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60 Simple Meal Ideas with 5-Ingredients (or Less!)

Dinner doesn't have to be a hassle. With just 5 ingredients you can put these simple meal ideas together and get a delicious dish on the table.

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Buffalo Chicken Sliders Exps Tohfm20 186279 E09 20 3b 14

Buffalo Chicken Sliders

I got the idea for these Buffalo chicken sliders from my mom and dad, who'd made a similar version for a family get-together. It's a versatile recipe, and I sometimes use several different styles of Buffalo sauce and let guests mix and match their favorites. —Christina Addison, Blanchester, Ohio
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One Pot Mac And Cheese Exps Ft19 197484 F 1213 1 12

One-Pot Mac and Cheese

Who likes cleaning up after making mac and cheese? Not this girl. This one-pot mac and cheese is a family favorite, and my 3-year-old is thrilled to see it coming to the dinner table. We love to add sliced smoked sausage to this creamy mac recipe! —Ashley Lecker, Green Bay, Wisconsin
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Shrimp Pasta Alfredo

My son loves any recipe with Alfredo sauce. As a bachelor, shrimp pasta was one of the first recipes he learned to prepare. Now his children ask for it regularly. Gail Lucas, Olive Branch, Mississippi
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Easy Marinated Grilled Flank Steak Exps Fttmz19 32073 C03 05 5b Rms 5

Easy Marinated Grilled Flank Steak

Friends shared this three-ingredient marinade years ago, and it’s been a favorite since. Serve the steak with salad and grilled potatoes for a quick meal. —Beverly Dietz, Surprise, Arizona
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Chicken With Rosemary Butter Sauce Exps Ft20 44349 F 0123 1 6

Chicken with Rosemary Butter Sauce

This elegant rosemary chicken requires minimal effort but will win you major compliments. You'll love the mellow sauce! —Connie McDowell, Greenwood, Delaware
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Breaded Pork Chops Exps Ft19 73 F 0820 1 7

Breaded Pork Chops

These traditional pork chops have a wonderful home-cooked flavor like the ones Mom used to make. The breading makes them crispy outside and tender and juicy inside. Why not treat your family to some breaded pork chops tonight? —Deborah Amrine, Grand Haven, Michigan
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Tasty Onion Chicken

The secret to this French onion chicken is the yummy, crunchy coating that keeps the meat juicy and tender. Round out your meal with green beans and buttermilk biscuits. —Jennifer Hoeft, Thorndale, Texas
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Fast Baked Fish Exps Diyd20 9049 B01 16 1b 2

Fast Baked Fish

We always have a good supply of fresh fish, so I make fish recipes often. This recipe is my favorite because it is moist, tender and flavorful. —Judie Anglen, Riverton, Wyoming
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Taco Pizza Squares Exps Bfbz19 17840 E01 18 2b 4

Taco Pizza Squares

Everyone will come running the minute you take this fun twist on pizza out of the oven. I top convenient refrigerated pizza dough with leftover taco meat, tomatoes and cheese, bringing a full-flavored fiesta to the table in under half an hour. —Sarah Vovos, Middleton, Wisconsin.
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Fruited Pot Roast

This is a wonderful variation of classic pot roast. My family really enjoys it. The fruit is a nice change from the usual vegetables that normally accompany this dish.—Linda South, Pineville, North Carolina
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Crispy Dill Tilapia Exps Sdam18 165650 B12 01 5b 13

Crispy Dill Tilapia

Every week I try to serve a new healthy fish. With its fresh dill and delicious panko bread crumb herb crust, this dish with mild tilapia is a winner. —Tamara Huron, New Market, Alabama
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Nutty Cheese Tortellini

I like to plant Italian flat-leaf parsley in a long terra-cotta planter so I always have some on hand. It adds bright, fresh flavor to this pasta dish. —Barbara Penatzer, Vestal, New York
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Orange Pomegranate Salmon

Orange Pomegranate Salmon

A colorful, festive salmon dish makes an impressive addition to your holiday table—and it is as delicious as it is beautiful. What will no one guess? How easy it is to cook. I serve this with roasted baby potatoes and asparagus for a showstopping meal that is wonderful for special occasions. —Thomas Faglon, Somerset, New Jersey
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Artichoke Chicken Pesto Pizza Exps Sdam19 23872 E12 07 5b 1

Artichoke Chicken Pesto Pizza

Make pizza night an upscale affair with this fun twist on the traditional pie. A prebaked crust and prepared pesto keep things quick and easy. —Trisha Kruse, Eagle, Idaho
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Peppered Pork With Mushroom Sauce Exps Sdam19 175721 C12 07 4b 7

Peppered Pork with Mushroom Sauce

Using preseasoned pork tenderloin gives us flavorful, quick and satisfying meals without a big mess or leftovers. I have used all flavors of pork tenderloin for this recipe. Making the sauce doesn't take much extra time and results are well worth it. —Jolene Roszel, Helena, Montana
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Sausage And Sauerkraut Exps Sddj19 27758 B07 17 1b 9

