20 Quick & Easy One-Pot Meals
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 tasty, healthy, and a cinch to clean up.
While that may sound like an impossible set of qualifications, we've compiled a list of 20 simple and flavorful recipes that can all be made in an hour or less using just one pot or one pan. Yes, you read that right. These delicious dishes such as parmesan crusted salmon with roasted broccoli or Moroccan chicken and chickpeas with pistachio couscous and goat cheese can be whipped up without throwing your kitchen into complete chaos. With just one pan to clean you won't spend half the night scrubbing an array of dirty dishes, and instead you can focus on staying healthy and getting a good night's sleep.
And if you're a fan of these one-pot wonders, check out what you can do with a slow cooker by taking a peek at these 35 Slow Cooker Recipes for Weight Loss!
Greek Chicken and Lemon Rice
This Greek chicken and lemon rice dish courtesy of Recipe Tin Eats is colorful, flavorful, and downright delicious. To make this meal in one pot simply sear the chicken in a pan, add the rice, and then place the chicken back on top of the rice before popping the whole thing in the oven. Since the chicken actually bakes on top of the rice, the hearty grains get an extra flavor boost that's bound to make this recipe a hit.
Zucchini Noodle Shrimp Lo Mein
If you're looking for something on the lighter side, this zucchini noodle shrimp lo mein from Eating Bird Food might just do the trick. Ready in just 20 minutes, this recipe is loaded with fresh veggies—garlic, onions, mushrooms, and peppers—protein-packed shrimp, and a pile of low-carb zucchini noodles. This dish gets an awesome boost of flavor from a simple sauce that contains fresh ginger, which has key anti-inflammatory properties.
Asian Noodle Soup
This one-pot Asian noodle soup from Show Me the Yummy looks and tastes like it came straight from a restaurant, but it can be made in your own kitchen in about 25 minutes using one pot. The dish, which is a twist on hot and sour soup, is easy, healthy, and vegetarian-friendly. The whole wheat noodles make it hearty and comforting, while the poached eggs are an excellent source of protein. Speaking of protein, learn how the nutrient can help you shed some pounds by consulting this list of The 29 Best-Ever Proteins for Weight Loss!
Chicken and Bacon Orzo Soup
Chicken and bacon orzo soup may not sound super healthy, but believe it or not this comforting dish contains less than 300 calories per serving. Per the recipe from Savory Simple, you fry the bacon, cook the veggies, lay the chicken breasts on top of them, and then cover with chicken stock. After bringing the liquid to a boil and allowing it to simmer for 20 minutes, you bring the soup back to a boil and add the orzo. This meal is perfect for chilly days or when you just need a warm bowl of comfort food.
Spanish Chicken and Potatoes
This one-pot recipe for Spanish chicken and potatoes from Pinch of Yum is about as comforting as it gets. It's also full of flavor and vibrant color, and even though it contains a homemade tomato sauce, it can be made in about 40 minutes. For some added fiber, vitamins, and minerals, serve the delicious chicken over a steaming hot pile of brown rice, though thanks to the hearty nature of this recipe we doubt you'll need it.
Parmesan Crusted Salmon With Roasted Broccoli
One-pot meals don't need to be limited to just chicken and soup. While this parmesan crusted salmon with roasted broccoli recipe from Cooking Classy technically calls for the use of one sheet pan, the concept is the same. The citrusy salmon, which is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, pairs well with the fiber-rich broccoli, and the whole easy dish is ready in about half an hour.
Thai Coconut Yellow Curry Chicken and Rice
This Thai coconut yellow curry chicken and rice recipe from Ambitious Kitchen may be made in one pan, but it's hardly lacking in flavor thanks to a wide array of ingredients that includes healthy veggies, garlic, coconut milk, fiber-rich turmeric, and ginger. The best part of this meal, which takes just 40 minutes to make, is that you can adapt it to make use of whatever ingredients you have on hand. It's also great for meal prep.
Cheesy Mexican Lentils, Black Beans and Rice
For another strictly vegetarian option, give these cheesy Mexican lentils with black beans and rice a go. The Recipe Runner dish is hearty, flavorful, and packed with protein, fiber, and iron. And healthy eaters can rest assured that although "cheesy" is in the name, the recipe calls for less than a cup of the gooey goodness, which can easily be swapped out for vegan cheese or omitted entirely if desired.
Garlic White Wine Pasta
While most one-pot pastas are packed with high-calorie cheese, this garlic white wine pasta courtesy of My Darling Vegan is totally cheese free and ridiculously simple. Instead of cheese, the recipe calls for a vegan-approved substitute known as nutritional yeast, which is actually similar to cheese in both taste and texture. The delicious dish, which can be made in about 30 minutes, also features vegetable broth, peas, and one cup of wine.
