Skip to Content

20 Healthy Recipes with 5-Ingredients or Less

Below you’ll find 20 of my favorite healthy 5-ingredient recipes along with their ingredient list so you can easily take stock of what you need.

As a disclaimer, you may find a few recipes call for ingredients like salt, pepper, or spices that technically take a recipe over the 5-ingredient threshold. But you’ll also find a few with 3 ingredients. So let’s call it even.

And as one last note before you get to the 5-ingredient recipes, I’ll say that the term healthy will likely mean something different for every recipe. Some will be higher protein, some low carb, and others might be generally lower calorie or lightened up recipes. I’ve linked to the full recipe for each one that includes full nutritional breakdowns, if you’re interested.

1. Garlic Parmesan Carrot Fries

air fryer carrot fries recipe

Perfect for snacking or as a side dish for burgers or adult chicken nuggets, these carrot fries are one of my most popular recipes out there. The most common review is that they’re basically indistinguishable from sweet potato fries.

  • carrots
  • garlic
  • olive oil
  • grated parmesan
  • red pepper flakes and parsley (optional)

Get the full recipe: Garlic Parmesan Air Fryer Carrot Fries

You can also take an extra ingredient shortcut with pre-cut sticks like my oven roasted carrot sticks recipe call for.

2. Chicken Bacon Ranch Quesadillas

You really can’t go wrong with bacon, cheddar, and ranch. Adding ground chicken makes the filling for these quesadillas super easy to make and great for reheating if you want to make these in bulk.

  • center cut bacon
  • ground chicken
  • ranch seasoning
  • cheese
  • tortillas

Get the full recipe: Chicken Bacon Ranch Quesadillas

3. Honey Harissa Ground Chicken

Sweet and spicy ground chicken that goes perfectly with rice bowls like the one pictured above, in pitas, or just about any other way you can think of.

  • ground chicken
  • harissa paste
  • honey
  • lemon juice
  • olive oil

Get the full recipe: Harissa and Honey Ground Chicken

4. BBQ Chicken Mac and Cheese

If you have leftover pulled chicken or need something to make with rotisserie chicken, this BBQ mac and cheese is the move.

  • leftover pulled BBQ chicken or pork
  • Banza pasta shells
  • water and milk
  • shredded cheese

Get the full recipe: Leftover BBQ Chicken Mac and Cheese

5. Chicken Sausage Pasta for Two

Shallots and burst tomatoes make a super flavorful sauce in minutes. Pair with charred chicken sausage coins and pasta, and you have a surprisingly delicious dish in no time.

  • chicken sausage
  • cherry tomatoes
  • shallots
  • olive oil
  • bowtie pasta
  • (optional) parmesan or pecorino romano

Get the full recipe: Chicken Sausage Pasta

6. Sticky Sweet Ground Beef & Broccoli

sticky sweet ground beef and broccoli recipe

For something so simple, this dish is loaded with flavor and is a great way to get your veggies in with a smile. Here’s a look at what you’ll need:

  • lean ground beef
  • barbecue sauce
  • worcestershire sauce
  • precooked bacon
  • frozen broccoli florets

Get the full recipe: Sticky Sweet Ground Beef and Broccoli

7. Pan Fried Naked Chicken Tenders

chipotle ranch pan fried naked chicken tenders

This recipe will completely change your protein prep game. Long gone are the days of dry, rubbery chicken. I’ve included five different flavors, but the base recipe is super simple and calls for basically chicken, oil, and spices.

  • chicken tenderloins
  • olive oil (or any oil)
  • spices/seasoning varies from flavor to flavor

Get the full recipe: Pan Fried Naked Chicken Tenders

8. Honey Chipotle Pulled Chicken

Think: the infamous honey chipotle chicken crispers from Chili’s but in pulled chicken form.

  • boneless skinless chicken breast
  • honey
  • chipotle peppers in adobo
  • sugar free pancake syrup
  • reduced sugar or sugar free ketchup

Get the full recipe: Honey Chipotle Slow Cooker Chicken Breast

9. Cowboy Chicken Dip

If you’re a Trader Joe’s aficionado, you’ll love this recipe. You can pick up all five ingredients in one spot.

  • rotisserie chicken
  • cream cheese
  • shredded cheese
  • cowboy caviar
  • frozen or canned fire roasted corn

Get the full recipe: Cheesy Cowboy Caviar and Rotisserie Chicken Dip

10. Cheesy Gordita Crunch

cheesy gordita crunch copycats on a baking sheet

There’s no telling when they’ll discontinue or restrict ordering this gem to the Taco Bell app only. So bring the flavors home in a much healthier way.

