I love one-pot dinners. Although I get plenty of help loading and unloading the dishwasher, I’m the one in the family that regularly washes the pots and pans, so I’m thrilled whenever there’s less dishes to do at the end of the night. Also, one-pot dinners are incredibly efficient. Why get out a stockpot and a skillet when a single Dutch oven will suffice?
What exactly is a one-pot dinner? To me, a one-pot dinner is exactly that. It’s a recipe that uses a single pot (or skillet) to make the whole dinner. These meals don’t require me to make a separate pot of rice, boil pasta as a side, or to get out a slew of tortillas and toppings to be considered a meal. No. A one-pot meal is made in one pot and can be served as is.
Without further ado, read on to find one-pot dinners that will make busy nights as easy as can be.
Skillet Chicken Thighs with Potatoes, Carrots, and Greens
Braising doesn’t have to be an all day affair. This skillet version braises the chicken thighs and vegetables in the oven in 30 minutes. Feel free to swap out the swiss chard for baby spinach (no chopping required!) or kale.
One-Pot Spaghetti with Tomatoes, Artichokes, and Capers
Not only is this one-pot but it takes only one step! Put all the ingredients in the large skillet, simmer, and serve. The short ingredient list uses easy to find ingredients that sing when put together. Stir in a can of white beans for an extra-filling meal.
Slow Cooker Cajun-Spiced Stuffed Peppers
Stuffed peppers were always one of my favorite meals growing up. This one is especially delightful because you don’t have to pre-cook the filling. Nestle the stuffed peppers in a slow cooker and let it do the rest.
One-Pot Taco Pasta
Take the spices in chili and add ingredients similar to hamburger and macaroni and you get this delightful one-pot taco pasta. You can add toppings, like sour cream and additional shredded cheese, but it’s perfectly wonderful as is.
Creamy One Pot Pasta with Zucchini
Still trying to use up all that zucchini? This is the perfect one-pot meal for you. Shredded zucchini is cooked down and then combined with tube-shaped pasta and cream cheese. Six ingredients never tasted so good.
Skillet Chicken and Rice
Chicken and rice was my favorite casserole but cooking it in a skillet makes it so much quicker. You can make this recipe your own by adding cheese, garlic, or change up the herbs. Remember to rinse the rice before adding it to the skillet so that the finished dish isn’t gummy.
Skillet Cacio e Pepe Tortellini With Wilted Greens
Being able to conserve water while speeding up dinner sounds like a dream combination. In this recipe, the water that cooks the tortellini also turns into a silky sauce. 25 minutes later and you’ll be sitting down to dinner.
Instant Pot White Chicken Chili
The Instant Pot turns a weekend meal into a quick and easy one-pot sensation. The chicken thighs are simmered along with the sauteed vegetables, spices, and beans. Once the pressure cooking cycle is complete, you can keep it on the warm setting for up to 10 hours before finishing the chili.
White Bean, Tomato, and Shrimp Skillet Dinner
If you haven’t tried fennel yet, now is the time. Sauteed fennel flavors the tomato sauce that the shrimp and white beans are cooked in and adds a touch of sweetness to the dish. It’s important to cook the shrimp gently to keep it from becoming rubbery.
Shakshuka with Feta, Olives, and Peppers
Shake up the breakfast for dinner routine with a simmering pot of tomatoes, cheese, and eggs. Shakshuka is a versatile dish typically eaten for breakfast but makes a fantastic dinnerl. Use a skillet with a lid to steam the eggs.
Creamy Skillet Gnocchi With Bacon and Peas
Cooking ever-handy packaged gnocchi in a skillet may just become your default method after you try this easy-peasy dinner.
Tuscan Chicken Pasta Skillet
Quickly marinating the chicken in oil and Italian spices makes for a highly flavorful chicken dinner. The spaghetti noodles are cooked in the same skillet as the chicken but not at the same time. This keeps the chicken from losing its crisp exterior. You could substitute a Dutch oven for the large high-sided skillet.
Pork Asado de Carajay
Potatoes, chickpeas, and veggies make this simple Filipino pork stew extra filling. The sweet and tangy tomato broth is excellent if you’d like to dirty a second dish in the microwave and nuke up some rice to sop it up.
Easy Pork Fried Rice
Fried rice is such a weeknight dinner staple that it’s easy to take its one-pan status for granted. Bust this one out when you have leftover rice to blast through. Frozen veggies make the prep minimal.
Chinese 5-Spice Skillet Chicken with Green Beans and Peppers
Not only is this a one-pot dinner but it can also be prepped ahead and stashed in the freezer, ready to save the day. A mortar and pestle can take the place of a spice grinder or you could use pre-ground spices and leave the bay leaf whole. Just remember to remove it when it’s time to serve.
Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese
This one goes out to everyone that thinks making homemade mac and cheese is difficult. Pull out your slow cooker, dump all the ingredients in, and enjoy a creamy mac and cheese for dinner.
One Pot Chicken and Orzo
Though similar in size to rice, orzo is a small pasta. Bone-in chicken thighs are first browned in the skillet, leaving enough fat for the orzo to be toasted in before bringing it all back together. The meal is on the table in 35 minutes and can be adjusted easily to include more vegetables and spices.
Curried Ground Turkey With Potatoes
This simple one-pot uses ground turkey, easy to find spices, and cubed potatoes to create a nourishing meal. Rice is optional here, unlike more traditional curries that have more liquid.
Skillet Chicken with Cheesy Orzo and Zucchini
You really can’t go wrong with cheesy pasta and chicken. Lean chicken breasts are a tasty counterpoint to the rich pasta. You can serve it right out of the skillet or chop the cooked chicken and stir it in before serving.
One-Pot Macaroni and Cheese
The stirring you do from time to time helps make this roux-free macaroni and cheese extra silky. The starch from the pasta slowly helps thicken the sauce. Less to wash, more to love.