5-Ingredient Pantry Recipes

Streamline your meals with these simple recipes. You might have everything you need on hand.

Simple Shrimp Glaze

Randy Mayor

Simple Shrimp Glaze

Sometimes less is more. Less shopping, less prep, fewer dishes to wash and ingredients to remember…the simplest recipes become our standbys. Each recipe here uses 5 or fewer ingredients (not counting salt, pepper, butter, oil, and optional ingredients).

Pantry Checklist:

  • Shrimp (1 ½ lbs., peeled and deveined)
  • Garlic cloves (2, minced)
  • Honey (2 tablespoons)
  • Lemon juice (¼ cup)
  • Dijon mustard (3 tablespoons)
Preparation: Combine all ingredients except shrimp, and stir with a whisk. Thread shrimp onto skewers. Brush one side of shrimp with glaze. Grill for one to two minutes. Turn shrimp, brush with glaze, and cook two minutes or until shrimp are opaque. Serves four.

Gemelli with Broccoli Rabe, Bacon, and Chickpeas Recipe

John Autry

Gemelli with Broccoli Rabe, Bacon, and Chickpeas

Penne works well in this dish if gemelli isn't available.

Pantry Checklist:

   Broccoli rabe
•  
Gemelli OR penne pasta
•  
Center-cut bacon
•   Garlic cloves
•   Can of no-salt-added chickpeas

View Recipe: Gemelli with Broccoli Rabe, Bacon, and Chickpeas

Classic Pesto

Oxmoor House

Classic Pesto

It doesn't get much easier than this―just toss everything in a food processor and turn it on. This incredibly versatile sauce freezes well, so you can enjoy the flavors of summer all year long. Plus, it goes with sooo many recipes, including Pesto Pizza with Butternut Squash, Chicken Chili with Pesto, and Pasta Tossed with Shrimp, Vegetables, and Pesto.

Pantry Checklist:

  • Pine nuts OR walnuts
  • Garlic cloves
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Fresh basil
  • Parmesan cheese
View Recipe: Classic Pesto

Chicken with Cider and Bacon Sauce

Becky Luigart-Stayner

Chicken with Cider and Bacon Sauce

Bacon is the key to a simple sauce that transforms skinless, boneless chicken breasts into a meal that looks and tastes more involved than it really is. A little unsweetened apple cider rounds out the sauce with a subtle layer of flavor. Another sauce secret: Don't forget to scrape the browned bits from the pan when you deglaze it, because they're the key to a richer sauce.

Pantry Checklist:

  • Skinless, boneless chicken breasts (4)
  • Bacon
  • Onion
  • Unsweetened apple cider
  • Chicken broth
View Recipe: Chicken with Cider and Bacon Sauce

Heirloom Tomato Salad with Tomato Granita

Randy Mayor

Heirloom Tomato Salad with Tomato Granita

One of our favorite things about summer is the effortless splendor of heirloom tomato salads. Ripe, peak-season specimens need almost no adornment, so skip the granita if you're in a rush. But if you have a few hours to let it freeze, it will make this dish spectacular.

Pantry Checklist:

  • Heirloom tomatoes (4-5)
  • Basil
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
View Recipe: Heirloom Tomato Salad with Tomato Granita

Fig and Blue Cheese-Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

Randy Mayor

Fig and Blue Cheese-Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

This 5-star recipe proves elegant does not equal fussy. You'll be amazed at the kind of complex flavor you can get from just four ingredients (not counting salt, pepper, and cooking spray). Sweet dried figs counter the savory bite of blue cheese, and the elegant rolled presentation bakes in just 20 minutes.

Pantry Checklist:

  • Pork tenderloin
  • Dried figs
  • Blue cheese
  • Apple jelly
View Recipe: Fig and Blue Cheese-Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

Roasted Asparagus with Balsamic Browned Butter

Randy Mayor and Iain Bagwell

Roasted Asparagus with Balsamic Browned Butter

One of the best (and simplest) sides in our magazine's history, this recipe was named Best Vegetable Side Dish in our 20th anniversary issue. The browned butter with a splash of balsamic vinegar adds an elegance that belies the simplicity of this approach.

