The way that I save time in the kitchen on busy weeknights is to start with easy recipes that have very few ingredients, preferably ingredients that I already have on hand. I like to keep my pantry stocked with some basic things such as pasta sauce, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, oil, butter, wine, and some spices and seasoning blends. With these few items, you can add simple flavor to all kinds of meat, chicken or fish. To round out the meal, I add a simple steamed veggie or a mixed green salad, and dinner is served.


One of my "go-to recipes is Chicken and Shiitake Marsala (pictured). It has only 5 ingredients (not counting the salt and pepper), and it only take about 15 minutes to prepare. This recipe features another great kitchen shortcut: pounding the chicken into thinner pieces so it cooks faster. If you can't find shiitake mushrooms, you can substitute any kind of mushrooms. And although the Marsala adds distinctive flavor, I've also made this dish with a dry white wine and it turns out great.

If you want to simplify your cooking, take a look at the 5-ingredient recipe that is featured daily on the MyRecipes homepage. Or share some of your favorite 5-ingredient recipes with us.