Sausage and Sauerkraut

I created this tasty, quick and easy sauerkraut and sausage dish so I can throw it together in no time on those extra-busy nights. — Mary Lyon, Spotsylvania, Virginia
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Sausage Hash Exps Bmz19 8404 C11 30 6b 11

Sausage Hash

We always have plenty of pork sausage around, so when I need a quick supper, I use this handy recipe. The colorful vegetables give the hash a bold look to match its flavor. —Virginia Krites, Cridersville, Ohio
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Black Bean And Beef Tostadas Exps Sdam18 55709 C12 01 3b 1

Black Bean and Beef Tostadas

You only need a handful of ingredients to make one of our family’s favorites. It's also easy to double for company! —Susan Brown, Kansas City, Kansas
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Herbed Pork Chops

Herbs are a fast and flavorful way to dress up pork. Plus, they make the chops look so pretty on a platter. I prepare these year-round as a way to capture the taste of summer. —Dianne Esposite, New Middletown, Ohio
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Ravioli Lasagna Exps Ahmrds18 18274 C05 01 2b 6

Ravioli Lasagna

When you taste this casserole, you'll think it came from a complicated, from-scratch recipe. Really, though, it starts with frozen ravioli and has only three other ingredients. —Patricia Smith, Asheboro, North Carolina
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Grilled Maple Pork Chops Exps Fttmz19 113362 C03 05 4b Rms 5

Grilled Maple Pork Chops

Pork chops on the grill are hard to beat. The marinade is simple, and so good. —Nicholas King, Duluth, Minnesota
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Tangy Beef Turnovers Exps Sdjj19 11821 B02 07 6b 4

Tangy Beef Turnovers

My mom's recipe for these flavorful pockets called for dough to be made from scratch, but I streamlined it by using crescent rolls. My children love them plain or dipped in ketchup — mustard works, too. —Claudia Bodeker, Ash Flat, Arkansas
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Chicken Cordon Bleu In Pastry Exps Sddj19 29991 B07 13 10b 5

Chicken Cordon Bleu in Pastry

Baking chicken breasts in a flaky dough makes them turn out moist and delicious every time. This fancy dish is nice to serve family as well as guests.
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Cranberry Maple Chicken Exps Sddj19 32962 C07 13 6b 9

Cranberry Maple Chicken

Cranberries and a hint of maple syrup make a sweet sauce for these easy chicken breast halves. They’re a quick but lovely main course for weeknights and other occasions. –Kim Pettipas of Oromocto, New Brunswick
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Parmesan Chicken Breast Exps Sddj19 3018 E07 13 3b 2 38

Buttery Parmesan Chicken

A rich, cheesy breading locks in this chicken's natural juices, making it moist and tempting every time. Because it can be made in advance, I rely on it often during the week and when entertaining. —Kathie Landmann, Lexington Park, Maryland
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Garlic Herbed Grilled Tuna Steaks Exps Diyd19 44354 B04 24 1b 7

Garlic Herbed Grilled Tuna Steaks

Grilled tuna steak recipes aren't limited to restaurants. After enjoying yellowfin tuna in southwest Florida, I came up with this recipe so I could enjoy the flavor of my favorite fish at home. —Jan Huntington, Painesville, Ohio
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Apricot Orange Salsa Chicken Exps Cf219 40412 B12 13 4b 3

Apricot-Orange Salsa Chicken

Sweet oranges and apricots blend perfectly with zippy salsa in this five-ingredient entree. Keep the heat to your liking with mild, medium or hot salsa. Served over rice, it's a dinner we've enjoyed time and again. —LaDonna Reed, Ponca City, Oklahoma
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Cheeseburger N Fries Casserole Exps 13x9bz19 7899 E10 05 6b 2

Cheeseburger and Fries Casserole

Kids love this casserole because it combines two of their favorite fast foods. And I like the fact that I can whip it up with just four ingredients. —Karen Owen, Rising Sun, Indiana
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Beef in Mushroom Gravy

Reports Margery Bryan of Royal City, Washington, "This is one of the best and easiest meals I've ever made. It has only four ingredients, and they all go into the pot at once. The meat is nicely seasoned and makes its own gravy-it tastes wonderful when you serve it over mashed potatoes."
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Skillet Mac Cheese Exps Toh5icfrtl21 27614 E07 15 3b

Skillet Mac & Cheese

This creamy mac and cheese is so simple it’s almost too easy! Kids always go for the rich cheese flavor, but I’ve never met an adult who didn’t love it just as much. —Ann Bowers, Rockport, Texas
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Fiesta Ravioli

