all the comfort-food vibes you've come to expect, but with none of the hassle and only five ingredients. We were impressed with ourselves on this one, too! Thanks to one incredibly clever swap, our 5-ingredient lasagna takes just 5 to 10 minutes of prep time and 30 minutes in the oven in order to get a rich, delicious meal on the table that won't just fill everyone's bellies, but it'll have each person at the table asking for seconds.

5-ingredient garlic cheddar biscuits

Here's a quick question: have you ever gone to Red Lobster, dug into those delicious cheese biscuits, and then been a little disappointed when the actual meal came to the table? You're not alone. Those cheese biscuits are one of the things that we're actually going to miss when the zombie apocalypse happens and we're all forced to live on whatever we can grow or find in a tin can.

In the meantime, we have a great option for those nights when you can go for some delicious biscuits to go with your home-cooked meal. There's nothing to dislike about our 5-ingredient garlic cheddar biscuits, starting with the fact that they come together in a flash, bake in just 12 minutes, and are so easy to make that they can definitely be a last-minute addition to the meal. They can even be something you throw together while you're waiting for other things to cook. 

There's a bit of a pro-tip to share regarding this one, too. One of the ingredients it calls for is buttermilk, and that's which is one ingredient that many people just don't keep in their fridges. How often do you really use buttermilk, after all? This brings us to our tip: pick up a container of shelf-stable, powdered buttermilk, transfer it to an airtight container, and pop it in your cupboards. It'll come in handy, especially for some of these nifty 3-ingredient recipes we've also whipped up!

5-ingredient cheesecake

If baking is a science, then making a cheesecake is rocket science with a side of theoretical physics. Even the most tried-and-true recipes have the chance of going horribly wrong, and if there's anything that can make you want to toss an entire dish straight out the window it's a cheesecake that's cracked, caved in, or both.

That means for a lot of us, cheesecake is a treat we pick up by the slice at the store, or when we're out at a restaurant. It doesn't have to be that way, though, because we've come up with a 5-ingredient cheesecake recipe that is a heck of a lot easier than you're probably expecting a cheesecake recipe to be.

This recipe will still take you around an hour from start to finish, which is a little longer than most of the 5-ingredient recipes we have for you. But this is cheesecake, after all, and we can promise you it's worth every minute of prep and cook time. Plus? Just think of how impressed everyone will be the next time you bring this to a dinner party.

5-ingredient vegan risotto

Hold on, wait just a minute! Before you scroll on past "vegan" and "risotto," let's talk. We'll start with a promise that even people who are total carnivores will love this rich, classically Italian dish, whether it's the main course or a side. Risotto is one of those foods that has a reputation for being difficult. We can probably blame chef Gordon Ramsay and his invective-laced rants for that particular reputation. How many times have we heard him shouting at some poor, clueless, Hell's Kitchen chef for screwing up the risotto? That's intimidating!

Trust us when we say that risotto's reputation is just going to make it all the more impressive when you serve it up. The trick to all risotto, including our 5-ingredient vegan version, is adding the vegetable stock slowly and continuously stirring everything in order to get it all incorporated and cooked through properly. It's not something that you can walk away from — in fact, it's precisely the opposite — and it's definitely a "no pain, no gain," sort of dish.

There is a footnote to this that might just make it additionally appealing. Once you go through all the hard work once, you can keep the leftovers in the fridge for up to five days. That means you can opt for risotto as the main course of a meal for Meatless Monday, then use up the leftovers as a side around Thursday. Just reheat in a skillet, and that's your side sorted!

5-ingredient Buffalo chicken dip

Whether you're looking to make something fun and different for the big game, the board game, for book club, the kids hanging out in the treehouse, or just for sitting on the couch and bringing your new favorite series on Netflix, a dip is always a win. Sure, there are the old, trusty standbys like French onion and ranch, but sometimes you just want something different.

For that, let's look to Buffalo, New York, specifically to the flavor that made Buffalo wings a nationwide favorite. Just how popular are they? The National Chicken Council says that during Super Bowl weekends, Americans eat more than 1.3 billion chicken wings. That's enough to circle the globe three times if they were put end-to-end.

That should give you some idea of just how popular our super easy, 5-ingredient buffalo chicken dip will be, too! With just five simple ingredients, we've captured the spirit of Buffalo wings. There's the chicken, of course, with the unmistakable heat of hot wing sauce, and the tang of blue cheese. It's a combination that makes you believe in magic. And don't worry if blue cheese isn't your thing, as we have some tips on a few substitutions you can make. Just don't tell your friendly neighborhood Buffalonian.

5-ingredient chili

There's nothing quite like walking in from the cold to the smell of a giant pot of chili bubbling away on the stove. It's one of the ultimate comfort foods, and it seems like everyone has their tried-and-true recipe. Sometimes, it's passed down through the generations and involves the kind of family lore where at least one person was sworn to secrecy. Everyone abides by that, lest they meet the fate of the last person who shared the recipe, and brought an ancient curse down upon their children. 

We may have been watching too many cheesy horror movies, but the principle is sound: people take their chili seriously, secret ingredients and all. 

