30 easy recipes using 5 ingredients

Enjoy fuss-free, quick and healthy recipes that can be made with no more than five main ingredients and just a few kitchen staples.
Published 22 December 2019 | Updated 10 July 2024
Recipe: Butternut pumpkin and tofu Thai curry

Keep your meals super simple with this collection of great-tasting recipes that deliver maximum flavour with minimum fuss. Using no more than five key ingredients (plus a few kitchen staples) these dishes will help you save time in the kitchen while creating healthy, delicious food.

Pantry essentials

Keeping a well-stocked pantry means you can transform a few simple ingredients into tasty meals quickly and easily. You’ll be able to use these ingredients in multiple recipes, so they’re a good investment. Most have a long shelf life, but regularly check best-before dates as some pantry ingredients, such as herbs and spices, can lose flavour over time.

  • Herbs & spices: dried mixed herbs, fennel seeds, cayenne pepper, cumin seeds, bay leaves, paprika, dried chilli flakes, ground cumin, ground coriander, mild curry powder and dried thyme
  • Flavourings: fresh garlic, stock cubes (vegetable, chicken and beef) and dijon mustard
  • Sauces: tomato sauce and soy sauce
  • Oils: spray oil, olive and canola
  • Vinegars: apple cider, balsamic, white wine and red wine
  • Sweeteners: brown sugar, caster sugar, honey, icing sugar, maple syrup, vanilla essence and extract
  • Basics: baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cornflour, plain flour and plain wholemeal flour

3 homemade zero Point spice blends

  • Spicy herb salt: Mix 1½ tbs sea salt, 1 tsp garlic powder, 2 tsp dried rosemary, 1 tsp dried basil, 2 tsp dried oregano, and 3 tsp dried thyme.
  • Lemony all-round spice: Finely grate 2 tsp lemon rind and leave to dry for about 2 hours, then mix with 3 tsp sea salt, 2 tsp cracked pepper, 1½ tbs dried chives, 1 tsp ground cumin, ½ tsp ground coriander, ½ tsp smoked paprika, ½ tsp cayenne pepper, ½ tsp ground nutmeg.
  • Fiery chilli rub: Mix 2 tsp chilli flakes, 1 tsp cayenne pepper, 2 tsp ground paprika, 1 tsp ground cumin, 2 tsp dried oregano, ½ tsp ground cinnamon, 3 tsp salt and 2 tsp pepper.