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Recipe Spotlight

9 Recipes That Use 10 or Fewer Ingredients That You (Probably) Already Have

No matter what you consider "pantry" ingredients, there's a good chance you'll have everything you need to make at least a few of these recipes.

Published Mar. 15, 2020.

In unexpected, long periods of time at home, your kitchen becomes an even more vital source of comfort and sustenance. There are no hard-and-fast requirements about what ingredients to keep stocked in your kitchen, but this list of diverse, family-friendly recipes includes a variety of dishes that use only a handful of ingredients (the 10 ingredient limit includes oils but not salt and pepper) that you likely have in your kitchen already. No matter what you consider "pantry" ingredients, there's a good chance you'll have everything you need to make at least a few of these recipes.

Simple PancakesFrench Style Scrambled EggsSlow Cooker Creamy Orzo with Parmesan and Peas
From left: Easy Pancakes, Creamy French-Style Scrambled Eggs, Slow Cooker Creamy Orzo with Parmesan and Peas

1. Easy Pancakes

We’ve developed a lot of delicious recipes for pancakes over the years—but hey, they haven’t all been the least fussy. With this recipe, we set out to accomplish tender, fluffy, flavorful pancakes using pantry-friendly ingredients and basic kitchen tools. (Yes, whipping egg whites in a pancake recipe makes them ultra-fluffy, but sometimes you just want to dump and stir.) [GET THE RECIPE]

What You’ll Need:
2 cups (10 ounces) all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup plus 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1½ cups milk
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

2. Creamy French-Style Scrambled Eggs

Expand your egg-cooking skills by preparing these rich, velvety scrambled eggs. Traditional French-style scrambled egg recipes usually call for plenty of cream and butter, but we found a way to make them without all the added fat. The secret is an ingredient you definitely have on hand: water. [GET THE RECIPE]

What You’ll Need:
8 large eggs
½ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon minced fresh parsley

3. Slow Cooker Creamy Orzo with Parmesan and Peas

If you have orzo in your pantry and an oval slow cooker in your cabinet, this recipe is a tasty, mostly hands-off option for a hearty side dish or a vegetarian main (just make sure to use vegetarian broth instead of chicken). [GET THE RECIPE]

What You'll Need:
Salt and pepper
1 onion
6 garlic cloves
1½ teaspoons grated lemon zest
1 cup frozen peas
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 ounces Parmesan cheese
2½ cups vegetable or chicken broth
¼ cup dry white wine
1 cup orzo

Cacio e PepeSpaghetti CarbonaraSkillet Baked Ziti
From left: Cacio e Pepe, Foolproof Spaghetti Carbonara, Skillet Baked Ziti

4. Cacio e Pepe

This one goes out to all the European cheese lovers who already have imported Pecorino Romano in their refrigerators. This recipe hinges on using that specific, high-quality ingredient (not the domestic cheese labeled “Romano”) and is a simple but bold-flavored meal. [GET THE RECIPE]

What You’ll Need:
Table salt
1½ teaspoons finely ground black pepper
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons heavy cream or half-and-half
6 ounces Pecorino Romano
1 pound spaghetti

5. Foolproof Spaghetti Carbonara

Most carbonara pastas are so rich that it’s hard to eat a whole bowlful. We lightened the usual recipe by dismissing additions like cream and butter and cutting any oil, which resulted in a lighter dish with a shorter ingredient list. [GET THE RECIPE]

What You’ll Need:
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
½ cup water
3 garlic cloves, minced
2½ ounces Pecorino Romano, grated (1¼ cups)
3 large eggs plus 1 large yolk
1 pound spaghetti
8 slices bacon, cut into ½-inch pieces

6. Skillet Baked Ziti

In the comments section of this recipe, home cooks have mentioned using milk instead of cream, and trying—and loving—a variety of additional ingredients, including sausage, ground chicken, diced onion, mushrooms, and even pureed white beans. As long as you have the base ingredients, this is a great opportunity to cater a recipe to your liking. [GET THE RECIPE]

What You'll Need:
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 cups water
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
6 garlic cloves
¼ cup minced fresh basil leaves
12 ounces ziti or penne
½ cup heavy cream
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Crispy Pan-Fried Chicken CutletsSkillet-Roasted Chicken in Lemon SauceChicken Piccata
From left: Crispy Pan-Fried Chicken Cutlets, Skillet-Roasted Chicken in Lemon Sauce, Chicken Piccata

7. Crispy Pan-Fried Chicken Cutlets

Japanese chicken katsu is one of our favorite fried chicken preparations. Serve sliced over a bowl of rice with tonkatsu sauce, a barbecue-style sauce that’s also made with pantry ingredients: ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, and soy sauce. [GET THE RECIPE]

What You'll Need:

½ cup vegetable oil
2 cups panko bread crumbs
2 large eggs
4 (6- to 8-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts

8. Skillet-Roasted Chicken in Lemon Sauce

Want to taste a restaurant favorite at home? This recipe is inspired by the famous lemon chicken served at Rao’s restaurant in New York. Our version swaps the small whole chickens that Rao’s uses for easier-to-find (and more-likely-to-already-be-in-your-freezer) chicken parts. [GET THE RECIPE]

What You’ll Need:
½ cup salt
4 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 large shallot, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
4 teaspoons grated lemon zest plus 1/4 cup juice (2 lemons)
1 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon fresh parsley leaves
1 teaspoon fresh oregano leaves
3 pounds bone-in chicken pieces

9. Chicken Piccata

This is an interesting, no-fuss way to use that package of boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Complete the meal with another pantry staple, such as buttered pasta or white rice, or potatoes, crusty bread, or a simple steamed vegetable if you have one of those. [GET RECIPE]

What You’ll Need:
Kosher salt and pepper
¾ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup plus 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 shallot
1 garlic clove
2 large lemons
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons capers
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
1 cup chicken broth
4 (6- to 8-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts

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