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Back to School Roundup! 5 Ingredient Dinner Recipes

Sep 7, 2021 | Roundups | 0 comments

Back to School 5 Ingredient Dinner Recipes

These 5 Ingredient Dinner Recipes are perfect for back to school, or any extra busy week. Easy Gluten Free Dinner Recipes for the win!

It's here! Back to school season is finally upon us. After such a strange school year last year, I know many of you are excited (and maybe a bit anxious) about sending your kiddos off to school this year.

With busier schedules, extracurriculars and homework, back to school is quite an adjustment for the dinner hour as well.

Luckily, that's one thing I can help with!

I'm all about creating super simple recipes that are as healthy as they are delicious. (I actually started offering weekly Super Fast meal plans to all Prep Dish subscribers last spring – check those out here!)

Today I'm sharing ten of my favorite super fast dinner ideas, perfect for back to school! Each of these easy gluten free recipes is designed to be meal prep friendly so you can go into the school week feeling confident and prepared.

5 Ingredient Dinner Recipes

On to the recipes! All of the easy gluten free dinner recipes listed below are just 5 ingredients (or less!) for the main dish. This does not always include sides, but make sure to check out my list of healthy side dishes below the recipes. The 5 ingredients also exclude salt, pepper and olive oil.

I hope you find a new family favorite for those busy back to school nights!

1. Grilled Rosemary Pork Chops

Grilled Rosemary Pork Chops Super Fast Dinner

Have you ever tried grilling pork chops?

It's such a great way to cook this cut of meat and really brings out the flavor.

One of my favorite things about the grill is that it really doesn't take much effort or many ingredients to give you a delicious dinner. This easy recipe is no exception! Fresh rosemary, garlic powder and a little salt and pepper are all it takes for a super flavorful dinner.

The grilled nectarines will put this one a bit over 5 ingredients but I totally recommend you make them if you have time! Grilled fruit is a highlight of summer meals over at our house.

2. Cajun Shrimp

Easy Gluten Free Dinner Recipe Cajun Shrimp

Shrimp are one of my absolute favorite back to school dinners. They just cook SO quickly! Plus you can keep them in your freezer and simply thaw under running water so they make a great last-minute dinner option to keep in your back pocket.

I love the cajun seasoning used here but you can easily sub your favorite spice blend for this simple recipe.

Bonus? Shrimp are high in both omega–3 fatty acids and the antioxidant astaxanthin, which are both great for brain health. Perfect for back to school!

3. Maple Mustard Pork Tenderloin

Quick Gluten Free Dinners Maple Mustard Pork Tenderloin

Maple Mustard Pork Tenderloin is a major hit with our Prep Dish subscribers. It's not hard to see why!

The pork requires only 3 ingredients – pork tenderloin, dijon mustard and a bit of pure maple syrup. That's it!

Begin marinating the pork in the morning or the night before and all you'll have to do is pop it in the oven when you get home. Dinner will be ready in just 30-40 minutes. So easy!

My maple mustard marinade works super well on chicken too so, if pork isn't your thing, you can still enjoy this one!

4. Salmon w/ Roasted Butternut Squash & Mushrooms

5 Ingredient Dinner Recipes Salmon with Roasted Butternut Squash and Mushrooms

Sheet pans are the stars of back to school recipes and for good reason!

No one wants to clean up the kitchen after a long day of work and helping with homework. Sheet pan meals make this so easy!

This one only requires 4 ingredients: salmon, olive oil, mushrooms and acorn squash.

I kept this one super simple but you can of course add your favorite spices if you wish.

My Lemony Sheet Pan Chicken Thighs w/ Roasted Vegetables are a great weeknight dinner too!

5. Pecan-Crusted Salmon (or Chicken!)

Super Fast Dinner Ideas Pecan Crusted Salmon

If you have a child who doesn't like seafood, I highly recommend you give my pecan-crusted salmon a try!

It has that delicious crunch factor that makes kids love chicken fingers, but with all of the amazing health benefits of salmon.

