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37 Easy Few Ingredient Meals Perfect For Busy Weeknights

For those moments when cooking a healthy and delicious meal feels like an insurmountable task due to a hectic schedule or exhaustion, there’s a solution. By combining a few fundamental ingredients with a tried-and-tested recipe, it’s possible to whip up a mouth-watering dish in the blink of an eye. And that’s exactly what we’re going to do – provide 37 effortless recipes that require minimal ingredients and can be prepared on even the busiest of weeknights.

37 Easy Few Ingredient Meals

3-Ingredient One Pot Pasta

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Prepare a delectable and effortless one-pot meal by combining the essentials: pasta, marinara sauce, and your preferred vegetables. For added protein, consider incorporating sausage or chicken into the dish.

One-Pot Mac and Cheese

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To prepare a savory dish, start by marinating chicken breasts in a mixture of olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Allow the chicken to sit for a sufficient amount of time before grilling it for six minutes on each side. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to bake sweet potato fries to perfection, requiring around 20 minutes of cooking time.

Salmon with Green Beans

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To prepare the dish, start by roasting salmon fillets in the oven for approximately 10 minutes to achieve a tender and flaky texture. Meanwhile, quickly blanch the green beans in boiling water to preserve their crispness, then toss them with a drizzle of olive oil and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to enhance their natural flavor.

Tomato and Basil Pasta

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To create this Italian-inspired dish, begin by cooking the pasta according to the package instructions. While the noodles are cooking, combine diced tomatoes, fresh basil leaves, and a drizzle of olive oil in a separate bowl. Once the pasta is al dente, toss it with the tomato mixture, then season with salt and pepper to bring out the flavors.

Lemon Garlic Shrimp

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To cook the shrimp, heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add a drizzle of olive oil. Then, sauté the shrimp for about 2-3 minutes on each side, or until they turn pink and are cooked through. For added flavor, you can also toss in some minced garlic and squeeze in a bit of fresh lemon juice during the cooking process.

Caprese Salad

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In a harmonious blend, combine tender mozzarella cheese cubes with sweet and juicy cherry tomatoes, fragrant fresh basil leaves, and a drizzle of rich olive oil and tangy balsamic vinegar.

Tuna and Avocado Salad

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To create a nutritious and filling salad, combine mashed avocado in a bowl with canned tuna, along with a pinch of salt and pepper to taste. This simple combination provides a boost of protein and creamy texture from the avocado, making it an ideal snack or light meal option.

Pita Bread Pizza

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To craft a mouthwatering Mediterranean-inspired snack, start by spreading a generous helping of tangy tomato sauce over the surface of your pita bread. Next, sprinkle shredded mozzarella cheese evenly across the top, allowing its creamy flavor to meld with the savory sauce. Feel free to get creative and add your go-to toppings – whether it’s juicy olives, artichoke hearts, or spicy pepperoni slices. Finally, pop this flavorful combination into a preheated oven for a mere 10 minutes, allowing the cheese to melt and the flavors to harmonize.

Grilled Pork Chops

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The aroma of succulent pork chops wafts through the air, their smoldering exterior giving way to tender, juicy interiors. The caramelized crust that forms during cooking adds a depth of flavor and texture that’s hard to resist. With each bite, the combination of flavors and textures is like a culinary symphony, evoking the warmth and joy of a summer day.

Tuna Melts

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Indulge in the simplicity of tuna melts, a comfort food staple that requires minimal effort but yields maximum satisfaction. By toasting some bread, layering mayonnaise, tuna, cheese, and tomato, then broiling until the cheese is golden and bubbly, you’ll be treated to a delightful fusion of flavors and textures.

Spinach Omelet

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Combine eggs, salt, and pepper in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Next, melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Pour in the egg mixture and cook until the edges start to set. Use a spatula to gently lift and fold the omelet in half, creating a neat and tidy package. Finally, add fresh spinach leaves on top of one half of the omelet and use the spatula to fold the other half over, ensuring the greens are evenly distributed.

Chicken and Vegetable Skewers

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To prepare the kebabs, thread tender pieces of marinated chicken, juicy cherry tomatoes, and earthy mushrooms onto skewers, leaving a small gap between each item to allow for even cooking. Once loaded, place the skewers in the oven and broil them on each side for 10-12 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender.

