6 One-Pot Recipes for Easy Dinners

Everyone loves a home-cooked meal, but most don’t love the post-dinner cleaning. No matter how delicious the meal, it’s a drag to clean pot after plate after pan, and that’s where takeout makes its move. But not so fast. One-pot recipes deliver a healthy, homemade meal that only requires minimal cleaning. Here are six recipes to get you started.

1. Sausage and Vegetable Stew

Saursage and vegetable stew

Saursage and vegetable stew | iStock.com

First up is sausage and vegetable stew from Food Network. It’s the perfect transition dinner that straddles the seasons and doesn’t make you slave away in the kitchen. Simply load your kielbasa, veggies, onion, garlic, and water into a heavy pot, then cook until the vegetables are tender and the broth has thickened. You’ll then be ready to ladle your soup into bowls and serve with herbed sour cream.


  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large red onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 tablespoon paprika, plus more for garnish
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 6 ounces kielbasa, cut into small chunks
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 2 parsnips, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 14 ounces small red-skinned or new potatoes (6 to 8), quartered
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • ½ cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • Crusty bread, for serving

Directions: Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven or heavy pot over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and glistening, about 6 minutes. Add the paprika and 1 teaspoon salt; cook until the oil turns deep red, about 1 minute. Add the flour and cook until just toasted, 30 more seconds. Immediately whisk in 4 cups water. Add the kielbasa, carrots, parsnips, potatoes and 1½ teaspoons salt.

Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce to a simmer; cover and cook until the vegetables are tender and the broth has thickened, about 20 minutes. Add the vinegar and season with pepper.

Combine about half of the parsley with the sour cream in a small bowl and season with salt and pepper. Ladle the stew into bowls; top with the remaining parsley, a dollop of herbed sour cream and a sprinkle of paprika. Serve with bread.

2. Greek Pork Chops with Squash and Potatoes

Raw pork chops | Source: iStock

Raw pork chops | iStock.com

This recipe from Southern Living calls for a pan in place of the more standard pot. The dinner requires 20 minutes of hand-on prep time, then needs about 40 minutes to roast. The marinated pork pairs well with the squash and potatoes that cook right beside it on the pan. And because you line the pan with foil before cooking, cleaning is easier than ever.


  • 4 (1-inch-thick) frenched pork loin chops
  • ½ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 2 medium yellow squash, sliced ½ inch thick
  • 1 large zucchini, sliced ½ inch thick
  • ½ pound small red potatoes, quartered

Directions: Place pork chops in a 13-by-9-inch baking dish. Whisk lemon juice, oil, garlic, oregano, pepper, and 2½ teaspoons salt; reserve 2 tablespoons marinade. Pour remaining marinade over pork, turning to coat. Chill 1 to 8 hours.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine squash, zucchini, potatoes, and reserved marinade. Spread squash mixture in an even layer on a heavy-duty aluminum foil-lined rimmed sheet pan.

Remove pork from marinade, discarding marinade. Pat dry with paper towels, and place on top of squash mixture.

Bake 25 minutes. Increase temperature to broil, and broil until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion registers 140 degrees Fahrenheit, about 5 minutes. Transfer pork to a serving platter, and cover with foil. Return pan to oven, and broil squash mixture until slightly charred, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer squash mixture to a serving bowl; toss with remaining ½ teaspoon salt, and serve with pork.

3. Spicy Peanut Chicken

Spicy peanut chicken

Spicy peanut chicken | iStock.com

If you have 10 minutes to spare, you have time to make this spicy peanut chicken from Martha Stewart. Chicken thighs and broccolini cook together on a rimmed baking sheet and are tossed in a tasty sauce made from peanut butter, sesame oil, soy sauce, and rice vinegar. Even better, this recipe is a complete meal that’s as delicious as it is healthy.


  • ¼ cup smooth peanut butter
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sambal oelek
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 4 skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 bunch broccolini

Directions: Preheat broiler. Mix together peanut butter, water, sesame oil, soy sauce, sambal oelek, and rice vinegar. Toss chicken thighs and broccolini in sauce, and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Broil 10 inches from heat until chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes.

4. Lemon Butter Chicken Pasta

Lemon butter pasta

Lemon butter pasta | iStock.com

Give tomato sauce a break with this lemon butter chicken pasta from Delish. It’s another flavorful one-pot meal that will appeal to the poultry lovers in your family. It can be made in under 30 minutes and serves four. It’s perfect for beginners and promises an easy clean up.


  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 ounces angel hair pasta
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ small red onion, finely chopped
  • ⅓ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 4 lemons)
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced into half moons
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 cups baby spinach
  • ¼ cup Parmesan

Directions: In a large skillet over medium heat, heat olive oil. Add chicken and season generously with salt and pepper. Cook until no longer pink, 10 minutes per side.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook angel hair according to package directions until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta water, and set aside.

Transfer chicken to a plate and add butter to skillet. Let melt, then add garlic and red onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, then add lemon juice, zest, and slices. Stir in crushed red pepper flakes. Pour in ¼ cup reserved water.

Return chicken to skillet, along with spinach. Gently toss until wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Add angel hair and toss until combined. (Add more pasta water if desired.) Top with Parmesan.

5. One-Pan Chicken, Sausage, and Sage Bake

Chicken with sage

Chicken with sage | iStock.com

For true carnivores, this chicken and sausage dish from Food & Wine is a must. One thing to note: You’ll want to marinate the chicken overnight. The next day, it’s time to cook the poultry in a large roasting pan alongside sweet Italian sausages and fresh sage. In an hour, you’ll be sitting down to dinner.


  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 2 small onions, peeled and quartered through the root ends
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 1 tablespoon dried sage
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 (4-pound) chicken, cut into 10 pieces
  • Kosher salt
  • 12 sweet Italian sausages
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage

Directions: Squeeze the lemon halves into a large, resealable plastic bag. Cut each lemon half into four pieces and add to the bag along with the onions, olive oil, mustard, dried sage and Worcestershire sauce; season with pepper. Seal the bag and squish the ingredients together until well mixed.

Add the chicken pieces to the bag and coat thoroughly. Refrigerate overnight.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Let the chicken stand at room temperature in the marinade for 30 minutes. Pour the contents of the bag into a large roasting pan. Turn the chicken pieces skin side up and season with salt. Arrange the sausages around the chicken and sprinkle all over with the fresh sage. Bake for 1 hour, until the chicken and sausage are browned; turn the sausages halfway through cooking. Transfer the chicken, sausages, onions and lemons to a platter, drizzle with some of the pan juices and serve.

6. One-Pot Pizza Pasta Bake

Pizza, pasta bake

Pizza, pasta bake | iStock.com

This pasta bake from Damn Delicious combines two of your favorite dishes. It only requires one pot and the pasta cooks right in the sauce, making this recipe supremely simple. After everything has been cooked through, add some mozzarella and pepperoni, then broil until everything is melted and bubbling. This dish is sure to be a hit.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 ounces spicy Italian sausage, casing removed
  • ½ cup mini pepperoni, divided
  • 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 8 ounces rotini pasta
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

Directions: Preheat your oven’s broiler. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in an oven-proof skillet set over medium-high heat. Add sausage and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until well browned, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add ¼ cup pepperoni and cook, stirring, until heated.

Add tomato sauce, oregano, basil garlic powder, pasta and 1½ cups water to the skillet. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to medium low, and simmer until pasta is just cooked, about 12 to 14 minutes.

Remove from heat and top with mozzarella and remaining pepperoni. Transfer to oven and broil until cheese is melted and bubbling. Garnish with parsley and serve.