Good grief, these last couple of years. You know what we don’t feel inclined to do, in February of 2022? Make an elaborate, 15-ingredient meal requiring trips to three grocery stores. You know what sounds good, at least till the buds and blooms of spring poke their bright noses out of the mud and snow? Five-ingredient dinners.
You heard us. Our test kitchen has been hard at work perfecting just the recipes you need to keep dinner from being one of the things that makes you want to tear your hair out. (We figure you’ve got plenty of those on tap already.) Here they are. If we have words of wisdom for your simple supper journey, they come from Test Kitchen Manager Devon Francis: It’s about quality, not quantity. “Quality ingredients are the most important part of creating a delicious meal,” she says. “They will absolutely elevate your dish in flavor and texture.”
So go for the fire-roasted tomatoes, if you can, instead of the ones that look just ugh on the can. Opt for best-quality anchovies, tomato paste, tuna, and the like. It’ll help. But these recipes work well even with the most basic stuff in your pantry.
1. Salmon With Toasted Brussels Sprouts and Quinoa
Fulfilling both your New Year’s resolution to eat more healthfully and your self-care resolution to take it easy, here comes Salmon With Toasted Brussels Sprouts and Quinoa! (For the sticklers among you, we didn’t count salt, pepper or EVOO in our ingredient totals.) Toasted quinoa slicked with tahini mingles with roast salmon and lemon in the sort of every-bite-is-divine dish we crave daily.
2. Enchiladas Verdes
Come through, leftover chicken! These Enchiladas Verdes will happily ensconce you in their folds. Pick from flour or corn tortillas— dealer’s choice!— and then it’s just a happy wrapping session of salsa verde, pre-shredded cheese, and cotija. Enchiladas are always better than you remember, and you can re-heat them under the broiler tomorrow.
3. Tomato, Spinach and Feta Egg White Bake
Remember the humble egg when grocery store bills skyrocket and you want to keep it simple. This Tomato, Spinach and Feta Egg White Bake can double as breakfast or brunch, but we love eggs for dinner. Serve a salad on the side if you like, or don’t; there’s a bevy of veggies in here. Feta melts beautifully and binds the whole thing together.
4. Chicken Parmesan-Ish With Greens
Gluten-free Chicken Parmesan-Ish With Greens eliminates the breadcrumbs, the fuss and the million dishes you’d use to make classic Chicken Parm. You’re just baking chicken in tomato sauce under a blanket of mozz, folks, then plating the whole thing on a bed of watercress. Easy, breezy, and weeknight-friendly.
5. Non-Alcoholic Ginger, Turmeric and Lemon Tonic
Modern times require tonics to soothe our nerves. Enter: a Non-Alcoholic Ginger, Turmeric and Lemon Tonic. Nope, it can’t be your whole meal, but we love it nonetheless after a day of Zoom calls or school pickups. It’s an effervescent alcohol-free option during cocktail hour, and ginger acts as a digestif if you tuck into it after the meal. Turmeric lends it that golden hue.
6. Whole Roast Chicken with Shallots Provençale
Roast chicken is always there for you, friend, and this simple recipe is no exception. Nestle a whole chicken onto a bed of shallots, add a drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkling of seasonings, then into the oven. We’re talking E-A-S-Y. This is a no-rush, no-fuss bird. The result is a golden, crispy-skinned chicken and some meltingly tender shallots.
7. Smoked Salmon Omelet With Crème Fraîche
Remember what we said about eggs for supper? They’re just so tasty. Smoked Salmon Omelet With Crème Fraîche can conjure a Paris bistro on a dreary February evening. Serve with Champagne, because why the heck not? Plenty of crème fraîche helps it feel luxe, and of course, you can have it for breakfast, instead. (Pro tip: Serve with a chocolate dessert like this one to really put it over the top.)
8. Coconut-Poached Fish in Parchment
Fish cooks in a snap, making it uber-weeknight-friendly. Coconut-Poached Fish in Parchment takes that “put the lime in the coconut” song and makes the maxim work beautifully with cod. Parchment envelopes keep the whole thing neat and weeknight-friendly. So good, and so easy.
9. Flourless Chocolate Cake
Let’s talk about the concept of dessert for dinner. You. Are. Worth. It. And you can get away with it once a year, whatever “get away with it” means when it comes to appetite and the foods we crave. Flourless Chocolate Cake is its own five-ingredient masterpiece. It’s a pantry-staple killer, you can pop it into the still-warm oven when that roast chicken you made comes out, and it’ll be ready by the time you’re cleaning supper plates. Yes, you can.