Recipes

30 One-Pot Meals for Busy Nights


We’ve all been there. It’s the middle of the week and you’re exhausted, hungry, and completely at a loss about what to prepare for dinner. You want something quick and easy, but you’re also looking for a dish that’s a cinch to clean up. We get it: Life is hectic. But meal prep doesn’t have to be.

Fortunately, not every recipe requires washing piles of pots and pans after you’re done cooking. All of these recipes use just one pot or pan, so you won’t have to spend your whole night in the kitchen. Now that’s a win-win.

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Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

This meal is so delicious and so easy to make. Just roast the meat and vegetables on a sheet pan, fill your tortillas, and you’re good to go.

Get our recipe for Easy Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas.

Serious gluten-free chili
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Chili is the ultimate one-pot meal, no matter what season it is. This recipe uses plenty of spices, along with unexpected ingredients like cocoa powder and even beer.

Get our recipe for Hearty Turkey Chili.

crispy cod with sweet potato fries in a basket
Brie Passano

If you love ordering fish and chips at the bar, you’ll be thrilled with how easy this recipe is to replicate at home. And the best part is that the potatoes and fish all cook on the same sheet pan.

Get our recipe for Crispy Cod with Sweet Potato Fries.

bowls of homemade orange chicken with chopsticks
Brie Passano

Once you learn how to make orange chicken at home, you might swear off takeout for good. And this recipe uses just one cooking skillet, making cleanup a breeze.

Get our recipe for Orange Chicken.

chicken piccata
Shutterstock

Would you believe us if we told you that you could make this dish with just one saucepan? This chicken piccata is so flavorful, you’ll be surprised it takes just one pot to cook it in.

Get our recipe for Chicken Piccata.

baked turkey wings with mashed potatoes on plate
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

Believe it or not, all you need to make some delicious turkey wings are the ingredients and a baking dish. And if you do want to go the extra mile, use the drippings to make a homemade gravy for the wings.

Get our recipe for Baked Turkey Wings.

Steak tacos with toppings on a plate.
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

As with the chicken fajitas, all you really need for this recipe is a pan to cook the meat in. Then, all you have to do is plate it with the tortillas and toppings and serve.

Get our recipe for Steak Tacos.

sheet pan bbq chicken dinner on a marble counter
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: There’s no better feeling than assembling all of your dinner ingredients on one pan, throwing it in the oven, and not worrying about the meal again. This barbecue chicken recipe allows you to do just that.

Get our recipe for a 5-Ingredient BBQ Chicken Sheet Pan Dinner.

one skillet taco pasta with spoon, cotija cheese, and sliced avocado
Waterbury Publications, Inc.

Any pasta recipe that includes cooking the pasta in the same skillet as the rest of the meal gets a thumbs-up in our book. This taco pasta is full of flavor and couldn’t be easier to make.

Get our recipe for One-Skillet Taco Pasta.

eggs diablo with taco shells in pan
Waterbury Publications, Inc.

You don’t have to go to a restaurant to eat a killer brunch—and you don’t have to use a ton of pots and pans, either. Our eggs diablo recipe uses just one skillet, and it’s just as good as what you’d find on a brunch menu.

Get our recipe for Eggs Diablo.

broccoli cheese eggs in mugs with forks
Waterbury Publications, Inc.

This is more than a one-pot meal—it’s a one mug meal. All you have to do is load up the ingredients and let the microwave do its magic. This recipe truly couldn’t be easier.

Get our recipe for Broccoli-Cheese Eggs in a Mug.

Paleo blackened fish sandwich
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Once the fish is cooked, all you have to do is assemble the rest of the ingredients for this sandwich. Easy peasy.

Get our recipe for a Blackened Fish Sandwich With Avocado and Cabbage.

sunny side up egg pizza
Waterbury Publications, Inc.

Eggs on pizza? Why not? This recipe is surprisingly easy to assemble, and all you need is a pizza pan or baking sheet for the actual cooking.

Get our recipe for a Sunny-Side Up Egg Pizza.

pan burgers fried egg special sauce
Waterbury Publications, Inc.

Yes, it’s possible to have a decadent egg-topped burger using just one cooking skillet. This recipe is so delicious, you might swear off restaurant burgers for good.

Get our recipe for a Pan Burger With Fried Egg and Special Sauce.

Spreading ketchup on the cooked meatloaf.
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

If you can’t get enough of this Southern-inspired chain, you’ll want to try this meatloaf recipe at home. The meatloaf will cook in one baking pan, and you’ll impress all of your Southern food-loving dinner guests.

