Seven 5-Ingredient Dinner Recipes for Families

It doesn't get any easier than this.

Skinny Black Bean Flautas

Making weeknight dinners work can be a challenge for families. Studies show that only about 30% of families manage to eat a homecooked meal together regularly, despite the proven mental and physical health benefits of doing so. But after a busy day of school and work, finding the time and energy to cook and clean can feel impossible.

Most 5 ingredient dinner recipes use a combination of fresh, frozen, and/or cupboard goods to get the job done quickly. This means you’ll have less to deal with over the day or week for one or more meals, saving you time. Preparation time is reduced because there are fewer ingredients to deal with. 

This style of recipe features straightforward instructions and fewer cooking processes, making it suitable for beginners and time-crunched chefs. If you have fewer items on your shopping list that need to be purchased, you will be able to spend less. 5 ingredient dinner recipes are intended to save you time plus they require less time in the grocery store and in the kitchen. They are also portable so you can prepare them ahead of time or just before leaving for work/school.

Keeping a variety of new recipes in your rotation and staying on track to meet your health or weight loss goals only makes things more complicated. Not to worry–these healthy and easy 5 ingredient dinner recipes for families are the perfect way to jazz up your family meals with minimal fuss! 

Keeping a variety of new recipes in your rotation and staying on track to meet your health or weight loss goals only make things more complicated. Not to worry–these healthy and easy 5-ingredient dinner recipes for families are the perfect way to jazz up your family meals with minimal fuss!

Recipes That Save Time and Money

Savory cheese meets sweet apple in this super satisfying grilled cheese sandwich!

Recipes with only a few ingredients tend to take less time to make, which means scheduling family dinners, cooking, and cleaning time will be far easier. Since many of these recipes are one-pot or one-pan, you won’t be left with a mountain of dishes to tackle. Plus, using simple ingredients you might already have on hand (and have mastered cooking with) takes out half the guesswork of grocery shopping. Five-ingredient dinners tend to be cheaper to make than more complicated meals as well, so you’ll still get a wholesome and tasty meal without breaking your budget.

Seven 5-Ingredient Dinner Recipes for Families

There’s nothing wrong with classic quick dinners like soup, salad, sandwiches, rice & beans, or pasta with a jar of red sauce. But it’s fun to try switching things up with some more inventive meals that still call for five or fewer ingredients. This will keep your diet varied and add to your flavor rotation. Plus, these recipes are still family-friendly and likely to be a hit with kids. You might even find a new family favorite comfort food!

Below are some of our favorite easy dinner recipes with five or fewer ingredients. These quick meals require little fuss in terms of prep and cleanup, are made with simple and familiar ingredients (including some pantry staples!), and are perfect for families.

1. Cheddar and Apple Grilled Cheese

Whip this yummy sandwich up for lunch or dinner!

This Cheddar and Apple Grilled Cheese is a nostalgic childhood classic with a gourmet twist. The crunchy apples and creamy melted cheddar balance each other out perfectly (and offer a boost in vitamin B and calcium). Not to mention, these sandwiches only take about 15 minutes to whip up. Serve them alone or with a side of soup or salad!

2. Pecan Crusted Chicken

Moist chicken is surrounded by a crunchy pecan coating for a seriously mouthwatering meal.

This Pecan Crusted Chicken is packed with protein and healthy fats. It takes less than half an hour to make and is a surefire way to satisfy the whole family. Serve it on top of this Fig, grape, and spinach salad or with a starchy side like these roasted potatoes.

3. Teriyaki Shrimp Lettuce Wraps

Flavorful shrimp and bright veggies combine to create one seriously mouthwatering meal.

These Teriyaki Shrimp Lettuce Wraps are a healthy way to satisfy your craving for that sweet and sour Asian-inspired flavor. They’re a fun way to expand your kids’ palate horizons while squeezing in both protein and veggies. Plus, they’re ready in just 10 minutes with minimal cleanup!

4. Easy Chicken Pesto Pasta

This Easy Chicken Pesto Pasta is a fun and healthy alternative to the classic spaghetti dinner. A guilt-free comfort food, it’s got protein, carbs, and healthy fats–not to mention that fresh basil flavor. Use it as a quick and easy way to jazz up your next pasta night!

5. Easy Skillet Pizza

This healthy Skillet Pizza is made with a tortilla crust and simple, clean ingredients. Just cook your “dough” in a pan, add marinara, sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and your favorite healthy toppings (i.e. mushrooms, tomatoes, onions, zucchini), and you’re good to go! It’s even quicker than having a pizza delivered.

6. Skinny Black Bean Flautas

These skinny black bean flautas are so simple yet so delicious!

These Skinny Black Bean Flautas are the perfect flavor-packed vegetarian option for a school night. Packed with protein from the black beans, these healthy baked flautas are delicious with a side of salsa or guacamole. Just fill your tortillas, pop them in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, and enjoy the delicious Mexican-inspired taste!

7. One-Pan Lemon Salmon with Roasted Asparagus

This Simple One-Pan Lemon Salmon with Roasted Asparagus is an easy way to help your family get in their “brain food.” It’s quick and mess-free, and the black pepper and garlic powder complement the tangy lemon and savory fish so nicely. Just pop everything in the oven– no standing over the stove required!

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Which was your family’s favorite of these 5-ingredient recipes? Let us know below, and don’t forget to follow us on Pinterest and Instagram for more simple weeknight meals! Also, subscribe to our eNewsletter and we’ll send our latest and greatest recipes directly to your inbox!


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Erin Miller

Erin is an NASM Certified Personal Trainer and Corrective Exercise Specialist. She is also a Performance Nutrition Coach, certified through the Clean Health Fitness Institute. Some of Erin’s favorite hobbies include hiking, kayaking, and hanging out at the beach, although weight lifting is her greatest passion. She says, “Weight training is one of the most empowering things a person can do. Not just seeing, but feeling yourself transform… There’s just nothing else like it.”

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