Eggs With Tomatoes and Bell Peppers
In search of a quick and easy one-pan breakfast or brunch idea? Look no further than this recipe for eggs with tomatoes and bell peppers from In Sonnet's Kitchen. The vegetarian-friendly meal uses nutritious veggies and plenty of protein-packed eggs, which keep you full for long periods of time and can even aid in weight loss. Ready in just 20 minutes, this dish is perfect for a weekend breakfast. What's more? You can even save the leftovers and eat them for dinner!
Sweet Potato Quinoa Skillet With Kale and Sage
As far as one-pot meals go, they don't get much healthier than this sweet potato quinoa skillet with kale and sage. The With Food and Love recipe is packed with vitamin A and protein courtesy of the sweet potatoes, while the kale provides vitamins K and B6. Both of the main ingredients are packed with fiber, making this an ideal meal for someone looking to lose weight.
Sloppy Joes aren't the healthiest things to eat, but one thing we love about this one-pot recipe from Foodie Crush is that you can actually adapt it to make it more nutritious and suitable to your specific tastes. Not a fan of ground beef, for example? Use leaner ground turkey, chicken, or bison, or ditch the meat altogether and cook with lentils instead. These sloppy joes are perfect for an easy family dinner, and if you have extra meat leftover you can serve over pasta noodles, in taco shells, or as a meaty salad over hearty romaine lettuce for yet another quick dinner option.
Coconut-Crusted Chicken Fingers With Potato Wedges
Want an easy meal that's bound to remind you of your childhood? We'd recommend these coconut-crusted chicken fingers courtesy of Fit Foodie Finds. They'll make you long for your playground days, but the breading mix of coconut flakes and ground cashews gives the dish an air of tasty sophistication. Speaking of sophistication, instead of fries, these chicken fingers are accompanied by rosemary garlic potato wedges. Both key ingredients are placed on the same sheet pan and baked together.
Sweet and Sour Vegetarian Stir-Fry
Technically this sweet and sour vegetarian stir-fry from Foxes Love Lemons uses one wok, not a pot, but we're willing to let it slide because the healthy dish looks too darn good to pass up. Ready in under 30 minutes, this meal is packed with veggies and gets its heartiness from nutritious and tasty tofu noodles. The quick homemade sweet and sour sauce gives the dish a fragrant and flavorful boost.
Garlic Herb Shrimp and Sausage
Even with two types of protein, this garlic herb shrimp and sausage can still be made using only one pan. Basically, the recipe from Chelsea's Messy Apron stipulates that you cook the potatoes in the oven first, then add the sausage and vegetables, and add the shrimp last. Since everything is cooked on the same pan (and coated in a myriad of spices) you know this recipe will pack a flavorful punch.
Moroccan Chicken and Chickpeas With Pistachio Couscous and Goat Cheese
Just reading the name of this dish makes us drool and we honestly can't believe it's made using only one pot, but in fact it is. What's more? It only takes 30 minutes to whip up. The recipe from Half Baked Harvest uses a variety of spices popular in Moroccan cooking, including smoked paprika, cumin, and coriander, meaning every bite is legitimately packed with great flavor. And while it also calls for chicken, vegetarians will be pleased to know you can easily swap that out for more fiber-rich chickpeas and veggies.
With winter in full swing, we have a feeling you'll be using this quick and easy one-pot recipe for beef chili quite a bit. The dish is flavorful, comforting, and ready in just 30 minutes. Per directions from The Healthy Maven, all you do is cook the beef and then incrementally add the veggies, spices, tomato sauce, and beans before leaving the dish to simmer on its own. If you're not a fan of ground beef, you can easily swap it out for leaner ground turkey.
Shrimp and Orzo
This shrimp and orzo recipe from Laughing Spatula is perfect to throw together on a hectic weeknight because, in addition to being made using only one pot, you can whip it up in just 20 minutes and use whatever veggies you happen to have on hand. This particular dish calls for peas, but broccoli or asparagus would also pair very nicely with the light lemon flavor.
Garlic and Citrus Chicken With Brussel Sprouts and Sweet Potatoes
This garlic and citrus chicken with Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes from Little Spice Jar is literally a feast on a sheet pan. It's got lean protein, nutrient-rich veggies, fiber-packed sweet potatoes and a light citrus flavor. In other words, there's really nothing to dislike. Ready in about an hour, this healthy, flavorful recipe is bound to become a family favorite in no time.
Vegan Fajitas With Sweet Potato Rice
We've heard of cauliflower rice, but this recipe for vegan fajitas from Inspiralized calls for tasty sweet potato rice that can also be made using a spiralizer. It features jalapeno and garlic that's first cooked with tomato paste, which makes for a delicious tomato base that creates a slight creaminess once the sweet potato rice cooks with vegetable broth. The sweet potato provides a good amount of protein, but if you're looking for more you could always add more veggies, beans, or even meat. Speaking of protein, boost your own intake by making some of these 23 Best Protein Shake Recipes for Weight Loss!