Better yet, it's incredibly simple! All you need is pecans, salmon, eggs, chili powder and salt. And it only bakes for about 20 minutes so this is a good one for a weeknight.

I also have a great pecan-crusted chicken recipe here!

6. BLTA Burgers

Bacon Lettuce Avocado Tomato Burgers

These burgers have so much flavor! The bacon and avocado really take them to the next level.

Ground beef or ground bison work well here.

If you don't eat grains, these are just as delicious on lettuce wraps as hamburger buns. Make sure you check out my no-mess method for cooking bacon in the recipe instructions. It's incredibly easy and won't make your kitchen smell like bacon for days.

These require a few more ingredients but my Mediterranean lamb burgers are super tasty as well!

7. Mustard Dill Salmon

Back to School Dinners Mustard Dill Salmon

Salmon makes a repeat appearance on this list for a reason – it cooks quickly and requires very little to taste totally delicious.

I love cooking with fresh herbs and the dill here really elevates this quick gluten free dinner.

Bonus? This recipe requires just 5 ingredients (plus olive oil!) for the salmon and the sides. It's perfect for the busiest weeks.

If you don't love the salmon at your local supermarket, check out Vital Choice Seafood! Their quality is excellent and the fish arrives right at your door.

8. Lemon Parsley Pork Chops

School Night Dinners Lemon Parsley Pork Chops

Lemons, olive oil, parsley, pork chops and salt & pepper – that's all it takes!

You can make the lemon parsley marinade ahead of time, making this a super quick school night dinner. Chicken is delicious in this marinade as well.

Simple marinades are an excellent way to add flavor to your meals without adding a lot of ingredients (i.e., extra time & money). You can hear more about my favorite 3-ingredient marinades here!

While I love cabbage and apples with this pork, it would also be delicious with roasted potatoes and salad or some simple sautéed kale.

9. Cornmeal Crusted Catfish

Quick Healthy Dinners Cornmeal Crusted Catfish

If you've never tried making catfish at home, this is a great recipe to start with. Trust me, no deep fryer is needed.

My version has all of the classic flavors of this southern comfort food dish but is oven-baked and much healthier.

All you need is catfish, cornmeal, optional Cajun seasoning and salt & pepper. It couldn't be any simpler!

The fish cooks in about 10 minutes too so your hangry kids won't have to wait too long to enjoy this one.

10. Steak Kabobs

Back to School Dinner Ideas Steak Kabobs

With just five ingredients, apart from olive oil and S&P, these kabobs are a whole meal in and of themselves.

You can serve with acorn squash, as pictured, or rice or quinoa, but they're quite satisfying on their own too if you're in a rush.

Kabobs are so easy to customize too. Use chicken or pork instead of steak if you wish. Add some mushrooms or bell peppers to the kabobs. Let each family member build their own from a few different protein and veggie options. Have fun with it!

Simple Sides for the Easiest Dinners Ever

Some of these meals, like the salmon with mushrooms and butternut squash, are five or fewer ingredients including the sides. For others though, you may be looking for a super quick side dish to serve with the quick and easy protein.

I'm here for you!

Here are a few of my favorite easy (and healthy!) side dishes to serve with your 5 ingredient dinner recipes:

Each of these sides can be prepped ahead to make your 5 ingredient dinner recipes even easier! Choose 2-3 healthy sides and prep on the weekend and your weeknight meals will be totally doable. Just a little bit of meal prep can make these the easiest dinners ever!

Psst! Want more help with back to school? Check out 17 Ideas for What to Pack for Kids' Lunches!

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Allison Schaaf Chef, Prep Dish

Prep Dish is a gluten-free, paleo, and keto meal planning website. Celebrity personal chef & dietitian Allison Schaaf thoughtfully crafts each plan using her own well-tested recipes. Each meal plan allows you, the home cook, to spend only 2-3 hours preparing a week’s worth of crave-worthy, healthy meals using seasonal, whole foods (nothing processed!). We aim to save you time while keeping your family’s taste buds happy.

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