Get our recipe for Copycat Cracker Barrel Meatloaf.

Slice of loaded hashbrown casserole copycat from Cracker Barrel
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

Need a side dish for that meatloaf? You can’t go wrong with this hashbrown casserole. After you mix the ingredients, you’ll just need a baking dish to cook this hearty side.

Get our recipe for Copycat Cracker Barrel Hashbrown Casserole.

Two bowls of copycat Olive Garden pasta fagioli with parsley and parmesan cheese
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

Like chili, this hearty pasta dish requires just one cooking pot. It’s delicious on a winter day, or any time you’re looking for a hearty dish that doesn’t require too much prep time.

Get our recipe for Pasta Fagioli.

vegan sausage sheet pan
Carlene Thomas/Eat This, Not That!

Looking to add more plant-based recipes into your regular rotation? Try out this sheet pan dinner. It’s super easy to assemble, and there are no animal products involved.

Get our recipe for Sheet Pan Vegan Sausage and Vegetables.

keto tandoori chicken legs with roasted cauliflower on white plate
Waterbury Publications, Inc.

After marinating the chicken in a plastic bag, all you’ll need is one baking pan to finish cooking this flavorful dish.

Get our recipe for Tandoori Chicken Legs.

sheet pan pork chops
Waterbury Publications, Inc.

Once again: three cheers for sheet pans! With just a baking sheet and a mixing bowl, you can make this classic Italian dish at home.

Get our recipe for Sheet-Pan Italian Pork Chops.

spanish pepper beef stew with olives in a white bowl
Waterbury Publications

Chili, stew, soup—these are all great dishes that you can cook in one pot. This Spanish beef stew is so flavorful, you won’t believe it takes just one cooking pot.

Get our recipe for Smoky Spanish Beef Stew.

Paleo spread stir fry
Waterbury Publications, Inc.

Whip up this tasty stir-fry in just one skillet, and you’ll have dinner on the table in no time. (The fact that it tastes way better than takeout is just an added bonus.)

Get our recipe for Thai Beef Stir-Fry.

Healthy italian tuna melt
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Think of this as a tuna salad sandwich, upgraded. All you need is the skillet to heat this tuna melt in, and you’ll have a tasty, warm dinner ready in minutes.

Get our recipe for a Quick and Easy Italian Tuna Melt.

Paleo chicken scaloppine
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Another flavorful chicken recipe that only needs one pot to prepare it in? Sign us up. This recipe is so easy, you’ll rethink those regular Olive Garden trips.

Get our recipe for Chicken Scaloppine.

Paleo sweet and spicy beef
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Picking up on a trend here? Stir-fries are some of the easiest one-pot meals around. This recipe combines flank steak, green beans, garlic, mushrooms, and scallions for an uber-flavorful dish.

Get our recipe for Sweet and Spicy Beef Stir-Fry.

Paleo seared tuna tacos
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Fish tacos are a lighter alternative to their beef-based counterparts, and they’re every bit as delicious. The seared, pepper-crusted tuna in this recipe pairs well with the avocado—you’ll wonder why you never cooked fish tacos before.

Get our recipe for Spicy Tuna and Avocado Fish Tacos.

Paleo asian chicken meatballs
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Cook these tasty meatballs on a grill pan, and serve alongside some fresh vegetables for a quick and easy weeknight dinner.

Get our recipe for Asian-Inspired Chicken Meatballs.

Healthy portobello cheesesteak
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

This vegetarian dish is a lighter take on the classic cheesesteak sandwich. And, best of all, you only need one pan to cook everything. Now that’s what we like to hear!

Get our recipe for Mouthwatering Mushroom Cheesesteak.

RELATED: The easy way to make healthier comfort foods.

Gluten-free chicken fingers with chipotle honey
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Chicken fingers aren’t just for the kids’ menu! These baked tenders will please kids of all ages, as will the tasty honey mustard sauce.

Get our recipe for Oven-Baked Chicken Tenders with Chipotle Honey Mustard.

Healthy mom's chicken noodle soup
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

The ultimate comfort food, chicken noodle soup can be cooked in just one pot. Whether you’re battling a cold or just looking for a warm winter meal, this is a simple recipe that’s great for all occasions.

Get our recipe for Chicken Noodle Soup.

Getting dinner on the table doesn’t have to be a struggle with these easy one-pot meals. The only question now is which one you’ll try first!

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