5-ingredient fall dinners

Published on October 01 2012 - 3:06 PM
5-Ingredient Fall Dinners

It’s a busy time of year—the weather is getting cooler and everything just seems to speed up. It affects people differently: while I’m just trying to keep warm, for instance, my sister works hard and likes to get things accomplished. Although she doesn’t come right out and say it (very often), I think she thinks I’m a little bit lazy. Just because my motto is “There must be an easier way to do this,” that doesn’t mean I’m lazy: I just appreciate a good shortcut. This month’s shortcut: dinner recipes with an ingredient list I can count on one hand.

Each of the dinners here has just five ingredients (not counting oil, water, salt and pepper, which I don’t—those are just things you never seem to run out of). That kind of simplicity means a lot less work. I only have to remember five things to buy per recipe—and just about all of the ingredients are in the title. That means my shopping list is short and it’s just not going to cost me that much to make dinner tonight. I’m in and out of the store (yes, express checkout!) and home cooking in a flash.

There’s a PDF for that: Download your shopping list for this week’s meals here.

And none of these recipes are short on flavor. Far from it.

Chipotle-Orange Broccoli & Tofu zings with zesty orange juice and heat from chipotle peppers.


Spaghetti Genovese takes a shortcut to Italian flavor with prepared pesto. (What a useful ingredient to have on hand!)


Pork, Apple & Miso Noodle Soup incorporates another useful pantry staple, white miso. It lasts forever (well, at least a year, in the refrigerator) and brings its magic to all kinds of dishes.


Fancy-sounding Seared Salmon with Green Peppercorn Sauce actually has only four ingredients to shop for and takes just 15 minutes to make.


Here’s what’s for dinner tonight:

Roast Chicken & Sweet Potatoes (pictured above) also takes just 15 minutes of kitchen time, then gives me half an hour while it’s in the oven to do other things. Like calling my sister to brag about what I’m making for dinner.

Wendy Ruopp has been the managing editor of EatingWell for most of her adult life. Although she writes about food for the Weeknights column of EatingWell Magazine, her husband does the cooking at home.