I just love it when new ideas pop into my head. It has been awhile since the 'five ingredient recipe' theme has been the main topic here at Busy Cooks. Let's fix that today!
Pasta is a staple ingredient in my kitchen. I love all the different shapes and sizes of pasta, including dried, refrigerated, fresh, and frozen. Pasta is very easy to cook, kids and adults like it, and it can be transformed into brand new recipes using just a few ingredients.
The trick to inventing five ingredient recipes is to look for grocery items that combine several ingredients into one package. For instance, the frozen chopped bell pepper and onion stir fry combination is one of my favorite shortcut ingredients. Dried herb mixes, salsas and sauces, dry pasta and bean mixes, salads and prepared food from the deli, and seasoned canned vegetables are all essentials in the five ingredient pantry. Also, be sure to use the freshest and best quality ingredients that you can find in these recipes. Each ingredient's flavor and color stand out in these simple recipes so they need to be the best.
Enjoy these five ingredient pasta main dishes and salads; and remember, substituting your own favorite ingredients for those called for in a recipe is what makes cooking a creative challenge!
Five Ingredient Pasta Entree Recipes
- Creamy Tomato Pasta
Cream cheese makes pasta sauce so smooth and velvety and adds a wonderful tang. This is a go-to recipe for me in the winter.
- Chicken Spaghetti
This simple recipe has such a wonderful flavor. If I were to add another ingredient, it would be minced garlic.
- Tuna Alfredo Casserole
Bottled Alfredo sauce is the secret ingredient in this fabulous recipe. If you can't find a cheese sauce, add some shredded Colby or Muenster cheese.
- Chicken Manicotti
Tender chicken thighs are mixed with cheese and Italian seasonings, stuffed into pasta shells, and baked in tomato sauce in this wonderful casserole.
- Chicken Tortellini Casserole
I always have frozen tortellini in my house, to make super quick recipes just like this one.
- Easy Lasagna
Lasagna can be a complicated recipe, but not this gem! Just five ingredients makes a hearty and delicious main dish.
- Fettuccine Alfredo
Bottled Alfredo sauce is the secret ingredient in this super quick and creamy recipe. It takes 20 minutes, start to finish.
- Ziti Chicken Casserole
Canned chicken is used in this super fast recipe, but you could use leftover chicken, shredded and stirred in to the creamy cheesy sauce.
- Cheesy Crockpot Tortellini
The day I discovered that pasta could be cooked in the crockpot is the day my life became much easier. I love this simple recipe.
- Mac and Cheese Casserole
This creamy and rich dish is topped with buttered bread crumbs for a really satisfying meal.
- Five Ingredient Classic Spaghetti and Meatballs Meal
This wonderful meal is made of five ingredients. It's hard to believe such a short ingredient list can make a fabulous dinner, but it's true.
- Ziti Chicken Casserole
Canned chicken is really good, and is perfect to use in any recipe that calls for precooked chicken. Leftover chicken can be used in this great recipe too.
- All in the Slow Cooker Spaghetti and Meatballs
I make this incredible recipe often in the cold months. It takes about three minutes of work for a wonderfully warming meal.
- Old Fashioned Skillet Goulash
Although the ingredient list for this recipe looks long, it's mostly seasonings. I love this comfort food recipe.
- Red and White Tortellini
This recipe was the first I tried that used frozen pasta and just baked it in a sauce. It turns out perfectly every time.
- Five Ingredient Pasta and Ham Meal
Yes, you can make an entire pasta meal with just five ingredients. This delicious recipe is perfect for feeding a hungry family.
- Tomato Pesto Spaghetti
Make this recipe in the summer when basil and tomatoes are both at their peak. It's so good.
- Beans and Pasta in Clam Sauce
If you love clams, this is the recipe for you. I'd add some chopped tomatoes with the clams.
- TexMex Chicken and Fettuccine
This spicy recipe is so simple to make and it's on the table in 30 minutes. Serve with a fruit salad and ice cream pie for dessert.
- Tortellini with Peas and Parmesan
I can't count the number of times I've made this fabulous recipe. It's so simple and so delicious.
Five Ingredient Pasta Salad Recipes
- Pasta Crab Salad
Mangoes and grape tomatoes are the unusual and delicious additions to this simple salad recipe.
- Ranch Ham Salad
This salad reminds me of some I've had at restaurant salad bars. It's simply satisfying.
- Chicken Melon Salad
I simply adore this recipe and make it several times during the summer. The combination of super sweet and juicy melon with tender chicken and the creamy dressing is simply spectacular.
- Broccoli Pasta Salad
That classic broccoli bacon salad with the sweet dressing is changed with pasta. And it's so good - with just five ingredients!
- Grilled Ham Salad
Peach preserves and honey mustard salad dressing are the secret ingredients in this wonderful recipe. You could use leftover cooked cubed ham in this recipe if you'd like.
- Bean and Pasta Salad
Pasta and legumes is a really delicious combination.
- Shrimp Vegetable Salad
A frozen carrot and snap pea blend is used in this hearty recipe, which is coated in a honey mustard salad dressing.
- Spinach Tortellini Salad
This simple four ingredient recipe tastes like so much more than the sum of the ingredients.
- Lemony Tuna and Orzo Salad
Tuna packed in pouches is flavored in wonderful ways. This fresh salad is delicious.
- Ham and Couscous Salad
Yes, couscous is a pasta. This wonderful and flavorful recipe is so good for you too.
- Three Bean Pasta Salad
Start at the deli for a salad, add pasta and grape tomatoes, and voila! Dinner!
- Tortellini Vegetable Salad
Marinated artichoke hearts are delicious in this flavorful salad made with broccoli and Italian salad dressing.
- Pasta Cabbage Salad
And finally, this colorful and crunchy salad is perfect for cookouts and picnics.
Five Ingredient Pasta Side dish Recipes
- Creamy Spicy Noodles
Horseradish is the secret ingredient in this wonderful recipe. I use a horseradish sauce, not the grated root itself, which would be far too spicy!
- Buttered Herb Pasta
Any chopped fresh herb is delicious in this super simple recipe. I think it tastes great next to a grilled steak, with a simple fruit salad.
- Buttered Noodles
This is barely a recipe, but it's so good and so easy. When I'm making a pasta salad, I often hold about a half cup of the cooked noodles back and make this for myself as a cook's treat.
- Pesto Peppers with Pasta
Frozen mixed peppers and onions is one frozen ingredient you should always have in your fridge. It's delicious in this easy three ingredient recipe.
- Herbed Mostaccioli
Cheeses that have herbs and spices added are a wonderful ingredient to use in any recipe to speed up preparation time. I also like a dill seed Havarti I found at my local co op. It's delicious in this recipe.
- Pasta with Garlic and Cheese
Garlic, parsley and cheese are delicious with spaghetti. You could use angel hair pasta, fettuccine or linguine in this easy recipe.
- Peachy Matzo Kugel
And this wonderful recipe doesn't have to be reserved for Passover. Make it as a breakfast recipe one morning for school - your kids will love it!
- French Couscous
Yes, couscous is a pasta. Those tender little grains are delicious paired with Brie cheese, parsley, and garlic.
- Lemon Mint Couscous
Fresh mint and lemon are two complementary flavors that are perfect with tender couscous. Pecans add a nice crunch.
- Couscous and Chickpea Pilaf
Chickpeas, also called garbanzo beans, are wonderful with couscous, butter, and Parmesan cheese in this simple recipe.