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20 Recipes That Require 5 Ingredients Or Less

For the nights you're craving simplicity (and fewer grocery runs).
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Following closely behind the obvious questions (What can I do? How do I support those still going to work? When will this end? How do I keep my loved ones and community healthy?) are the more practical, Where do I find toilet paper? and What can I cook? In the interest of minimizing trips to the grocery store, we've rounded up 20 simple recipes that can be made at home with minimal ingredients and even less fuss: 

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Image via Bon Appetit

Image via Bon Appetit

This may be the easiest recipe of the entire list considering it only calls for the ribs themselves and some salt and pepper. Yup, that's it and nothing else! While some days call for low and slow, others warrant meat (or your protein of choice!) and some heat. These ribs would be great with a generous slather of barbecue sauce (we especially like this one), but are also extremely satisfying on their own. Extra points if you make Elote Seasoning Cornbread as well! You know what? Scrap that: Full credit for making the ribs! 

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Image via Food52

Image via Food52

A few years ago, Chef Jamie Oliver blessed the world with his cookbook, 5 Ingredients: Quick and Easy Food, forever changing the way we approach weeknight meals. Jamie, if you are reading this, we appreciate you. While any one of Jamie's expertly pared down meals could be featured on this list, we especially like the versatility of this kale pesto. Ran out of kale last night? Never purchased kale before? Use whatever leafy greens you have on hand! Not feeling creamy ricotta tonight? Finish your pasta with some extra Parm or skip it entirely! 

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my almost too easy to call it a recipe chicken wing recipe

Emily's love of G's weeknight baked chicken wings is already well documented on this blog, but, in the event that you've somehow never given the recipe a try and have a bottle of hot sauce sitting in the back of your pantry, this one is for you. The fact that these are baked, not fried, will save you the labor (and danger) of working over a vat of hot oil without sacrificing any flavor.

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It has been about a year since Jess made these chewy, five ingredient only cookies on @shopcupcakesandcashmere, and the image of her breaking open the freshly baked goodness to reveal the interior still makes us salivate. In fact, if you haven't already left this article to watch it for yourself, what are you even doing?!

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Don't be fooled, a perfect French omelet, characterized by its custardy, almost cheesy interior and spotless pale yellow color, takes real practice and skill to get down perfectly. With enough butter, though, Chef Ludo's version will taste delicious whether or not it comes out picture-perfect.

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Hearty and healthy, this vegan chili is packed with warming spices and bold flavors. If you happen to have any of the optional ingredients on hand (especially lime and cilantro for acidity and brightness, respectively), we highly recommend throwing in as many as you can to add greater depth to this one pot, super satisfying dinner. 

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Emily's first stop after landing at SFO Airport is almost always to Zuni Café for a burger, fries, and the best Bloody Mary. That said, the San Francisco classic is probably more widely known for their "Roast Chicken for Two" served with bread salad. While the bread salad certainly takes the meal up a notch (and is mostly made with ingredients you probably already have on hand), this standout chicken recipe is as delicious on its own as it is tucked into tortillas, atop salads, or thrown into soup. 

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Though this recipe calls for 5-ingredients, so long as you have green curry paste and full-fat coconut milk (the reduced fat stuff is not going to produce the same results!), you can really throw in whatever else you have on hand to make this fragrant, nourishing curry. That bag of frozen veggies taking up too much space in your already over-crowded freezer? Toss 'em in! Fully embracing your inner Alison Roman and hate sweet potatoes?! Skip. Them. Leftover Zuni roast chicken from two nights ago? You bet it belongs in this curry!

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Ever since Katie introduced us all to this "can't believe it's only three ingredients" recipe in February, dinnertime has never looked (and smelled! and tasted!) better. This decadent gnocchi dish is as delicious served alongside a green salad and protein of choice as it is with a big spoon and a pair of cozies after a long day. Treat yourself and your SO (or just yourself, who cares!?) to a well-deserved date night in this Saturday with a great bottle of wine, a Sade-heavy playlist, and this gnocchi.

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Whether you're allergic to tree nuts or just don't dig peanut butter that much, these chewy tahini oatmeal cookies are an excellent option. Featured in Food52's "Big Little Recipes" series, another handy source for simple recipes that still pack a punch, these vegan cookies would be great dunked into your morning Greek yogurt (oatmeal is a breakfast food!), or straight into some melted dark chocolate if you're into that sort of thing (which begs the question, is anybody out there not into that sort of thing?!).

