8 Healthy Dinners with 5 Ingredients or Less

Feb 22 2017
Question@2x Hi,

I'm new to Hungry Girl and not much of a cook. I want to make healthy meals for my family, but I get overwhelmed by massive ingredient lists. Can you suggest some recipes with only a handful of ingredients?

Minimalist Mama
Answer@2x Hi Minimalist Mama,

Welcome to Hungry Girl! Confession: I'm not much of a cook either. (I'm more of a mad scientist in the kitchen!) Most HG recipes are very easy to make and don't call for lots of ingredients. In fact, here are eight dinners with no more than five ingredients each! (FYI: Salt, pepper, and basic dried seasonings don't count toward the ingredient tally.)

Mama Shelly's Slow-Cooker Chicken

1/4th of recipe (about 1 3/4 cups): 270 calories, 4g total fat (0.5g sat fat), 663mg sodium, 21.5g carbs, 5g fiber, 12g sugars, 35.5g protein

SmartPoints® value 3*

Slow-cooker recipes are ideal for busy folks, and this one is especially easy. Mixing stewed tomatoes with balsamic vinegar was a stroke of genius. So much flavor! Hearty chicken, green beans, spinach... Throw it all in the pot, and check dinner off your to-do list.

Spaghetti Squash Pie

1/4th of pan: 300 calories, 8g total fat (4g sat fat), 645mg sodium, 22.5g carbs, 5g fiber, 9.5g sugars, 34g protein

SmartPoints® value 4*

This comfort-food bake is so delicious I'm getting hungry just writing about it! It has all the flavor of decadent Italian food without the super-high calorie count. The beef makes it extra filling, and the portion size is HUGE. BTW, if you want to save some time or effort, cook the spaghetti squash in a microwave or slow cooker. Here's how...

Orange Teriyaki Chicken

1/4th of recipe (about 3/4 cup): 202 calories, 3g total fat (0.5g sat fat), 745mg sodium, 15g carbs, 1.5g fiber, 7g sugars, 26.5g protein

SmartPoints® value 4*

Chinese, please! Give your family what they want without ordering greasy takeout. This sweet 'n savory chicken is insanely delicious and so simple to make. I love the crunch the water chestnuts bring, too. Add a side of steamed veggies, and dinner is served.

Z'paghetti Girlfredo

1/2 of recipe (about 2 cups): 247 calories, 8g total fat (4g sat fat), 789mg sodium, 30g carbs, 9.5g fiber, 18.5g sugars, 20.5g protein

SmartPoints® value 4*

If you haven't cooked with zucchini noodles yet, this take on pasta Alfredo is a great place to start! You'll save hundreds and hundreds of calories. You don't even need a veggie spiralizer... You can make this with a standard veggie peeler. It's a great meatless meal -- check out all that protein! Although, sometimes I toss in precooked shrimp or chicken... So good!

BBQ Chicken Foil Pack

Entire recipe: 270 calories, 4g total fat (1g sat fat), 581mg sodium, 23g carbs, 2.5g fiber, 14.5g sugars, 34g protein

SmartPoints® value 5*

In addition to a sparse ingredient list, this chicken recipe has another exciting perk: hardly any cleanup! Baking food in a packet of foil is seriously one of the world's best cooking hacks. Just multiply this recipe as needed to feed the whole family. Bonus: You can easily swap out the sauce and veggies for your family's favorites. (Marinara and broccoli rock.)

Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers

1/4th of recipe (1 stuffed pepper): 250 calories, 8g total fat (4g sat fat), 674mg sodium, 14.5g carbs, 3.5g fiber, 7g sugars, 30g protein

SmartPoints® value 5*

Tossing a cheesesteak-inspired filling inside bell peppers instead of carby hoagie rolls makes for a decadent yet healthy meal! Some people think ground beef is off-limits due to its fatty nature, but the trick is to get the extra-lean kind (4% fat or less). The stats are even more impressive than lean ground turkey! Pair this with salad for a full meal, or enjoy it as a super satisfying snack.

Onion Goodness Burger

1/5th of recipe (1 patty): 180 calories, 8g total fat (3g sat fat), 550mg sodium, 3g carbs, 0g fiber, 1g sugars, 22.5g protein

SmartPoints® value 4*

I'll raise your five ingredients and give you just two! These simple burger patties are shockingly delicious. The onion soup/dip mix is loaded with flavor. Throw your patties onto lettuce buns or 100-calorie flat sandwich rolls. And what's a burger without fries? Add a pile of these baked carrot fries, and your entire meal still has less than five ingredients!

Shrimp 'n Slaw Marinara

Entire recipe: 289 calories, 3g total fat (<0.5g sat fat), 770mg sodium, 31g carbs, 14g fiber, 15g sugars, 36.5g protein

SmartPoints® value 4*

Dinner does not get any easier than this seafood-topped pasta swap. Broccoli cole slaw gets all noodle-y and delicious when cooked until soft. Grab some marinara from the pantry and some shrimp from the freezer, and dinner is a go! This recipe serves one, but it's easy to adjust for a group. It's great with chicken too!
Hungry for more? Here are eight more meals made with five ingredients or less. And if that's not enough for you, check out Hungry Girl Clean & Hungry for over 40 more!

Chew on this:

It's National Cook a Sweet Potato Day, February 22nd. Toasty Marshmallow Sweet Potato Skins, anyone?

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SmartPoints® value* not what you expected? We follow the same method as Weight Watchers when calculating the SmartPoints® value* for a recipe: We add up the SmartPoints® values* of the individual ingredients. (Many foods have a value of zero and remain zero in recipes.)

*The PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® values for these products and/or recipes were calculated by Hungry Girl and are not an endorsement or approval of the product, recipe or its manufacturer or developer by Weight Watchers International, Inc., the owner of the PointsPlus® registered trademark and SmartPoints® trademark.