I adapted this recipe to suit our taste for spicy food. The ravioli taste like mini enchiladas. I serve them with a Mexican-inspired salad and pineapple sherbet for dessert. —Debbie Purdue, Freeland, Michigan
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Bbq Meat Loaf Minis Exps Cwas18 53418 B04 05  2b 6

BBQ Meat Loaf Minis

Kids can have fun helping to prepare these mini meat loaves in muffin cups. For extra spice, we sometimes add 2 teaspoons chili powder and 1 cup of salsa. —Linda Call, Falun, Kansas
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Saucy Grilled Pork Chops Exps Sdam19 92782 E12 11 4b 3

Saucy Grilled Pork Chops

My mamaw in Kentucky used this "dip," as she called it, on many grilled meats including chicken and steak. —Misty Schneider, Bayport, Minnesota
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Pressure Cooked Mesquite Ribs Exps Sdfm17 206333 B10 05 3b 2

Pressure-Cooked Mesquite Ribs

When we're missing the grill during winter, these tangy ribs give us that same smoky barbecue taste we love. They're so simple, and fall-off-the-bone delicious, too! —Sue Evans, Marquette, Michigan
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Bacon Cheeseburger Pasta Exps Gbbz19 12349 C11 08 6b 2

Bacon Cheeseburger Pasta

I try to make foods that are not only kid friendly, but are also easy to reheat since my husband works long hours and often eats later than our children. If you like, use reduced-fat cheese and ground turkey for a lighter version. —Melissa Stevens, Elk River, Minnesota
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Pork Chops With Dijon Sauce Exps Sdon18 31894 C06 15 5b 11

Pork Chops with Dijon Sauce

Here's a main course that tastes rich yet isn't high in saturated fat. It's easy for weeknights, but the creamy sauce makes it special enough for weekends. —Bonnie Brown-Watson, Houston, Texas
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Quick Tater Tot Bake Exps Diyd19 4289 B06 25 2b 3

Quick Tater Tots Bake

I like to make this Tater Tot casserole when time before supper is short. If we have unexpected company, I just double the ingredients and use a 13x9-in. pan. I call it my Please Stay Casserole! —Jean Ferguson, Elverta, California
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Easy Slow Cooked Swiss Steak Exps Cf2bz19 31586 E12 14 3b 4

Easy Slow-Cooked Swiss Steak

I let my slow cooker simmer up this fuss-free and flavorful Swiss steak. Perfect for busy spring days…the longer it cooks, the better it tastes! —Sarah Burks, Wathena, Kansas
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Sunday S Best Chicken Exps Ghtjm17 42200 D03 22 15b 4

Sunday's Best Chicken

I am the busy mom of four and a nursing student, so weeknight dinners are often rushed. Sunday dinners are very important to our family and everyone loves when I make this old-fashioned chicken recipe. It's the best chicken recipe there is!—Amy Jenkins, Mesa, Arizona
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Maple Pork Ribs Exps Cf2bz19 38781 C12 18 2b 13

Maple Pork Ribs

A luscious maple-mustard sauce will take your next plate of ribs to a new level. —Phyllis Schmalz, Kansas City, Kansas
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Grilled Peppered Steaks Exps Sdjj19 23980 B02 07 3b 2

Grilled Peppered Steaks

I once wanted a peppered steak for supper, so I tossed some spices together and came up with this recipe. My family thoroughly enjoyed it.—Stephanie Moon, Boise, Idaho.
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Salmon with Honey Pecan Sauce

I love the explosion of sweet and buttery flavors in every bit of this salmon dinner. —Alice Stanko, Warren, Michigan
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Basil Butter Steaks With Roasted Potatoes Exps Cismz19 119908 E01 03 4b 8

Basil-Butter Steaks with Roasted Potatoes

A few ingredients and 30 minutes are all you’ll need for this incredibly satisfying meal. A simple basil butter gives these steaks a very special taste. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Aloha Pizza Exps Sdjj18 54221 B02 08 6b 6

Aloha Pizza

This pizza came together on the fly. I had to take something to a gathering, but had no time to shop. I raided the fridge for inspiration and discovered this happy combo. —Wendy Huffman, Bloomington, Illinois
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Green Chili Posole Exps Thedsc19 197423 B02 08 1b 3

Green Chile Posole

This recipe combines parts of my nanny’s and my mother’s recipes that I learned when I was very young. An optional sprinkling of queso fresco over the top is an absolute delight in my opinion. —Jaime Love, Las Vegas, Nevada
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Maple Mustard Chicken Exps Hscbz19 43591 E07 12 6b 5

Maple Mustard Chicken

My husband loves this chicken dish. It calls for only five ingredients, and we try to have them all on hand for a delicious and cozy dinner anytime. —Jennifer Seidel, Midland, Michigan
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Curry Shrimp Linguine Exps Sdon18 44358 B06 15 4b 5

