5 of the Best 5-Ingredient Weeknight Recipes

taco ingredients

We get it. Sometimes it’s easier to cruise through the drive-thru and grab dinner than it is to follow a complicated recipe that requires a ton of ingredients. But after several nights of burgers and chicken strips, even your kids start craving a home-cooked meal. 

The solution? Five of the best five-ingredient recipes from the experts—one for each night of the week. Just remember to save some leftovers, so you have an easy solution for lunch, too.

Monday’s Meal Solution

Diana Gariglio-Clelland, RD, at Balance One Supplements, says this spaghetti squash casserole is one of her family's easy go-to favorites.

Spaghetti Squash Casserole
1 spaghetti squash, cooked
1 pound of cooked sausage (can be turkey or chicken sausage for a low-fat option)
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
1 can of black beans, rinsed
Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. In a bowl, combine the cooked flesh of spaghetti squash with the cooked sausage. 
3. Add the can of diced tomatoes and black beans and mix.
4. Pour ingredients in a 9 x 13 baking dish. 
5. Add herbs and spices such as rosemary, thyme, sage, then salt and pepper to taste.  
6. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until heated through. 
7. Sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan cheese to serve.

Tuesday Tacos

Cooking for the whole family can be challenging, especially when dealing with differing palates or nutritional needs. Erika Fox, on-staff registered dietitian nutritionist for 310Nutrition.com, put together this taco recipe that is tasty, well balanced, and perfect for families.

Lettuce Cup Tacos 
1 pound ground turkey 
1-2 tablespoons taco seasoning  
1 head romaine lettuce 
Taco toppings of choice: tomatoes, avocado, black beans, salsa, cheese, etc.  

1. Heat a non-stick pan on medium/high heat. 
2. Once hot, add the ground turkey and cook for 5-7 minutes until fully cooked through, breaking the meat up as it cooks. 
3. Add the taco seasoning and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes. 

Wednesday’s White Fish Frenzy

Summer Yule, MS, RDN, says this simple yet tasty dinner can be prepared with white fish or chicken. And as a bonus, she says if you add a glass of milk, you’ll have all of your food groups covered with this weeknight meal. 

White Fish With Fruit Salsa (can also be made with rotisserie chicken)
1 to 2 cups of cooked white fish OR 1 cooked rotisserie chicken, shredded
1 medium-sized jar of fruit salsa
1 small package of frozen broccoli
1 package or box of quinoa
1 tablespoon of toasted sesame oil

1. Cook the quinoa in water according to package directions. It will take 15-20 minutes. 
2. While quinoa cooks, microwave the package of frozen broccoli and season it with a tablespoon of the sesame oil.
3. To serve, plate a portion of the quinoa. 
4. Top with white fish or chicken. 
5. Put a few tablespoons of the fruit salsa on top of the chicken or fish. 
6. Serve the broccoli on the side.

Thursday Equals Comfort Food

If you’re looking for a tasty comfort food dinner the whole family will love, give this pesto baked rigatoni recipe a try. Created by Becky Hardin of The Cookie Rookie, this four-ingredient recipe is perfect for a quick and easy weeknight meal. Plus, you’ll have dinner on the table in just 30 minutes. 

Pesto Baked Rigatoni
1 package of rigatoni
1 jar of pesto sauce, about 6-7 ounces (Hardin likes this brand)
1 can of crushed tomatoes, about 28 ounces (Hardin likes this brand)
1- 2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
Freshly chopped basil

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. 
2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
3. Cook the pasta according to package instructions. Once al dente, remove from the water and drain, reserving 1/4 cup water.
4. Place pasta in a large bowl while still hot and add the water (add enough to make it a bit saucy, but not too much), the pesto and crushed tomatoes. Stir to combine.
5. Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with nonstick spray.
6. Layer half the pasta in the baking dish. Sprinkle with half the cheese. Repeat.
7. Bake for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.
8. Serve the baked rigatoni garnished with chopped basil.

Friday’s Soup Du Jour 

Executive Chef John Ferguson at The Omni Homestead Resort put together a simple weeknight soup recipe that is packed with nutrients and vitamins from the chicken, eggs and spinach. Plus, a little dose of deliciousness with some shredded Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top. It’s quick and easy to make, and very comforting on a chilly night after a long day away from home. 
Chicken and Spinach Egg Drop Soup 
1 rotisserie chicken, shredded
2 containers of chicken stock
1 bag of spinach
6 eggs, beaten
1 package of shredded Parmesan cheese
1. In a large pot, heat the chicken stock to a simmer. 
2. Whisk the stock so that it is moving quickly, then add the eggs in a steady stream.
3. Add the spinach and shredded chicken and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. 
4. Cook until all ingredients are warm, or at the temperature you want to serve.
5. Garnish each bowl with shredded Parmesan cheese.

READ THIS NEXT: Quick & Healthy Weeknight Family Dinners


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