11 One Pot Recipes You'll Want to Make Every Night (2024)

I love a good home-cooked meal, but after a long day of adulting, the last thing I want to deal with is a pile of dishes — and that’s where one pot recipes come to the rescue.

One pot recipes are exactly what they sound like: Meals made in one single pot. Just cook everything in the same pot and get some extra time at night for something relaxing. Here’s our favorite easy one pot meal recipes and how to get started.

Cheap One Pot Meals 101

Whether you’re a culinary connoisseur or you’ve been known to burn water (hey, it happens to the best of us), one pot recipes are easy to follow and one pot meals saves you precious dishwashing time. Plus, having all of your ingredients in one pot can really build flavor. I mean, it’s straight up culinary magic.

Speaking as a former professional chef (turned writer), there’s some cookware that I can’t live without (and I’m not talking about pointless garlic presses) for one pot meals. You may be able to get away with cheap utensils, but a good pot is sometimes a worthwhile monetary investment. Just like I have my favorite burner on my stove, I have some tried-and-true pots that I always use. Don’t worry, I’m still gonna show you how to save on them!

Top 5 Favorite Cookware for One Pot Meals:

Dutch Oven

You can’t beat the heat retention and versatility of a Dutch oven. It’s great for braised dishes and stews. I’ve even cooked a loaf of bread in it. They can last forever as long as the enamel doesn’t chip. In fact, most brands come with lifetime warranties for that reason.

These beauties vary in size, starting at about one quart, but if you’re cooking for a family of four, aim for 5-6 quarts. Quick math here if you’re making soup — two quarts equals eight cups. Le Creuset is the holy grail of Dutch ovens, but they can cost $300+ for a 5-quart pot, depending on the retailer. Save by heading to an outlet or look for sales at high end cookware stores like Crate & Barrel, Williams Sonoma, and Sur La Table. Kohl’s has a great selection of inexpensive Dutch ovens for about $80.

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Cast Iron Pot

I love cast iron cooking, especially for camping. These pots are hella durable and retain heat like nobody’s business. I have a few cast iron skillets and grill pans of different brands, but Lodge is one of the best. It’s the Le Creuset of this category. A good one is $50+, but I’ve seen them discounted for 10% on Amazon. Lodge products have a limited lifetime warranty for repairs and replacements.

The great thing about buying cast iron cookware is that it can literally last a lifetime as long as you take care of it. Don’t wash it with soap, and be sure to “season” it to prevent rust.

Seasoning has nothing to do with actual spices, but it’s a way to form a protective layer. Apply high smoke point oil (like vegetable oil) to a paper towel and lightly coat the inside of the cast iron. Then bake at 375 degrees for about an hour. Let it cool and repeat this process after every use. Look for cast iron pots that are pre seasoned.

Stockpot

My favorite stockpot purchase is $25 and comes from Ikea. It’s stainless steel and is easy to clean. I use it for everything from gumbo to boiling pasta. Ikea offers a 15-year warranty on cookware with nonstick coatings.

Wok

My stainless steel wok was a birthday gift from my husband (romantic, right?). When I cook with it at home, I feel like I’m back working in a professional kitchen. It’s perfect for getting that char on vegetables for stir fries and one-pot noodle dishes. Plus, it’s a cinch to clean.

Be sure to buy one with a long handle for easy movement. Also, look for one with a flat bottom so it doesn’t wobble around your cooktop and for even heat distribution. Generally, wok warranties vary by manufacturer, but most brands have limited lifetime warranties. Some offer replacements on material defects, while others accept returns within 30 days.

Multicookers

One pot recipes are all about simplicity, so if you need cookware to handle everything, multi cookers are the way to go. These modern wonders can sauté, pressure cook, and even slow cook, making them a real time saver. Multicookers like Instant Pot have a 1-year limited warranty. New to multi-cookers? Use our Instant Pot guide for guidance.

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Side note: A couple of recipes below use casserole dishes, so it’s not an actual pot. Pyrex is a durable, versatile brand. Look to spend about $15.

Quick and Easy One Pot Recipes

1. One Pot Recipe: Ground Beef Stroganoff

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This is the ultimate comfort food that’s perfect for cold, lazy weeknights when all you want to do is snuggle up on the couch. Another protein option is chicken, which is still a tasty alternative.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 ounces white button mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 ounces wide egg noodles
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Chopped fresh parsley for garnish (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Heat a large pot over medium-high heat. Then, melt the olive oil and butter.
  2. With the fat melted, add the ground beef to the pot. Break it up with a spoon and cook until it’s browned and cooked through, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from the pot and set aside.
  3. Next, saute the chopped onions and minced garlic for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add the sliced mushrooms and cook for another 5 minutes until they start to brown and release their moisture.
  5. Sprinkle the flour and paprika over the mushroom mixture. Stir well to coat the mushrooms evenly.
  6. Slowly pour in the beef broth, stirring constantly to prevent lumps. Bring the mixture to a simmer and let it cook for a few minutes until it thickens.
  7. Return the cooked ground beef to the pot and mix it with the mushroom mixture.
  8. Stir in the egg noodles. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pot, and let it simmer for about 10-12 minutes, or until the noodles are tender, stirring occasionally.
  9. Once the noodles are cooked, take the pot off the heat. Lastly, stir in the sour cream and season with salt and pepper to taste. Make sure not to let it boil after adding the sour cream, as it may curdle.