Baked Salmon with Asparagus

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When preparing a seafood-inspired meal, start by preheating your oven to perfection. For a mouthwatering roast, place the salmon fillets on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for a mere 10 minutes. Meanwhile, bring some green to the plate by drizzling asparagus with olive oil and baking it for a slightly longer 15 minutes. These simple steps will have your dish cooking up flavorful and fresh in no time!

5-Ingredient Pesto Ravioli

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Savory bites of fresh summer delight unfold as tender cheese ravioli are topped with a vibrant union of sun-kissed cherry tomatoes and fragrant basil pesto, subtly enhanced by the richness of olive oil. This effortless culinary creation is ready in under 15 minutes, its every bite a symphony of flavors that will leave you craving more.

Taco Salad

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A flavorful foundation is established by cooking ground beef with a savory blend of taco seasoning. As the meat cooks, it’s combined with a crunchy medley of fresh lettuce, juicy tomatoes, and melted shredded cheese. The dish is elevated further by topping it off with a tangy drizzle of salsa and a dollop of creamy sour cream.

Baked Chicken with Sweetcorn

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For a flavorful twist on classic baked chicken, start by marinating boneless, skinless chicken breasts in a mixture of olive oil, paprika, and cumin. Let the chicken sit for at least 20 minutes to allow the flavors to penetrate deeply. Then, pop it into the oven and bake for 25 minutes or until cooked through. Meanwhile, combine canned sweetcorn with mayonnaise and add a pinch of salt and pepper to taste. The result is a deliciously savory chicken dish paired with a creamy, slightly sweet corn accompaniment.

Stuffed Bell Peppers

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To create this unique dish, start by preparing the bell pepper. Simply cut off the top portion of the pepper and carefully remove the seeds. Next, combine cooked ground beef, brown rice, and canned diced tomatoes in a bowl. Once you’ve mixed the ingredients together, stuff the mixture into the prepared bell pepper. Finally, place the stuffed pepper in the oven and bake for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.

Greek Salad

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Combine the freshness of cucumber, the pungency of red onion, and the tanginess of feta cheese in a single vessel. Allow their unique flavors to meld together by whisking in a drizzle of rich olive oil and a splash of robust red wine vinegar.

Roasted Chicken & Sweet Potatoes

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For many, there’s no denying the allure of a warm, comforting meal on a chilly evening. A roasted chicken paired with tender sweet potatoes is one such duo that embodies this notion perfectly. This classic combination not only satisfies our hunger but also provides an effortless culinary experience. With its straightforward preparation and emphasis on rich flavors, it’s little wonder why this dish has become a staple of cozy weeknight dinners.

Black Bean Quesadillas

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Savory black bean quesadillas offer a delightful culinary experience that transcends mealtime boundaries, effortlessly catering to morning, afternoon, and evening cravings alike. Moreover, their straightforward preparation process, involving only a handful of basic components and swift cooking duration, makes them an ideal choice for any time of day.

Chicken Alfredo Pasta

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Craft a rich and creamy Alfredo sauce by combining softened butter, nutty Parmesan cheese, and velvety heavy cream. Once the sauce is ready, combine it with perfectly cooked pasta and add your preferred protein for a satisfying and flavorful meal.

Lemon Butter Shrimp Pasta

To elevate the flavor of your dish, start by cooking shrimp in a mixture of melted butter and sautéed garlic. Once tender, combine the seafood with cooked pasta, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, and a sprinkle of chopped parsley to add a burst of freshness.

Spinach and Feta Stuffed Chicken Breast

To create a delicious and nutritious dish, start by preparing a chicken breast for stuffing. First, slice a small pocket into the meat, being careful not to cut too deeply and causing the filling to escape during cooking. Next, fill the pocket with a mixture of wilted spinach and crumbled feta cheese. The creamy texture of the cheese pairs perfectly with the earthy flavor of the spinach, making for a tasty and healthy combination. Finally, place the stuffed chicken breast on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated oven until it reaches a safe internal temperature, ensuring that the chicken is cooked through and ready to be served.