  • Joseph’s pita (or a lower carb pita option)
  • hard taco shells (or extra thin corn tortillas)
  • ground beef
  • taco seasoning
  • shredded cheese + optional toppings

Get the full recipe: Copycat Taco Bell Cheesy Gordita Crunch

11. Pizza Quesadillas

This was one of my go-to snacks to make as a kid. I obviously wouldn’t put the veggies in back then, but this version definitely delivers more flavor than my quesadillas of yore.

  • low carb tortillas
  • turkey pepperoni
  • mushrooms
  • sun dried tomatoes
  • shredded mozarella

Get the full recipe: Pizza Quesadillas

12. Cheddar Cauliflower Grits Breakfast Bowls

low carb cauliflower grits breakfast bowls

If you’re unfamiliar with the magic of cheddar powder, this recipe is a perfect introduction. Here’s a look at everything you’ll need:

  • frozen cauliflower rice
  • light butter
  • cheddar powder
  • eggs
  • precooked bacon

Get the full recipe: Low Carb Cauliflower Grits Breakfast Bowls

13. Everything Bagel Protein Pop Tarts

everything bagel protein pop tarts 2

A creamy egg white mixture wrapped in a high protein pastry and topped with everything bagel seasoning. If you’re a savory breakfast fan, you’ll love this one.

What you’ll need:

  • protein pancakes mix like Kodiak Cakes, Birch Benders, etc.
  • Greek yogurt
  • egg whites
  • fat free cream cheese
  • everything bagel seasoning

Get the full recipe: Everything Bagel Protein Pop Tarts

oreo healthy cookie butter

This higher protein cookie butter is amazing with rice cakes, toast, waffles and pancakes, fruit, or by the spoonful. You’ll only need four ingredients:

  • Oreo O’s cereal
  • peanut butter
  • protein powder
  • fat free evaporated milk (or any milk)

Get the full recipe: Healthy Oreo Cookie Butter

15. Loaded Air Fried Chicken and Potatoes

loaded air fried chicken and potatoes

I’ve cheated a bit on this one since you’ll need a few ingredients beyond five if you count the spices, but the core ingredient list is a short one:

  • canned potatoes
  • chicken breast
  • precooked bacon
  • reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese

Get the full recipe: Air Fried Chicken and Potatoes

16. Kodiak Cakes Hand Pies

healthy apple hand pie recipe

If you’re picking up some protein pancake mix for something like the Everything Bagel Protein Pop Tarts, you can spin it into something sweet like these hand pies. Here’s the list:

  • protein pancakes mix like Kodiak Cakes, Birch Benders, etc.
  • light butter
  • vanilla Greek yogurt
  • sugar free apple or cherry pie filling (or any filling you’d like)

Get the full recipe: Healthy Hand Pies

17. Bacon Wrapped Jalapeño Poppers

You can make these extra porky poppers with a handful of ingredients and a quick stint in the air fryer. Or if you have a bit more time, a pellet smoker.

  • jalapeño peppers
  • center cut bacon
  • lean chorizo (or my chicken chorizo)
  • fat free cream cheese
  • honey

Get the full recipes: Air Fryer Jalapeño Poppers or Traeger Smoked Jalapeño Poppers

18. Mug Protein Brownie

one minute protein mug brownie recipe

This is one of the earliest recipes on my blog, and people continue to make it all these years later. I guess it really holds up for something so simple.

  • canned pumpkin
  • protein powder
  • cocoa powder
  • sweetener (optional)

Get the full recipe: Microwave Protein Brownie

19. Protein Pancakes

I’ve made lots of protein pancakes in my day with egg whites, canned pumpkin, and different flour blends. And while they may be slightly lower carb or higher protein, I’ve found mixing protein powder with your favorite pancake mix and a little milk makes protein pancakes that rival the real deal. I mean, look at the fluff!

  • your choice of pancake mix
  • protein powder
  • milk

Get the full recipe: Easy Protein Powder Pancakes

20. Smashed Potatoes

I love smashed potatoes but don’t always want to boil then smash then roast. This recipe double fries in the air fryer so you don’t need to boil the potatoes.

  • baby gold potatoes
  • olive oil
  • dried rosemary
  • garlic powder
  • salt and pepper

Get the full recipe: Air Fryer Smashed Potatoes

Wrapping Up

First off, if you enjoyed this roundup, you might like some of my others:

And if you try any of these recipes, I’d love to see them! Take a photo and tag me on Instagram @mason_woodruff or join my free Facebook group and share it with the crew. I’ll see you there.


Thursday 3rd of January 2019

That beef broccoli looks like perfection.