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Image via Love and Lemons

Image via Love and Lemons

If you land on the other end of the spectrum, a.k.a. if you eat peanut butter by the spoonful like we do, then consider adding this vibrant, peanut sauce to your weekly rotation. It isn't an entire meal on its own (depending how you define "meal"), but we feel quite confident that this sauce will be an excellent addition to any bowl, salad, or noodle dish you make this week.

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We've reached the second half of this list...you know what the means, right?! A short math break! Solve the following equation: 
Bacon + eggs + cheese + pasta =
A) Breakfast Pasta
B) Bon Appetit's Best Carbonara
C) All of the above.
If you guessed answer choice C, you are correct!! A genius mathematical proof from Molly Baz's mouth to our ears! Extra credit opportunity: Make a few batches of these meringue mushrooms if you're unsure what to do with all of the leftover egg whites.

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Image via Mark Bittman 

Image via Mark Bittman 

Is it just us, or have the days sort of just mushed together to the point that it perpetually feels like it is Sunday at 5pm and you're sitting at home wondering where all of the hours went? The good news is that this vegetable drawer clearing frittata is appropriate for consumption at any time of day! Unsure of what to make with your recent CSA box shipment (side note: we highly recommend County Line Harvest as well as Farm Fresh to You here in L.A.)? Chop up whatever you've got to make this produce-heavy dish for breakfast, brunch, post-lunch snack time, or really any other feeding hour throughout the day!

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If there is one thing we've all learned from working at cupcakes and cashmere, it is that 99% of all baking recipes are made better if the butter is browned and there is flaky sea salt on the top. Exhibit A: Rice Krispies treats. With just a little more effort, this dessert transforms from something good to something truly great! P.S., In case you were wondering, pie and biscuit dough are the 1%. 

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Tomato-Confit-Pasta-three-ingredient-summer-pasta-cupofjo

Tomato confit is one of those things that sounds super fancy, but basically just means slow roasted tomatoes in a bit of EVOO. And since early spring isn't exactly peak tomato season, this preparation will ensure maximum flavor from whatever tomatoes you are able to get your hands on!

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One doesn't need to understand TikTok to grasp the internet sensation that is whipped, or Dalgona, coffee. Last week, Jess tested out this recipe and our Slack social channel has since become a mood board of thick, creamy coffee drinks. The whipping process is a little messy (read: don't wear a white shirt while making this!), but well worth the effort to kick off your day with something special. 

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If the Instant Pot you were gifted over the holidays is still sitting in its box, consider this chocolate bar recipe to be the nudge you didn't ask for, but maybe needed, to fire her up! That said, if you haven't yet hopped on the bandwagon, this recipe will still work using a double boiler or even a microwave! Hershey's who?!

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Oh, you didn't think we gave up on Milanese Monday, did you?! Though Emily and Geoffrey certainly aren't pan-frying chicken every Monday these days, there is nothing like a socially acceptable meal of chicken tenders to start your week on a high note! We usually eat it with a salad on top, tacking on a few more ingredients, but it tastes just as good with a simple squeeze of lemon (or a dunk into ketchup).

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Our pro and con list for the easiest chocolate chip cookie recipe known to humankind is as follows:

Pros: Only five ingredients, one bowl, gluten free, thirty-five minutes start to finish, Kosher for Passover, delicious, contains chocolate.

Cons: Yields thirty cookies which still somehow seems to never be enough.

We will leave the decision up to your discretion.

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Yes, this is the Dutch Baby. The one with nearly 4,000 votes and an almost perfect rating on NYT Cooking. The one that started the great Yorkshire pudding controversy of summer 2018. Regardless of where you stand in this debate, we can all acknowledge that a Dutch Baby is just a great excuse to eat pancakes at any hour (as if we ever needed an excuse!). Make your Baby savory with shredded sharp cheese, a few folds of ham, a fried egg, and fresh herbs, OR dress her up for dessert with a squeeze of lemon, a handful of berries, and a dust of confectioner's sugar. 

P.S. Here are some other easy, pantry staple meals we love!

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