It’s happened to the best of us: You open up your fridge and realize you’re long overdue for a grocery restock. A trip over to the pantry tells the same story, so you head back to the fridge hoping that more food has magically reappeared. Spoiler alert: It hasn’t. Luckily, Elena Besser stopped by TODAY to share simple dinner recipes that can be prepared with just five ingredients (plus, some pantry staples you probably have on hand).
Preparing a memorable meal doesn't have to involve a laundry list of ingredients. The recipes below are proof that — sometimes, less really is more. Skip the steak rub and try Besser's reverse-searing method for a flavorful crust with just butter and salt. We highly recommend adding her cacio e pepe potatoes as a side, and we promise you'll still be able to check out in the express lane. Even combining two recipes into one — like Besser's chicken paillard saltimbocca — can be done with just a few quality ingredients.
To round out dinner for the week, we’re upgrading your usual cold cut sandwiches to eggplant Parmesan on garlic bread. The meatless options don’t end there though — break out the food processor to blend a vibrant green sauce for herby rigatoni, and keep it close by to grind down the chickpeas for Buffalo falafel bites. One taste and you’ll be tempted to stockpile ingredients so you can make these delicious dishes anytime (minimal shelf space required).
Elena Besser's 5-ingredient dinner recipes
This recipe ensures that your steak is perfectly cooked through without all the smoke and mess of cooking steak in a pan on the stovetop. Once I learned the reverse-sear method, it forever changed the way I cook fattier cuts of beef — it breaks down the fat, allowing it to slice like butter!
This recipe is a fun play on two classic dishes — chicken paillard and chicken saltimbocca. The dish feels fresh and healthy but has the flair of crispy prosciutto, sage and aged balsamic that makes it feel special. I love this recipe because it is great for a casual weeknight yet feels elegant enough to prepare for a dinner party!
More to cook this week
My family is obsessed with three things: chicken Parmesan, sandwiches and garlic bread. This recipe is inspired by all of those loves, but I'm giving it a meatless twist. The garlic bread provides incredible flavor and crunch, plus the eggplant is hearty and delicious making this a speedy yet exciting dish for entertaining or a casual night in.
This recipe is a fun change of pace to traditional pasta recipes. It is the perfect combination of herby, nutty, sweet and salty and it is sure to be on rotation in your household. I love that the sauce comes together in a food processor and the addition of dates creates a really fun contrast in every bite.
Buffalo wings are one of my favorite foods. I actually have a framed photograph of wings that hangs above my bed! Half of my family lives in Israel, so Middle Eastern cuisine is also a big inspiration to me. This recipe is a combination of two of my favorite foods and it's a great weeknight meal that comes together in about 30 minutes. If you have a little more time, you can also bake the falafel.