Simple 5-Ingredient Family Dinner Recipes 

Get dinner on the table in no time with Real Simple main dish recipes that only call for a handful of ingredients.

  • Fake-and-Bake "Fried" Chicken
    Photo: David Prince

    Fake-and-Bake "Fried" Chicken

    Bypass the bucket and fake fried chicken at home. Brush the meat with ranch dressing then dredge in potato flakes for a juicy, tender dish that packs a light crunch. Make a salad or heat baked beans while the chicken bakes, then serve and let everyone dive in to a delicious family dinner.
  • Sloppy Joes in Soft Corn Tortillas
    Photo: Frances Janisch

    Sloppy Joes in Soft Corn Tortillas

    Take the "sloppy" out of the sandwich by ditching the bun and wrapping the hearty beef or turkey mixture, sprinkled with Cheddar, in a soft corn tortilla. This fun twist on the meaty dinner staple that can be on the table in less than 15 minutes.
  • Chicken Parmesan
    Photo: Frances Janisch

    Chicken Parmesan

    Start with breaded and cooked chicken tenderloins to save time on this family favorite. To kick up the flavor, sprinkle with oregano and drizzle with marinara sauce. Top with grated Parmesan and bake until the cheese is melted. Serve over noodles or with a side of salad for a dinner that's ready in 15 minutes.
  • Baby-Back Ribs
    Photo: William Meppem

    Baby-Back Ribs

    Make a simple rub from sugar, chili powder, mustard, and thyme leaves, and coat the baby-back ribs before cooking for an hour and a half. These taste great hot off the grill or fresh from the oven, so take your pick. Get them cooking, then go enjoy some time to yourself before dinner. Pair with instant macaroni and cheese for a filling, comfort-style dinner.
  • Baked-Potato Eggs
    Photo: William Meppem

    Baked-Potato Eggs

    Baked potatoes have long been an easy, budget-friendly meatless menu idea. Update your cheese-and-butter original by using grated Parmesan, diced turkey sausage, and a few eggs. Bake the potatoes once, then add the yummy extras and make a hollow for the egg, then bake again until the egg is set. You'll add protein and lots of flavor to the one-dish meal.
  • Simple Roast Chicken
    Photo: Jim Franco

    Simple Roast Chicken

    Make a simple chicken dish that roasts in about an hour and pairs well with a number of sauces and sides. Keep this recipe on hand as your go-to recipe for preparing a whole chicken during the week. The recipe is light but flavorful, so you can use the leftovers in sandwiches, pasta tosses, or with a favorite salsa.
  • Fish Tacos
    Photo: Mark Lund

    Fish Tacos

    Add fish to the menu with a quick-cooking meal that packs a satisfying crunch. Bake frozen fish tenders according to package directions, then wrap in warm tortillas with sliced red onion, tartar sauce, and romaine lettuce.
  • Last-Minute Lasagna
    Photo: Rick Lew

    Last-Minute Lasagna

    Shortcut a family favorite by using large cheese ravioli in place of the usual noodle and ricotta mixture. The ravioli takes the place of the two ingredients and still gives the casserole that homemade look when served. Bake for 40 minutes, then serve to family or last-minute dinner guests.

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