Serve this dish hot. If you’re feeling fancy, garnish with chopped parsley.

2. One Pot Recipe: Cajun Chicken Alfredo Pasta

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One pot recipes should be flavorful. For this one, be prepared for an explosion of flavor in your mouth. The combination of spices is so tasty that even your pickiest eaters will be begging you to make this dish at least once a week.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning (adjust to your preferred level of spiciness)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 ounces penne or fettuccine pasta
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Fresh parsley or green onions for garnish (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Before you start cooking, season the chicken pieces with the Cajun seasoning. Then add the chicken to a large oiled pot over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken until they are no longer pink, about 4-5 minutes. Remove and set aside.
  2. To the same pot, saute the onion, red bell pepper, and minced garlic for 2-3 minutes until softened.
  3. Now, add the pasta to the pot and stir to combine it with the vegetables.
  4. Pour in the chicken broth and heavy cream, and season with salt and black pepper. Stir everything together.
  5. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and let it cook for about 10-12 minutes, or until the pasta is tender, stirring occasionally.
  6. Once the pasta is cooked, add the cooked chicken pieces and the grated Parmesan cheese. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, or until the sauce thickens and the chicken is heated through.

Top with fresh parsley or green onions, if desired.

3. One Pot Recipe: Chili Mac and Cheese

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Half mac and cheese, half chili?! One pot recipes like this are brilliant, dangerously delicious, and only take 30 minutes to make.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (14 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (14 ounces) red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups beef or chicken broth
  • 1 cup elbow macaroni
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder (adjust to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Fresh cilantro or green onions for garnish (optional)

Instructions:

  1. First, brown the ground beef over medium-high heat in a large pot. Remove any excess grease, leaving about a tablespoon in the pot.
  2. Now, cook the chopped onion, red bell pepper, and minced garlic for about 3-4 minutes.
  3. Stir in the diced tomatoes, kidney beans, and the spices (chili powder, cumin, paprika, oregano). Mix well.
  4. Pour in the beef or chicken broth and bring the mixture to a simmer.
  5. Next, stir in the elbow macaroni.
  6. Simmer for about 10-12 minutes, or until the macaroni is cooked and most of the liquid is absorbed. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
  7. Once the macaroni is tender, season with salt and black pepper to taste.
  8. Finally, sprinkle the shredded cheddar cheese on top. Cover the pot and let it melt for a few minutes, or you can also place the pot under the broiler for a minute or two until the cheese is bubbly and golden.

4. One Pot Recipe: Tomato Casserole with White Beans and Parmesan Croutons

These aren’t your ordinary tomatoes and croutons. These babies are flavor bombs waiting to please your palate. Healthy and delicious, this is a dish that your entire family will love. Use this handy recipe card to view and print for your next meal.

5. One Pot Recipe: Spicy Lemon Chicken Pasta with Tomatoes

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I love one pot recipes that don’t take more than 45 minutes to cook. Not only does this dish not take long, but the lemon flavor in this dish is refreshing. Also, the added spices contribute just enough heat to keep you warm on a cool, autumn weeknight.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 8 ounces rotini, spaghetti, or fettuccine
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 pint (about 2 cups) cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (adjust to taste)
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Fresh basil or parsley for garnish (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Over medium-high heat, add the olive oil to a large pot.
  2. With the chicken seasoned, add them to the pot and cook until they’re no longer pink, about 4-5 minutes. Set the cooked chicken aside.
  3. With an empty pot, cook the onion and garlic for 2-3 minutes. Then, add the halved cherry tomatoes and red pepper flakes until they start to soften and release their juices.
  4. Stir in the lemon zest and lemon juice, then add the chicken broth and heavy cream. Bring the mixture to a simmer.
  5. Next, submerge the pasta in the pot. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
  6. Cover the pot and let the pasta contents simmer for about 10-12 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  7. With the pasta cooked, return the cooked chicken to the pot. Stir everything and let it heat through for a couple of minutes.

Taste and adjust the seasoning if desired.

6. One Pot Recipe: Balsamic Chicken and Veggies

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Chicken recipes have a tendency to be flavorless and boring but not this one. Serve your one pot balsamic chicken and veggies hot, with a drizzle of the balsamic sauce from the skillet. If you can’t find asparagus on sale or it’s not in season, try using fresh green beans instead.

Ingredients:

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced into ½ inch strips
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound baby red potatoes, halved
  • 2 cups asparagus spears, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme (or 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves)
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley for garnish (optional)

Instructions:

  1. While your oven is preheating to 400 degrees, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, honey, and thyme in a small bowl. Set aside.
  2. In a large ovenproof pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken breasts for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until they are browned. Remove chicken and set it aside.
  3. To the pot, add the potatoes, asparagus, bell peppers, red onion, and minced garlic. Stir and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the vegetables start to soften.
  4. Return the chicken to the pot and pour the balsamic vinegar mixture over the chicken and vegetables.
  5. Stir everything together to ensure the chicken and vegetables are well coated in the balsamic mixture.
  6. Place the pot in the preheated oven and cook for 20-25 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through, and the veggies are tender. Ensure the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees.

