There’s one universal truth in parenthood—there’s never enough time to make dinner. We’re always running someone to soccer practice, fighting giant piles of laundry, and trying to work a full day in between. The solution: 5-ingredient recipes that you can whip up in a flash. These easy meals are very kid-friendly, and mostly rely on items you’re likely to already have in your pantry so you won’t have to make a separate trip to the store (who has time for that?). We’ve left out some of the more obvious choices because we know you’re already a pro at grilled cheese, taco Tuesdays, quick eggs, and the like. Consider your meal plan done!

Creamy Tomato Tortellini with Pesto

The base for this filling dish is cheese-filled tortellini, which is pretty much the most kid-friendly pasta around. Add some mini meatballs or sliced pre-cooked sausage if you want to up the protein in this dish.

5-Ingredient Lemon Chicken with Asparagus

Pinch of Yum 5-ingredient lemon chicken and asparagus
Pinch of Yum

Whether you go with chicken thighs or chicken breasts, this recipe from Pinch of Yum is super flavorful and easy to make. The citrus from the lemon is mellowed out with honey to satisfy those picky palates.

Ground Turkey Lettuce Wraps

We love how flavorful these lettuce wraps are. Butter lettuce works best and you can serve it over rice for those picky ones in your family.

Easy Crockpot Ranch Chicken

If your kid isn’t a Ranch fan yet, now is the time to indoctrinate them. This 4-ingredient recipe from The Cookie Rookie makes kid-friendly chicken in a veg-free sauce, so you’re more likely to avoid the mealtime tantrums.

5-Ingredient Coconut Curry

5 ingredient coconut curry
Pinch of Yum

There’s something super comforting about this coconut curry from Pinch of Yum. It uses chickpeas instead of meat so that means it will come together super fast.

Paleo Gnocchi Bolognese

Your family won’t even know that you’re using Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi as the base of this delicious dish.

5-Ingredient Zucchini Fritters

This recipe is a great way to use up your summer bounty of zucchini. We suggest cooking them on your electric griddle if you have one.

Pa Amb Tomàquet (aka Catalan Tomato Bread)

Any vehicle for including more ripe tomatoes in our lives is a must-try. Also, this bread looks like a fun way to get the kids in on the cooking action.

Garlic Butter Chicken and Brussels Sprouts

Not only does this recipe only have 5 ingredients, but it’s a one-pot wonder as well. Chicken thighs, Brussels sprouts, and garlic are the main players in this flavorful dish.

5-Ingredient Chili

5 ingredient chili Gimme Some Oven
Gimme Some Oven

We love a chili recipe that comes together in a flash. You can even sub in meatless crumbles if you’d like to make this recipe from Gimme Some Oven vegetarian.

5-Ingredient Trader Joe’s Branzino

This recipe uses three of our favorite TJs items: branzino, lemony arugula salad kit, and frozen country potatoes.

One-Pot Pasta

Kristine's Kitchen Blog one pot pasta
Kristine’s Kitchen Blog

One-pot meals are a weekday dinner staple, and this one from Kristine’s Kitchen Blog serves up sausage with pasta. Bonus: You don’t even need to drain the pasta as it cooks right in the sauce.

Lemon Butter Scallops

5 ingredient lemon butter scallops Damn Delicious
Damn Delicious

Head over to Damn Delicious to snag this recipe that cooks up quickly and is great paired with asparagus or broccoli.

Quick Duck Stir Fry

A stir fry is a great way to use up any veg that might be sitting neglected in the bottom of your fridge. This one uses duck, but you could easily sub in chicken if you prefer.

Instant Pot Short Rib Ragu

Pinch of Yum 5 ingredient short rib ragu
Pinch of Yum

Our advice for this full-of-flavor recipe from Pinch of Yum is to double it. It’s that good.

Spaghetti Carbonara

Any meal that starts with cooking up some bacon is destined for greatness, and this spaghetti carbonara from Damn Delicious is no exception.

Instant Pot French Dip Sandwiches

You’ll get lots of flavor development in a short amount of time with this recipe from Amy + Jacky. We like to serve it on toasted ciabatta rolls topped with Swiss cheese.

Trader Joe’s Chicken Tikka Masala


4 ingredient Trader Joe’s Chicken Tikka Masala 🔥 #traderjoes #traderjoesmeals #easydinner #chickentikkamasala

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Our biggest dinnertime hack is using Trader Joe’s items to create a meal that is full of flavor and short on cooking time. This chicken tikka masala is the perfect option when you need dinner on the table ASAP.

Viral Feta Pasta Bake


Someone stop me from eating this daily 😩👏🏻😍 #traderjoesfoodreviews #traderjoes #fetapasta #traderjoescookbook

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This recipe has been all over TikTok, and we totally understand the hype. You just throw some cherry tomatoes and feta in the oven to bake and boil up some pasta to mix in at the end. What could be easier?

Cacio e Pepe

We love that this pasta recipe is full of flavor but contains no visible vegetables that may turn your crew off dinner. Gimme Some Oven explains the easy steps to making this Italian favorite.

No-Fuss Prime Rib

Save this recipe for the holidays when time is short. You’ll impress your guests with homemade prime rib, we know it.

Trader Joe’s Lobster Bisque Pasta

Yes, this recipe uses Trader Joe’s lobster bisque to make the creamy sauce, and we are here for it.

5-Ingredient Chicken Lo Mein


Replying to @user9761876775593 CHICKEN LO MEIN 🍜😋 …or is this chow mein? I get so confused 😩 INGREDIENTS: ramen, chicken, veggies, soy sauce, oyster sauce 🍴 Add seasoning to your chicken then fry on high heat. Remove and add veggies to pan. Boil noodles for 3 mins or package directions. Mix osyer sauce, a splash of soy sauce, ramen seasoning, and water. Combine everything and enjoy! If you want to 🤌🏼 jazz it up 🤌🏼 add garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes to your veggies when cooking! #budgetmeals #51030meals #ramennoodles #lomeim #chowmein #dinnerideas #easydinnerideas #cheapeasymeals

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This is an easy (and cheap) way to make those ramen packets into a dinner the whole family will love.

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