Curry Shrimp Linguine

Curry, cilantro and coconut milk make this dish an exciting change of pace. It's also good with Thai rice noodles or spaghetti. —Jana Rippee, Casa Grande, Arizona
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Mediterranean Tilapia

I recently became a fan of tilapia. The mild taste makes it easy to top with our favorite ingredients. And it’s low in calories and fat. What’s not to love? —Robin Brenneman, Hilliard, Ohio
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Chicken Vegetable Curry Couscous Exps Opbz18 143569 E06 27 3b 9

Chicken & Vegetable Curry Couscous

For my busy family, a partly homemade one-pot meal is the best way to get dinner done in a hurry. Use your favorite blend of frozen veggies and serve with toasted pita bread for smiles all around. —Elizabeth Hokanson, Arborg, Manitoba
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Heart's Desire Pizza

Sweethearts of all ages will have a delightful time sprinkling these fun personal heart pizzas with whatever tasty toppings they love most. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Ham Spinach Casserole Exps Bfcbbz19 45173 E01 11 2b 7

Ham & Spinach Casserole

This is down-home cooking at its best! Ham and veggies join forces with a creamy sauce and pretty topping to create a hearty meal-in-one. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Sausage Florentine Shepherd S Pie Exps Thca18 73061 C01 11 3b 2

Sausage Florentine Shepherd’s Pie

In this Italian take on traditional shepherd’s pie, sausage takes the place of ground beef (or lamb), and spinach replaces the green veggies. Zesty tomatoes, Italian cheese blend and garlicky mashed potatoes make this dish incredibly long on flavor, even though the ingredient list is short. —Leah Lyon, Ada, Oklahoma
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Saucy Raspberry Chicken Exps Sscbz18 68720 C08 28 8b 5

Saucy Raspberry Chicken

I first had this as a teenage babysitter, when the children’s mom prepared it for us to eat while she was out. The kids loved it, and so did I! Now I make it for my own kids.
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Pressure Cooker Carolina Style Vinegar Bbq Chicken Exps206286 Esc143234b04 15 2b Rms 3

Pressure-Cooker Carolina-Style Vinegar BBQ Chicken

I live in Georgia but I appreciate the tangy, sweet and slightly spicy taste of Carolina vinegar chicken. —Ramona Parris, Acworth, Georgia
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Sweet And Spicy Chipotle Chicken Exps Thca18 96006 D01 11 2b 2

Sweet and Spicy Chipotle Chicken

My husband and I have created many wonderful memories by sharing this meal with our friends. In the winter, we bake it indoors; in the summer, it works well on the grill, too! Either way the chicken pretty much cooks itself, leaving you plenty of time to visit with friends and family. —Ashlie Delshad, West Lafayett, Indiana
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Asian Salmon Tacos Exps Sdam18 199145 C12 01 1b 10

Asian Salmon Tacos

This Asian/Mexican fusion dish is ready in minutes—perfect for an on-the-run-meal! If the salmon begins to stick, add 2-3 tablespoons of water and continue cooking. —Marisa Raponi, Vaughan, Ontario
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Hawaiian Pulled Pork Lettuce Wraps

We love this easy slow-cooker recipe on Sunday afternoons. It's equally comforting and light for lunch or dinner. We serve ours with sweet potato oven fries and roasted green beans. —Arlene Rakoczy, Gilbert, Arizona
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Slammin Lamb  Exps Thedsc19 204508 B02 28 3b 11

Slammin' Lamb

This meat is easy, flavorful and best when marinated overnight. You can even mix it up and freeze it until you want to throw it in the crock! Make sure you have lots of pita bread on hand to soak up the juices. —Ruth Hartunian-Alumbaugh, Willimantic, Connecticut
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Salsa Steak Garlic Toasts Exps Sdas18 214835 D03 27  2b 8

Salsa Steak Garlic Toasts

These open-faced steak sandwiches play up the popular combo of steak and garlic bread. The salsa, sour cream and garnish elevate it into quick, satisfying meal. Substitute chopped green onions or chives for the cilantro if desired. —Arlene Erlbach, Morton Grove, Illinois
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Tuscan Grapes and Sausages

Tuscan Grapes and Sausages

This recipe is one of my go-tos when entertaining. It's simple, elegant and you can entertain your guests instead of spending the entire time in the kitchen. It is always a crowd pleaser and everyone always asks for the recipe. The whole pieces of garlic in this dish become so sweet, a lovely complement to the sweet grapes and spicy sausage. I serve this over rustic hand-mashed red potatoes. —Melissa Zienter, Las Vegas, Nevada

Carolyn Lewis
Carolyn Lewis is a young writer & digital media professional who grew up in Milwaukee. She loves to read graphic novels, write poetry about nature and cook Thai food while listening to podcasts. She has always been a storyteller and animal lover, thus, she has a hamster named Hamlet.

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