Tofu and Broccoli Stir-Fry

Transform the flavors of Asia-inspired cuisine by cooking tofu cubes alongside steamed broccoli florets in a savory mixture of soy sauce, minced garlic, and a hint of pan-frying magic. Serve this protein-packed delight atop a bed of fluffy rice or paired with springy noodles for a well-rounded meal.

Balsamic Glazed Chicken

Transform your chicken breasts into a mouthwatering masterpiece by baking them to perfection and finishing them off with a rich, tangy balsamic glaze. This sweet and savory combination is made by whisking together balsamic vinegar, honey, and garlic, then drizzling the resulting mixture over the roasted chicken.

Mushroom Risotto

To start, heat a pot over medium-high heat and sauté sliced mushrooms and caramelized onions together until they’re tender and fragrant. Next, introduce Arborio rice to the mixture and stir well to combine. Then, slowly add in chicken or vegetable broth, allowing each addition to be fully absorbed before adding more. This process should leave you with a creamy and flavorful base for your dish.

Shrimp Tacos

Transform succulent shrimp into a flavorful treat by cooking them quickly with a blend of savory taco seasonings. Serve the juicy morsels wrapped in warm tortillas, accompanied by an assortment of tasty toppings to customize the dish to your liking.

Garlic Butter Steak

To achieve tender and flavorful steak, start by heating a skillet over high heat and add a generous amount of garlic and butter. Once the mixture is sizzling and fragrant, add your steaks to the skillet and sear them for 2-3 minutes on each side. After the initial searing process, finish the steaks in a preheated oven at 400°F (200°C) for an additional 5-7 minutes, or until they reach your desired level of doneness.

Quinoa Salad

To add a nutritious twist to your meal, combine cooked quinoa with an assortment of sautéed vegetables, a drizzle of high-quality olive oil, and a splash of your preferred salad dressing. The texture from the quinoa pairs beautifully with the crunch of the veggies, while the olive oil adds a richness that complements the flavors of the dressing.

Honey Glazed Carrots

For a sweet and savory twist on traditional roasted carrots, try using a honey-based glaze infused with the warmth of thyme and richness of butter.

Lemon Garlic Roasted Chicken Thighs

To elevate the flavor of your chicken thighs, try seasoning them with a blend of citrusy lemon zest, pungent garlic, and a pinch each of salt and pepper before roasting them to perfection in the oven.

Grilled Portobello Mushrooms

Transforming the humble portobello mushroom into a savory sensation, consider marinating them in the rich flavors of balsamic vinaigrette before grilling to achieve a satisfyingly meaty texture and depth of flavor.

Egg Fried Rice

Transform scrambled eggs into a savory foundation by combining them with cooked rice, then elevate the dish with the depth of flavor from soy sauce and the freshness of added vegetables. This straightforward combination yields a satisfying and delectable fried rice that’s ready in no time.

Tomato and Mozzarella Skewers

Transform cherry tomatoes and fresh mozzarella balls into a visually appealing kebab by threading them onto skewers. Next, drizzle the combination with a generous amount of olive oil to enhance their natural flavors. To add an extra layer of complexity, season the dish with the sweetness of basil and the tanginess of balsamic vinegar, allowing each bite to be a harmonious blend of flavors and textures.

Garlic Butter Shrimp Pasta

Indulge in the harmonious union of succulent shrimp, savory garlic butter, and al dente pasta. Toss the tender seafood with the linguine, then garnish with a sprinkle of freshness from the parsley and a generous grating of Parmesan’s nutty goodness.

Balsamic Chicken with Roasted Vegetables

Elevate the flavors of roasted chicken by first marinating it in a tangy balsamic vinaigrette. Once marinated, toss the chicken with an assortment of colorful vegetables and roast to perfection, allowing the natural sweetness of the veggies to balance out the acidity of the balsamic glaze.

Sausage and Peppers

Prepare a mouthwatering dish by browning sliced sausage with sautéed bell peppers and onions, infused with aromatic garlic for added depth of flavor. No-fuss healthy eating is within reach, thanks to these 37 straightforward recipes that require minimal ingredients and effort. Simply select one, follow the steps, and enjoy a satisfying meal without straining your budget. Experiment with them all and share which one becomes your go-to choice. Happy cooking!