30 One-Pot Dinners That Make Cleanup a Breeze

Look, you’re a busy woman. So some nights—scratch that, many nights—preparing an extravagant dinner and cleaning a hundred dishes just isn’t going to happen. Here, 30 simple one-pot dinners that taste delicious and make cleanup a breeze.

20 Mess-Free Meals You Can Make in a Sheet Pan

1. One-pot Creamy Chicken Alfredo

When it comes to comfort food, this dish tops our list. Thankfully, this recipe can bring all its ooey-gooey goodness to the table in 35 minutes. Pass the Parmesan.

2. 30-minute One-pot Cheater’s Bouillabaisse

Break out the Chardonnay for a deceptively simple dinner. We shaved a whopping 90 minutes off this recipe, meaning you have more time to eat, chat or make dessert. We won't tell your guests.

3. One-pan Spaghetti And Meatballs

A classic comfort food that never disappoints. Especially when it comes without a full sink. Treat yourself a big bowl of this timeless fave topped with lots of cheese. Don't forget garlic bread for wiping the plate clean.

4. Cheater’s Skillet Lasagna With Corn And Cherry Tomatoes

Red sauce? We don't know her. Lasagna just got a new look starring three ears of corn, capers and lots of veggies like asparagus and zucchini. The best part? You won't have to spend a single second layering or assembling.

5. One-pan Creamy Chicken Fricassee With Sage

Nonna would be so proud. These crispy chicken thighs come together in a pool of sage-rosemary sauce spiked with bacon, garlic and onion. It's so decadent that you'd never guess there's no heavy cream in it. You can thank egg yolks and lemon juice for that.

6. One Pan Gnocchi, Sun-dried Tomato And White Bean Skillet

Pan-fried gnocchi is one thing we can’t get enough of. This one's loaded with mushrooms, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes and white beans. Did we mention it comes together in less than 30 minutes?

7. One-pot French Onion Pasta Bake

It’s like French onion soup and baked ziti had a baby. We're talking gruyere, gorgonzola and heavy cream bubbling atop red-wine onions and mushrooms and lots of buttery pasta. Yeah, we'll preheat the oven.

8. Indian Butter Chicken

There's never been a long day this dish couldn't fix. Warm garam masala, cumin, turmeric and ginger make for a uniquely complex tomato-based sauce. The stick-and-a-half of butter doesn't hurt, either. Wanna make it vegetarian? Substitute the chicken for tofu or chickpeas. Prep some basmati rice or toasted naan for serving.

9. One-pot Teriyaki Chicken Zoodles

Put down the takeout menu. You've got this covered. This gluten-free take substitutes lo mein for zucchini noodles. Pineapple chunks in the honey-soy sauce also make for a sticky-sweet pop of freshness and acidity.

10. One-pot Lasagna

Forget about boiling a pot of water. This lasagna requires no layering (see all that ricotta on top?) and only takes 30 minutes from start to finish. You’re gonna want some garlic bread with this.

11. One Pot Mac And Cheese

So. Much. Cheese. There's something about a big ol' bowl of shells swimming in sauce made of cheddar, butter and cream cheese. The secret? Boiling the pasta in milk—not water.

12. Instant Pot Spicy Thai Butternut Squash Soup

Not only is this soup gorgeous, it's vegan and gluten-free. If you've never cut a butternut squash before, don't panic. Microwave it for three minutes to soften it and make it easier to cut. Or buy pre-cut squash. We won't judge.

13. Cheater’s Skillet Paella

We see a backyard party in your future. And everyone is super impressed with this Spanish centerpiece. If you think chorizo, shrimp and clams are a tall order, think again. All you need is a pot and an oven to pull this off. Now, who wants sangria?

14. One-pot Lemon Garlic Cream Ravioli With Shrimp And Asparagus

Angel hair is so yesterday. We've upgraded this scampi-inspired meal with store-bought cheese ravioli. If you're not sold yet, wait until you try the lemon sauce made with Parmesan and cream cheese.

one pot dinners middle eastern spiced chicken recipe
A Better Happier St. Sebastian

15. Middle Eastern Spiced Chicken With Baked Rice And Pistachio

Calling all za'atar lovers. It doesn't get easier than cooking your protein, grain and veggie in the same pot. Make a big batch of the Middle Eastern spice blend to keep in a mason jar or shaker. You'll want to put it on everything.