While it's nice to put a pot on the back burner for a long, all-day cook, sometimes you just want to come home, throw something together, and get all the warm, comfort food feels of chili without all that work. That's why we decided to streamline one of our favorite chili recipes into a 5-ingredient chili that's ready in just half an hour. It's long enough to fill the kitchen with all those delicious smells, but quick enough to make on a busy weeknight. There's also enough wiggle room here that you can customize a few things for what you have handy. If there's one thing we love more than a recipe that's quick, easy, and tasty, it's one that's quick, easy, tasty, and versatile.

5-ingredient pumpkin pie

Pumpkin spice gets a lot of hate, but here's the thing: it's still insanely popular, especially when it's packaged up in pie form. According to Hausch & Company, Americans eat a whopping 50 million pumpkin pies every year just for Thanksgiving. That's a lot of pie!

While some of us get our pumpkin pie fix on the big day and then we're good for another year, what if you're still craving that smooth, pumpkin flavor even in the middle of January? Good news: we've come up with a pumpkin pie recipe that calls for just five ingredients. Surprisingly, one of them is not the pre-spiced pumpkin pie mix that you might usually reach for when you're whipping up a pumpkin pie. Shocked? We sort of were, too, but we found that opting for pure, no-added-ingredients pumpkin puree did a few things, including giving you more control over the final product.

It's still super easy and comes together with just about five minutes of prep time and an hour in the oven. That's not bad for hooking your taste buds up with some sweet, sweet pumpkin pie off-season, right?

5-ingredient edible cookie dough

Being a kid is rough. There are the pressures of school, hurried along by the idea that you need to do and be the best in order to make the most of your future. Then, there are things like bullies, bedtimes, and the near impossibility of getting up in time to make it to class. Come to think of it, that's pretty much the same as being an adult, with work instead of school.

Fortunately, childhood and adulthood have something else in common: cookie dough. The prospect of freshly baked cookies is okay, but there's something delicious about the forbidden treat of raw cookie dough. Does it have something to do with the fact that it comes with a healthy helping of danger? The next mouthful might be the one that comes with a side of food poisoning, but oh, the good old days when we were invincible and just didn't care. 

Today, we're a little smarter, but we still love cookie dough. That's where our 5-ingredient edible cookie dough recipe comes in. It's meant to be eaten as nature intended: raw and right out of the bowl. We've gotten rid of the ingredients included in most cookie doughs that can cause some serious food poisoning, and we've kept all the sweet, chocolatey goodness. That means this is still a guilty pleasure without the element of danger and gastrointestinal surprise.

5-ingredient roasted butternut squash

Some vegetables are easy. You know exactly what to do with corn, and when you dig out that bag of broccoli and cauliflower, you know what to do with those, too. Even getting fresh heads of cabbage at the store isn't much of a mystery.

Butternut squash, though? Do you peel it? Cut it? Save the seeds? No? Steam it, roast it, eat it raw? (Don't eat it raw.)

For the ultra-lost amongst us, we're here with a super simple recipe for butternut squash that isn't just going to give you some simple guidelines for creating a delicious side to go with any meal you whip up in the autumn. It'll also add a little variety to your vegetable options. 

Getting our veggies is even more difficult if there are kids to please because let's face it, veggies can be kind of bland, especially when you're 7 years old. If you're having trouble getting Junior to open up to the possibility of vegetables being tasty, give this roasted butternut squash a try. It's not just bright and colorful, but it's got a delicious sweetness that just might appeal to the palate of the pickiest little eater at the table.

5-ingredient chicken salad

How long has it been since you've made yourself a good chicken salad sandwich? If it's been a while, we have the perfect 5-ingredient recipe to put this on your radar for lunch and dinner.

The lowly chicken salad for dinner? Absolutely. Next time you're at the grocery store or bakery, pick up a really nice loaf of bread. You know the kind. Imagine the sort of bread that would look at home on the counter in the background of a French movie scene. The kind of bread that people carry home in paper bags on their bicycles.

After you've procured your camera-ready bread, just whip up this super easy chicken salad, make some massive sandwiches, add a side of chips, and you're done! Do you know those hot summer days when you just don't feel like standing over a hot stove or firing up the oven? Those are the days this sandwich is literally made for. 

There are two other things we need to tell you about. First, you can upgrade this basic recipe in any number of ways, by adding things like dried cranberries, radishes, chopped nuts, or even a touch of pickle juice. Secondly, this is a great way to use up any leftover chicken. Planning your meals to minimize waste is a necessity when it comes to stretching your food budget, and the fact that the basis of this meal can be leftovers is a win for us.

Ham and cheese cloud eggs

"Cloud eggs" sound like something super trendy people eat at brunch, but don't worry if you don't feel like you're part of the uber-hip brunch set. (Do people say "hip" anymore? If not, they should.) The only requirement for serving up a breakfast of delicious, cheesy cloud eggs is that you like eggs, cheese, and ham. Honestly, that last one isn't even a requirement, because you can opt for swapping in something else you prefer, like chorizo or sausage.

It's easier than you think, too. With our 5-ingredient ham and cheese cloud eggs recipe, we'll show you just how to make these very easy (yet oh-so-Instagrammable) eggs. It comes together in a breakfast that feels like it's the stuff of a lazy weekend, but is honestly fast enough to get a weekday off to a running start. While you're only going to technically need just a couple of ingredients, we'll tell you right up front that you may want to add more. Why? Because this recipe is ripe for customization. There's plenty of wiggle room to make this just what your palate desires. If that includes a Bloody Mary or a Bellini, well, we're not going to judge. We will, however, join you.