Recipes with only 5 ingredients that are a perfect 10!

Scrolling through recipes, I always look out for the number of ingredients. If it calls for a long list of ingredients, I usually just keep scrolling!

There are days when I feel ambitious and take on a recipe with many ingredients, but most of the time I like recipes with short ingredients best, with shorter steps being a bonus. Are you like-minded? Then these three recipes are exactly what you want!

Pasta Bake


This meal is magic in an oven-proof dish, created by pan frying a small onion, bacon or turkey ham with all it’s goodness, cooking cream and a good dose of black pepper. Add in the pasta, cheese on top and bake.


280g pasta for a family of four, cooked in salted boiling water and drained.

  • 1 small sliced onion
  • 250g diced bacon
  • 200ml whipping/cooking cream 
  • 150g grated cheddar cheese
  • 2 tsp coarse black pepper and some salt

How to make it:

Preheat oven to 200C.

  1. Cook pasta and drain. Keep an oven proof dish ready.
  2. In a pot, add 2 tbsp olive oil and add in sliced onion. Cook until soft about two minutes. Add in bacon and fry for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add in whipping/cooking cream and bring to a simmer for 5 minutes. The simmering  process allows the cream to absorb flavour from the bacon and onion. Add in black pepper and ½ tsp salt.
  4. Put in cooked pasta and give it a good mix. Add in 1/2 of cheese and mix. Switch off.
  5. Transfer to oven proof dish and sprinkle remaining cheese on top. Bake for 15-20 minutes until cheese is nice and golden. Remove from oven.

Top tips:

  • The black pepper here is crucial to this dish. Add in a good amount.
  • This is a dry pasta bake – the recipe doesn’t result in a ‘sauce-filled filling’.
  • Kids will absolutely love this – types of pasta to use are shells, macaroni, small penne. Our favourite: spirals!


recipes with 5 ingredients 2 - Happy Go KL

Using a wrap, we pan fry this baby with some melty cheese and your choice of ingredients on the inside, then brushed with melted butter on the outside to result in a nicely browned, toasty quesadilla.


  • 4 wraps
  • 4 slices good quality melty cheese
  • 100g ham
  • handful of baby spinach
  • melted butter

How to make it:

  1. In a saucepan, heat up some oil and pan fry chopped ham. In the same pan, add in spinach and cook till wilted (this was our choice of filling). Remove filling and set aside.
  2. Into the same pan, add in 1 wrap. Tear up 1 slice of cheese and place on one side. Put filling on cheese (don’t put too much).
  3. Fold over wrap. Press on wrap and brush melted butter.
  4. Flip over and brush the other side with melted butter. Flip until nicely browned on both sides.
  5. Cut into wedges for kids or eat as is.

Top tips:

  • Use good quality cheese. I used Food for Friends Monterey Jack (sliced) cheese.
  • Other choices of filling include mushrooms, shredded meat, capsicum strips, guacamole etc. 
  • I use the Mission brand wraps.
  • Serve with a side of corn or fries.

Creamy Pasta Carbonara

recipes with 5 ingredients 6 - Happy Go KL

Not an authentic carbonara, but a very good one nonetheless. My kids love this version and it’s easy to whip up with just a handful of ingredients!


280g pasta for a family of four, cooked in salted boiling water and drained.

  • 200g diced bacon
  • 30g shredded parmesan cheese
  • 200ml whipping/cooking cream
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ tsp salt

How to make it:

  1. Lightly whisk the eggs in a bowl or jug. Add in cheese, cream, and salt. Mix and set aside.
  2. In a saucepan, add small amount of oil and pan fry bacon for 5 minutes. 
  3. Turn heat down to simmer and add in pasta and sauce.
  4. Toss pasta in sauce on low heat and add a good dose of black pepper. Do a taste test, to see if you would like to add more salt or pepper.
  5. Switch off heat when the pasta has absorbed the sauce. Serve.

Top tips:

  • Be sure the pasta is tossed with the sauce on LOW heat.
  • Bacon can be subbed with any kind of ham – if so, just cube ham and toss in together with sauce and pasta.
  • This is not an authentic version. Some recipes call for yolks only and no cream, but this is what works for us.

Would you like more inspiration for easy dining options? Have a look here for more recipes for kiddos and grown ups alike!

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