5 Ingredients or Less: 25 Meals For All Taste Buds

Pork Meals With 5 Ingredients or Less

#17 Mexican Pork

This recipe would make a delicious filling for tacos or tortillas. Serve with sides of shredded lettuce, onion, peppers, and chopped tomatoes.

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 8-10 hours
Servings: 4

4 Ingredients:

  • 3 pound boneless pork roast
  • 1 pack taco seasoning mix
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 4 ounce can chopped green chilies, drained
  • 1 cup water


  1. Place pork roast in bottom of slow cooker.
  2. Mix remaining ingredients together and pour over roast.
  3. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours.
  4. Break pork apart with a fork while still in slow cooker.

Recipe source

#18 Pork Simmered in Buttermilk

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings: 6

5 Ingredients:

  • 1 oz butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 kg piece pork scotch fillet
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 600mls buttermilk
  • Extra 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 kg English spinach, washed and trimmed
  • 60g raisins


  1. Heat the butter and oil in a large heavy duty pan. Season the pork with pepper and brown well on a medium heat. Add the garlic and half the buttermilk to the pan, bring to the boil, and reduce to a very low simmer. Cover with a tight-fitting lid, and cook for 1 hour.
  2. After the hour, the milk will have reduced, thickened and turned a pale golden brown. Add the remaining milk and cook, covered, for another 35 minutes. Remove the pork from the pan, cover with aluminum foil and stand for 10 minutes.
  3. Return to the pan to heat and bring the buttermilk mixture to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 3-4 minutes. The mixture will separate and have small clumps of solids. Pour this through a fine strainer.
  4. Heat the extra oil in a medium , heavy-based pan. Add the spinach and raisins and cook, stirring until the spinach just starts to wilt. Place the spinach on a warm serving plate. Cut the meat into thin slices and lay over the spinach. Spoon a little of the strained clear liquid from the pan over the meat. Serve immediately.

Recipe source: Better Cooking: A Year in the Kitchen, Better Homes and Gardens, Kerrie Carr

Which 5 ingredient meals (or less) take your fancy?

Vegetarian Meals With 5 Ingredients or Less

Please note most recipes do contain either eggs, or cheese.

#19 Spinach Lasagne

Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes
Servings: 6

5 Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 x 250g packets frozen spinach (or use fresh)
  • 7 1/2 instant lasagne sheets
  • 500g low fat ricotta cheese


  1. Heat oil in a frying pan and gently cook the onion and garlic for 3-4 minutes, without browning. Add the spinach and cook until the spinach has thawed and is hot.
  2. Preheat oven to 180° C (350° F/Gas 4). Grease a shallow 24×18 cm oven proof dish.
  3. Dip two and a half lasagne sheets in hot water for 1 minute, then place on the bottom of the dish. Cover with half the spinach mixture and dot one-third of the ricotta on top. Repeat, then top with the remaining two and a half lasagne sheets, finishing with a layer of ricotta.
  4. Optional – sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake for 30 minutes.

Recipe source: Healthy Eating for Australian Families, Rosemary Stanton.

#20 Tomato Pesto Spaghetti

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 12 minutes
Servings: 4-6

4 Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. spaghetti pasta
  • 10 oz. jar basil pesto, OR 1 cup homemade pesto
  • 4 ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • Sprinkling of pine nuts


  1. Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Drain, reserving 2 tablespoons of cooking liquid.
  2. Return to pot along with reserved cooking liquid. Stir in pesto over low heat until spaghetti is evenly coated.
  3. Add tomatoes and pine nuts at last minute, serve.

Recipe source

#21 White Bean & Broccoli Soup

Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 8-10 minutes
Servings: 4

5 Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 10 cloves of garlic
  • 1 small head of broccoli
  • 2 cups of cooked or canned white beans (lima /butter beans etc)
  • 1 cup cooked rice
  • Grated Parmesan cheese to serve


  1. Crush and finely chop the garlic. Cut off the bottom of the broccoli stem and then cut the whole head up into small pieces – no more than 1cm.
  2. Pour the olive oil into a pan, put on a medium-low heat and add the garlic immediately. After about 1 minute, the garlic will start to change colour and brown. At this point, add the broccoli and stir to coat with oil and garlic.
  3. Cook for about 30 seconds and then add the white beans, and 1 litre of water. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 3–4 minutes.
  4. Remove from the heat and blend the soup together, then add the rice. Return to the hot plate and simmer for 2 more minutes. To finish sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Recipe source

#22 Baked Eggs with Veggies

You could use a selection of your favorite vegetables in this recipe, and serve with a side of rice or pasta.