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16. Vegetarian Chili

The only thing better than making dinner for tonight in a single pot? Making dinner for the *week* in a single pot. Finish it with sour cream, avocado and shredded cheddar.

17. One-pot Creamy Tomato Basil Pasta Bake

Full-fat coconut milk and fettuccine? Yes, please. We can taste the melted mozzarella from here. Not to mention the fontina and goat cheese.

18. One-pot Mexican Shrimp With Orzo And Zucchini

Your pantry is so stoked right now. Canned tomatoes, chicken broth, cinnamon, garlic and oil shine after baking with frozen shrimp, zucchini and orzo. That was easy.

19. Homemade Sloppy Joes

Skip the boxed stuff for this quintessential family meal. The recipe calls for ground beef, but turkey, chicken or lentils work too. Use leftover meat in tomorrow's lunch. We're thinking tacos.

20. 15-minute Skillet Pepper Steak

Steak and veggies in a soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and crushed red-pepper flakes? Yum. All that in just 15 minutes? Sign us up, stat. Sprinkle with thinly-sliced scallions and sesame seeds and the kids will ask where you ordered in from.

21. One-pot, 15-minute Pasta Limone

Here's that no-frills bowl of warm-and-cozy you've been craving. Dump it all, from the linguine to the leeks, in the pot, toss in lemon and Parmesan and dig in. Top it with basil and lemon zest if you're feeling fancy.

22. Mediterranean Quinoa Bowls With Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Okay, let's talk about this sauce. Olive oil, almond, lemon juice, garlic, salt and a jar of roasted red peppers. Plug in the blender or food processor, give it a whirl and ta-da. Top with feta and kalamata olives for a briny kick or pepperoncini and red onion for sharpness and spice.

23. Easy One-skillet Sausage And Peppers With Rice

Go from zero to dinner in less than a half-hour. Take the casings off and break up the sausage yourself, or go the easy route with ground sausage.

24. One-pan Roasted Salmon With Potatoes And Romaine

Fish, veggies and potatoes cooked on a single sheet pan is a one-pot meal in our book. Don't let the salmon intimidate you. Seasoned and brushed with butter, the fillets will turn flaky and tender while they roast. And they're just 30 minutes away.

25. One-pan Sausage With Broccoli Rabe And White Beans

Six ingredients + 25 minutes = ridiculously easy dinner. We used mild Italian sausages, but feel free to substitute spicy links if you like it hot.

26. 15-minute Skillet Sesame Chicken With Broccoli

Don't tell your local Chinese restaurant, but you're about to conquer the kids' favorite thing on the menu. This light spin skips the breading and frying, but they won't notice under all that sauce.

27. One-pan Mexican Quinoa

We love quinoa. Waiting for water to boil? Not so much. This recipe cooks it in the same pot as the veggies while they soften. Give it a squeeze of lime and cilantro before your first bite. Bonus points for washing it down with a homemade margarita.

28. Skillet Steak With Asparagus And Potatoes

Say it with us: Steak can't hurt me. There's no reason to be nervous about this sirloin masterpiece. The lemon-garlic herb sauce means you'll have one more bowl to wash, but it'll be so worth it.

29. Coconut Sweet Potato Lentil Soup With Rice

Homemade soup in less than an hour? We're there. And it blows canned chicken noodle out of the water with the help of basmati rice, coconut milk and yellow curry powder. You don't *need* to serve it with naan...but why wouldn't you?

30. One-pan Lemon Sage Chicken And Cauliflower

Crispy-brown chicken thighs. Garlic-butter cauliflower. Creamy lemon-sage sauce. Drooling yet? Yeah, we'll set the table.

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Freelance PureWow Editor

From 2015-2017 Hannah Loewentheil held the role of Editor covering entertainment, food, travel and all things nyc.

taryn pire

Food Editor

Taryn Pire is PureWow’s food editor and has been writing about all things delicious since 2016. She’s developed recipes, reviewed restaurants and investigated food trends at...