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Cook's Country
Great-Tasting Recipes That Use 5 or Fewer Ingredients
You don’t need a lot of ingredients to make a delicious dish.
03-19-2020
Danielle Lapierre

We know that when groceries are running low, it’s easy to run out of ideas for a good-tasting recipe with what you have on hand. We already took on recipes with 10 or fewer ingredients, but with grocery stores limiting their hours and people making fewer trips out, we thought we’d dip into our recipe archives and make a collection of great-tasting, substantial recipes that call for only five ingredients or fewer. (OK, we didn’t count salt, pepper, or oils. We know our limits.)

These minimal-ingredient recipes will please everyone in your home and allow you to make lunches, dinner, and dessert. They prove you don’t need a lot of ingredients to make a great-tasting dish.

25 Recipes that Use 5 or Fewer Ingredients

Check out more recipes with some ingredients you probably already have.

From left: Buttered Spaetzle, Twice-Baked Potatoes with Bacon and Cheddar Cheese

1. Garlicky White Beans with Sage

This simple and easy side dish is packed with flavor. Toasting the garlic in olive oil helped infuse the beans with its sweet flavor, and adding in sage gave the dish some complexity. You could make it a meal by topping it with a sixth ingredient: a soft-cooked egg. [GET THE RECIPE]

What You’ll Need:
1½ tablespoons table salt
1 pound dried or 2 (15-ounce) cans cannellini beans
1 tablespoon plus ¼ teaspoon table salt
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, sliced thin
6 fresh sage leaves
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

2. Buttered Spaetzle

This German noodle dish is another perfect side. It’s chewy, starchy, and buttery, but it’s also not too heavy. Plus, it’s just fun to make. [GET THE RECIPE]

What You’ll Need: 
2 cups all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon table salt, plus salt for cooking spaetzle
½ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¾ cup whole milk
3 large eggs
1 (13 by 9-inch) disposable aluminum pan
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

3. One-Pan Roast Chicken and Potatoes

There’s a lot of recipes that sacrifice taste for convenience. However, in this one-pan meal, you can have both. This dish has minimal ingredients, but the ingredients it does have make it truly special. [GET THE RECIPE]

What You’ll Need: 
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
1½ teaspoons smoked paprika
1½ teaspoons grated lemon zest, plus lemon wedges for serving

Salt and pepper
1 (4-pound) whole chicken
2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes

4. Twice-Baked Potatoes with Bacon and Cheddar Cheese

Everyone loves a baked potato, especially one that is loaded with great toppings like bacon and cheddar. Baking these potatoes twice gives them crispy and sturdy skins with a spectacularly fluffy filling. We managed to make the potatoes even crispier by dunking them in a salt water solution before baking, to ensure the skin crisped up the way we wanted. [GET THE RECIPE]

What You'll Need: 
4 (8- to 10-ounce) russet potatoes
¼ teaspoon table salt
4 slices bacon
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
¼ cup sour cream
¼ teaspoon pepper
3 ounces sharp cheddar cheese
4 scallions

5. Buckeye Candies

One of the world’s best flavor combinations is chocolate and peanut butter. These Ohio classics take these two ingredients to the next level and create a little treat that isn’t overly sweet, but still satisfying as a dessert. They’re also fun to make. [GET THE RECIPE]

What You’ll Need: 
1 cup creamy peanut butter
8 tablespoons unsalted butter
¼ teaspoon table salt
2½ cups (10 ounces) confectioners' sugar
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate