Cooking dinner at home can get messy, which is a real bummer for those who hate the clean-up. The trick to avoiding a night of scrubbing is to pick recipes that require only one pan or skillet. And many of your favorite recipes can be mastered in the skillet in fewer than 30 minutes. These dishes make it easy to say no to takeout.
1. Easy Skillet Lasagna
Lasagna can be daunting, but this skillet recipe from Betty Crocker keeps it easy. From browning the beef to simmering the sauce, everything comes together in a single pan. This lasagna is still decadent, but it’s also simpler and more healthy than anything you’d get at a restaurant. And most importantly, the clean-up is easy.
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 small green bell pepper, chopped
- 1½ cups uncooked mafalda (mini-lasagna noodles)
- 1¼ cups water
- ¼ teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 (14-ounce) jar tomato pasta sauce
- 1 (4.5-ounce) jar sliced mushrooms, drained
- ⅓ cup shredded mozzarella cheese, if desired
Directions: Cook beef, onion and bell pepper in a skillet over medium-high heat about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until beef is brown; drain.
Stir in remaining ingredients except cheese. Heat to boiling, stirring occasionally; reduce heat to low. Simmer uncovered 10 to 12 minutes or until pasta is tender. Sprinkle with cheese.
2. Mexican Skillet Rice
If you’re craving Mexican rather than Italian, this recipe from Taste of Home is for you. It’s a one-skillet meal that serves 6 in just 30 minutes. You’ll cook your egg, chicken, and onion in the skillet before adding rice, beans, peppers, and taco sauce. Then, it’s time to sprinkle in your cilantro and serve.
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1 pound chicken tenderloins, chopped
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cups cooked jasmine or long grain rice
- 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 (11-ounce) can Mexican-style corn, drained
- 1 (7-ounce) jar roasted sweet red peppers, drained and sliced
- 1 (8-ounce) jar taco sauce
- 2 green onions, chopped
- ¼ cup minced fresh cilantro
Directions: In a large skillet coated with cooking spray, cook and stir egg over medium-high heat until set. Remove and set aside.
In the same skillet, stir-fry chicken and onion in oil until chicken is no longer pink. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Stir in the rice, beans, corn, peppers, taco sauce and green onions; heat through. Stir in reserved egg. Sprinkle rice with cilantro.
3. Chili-Pasta Skillet
Enjoy the flavor of chili without the lengthy cooking time with this skillet meal from Better Homes & Gardens. It features beans, beef, tomatoes, elbow macaroni, peppers, and cheese. This chili-pasta skillet will serve 6 and can be ready in under 30 minutes.
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- ¾ cup chopped onion
- 1 (15-ounce) can red kidney beans, black beans, or red beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
- ½ cup dried elbow macaroni
- One 4 ounce can diced green chile peppers, drained
- 2 to 3 teaspoons chili powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic salt
- ½ cup shredded Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese
Directions: In a large skillet cook meat and onion until meat is brown and onion is tender. Drain off fat.
Stir in beans, undrained tomatoes, tomato sauce, uncooked macaroni, chile peppers, chili powder, and garlic salt. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, about 20 minutes or until macaroni is tender, stirring often. Remove skillet from heat; sprinkle mixture with cheese. Cover and let stand about 2 minutes or until cheese is melted.
4. One-Skillet Chicken with Broccoli and Croutons
This chicken meal from The Kitchn is an easy dinner that serves 4 and requires little prep and clean-up. You can make your main meal and side dish by cooking everything together in the skillet. The garlicky roasted vegetables and homemade croutons will complement the chicken perfectly for a delicious meal you’ll make again and again.
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil or olive oil
- 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 large garlic clove, thinly sliced
- ¾ to 1 pound broccoli florets
- 3 large slices crusty bread
Directions: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed, ovenproof 12-inch skillet or wide 3-quart sauté pan over medium-high heat.
Sprinkle the chicken breasts on all sides with salt and pepper, then carefully add them to the skillet skin-side down. Cook the chicken for 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate.
Add the garlic to the pan and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Stir in the broccoli. Return the chicken to the pan, nestling it among the broccoli florets. Place the pan in the oven and roast for 15 minutes.
Tear the bread into bite-sized pieces and nestle the bread among the chicken and broccoli. Roast for 10 more minutes, until the bread is toasty at the tips and a thermometer registers 165 degrees when inserted into the thickest part of the largest chicken breast. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
5. Skillet Pizza
Last but not least is a meal everyone knows and loves: pizza. Make it even easier with this skillet recipe from Rachael Ray. If you go the frozen pizza dough route, you’ll only need a handful of other ingredients. You’ll roll the pizza dough into a skillet, then top with any sauce and garnishes you’d like. Bake for 20 minutes, then get ready to enjoy homemade pizza straight from the pan.
- 1 ball frozen pizza dough, thawed
- 1 cup pizza sauce
- 1½ cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
- ½ cup pepperoni, sliced
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- Red pepper flakes, for serving
- Dried Oregano, for serving
Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
On a floured work surface, roll the pizza dough out to the size of your 12-inch cast-iron pan. Place the pizza dough into the pan, trimming off any access. Top the pizza with sauce, mozzarella cheese, pepperoni and Parmesan. Place the pan into the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until cheese begins to brown on top.
Remove from oven, garnish with red pepper flakes and oregano, and let cool for 5 minutes. Remove the pizza from the pan, slice and serve.