Pantry Checklist:

  • Asparagus
  • Butter
  • Soy sauce
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Lemon rind (optional)
View Recipe: Roasted Asparagus with Balsamic Browned Butter

Herb Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Randy Mayor

Herb Stuffed Chicken Breasts

A 4-ingredient dish worthy of serving to company? You bet! Good-quality goat cheese and fresh rosemary give chicken breasts a special spin that won't bust your budget (or your gut). Canadian bacon makes it taste indulgent.

Pantry Checklist:

  • Skinless, boneless chicken breasts (4)
  • Goat cheese
  • Canadian bacon
  • Fresh rosemary
View Recipe: Herb Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Sauteed Tilapia with Lemon-Peppercorn Pan Sauce

Becky Luigart-Stayner

Sautéed Tilapia with Lemon-Peppercorn Pan Sauce

Readers gave this recipe 5 stars (it even converted some fish skeptics). Many of them subbed capers for the peppercorns that give the pan sauce a piquant punch. At just 282 calories per serving, plus 35 grams of protein, this saucy dish will become a weeknight staple.

Pantry Checklist:

  • Tilapia or sole filets (2)
  • Chicken broth
  • Lemon juice
  • All-purpose flour
  • Brine-packed green peppercorns (or substitute capers)
View Recipe: Sautéed Tilapia with Lemon-Peppercorn Pan Sauce

Spanish-Style Shrimp with Garlic

Becky Luigart-Stayner

Spanish-Style Shrimp with Garlic

This 5-star recipe earned the hearts of reviewers with its no-fuss prep and big-flavor results. While this simple one-skillet supper cooks, toast some bread in the oven. With 23 grams of protein, less than a gram of saturated fat, and only 161 calories per serving, this is a meal as light as the cleanup.

Pantry Checklist:

  • Shrimp (about 1 pound large, peeled and deveined)
  • Ground red pepper
  • Garlic cloves
  • Fresh parsley
  • Lemon wedges
  • Optional: bay leaf
View Recipe: Spanish-Style Shrimp with Garlic

Broccoli with Red Pepper Flakes and Toasted Garlic

Randy Mayor

Broccoli with Red Pepper Flakes and Toasted Garlic

Forget a heavy cream sauce―fresh broccoli needs little adornment. This classic Mediterranean treatment uses common pantry ingredients for a healthful, no-fuss side.

Pantry Checklist:

  • Broccoli
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Crushed red pepper
  • Garlic cloves
View Recipe: Broccoli with Red Pepper Flakes and Toasted Garlic

Garlic Fries

Randy Mayor and Iain Bagwell

Garlic Fries

Rated 5-stars by readers and named an all-time favorite by our staff, these oven-baked fries are so good (and easy!) that you'll never go back to deep-fried fries. Fresh parsley, minced garlic, and Parmesan cheese add a burst of flavor that's a surefire pleaser for kids and crowds alike.

Pantry Checklist:

  • Baking potatoes
  • Butter
  • Garlic
  • Parsley
  • Parmesan cheese
View Recipe: Garlic Fries

Grilled Teriyaki Shrimp Kebabs

Randy Mayor

Grilled Teriyaki Shrimp Kebabs

How do you improve the sweet combination of grilled shrimp and pineapple? With a 2-ingredient sauce that you can not only memorize, but repurpose on chicken thighs or as a dipping sauce for sundry Asian dishes (think spring rolls, lettuce wraps, dumplings…).

Pantry Checklist:

  • Shrimp (about 1.5 pounds, peeled and deveined)
  • Fresh pineapple
  • Red onion
  • Low-sodium teriyaki sauce
  • Sesame seeds (toasted)
View Recipe: Grilled Teriyaki Shrimp Kebabs

Southwestern Chicken and White Bean Soup

Oxmoor House

Southwestern Chicken and White Bean Soup

This simple soup gets its spice from a classic time-saving pantry ingredient: taco seasoning (the low-sodium variety). Mashing about half of the white beans gives the soup more body, and while the fresh cilantro is optional, its flavor really completes this dish.

