5 easy meals to make with 5 ingredients or less

Tired of dinners that take too long to prep and cook? No longer want to fork over money for pricey take-out? Then put on your chef’s hat, tie the apron strings and take matters into your own hands. These five easy meals that you can make with five ingredients or less may be the solution you’ve been searching for!

Grilled Ham and Cheese Sandwich

Pickles go great as a side with grilled cheese.
Pickles go great as a side with grilled cheese.

This is probably the easiest meal to make on this list, and that is why it is number one! Just choose your bread, cheese and favorite meat. I like using ham and Colby cheese, but whatever leftovers you have in your fridge will do. Then, simply butter each piece of bread–just on one side–and place your ham and cheese in between. Cook the sandwich in a skillet until the bread is golden and crispy and the cheese is melted. Add your favorite condiments (I went with a pickle spear) and you’re good to go.

The cheese sauce can be as thick or as thin as you like.
The cheese sauce can be as thick or as thin as you like.

Homemade Macaroni and Cheese
Homemade macaroni and cheese has been one of my favorite meals since I was a kid. Really, I love any type of pasta, so of course I needed at least one pasta dish on this list. So for homemade mac and cheese, start by browning one tablespoon of butter in a saucepan. Butter burns extremely easily, so watch it like a hawk! When it smells burnt, but doesn’t quite look burnt yet, you know it’s done. Then, gradually whisk in a tablespoon of flour and add your milk and cheese. If you find the cheese sauce too thick or thin, you can add a little more flour or milk accordingly. Once your cheese sauce is ready, boil and drain some pasta (or use some leftover noodles from the fridge–I mixed linguini and elbow macaroni) and then mix in the cheese sauce. Delicious!

Any kind of pasta makes for a yummy mac and cheese.
Any kind of pasta makes for a yummy mac and cheese.

Grilled Chicken Salad
Grilled chicken salad is one of my favorite healthy dinners and I like to make it easy on myself by buying fully cooked chicken (frozen or Rotisserie). I use iceberg lettuce in my salads, and sometimes carrots, cucumbers or a hard-boiled egg—and let’s face it, what’s a salad without cheese? Cubing some cheddar is my favorite along with a few seasoned croutons. I’m partial to ranch dressing on my salads, but you can add anything else that suits your fancy and you’re all set! It’s that easy!

Make sure you have all the ingredients you want.
Make sure you have all the ingredients you want.

Chicken Pillows
Chicken pillows are definitely a comfort food for a rainy day. I came across the recipe on Pinterest and have never looked back. Chicken Pillows are now a go-to in my apartment for when we want something quick, easy and filling. First, mix together two cups of cooked, shredded chicken (I’ve used Rotisserie chicken in this recipe as well), one package of cream cheese, a cup of shredded cheddar cheese and a dash of salt, pepper and garlic powder. Lay your crescent rolls out on a pan and stuff them with the chicken filling. Pinch them closed and bake at 350° until golden brown on top.

The cheese on top of the enchilada should be melted.
The cheese on top of the enchilada should be melted.

Enchilada Pie
This dish tastes and looks like it took forever to make, but guests will never realize it was so simple. All you need are large, soft flour tortillas, fully cooked meat of your choosing (I’ve used ground beef and ground turkey before, but shredded chicken is my favorite), frozen corn, salsa, red enchilada sauce and shredded cheese. It’s basically like a Mexican lasagna—mix all of the wet ingredients together: the meat, cheese and one cup of enchilada sauce. Place one tortilla on the bottom of your pie plate (greased with cooking spray) and spread a cup of enchilada sauce and half of your chicken mixture on top. Add another tortilla and a cup of corn and a cup of salsa. Keep layering with the rest of the chicken mixture and end with a tortilla on top. Use the rest of your enchilada sauce and cheese on the top tortilla and put the pie in the oven on 350° for forty-five minutes. As long as the cheese is melted and bubbly, you’re good to go. (Tip: place a sheet of aluminum foil on the rack below your pie dish–this will catch any potential drips and keep them from burning on the bottom of your oven.)



Grilled Ham and Cheese Sandwich
Two pieces of bread
Choice of meat (ham, turkey, chicken, etc.)
Choice of cheese (Colby, cheddar, provolone, American, etc.)
2 Tbsp. of butter
1 frying pan
1 spatula

Macaroni and Cheese
Choice of 1 cup noodles
1 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. flour
½ cup of milk
Choice of 1 cup cheese
Pasta pot
Sauce pan
Whisk or fork

Grilled Chicken Salad
Choice of chopped lettuce/greens
Fully-cooked chicken
Any extra condiments you like

Chicken Pillows
1 package of original crescent rolls
1 8 oz. package of cream cheese
2 cups fully-cooked chicken
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Seasonings (salt, pepper, garlic powder)
Optional: chopped celery

Enchilada Pie
1 package large flour tortillas
Your choice of fully-cooked meat
1 can red enchilada sauce
1 cup frozen corn
2 cups shredded cheese
1 cup of your favorite salsa
Pie dish

Published By: Laramie Cowan

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