Five Recipes with Five Ingredients or Less

A DiGiorno pizza on a wood tray near a bowl of arugula, sliced strawberries, and a wheel of goat cheese.

Sticking to a balanced eating routine and doing it on a budget is easier when you have your freezer and pantry well-stocked and organized. 

You’ll likely make smarter choices when you have a plan. No more last-minute calls for delivery or trips to the drive-thru when you have the components for fast, flavorful meals at the ready.

Even if you don’t feel like cooking, if you have the makings of quick meals in your freezer or pantry, you can get a delicious, budget-friendly meal on the table in less than 30 minutes. 

Frozen foods can be the foundation for easy meals – simply combine with fresh ingredients for a quick and delicious meal. Here are five affordable meals with five ingredients or less – each starting with a frozen entrée that gives you a jump-start on meal prep.


Strawberry Arugula Pizza

Keeping frozen pizzas in your freezer allows you to build easy meals by adding nutritious sides or piling ingredients on top, like this fruit and vegetable topped cheese pizza.

All you need to make Strawberry Arugula Pizza:

Bake pizza according to package directions. Top with arugula, strawberries and cheese.


Cheese Pizza with Grilled Romaine Salad

A cheese pizza is the perfect canvas for adding your own fresh ingredients, but it’s also a quick main dish that you can serve with salad, like this elevated Caesar salad made with grilled romaine.

All you need to make Cheese Pizza with Grilled Romaine Salad:

  • 2 hearts of romaine lettuce, halved lengthwise
  • Olive oil
  • Lemon, cut in half (optional)
  • ¼ cup Caesar Salad Dressing (bottled or recipe here)
  • Ground black pepper
  • Croutons (optional)

Preheat grill to medium. Brush cut side of lettuce with oil. Place lettuce cut-side-down on grill and close lid. Grill for 1 to 3 minutes or until lettuce is slightly wilted. If desired, grill lemon cut-side-down for 1 minute or until grill marks appear. To serve, drizzle dressing over lettuce. Squeeze with grilled lemon. Season with pepper. Serve with croutons.


Macaroni and Cheese Cacciatore

Always a family favorite, macaroni and cheese is not only delicious on its own, but it can be a flexible foundation for building balanced, affordable meals.

All you need to make Macaroni and Cheese Cacciatore:

  • 1 package (40 ounces) Stouffer’s Macaroni & Cheese, prepared according to package directions
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked, diced chicken or turkey
  • 1 cup canned Italian seasoned tomatoes, drained
  • 1/4 cup diced green bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup diced onion

Preheat broiler. Combine macaroni and cheese, chicken, tomatoes, bell pepper and onion in 2-quart baking dish. Broil until top is golden brown.


Cajun Macaroni & Cheese

Try a New Orleans-style Mac & Cheese by adding some andouille sausage and bell pepper. Serve with Oven Roasted Broccoli.

All you need to make Cajun Macaroni & Cheese:

Prepare Macaroni & Cheese according to package directions. Heat sausage over medium heat in small skillet. Add bell pepper to skillet; cook until softened. Stir sausage mixture into Macaroni & Cheese. Sprinkle with green onion.


Creamy Spinach Frittata

What’s great about a frittata is that it can be served at breakfast or dinner. This easy egg-based dish can also be made with many different vegetables, including this version made with spinach. Serve with roasted sweet potatoes or green salad.

All you need to make Creamy Spinach Frittata:

Spray medium ovenproof skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Heat over medium-high heat. Combine spinach soufflé with eggs and pour into skillet. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until bottom starts to brown. Sprinkle with cheese. Cover; cook for 1 minute more. Uncover; bake at 400°F for about 10 minutes or until the frittata is set and the top is golden.