Pantry Checklist:

  • Chicken breasts
  • Taco seasoning
  • Chicken broth
  • Green salsa
  • Cannellini beans (or other white beans)
  • Optional: Cilantro, sour cream
View Recipe: Southwestern Chicken and White Bean Soup

Simple Baked Eggs

Beau Gustafson

Simple Baked Eggs

Easy and elegant, this classic presentation is a simple brunch stunner. Use individual ramekins or custard cups. After a minute or two of effortless prep, you can relax for 25 minutes and read the paper while these bake to just-set perfection.

Pantry Checklist:

  • Eggs (6 large)
  • Butter
  • Whipping cream
View Recipe: Simple Baked Eggs

Fresh Orange Sorbet

Randy Mayor and Iain Bagwell

Best Ice Cream/Sorbet: Fresh Orange Sorbet

This recipe first ran in the January/February 1990 issue, but its pure freshness is still popular among the staff today. A simple recipe yields intense flavor, thanks to generous amounts of orange juice and zest, with a bit of lemon juice for sweet-sour balance.

Pantry Checklist:

  • Oranges
  • Sugar
  • Lemons
  • Optional: Mint
View Recipe: Fresh Orange Sorbet

Grilled Lemon-Herb Chicken

Grilled Lemon-Herb Chicken

Save money and time with double-duty recipes like this one. Reuse leftover chicken (or grill two birds at once) and choose from a variety of next-day meals. Curried Chicken Salad with Apples and Raisins; Guacamole Chicken Wraps; and Spinach Salad with Chicken, Melon, and Mango are just a few of many tasty options.

Pantry Checklist:

  • 5-lb. roasting chicken
  • Fresh parsley
  • Fresh thyme
  • Lemon juice
View Recipe: Grilled Lemon-Herb Chicken

Simple Seared Scallops

Becky Luigart-Stayner

Simple Seared Scallops

For moist and tender scallops with a perfectly caramelized crust, use a cast-iron skillet to sear these scallops. Look for scallops that are moist, but not swimming in liquid, and avoid choosing any with an iodine smell. Pair with pasta or a crisp salad for a refreshing, light meal.

Pantry Checklist:

  • Sea scallops (1½ pounds)
  • All-purpose flour
  • Dried marjoram
  • White wine
  • Balsamic vinegar
View Recipe: Simple Seared Scallops

Sauteed Chicken Breasts

Becky Luigart-Stayner

Sautéed Chicken Breasts

Affordable, nutritious, and convenient, the skinless, boneless chicken breast is a staple we always have on hand. This simple preparation can top salads, pastas, or pizzas, fill out sandwiches and wraps, or stand alone with a variety of sauces (like our Parsley Pesto).

Pantry Checklist:

  • Skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (4)
  • Kosher salt
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
View Recipe: Sautéed Chicken Breasts

Pork Tenderloin with Pomegranate Glaze

Lee Harrelson

Pork Tenderloin with Pomegranate Glaze

Pomegranate juice and sugar combine in a simple glaze that makes a baked pork tenderloin worthy of company. (You need not confess how easy this was to make.) If you make the glaze ahead of time it will thicken considerably; just pop it in the microwave for a few seconds at a time until it has thinned.

Pantry Checklist:

  • Pork tenderloins (2)
  • Pomegranate juice
  • Sugar
View Recipe: Pork Tenderloin with Pomegranate Glaze

Beef Tenderloin with Mustard and Herbs

Becky Luigart-Stayner

Beef Tenderloin with Mustard and Herbs

If you've got Dijon mustard in the fridge and a well-planted herb garden, you only need to buy beef to make this minimal-mess recipe. Fire up the grill and serve with a side salad.

Pantry Checklist:

  • Beef tenderloin (about 2½ pounds)
  • Dijon mustard
  • Parsley
  • Thyme
  • Rosemary
View Recipe: Beef Tenderloin with Mustard and Herbs

Simple Roasted Fingerlings

Randy Mayor

Simple Roasted Fingerlings

Fingerling potatoes are great to keep on hand because they make an easy side that pairs well with almost any protein. This basic treatment is so easy you'll likely memorize the recipe after one tasty try.

Pantry Checklist:

  • Fingerling potatoes (1½ pounds)
  • Olive oil
  • Ground red pepper
View Recipe: Simple Roasted Fingerlings

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