Discover. Engage. Enjoy. Join us in Miami forLife@50+. Register today




Enter an ingredient, course or keyword and get cooking!




AARP Games - Play Now!
AARP Auto Buying Program


Contests and

$10,000 Life Reimagined Sweepstakes

Enter for a chance to win up to $10,000 to help make your dreams a reality. See rules

most popular


Impress With Less

5 ingredients make for simple, easy recipes

5 ingredient or less recipes skewered scallops

Make kebabs for a simple weeknight meal. — Photo by: StockFood/Getty Images

In these long days of summer, with children home from school and the daylight stretching well past dinnertime, cooking is all about minimal effort for maximum return. Each shortcut for serving up an impressive meal without long hours spent trolling the supermarket aisles for specialty ingredients is well worth it. Each of these recipes is made with five ingredients or fewer, not including salt, pepper, oil and water. And if you're shopping for just one or two, it pays to prevent purchasing lots of ingredients in quantities you're unlikely to use up.

See also:10 toppings in 10 minutes

Whether you're throwing together a weekday meal with the existing contents of your refrigerator and pantry, or trying to create a gourmet meal for six without breaking the bank on a three-page shopping list, these 10 dishes offer a dining experience that's definitely more than the sum of their parts.


Buttermilk Pancakes by Marion Cunningham: These simple, light pancakes take well to a variety of toppings, and the batter can keep in the refrigerator for a few days. It works for waffles, too. Or mix things up by substituting rye or whole wheat flour or cornmeal for part of the all-purpose flour.

Eggs in a Nest by Florence Fabricant: These pretty eggs make it easy to whip up a breakfast fit for a special occasion with the eggs, English muffins and ham or lox you already have on hand.


Onion and Arugula Frittata by Michele Scicolone: Perfect for a satisfying lunch, or paired with a substantial salad for a quick and easy dinner, this Italian frittata needs only fresh, good-quality eggs, onions and parmigiano-reggiano. If arugula isn't available, watercress or spinach leaves will do just fine.

Whole Wheat Noodles With Rocket, Garlic and Chili by Deborah Madison: Spicy rocket (arugula) lends itself well to this vegetarian pasta dish, which blends the wilted leaves with Italian cheese, red pepper flakes, sauteed garlic and nutty, whole wheat pasta.

Poached Eggs on Portobello Mushrooms With Goat Cheese by Sophie Dahl: The meatiness of portobello mushrooms matches well here with soft poached eggs and bright, tangy goat cheese, making a meal for two that's almost equally suited to breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Next: 5- ingredient dinner and dessert ideas. >>

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts


Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Denny's Ranchero Tilapia

Members save 15% all day, every day when dining at participating Denny's restaurants.

Dunkin Donuts

Members get a FREE Donut with purchase of a L or XL beverage at Dunkin' Donuts.

Woman holding smartphone in city, Google map tool

Members can locate discounts via the AARP® Member Advantages Offer Finder mobile app.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! Members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.

Rewards for Good

Your Points Balance:

Learn More

Earn points for completing free online activities designed to enrich your life.

Find more ways to earn points

Redeem your points to save on merchandise, travel, and more.

Find more ways to redeem points