7. One Pot Recipe: Skillet Tamale Pie

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I predict that one pot recipes will take over most of your weekday cooking. Tacos on Tuesdays are about to be replaced with Tamale Pies…and you’ll be completely fine with it once you taste this dish.

For the Filling:

  • 1 pound ground beef or ground turkey
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 can (14 ounces) each: black beans and corn, drained
  • 1 can (14 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

For the Cornbread Topping:

  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg

Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

For the Filling:

  1. Over medium-high heat, cook the meat in a large ovenproof pot until it’s browned and cooked through. Remove any excess grease.
  2. Then, stir in and cook the chopped onion and red bell pepper for about 5 minutes until they become tender.
  3. Next, pour in the black beans, corn, diced tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, salt, and black pepper. Mix and let it simmer for a few minutes.

For the Cornbread Topping:

  1. In a separate bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  2. In another bowl, whisk together the milk, vegetable oil, and egg.
  3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.

Assembly:

  1. Spread the cornbread batter evenly over the filling in the pot.
  2. Transfer the skillet to the preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the cornbread is golden brown and cooked through.
  3. Lastly, remove the skillet from the oven and let it cool slightly before serving.

Serve one pot recipes like this straight from the dish.

8. One Pot Recipe: Sweet Potato Enchiladas Casserole

This vegetarian dinner is a family favorite. My kids are always asking for more. Use our recipe card for ingredients and instructions. Heads up, you’ll begin cooking everything in a pot, but you’ll need a casserole dish to bake it.

9. One Pot Recipe: Pepperoni Pizza Pasta

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When your kids want pizza, I’m sure one pot recipes don’t come to mind. But if you don’t want to go through the process of making dough and would rather not order a pie, whip this up instead. It’s simple to make and comes together quickly.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound penne or rotini pasta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (14 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (adjust to taste)
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup mini pepperoni slices
  • Fresh basil or parsley for garnish (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Firstly, heat the olive oil over medium-high in a large pot. Then, add the vegetables and cook until tender.
  2. Next, stir in the minced garlic and cook for an additional minute.
  3. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, water, dried oregano, dried basil, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper. Mix everything well.
  4. Stir in the uncooked pasta and ensure it’s well-distributed in the sauce.
  5. Bring the mixture to a simmer and reduce the heat to medium-low. Put the lid on and let it cook for about 12-15 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
  6. Sprinkle the shredded mozzarella cheese over the pasta. Then, add the mini pepperoni slices on top.
  7. Cover the pot again and let it cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the pepperoni is heated through.

10. One Pot Recipe: Paprika Chicken Thighs

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This hearty dish is so tasty and comforting, I added it to my collection of favorite one pot recipes and frequently make it when family comes to visit from out of town.

Ingredients:

  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sweet paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (adjust to taste for smokiness)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds (optional)
  • 1 can (14 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Season the chicken thighs with salt, black pepper, and sweet paprika.
  2. Warm the oil over medium-high heat. Next, place the chicken thighs in the pot, skin side down. Brown for about 5 minutes on each side. Remove and set them aside.
  3. Cook the chopped onion for about 2-3 minutes. Then stir in the minced garlic for an additional minute.
  4. After the garlic is fragrant, add the red and yellow bell peppers and saute for about 5 minutes to soften.
  5. Sprinkle the sweet paprika, smoked paprika, dried thyme, and caraway seeds (if using) over the vegetables. Mix everything well.
  6. Pour in the diced tomatoes and chicken broth. Stir to combine and bring the mixture to a simmer.
  7. Return the chicken thighs to the pot, skin side up.
  8. Cover the pot and simmer for about 15-20 minutes, or until the chicken is heated through and the flavors meld together.

11. One Pot Recipe: Orecchiette with Sausage and Broccoli Rabe

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Don’t be intimidated by the name of this dish. One pot recipes like this are surprisingly easy to make and really delicious with a piece of garlic bread. If you can’t find orecchiette pasta, farfalle is a good substitute.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound orecchiette pasta
  • 1 pound Italian sausage (spicy or sweet), removed from casings
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch broccoli rabe, trimmed and chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 can (14 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Red pepper flakes (optional, for heat)
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Fresh basil or parsley for garnish (optional)

Instructions:

  1. To a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the Italian sausage, breaking it into smaller pieces with a spoon. Cook until it’s browned and cooked through. Remove any excess grease.
  3. Next up, stir in the chopped onion and minced garlic. Cook for about 3-4 minutes.
  4. Add the orecchiette pasta to the pot.
  5. Stir in the diced tomatoes, chicken broth, and grated Parmesan cheese.
  6. Toss in the chopped broccoli rabe and stir to combine.
  7. Season with red pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper to taste.
  8. Finally, simmer for about 10-12 minutes with the lid on. Make sure the pasta is al dente and the broccoli rabe is tender.
11 One Pot Recipes You'll Want to Make Every Night (2024)

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