Easy Summer Recipes with Five Ingredients or Less

Gimme Five: Easy Summertime Recipes

Easy summertime recipes with no more than five ingredients.

A fresh shrimp boil on the table. Two easy summer recipes for the family.

Photography by Rachel Benavides

Life is complicated, but dinner doesn’t have to be. Here are two easy summer recipes that are satisfying and as simple as five ingredients (or fewer). Cutting down on meal components doesn’t mean having to sacrifice flavor.

Sure, we might love to prepare complex dishes that stretch our culinary skills; on the other hand, these often require more time in the kitchen and a catalog of aromatics, spices, herbs, etc. Even the most ambitious home chef can agree that simplicity wins after a long day. Jotting down a short grocery list on your hand, leaving the store with only a bag or two and throwing dinner together in less than 30 minutes is a proposition we can’t resist.

Simplifying dishes requires only a little ingenuity. Spice mixes are a slam dunk way to add gobs of flavor with a single shake. We make sure za’atar, everything bagel or Jamaican jerk seasonings line our cabinet shelves consistently. Using one ingredient in multiple ways can also cut down on the shopping list. Keeping kitchen staples well-stocked lessens an efficient home chef’s frustration. While the inclusion of salt and pepper is usually implied for a savory dish, remember there are many variations that can add even more flavor — e.g., smoked salt and lemon pepper.

For dishes with only a few ingredients, it’s even more critical to choose the best available. Make the trip to a local fishmonger to purchase fresh fish or never-frozen Gulf shrimp. Find wagyu or grass-fed beef, pastured pork, eggs or chicken from a local grower or meat market. Frequent the farmer’s market and opt for organic produce and herbs to maximize freshness and flavor.

We’ve teed up two crowd-pleasing dinners that are perfect for summer and whip up in no time. A southern shrimp boil is a fun, hands-on, “throw it on the table and let them get after it” type of meal with only five ingredients and as many steps. Our second recipe, seared steak, is a summer tradition at our house. We purchase grass-fed steaks from our farmer friends at a local market. Though this meat is leaner than that from corn-finished cows, it’s also higher in anti-inflammatory fatty acids and has been shown to promote health.

Our busy lifestyles beg for an easy solution to supper. All you need is five ingredients and dinner is served.

A shrimp boil for the family. Two easy summer recipes for the family.
Shrimp Boil

Shrimp Boil

Serves 6

Cook time: 15 minutes   |   Inactive time: 15 minutes


2 lemons, sliced

1/3 cup crawfish, shrimp and crab boil seasoning

1 lb baby gold potatoes, halved

3 ears corn on the cob, husked and cut in half

2 lbs large Gulf shrimp

Optional: 4 tbsp butter, unsalted and melted


Fill a large stock pot halfway with water and add in 1 sliced lemon and shrimp boil seasoning and place over high heat.

Once the water starts to boil, boil the potato halves for 5 minutes before adding in the corn. Boil the corn an additional 5 minutes before adding the shrimp. Cook the shrimp for 2 minutes, then turn off the heat.

Let the mixture sit for 15-20 minutes. Drain the liquid from the shrimp mixture and toss with melted butter (optional). To serve, tip the mixture out onto a butcher-paper lined surface with the remaining lemon slices.

Delicious seared ribeye with pickled sweet peppers. Two easy summer recipes for the family.
Seared Ribeye with Pickled Sweet Peppers

Seared Ribeye with Pickled Sweet Peppers

Serves 4

Prep time: 5 minutes   |   Cook time: 15 minutes   |   Inactive time: 15 minutes


1/4 cup rice wine vinegar

1 tsp sugar

1 bell pepper, diced

Two 1 lb ribeye steaks

2 tsp steak seasoning


Whisk rice wine vinegar and sugar in a small bowl. Add in diced bell pepper and let sit for at least 15 minutes.

Let steaks come to room temperature, pat dry with a paper towel, and season each with 1 teaspoon of your favorite steak seasoning.

Preheat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tbsp olive oil to the skillet and heat until shimmering. Sear steaks for 4 minutes, then flip with tongs and cook for an additional 3 minutes on the second side. Remove steaks from the skillet and let rest.

Transfer peppers with 1 tbsp pickling liquid to a small food processor and blend until almost smooth. Spoon over prepared steaks prior to serving.

Looking for more Farm to Table? Check out Delicious Garden-Fresh Recipes or Vegan Recipes Made Easy.