21 Surprisingly Easy 5-Ingredient Recipes


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Written by: Anthony Cocco

There is nothing more frustrating than when you find a great recipe and realize there are 30 different steps with 50 ingredients and that it will take all day for you to make.  

I don’t know about you, but easy breezy lemon squeezy is the way I like my recipes.

From the hustle and bustle of the daily grind, having healthy and simple recipes is a powerful combination. Eating healthy should not have to be difficult!

These easy recipes provide you with a great canvas to add flavors and textures that fit your palate.  

With 2016 right around the corner, try and incorporate these dishes into your menu and start the year proper. Come up with any awesome combinations or additions? Feel free to share them with us in the comments below!

1. Stuffed Acorn Squash

This has become one of my favorite meals as of late. Honestly, I have been making variations every 3-4 days. This recipe gives you a nice balance between sweet and savory and can be eaten at any time of the day. They do say that everything is better with a fried egg!


2. Chicken Caprese Salad

Fresh and flavorful! This dish takes me back to the roots of my Italian upbringing. When you are able to add chicken, you add even more depth and make it a heartier meal.


3. Mexican Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers

A two thumbs up for dinner or if you are planning a Meatless Monday extravaganza. The prep is easy and it spends most of the time in the oven. You might want to substitute the Morningstar Farms for Amy’s, Tofurky, or ground chicken or beef.  

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4. Thai Baked Salmon

Recently, I was reintroduced to Thai flavors and I was hooked ever since. Salmon is an excellent source of Omega 3 fatty acids. The flavor, in addition to the healthy fats and protein, makes this a solid dish.


5. Marinated Kale Salad

Great as a side or even for lunch. You might be surprised to see almond butter as one of the key ingredients. It gives it some depth as well as healthy fats and calories to make the dish more filling. I recommend adding avocado, toasted pepitas, walnuts and goji berries, but the options are endless.  


6. Veggie Pesto Pasta Salad

Pasta salad reminds me of childhood gatherings with both friends and family. Every time I take a bite, it puts a smile on my face. Adding arugula can add a nice touch. If you are like me and need to stay away from the wheat, I recommend using red lentil pasta, quinoa pasta, or even brown rice pasta.  In the past I have substituted the cheese for artichoke hearts as well.

57. Slow Cooker Lemon Garlic Chicken

In my book, garlic makes everything better. This is a recipe you can have cooking while you leave for work.   


8. Salmon En papillote
You might be wondering what this dish is and why it has such a fancy name. I first saw this recipe from Chef Chuck Hughes on his cooking Show. Basically, it’s just you wrapping up your fish in parchment paper on a layer of veggies. Ever since I discovered this recipe, I frequently cook my fish this way. I bet you will too. It is up to you if you want to use zucchini or even Asparagus.

79. Brown Rice Bowl

This recipe can give you a blank canvas to have a blast with. You can add eggs, mushrooms, pesto chicken, squash, goat cheese, or even make it like a Mexican fiesta. It’s all up to you!


10. Sweet Potato And Eggs

Great for breakfast or even dinner. Sweet potatoes and eggs are fantastic together and this is an innovative way to pair the two.


11. Lemon Chicken And Asparagus

For everyone trying to watch their figure, this 300+ calorie dinner can leave you feeling satisfied and glad that you took the time to make it.


12. White Bean Chicken Chili

You can’t beat a recipe that you start when you leave for work and is finished when you return, hot and ready. This is a particularly wonderful recipe for the winter as it is guaranteed to heat you right up.


13. Quinoa Pizza Crust

Every once in awhile I get a full blown craving for pizza, but the gluten knocks me out. If you are at all like me, the quinoa pizza crust is one alternative that I would recommend. If you want to live dangerously, mix this recipe with this chicken caprese salad.  


14. Curried Chicken Thighs With Carrots, Rice And Lime

Grounding recipe loaded with flavor and the chicken thighs give it a nice blend of good fat. I enjoy the citrus flare from the lime. Overall, it is a solid dish for those who want to incorporate curry into the menu.

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15. Sweet Potato Chili

One word… YUM! Depending on your spice level, you might want to bring a hotter salsa to the party. If you are feeling extra ambitious, make a nice batch of avocado crema to drizzle over the top.

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16. Chicken Verde Lettuce Wraps

Easy for this one is an understatement! You can also add garlic and cumin, depending on what type of salsa verde you have. This recipe pairs well with fried plantains (I usually use ghee for the frying oil).

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17. Pepper Encrusted Pot Roast

Pot roast can be a wonderful comfort food. Make it on a Sunday and have leftovers for the rest of the week.

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18. Zucchini Spaghetti

Making zucchini noodles is easier than you might think. This is a recipe where you can bundle with the Chicken Caprese Salad. Bacon crumbles also work quite nicely.

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19. Shrimp Scampi

Zucchini noodles are a perfect touch and red pepper flakes add a nice kick. This is a wonderful dish to make for friends and introduce a new noodle alternative to the family.

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20. Root Vegetable Hash

Cooking with root vegetables can help you feel grounded and has a calming effect. Root vegetables are known to energize the mind and soothe the internal organs. Add a poached egg for a premium breakfast.

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21. Roasted Red Pepper And Asparagus Quinoa

This is a well-balanced meal that can become a staple in your house. I give it 2 thumbs up as a family meal. Also, you can substitute the chicken and add another vegetable if you want to go the vegetarian/vegan route.

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Inspired by: Buzzfeed and Rubies and Radishes

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Anthony Cocco

Anthony Cocco

Certified Health Coach and Leadership Coach at Properly Defined
For almost two decades, Anthony suffered from a never-ending migraine. In October 2010, it was suggested by his neurologist to receive multiple Botox injections in his head and he immediately decided to take his health into his own hands. After months of trial and error he became migraine free on May 13, 2011, by implementing a holistic lifestyle. He has since dedicated his life’s work to creating programs that will work alongside healthcare professionals, focused on the holistic alternatives that are consistently overlooked.

Anthony is a Certified Health Coach, Leadership Coach, and former migraine sufferer. His passion can be found in helping individuals understand their unique body and become best prepared to overcome migraines and headaches.
Anthony Cocco


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Glenn was in an accident with a hockey puck that made it so his mouth had to be wired shut! While he was going through recovery he found that Organifi Protein sustained him in a healthy way where he was able to maintain his muscle mass while still be able to loose weight.

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