Two bowls of cauliflower soup with roast cauliflower florets

5-ingredient dinners

Cook your way through a busy week with our easy, affordable dinners. You only need to shop for five ingredients with each of these flavourful recipes.

If you’re short on time, or just want new ideas for simple dinners without the need for a long shopping list and complicated instructions, then you’ll want to check out these recipes. Each one only uses five key ingredients alongside a few storecupboard basics, and as well as being budget-friendly, the dishes are easy to make and wholesome, too. Let us help you plan the week ahead to save you stress and introduce a bit of variety to your cooking repertoire.

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1. White fish with sesame noodles

In only 20 minutes, you could be tucking into a fresh and flavourful plate of seabass. Serve the fish fillet on a bed of noodles and spinach, then finish with a splash of Asian-style dressing and a sprinkling of sesame seeds for umami greatness.

White fish with sesame noodles

2. Red pepper linguine


Sometimes you just can’t beat a simple pasta and sauce dish for a comforting, speedy supper to feed one. Coat the linguine in a roasted red pepper sauce and sprinkle with toasted walnuts and parmesan for a satisfyingly crunchy topping.

Red pepper linguine

3. Curried cauliflower & lentil soup

Miserable, chilly evenings can be cheered up with a warming, aromatic soup. This smooth, gently spiced blend of cauliflower and lentils is simple to make for a healthy dinner, and you can always save a bit for lunch the next day. Garnish with roasted cauliflower florets and fennel seeds.

Curried cauliflower & lentil soup

4. Smoked mackerel & leek hash with horseradish


Satisfy your hunger with a hearty potato, smoked mackerel and leek fry-up. The beauty of this dish is that you can cook everything together and just crack in the eggs towards the end. Rustle up this one-pan wonder in just half-an-hour and tuck in.

Smoked mackerel & leek hash with horseradish

5. Garlic chicken parcels

If you love chicken Kiev but want to mix it up a bit, then our garlic chicken parcels are a simple and tasty alternative. Combine succulent chicken breast with garlic & herb cream cheese for a dreamy centre. Wrap the chicken in gorgeously buttery puff pastry and there you have the makings of a Friday night supper special.

Garlic chicken parcels 

6. Chorizo & pea risotto

Put the contents of your storecupboard and freezer to great use with this crowd-pleasing risotto dish. The beautiful flavours of smoky crisped chorizo and nutty parmesan will meld into the rice whilst peas provide little bursts of sweet freshness.

Chorizo & pea risotto

7. Squash & coconut curry

Whip up this quick, healthy vegetarian curry in only 30 minutes. Whilst butternut squash and red pepper form the bulk of it, Madras curry paste gives the dish a rich, spicy flavour and creamy coconut milk thickens the sauce. This is proof that you only need a handful of ingredients to create a truly cracking dinner – special enough for casual entertaining.

Squash & coconut curry

Enjoyed this? Get more inspiration for simple suppers…

5 ingredients, 5 healthy meals
5 ingredients or less recipes
Quick dinner ideas
Quick family meals

As many countries urge populations to stay at home, many of us are paying more attention to our diets and how the food we eat can support our health. To help sort out the fact from the fiction, BBC Future is updating some of their most popular nutrition stories from their archive.

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Do you have a go-to supper made with only a few ingredients? Leave a comment below…