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooing time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4

4 Ingredients:

  • 1 bag of frozen broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower, thawed
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 8 eggs
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Drain vegetables well. Melt butter. Arrange vegetables around outside edges of four individual 2 cup ramekins and drizzle 1/4 of the melted butter over vegetables in each dish.
  2. Break eggs, one at a time, into a small dish and slip two into the center of each ramekin.
  3. Sprinkle each ramekin with 1/4 of the Parmesan cheese, and 1/4 of the thyme leaves.
  4. Place ramekins on cookie sheet and bake at 325 degrees for 20-25 minutes until eggs are thoroughly cooked.

Recipe source

#23 Vegetable Omelet

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Servings: 2

4 Ingredients:

  • 1 cup stir fry peppers from deli, or use cooked leftover vegetables
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 cup shredded low fat cheese


  1. Reheat the stir-fried peppers or other vegetable side dish in small saucepan over very low heat.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine eggs, milk, salt and pepper and beat until foamy. Spray an 8″ nonstick skillet with a nonstick cooking spray and heat over medium heat.
  3. Pour egg mixture into skillet and cook for 3-4 minutes or until set, lifting edges occasionally with a spatula to allow uncooked egg mixture to spread underneath omelet so it cooks evenly.
  4. Spoon heated filling over half of omelet and sprinkle with half of the cheese. With spatula, fold one half of omelet over filling. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
  5. Cover and cook an additional 1-2 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

Recipe source

#24 Steamed Radishes with Lemon Dill Butter

Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Servings: 2

3 Ingredients:

  • 1 pound radishes, trimmed and sliced thin (about 4 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, or to taste
  • 4 teaspoons finely chopped fresh dill


  1. In a steamer set over boiling water steam the radishes, covered, for 5 minutes, or until they are just tender.
  2. In a large skillet melt the butter over moderately low heat, add the radishes, the lemon juice, the dill, and salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Heat the mixture, stirring, until the radishes are heated through.

Recipe source

#25 Tabbouleh Cheese Salad

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4

4 Ingredients:

  • 1 cup bulgur (cracked wheat)
  • 2 cups cubed reduced fat cheese
  • 3 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/3 cup Italian salad dressing


  1. Rinse bulgur wheat, and soak in cold water to cover for at least 30 minutes, or until bulgur is soft but still chewy. Drain well. OR cook bulgur as directed on package.
  2. Combine with remaining ingredients and toss to coat.
  3. Cover and chill 30 minutes.

Recipe source

Do you have a favorite simple recipe that you’d like to share?

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Comments 25

  1. Family Nutritionist

    There are some great ideas here. Also, don’t forget meatloaf. You can do it in 5 ingredients if you like it plain, 6 if you want to add a seasoning (italian seasoning, curry powder, chili powder, or chipotle peppers, for example).

    Is your “kumara” my “sweet potato”? In the US’s New England, fishcakes were traditionally made from leftover salt cod (bacala) and mashed potato. This is an interesting variation.

  2. Melanie

    Hi guys,

    Thank you all for commenting!

    Lauren – I hope you enjoy!

    Tanya – Your site looks great, I’ll check out your recipes too.

    Family Nutritionist – I’ve actually never tried meatloaf, can you recommend a recipe? Yes, the kumara is sweet potato, or is it also called yam in the USA?

    Ruth – you can let me know if you do try any of them out!

  3. ruth

    hi mel, well I tried the chicken pesto parcels. Wonderful! similar to another dish I make stufing my chicken with mozerella and beef tonatoes and fresh basil leaves. so it was good having another variation.

  4. Melanie

    Hi Rebecca,

    Glad you found the recipes useful, I thought the berry chicken sounded great too.

    Hi Ruth,

    So the pesto parcels went well..that’s great news. Yes, I’ve had your stuffed chicken dish too, it’s delicious!

    BTW, thanks for the rice recipe, I’ve definitely had it once before, and it’s great. I’ll let you know how it goes. Thank you!

  5. Family Nutritionist

    In the US, “yam” and “sweet potato” can be confusing. The sweet potato is not a yam, but for some reason the red or orange sweet potatoes are called yams, especially in the South Maybe they taste something like real yams (which I’ve never had). So sometimes they are called “yam sweet potatoes”. And sometimes yams are called “yams (not sweet potatoes)”. But real yams are uncommon, except in groceries with lots of customers from the Caribbean.

    And the pale, whitish variety of sweet potatoes are always called sweet potatoes, but who eats them? Sweet potato pie, mashed sweet potatoes, sweet potato french fries, and are made with the orange sweet potatoes. Candied yams are made with the orange sweet potatoes, too.

  6. Melanie

    Hi Family Nutritionist,

    Thanks for linking to your meatloaf recipe. Since replying to your initial, I’ve had meatloaf at a friends house. It was great, and not at all what I had expected.

    Also, thanks for clearing up the extremely confusing “yam” issue!

  7. Karyn

    THANKS so much for these recipes!! What a wonderful and EASY idea – and healthy! I am not big on beef, but will use probably 75% or the recipes posted here!
    Thanks again,

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