One-Pot Meal Ideas for Quality Dinners with Less Cleanup

One-Pot Spaghetti

No need to worry about a separate pan to boil spaghetti. The noodles cook right in the sauce in this no-fuss dinner recipe.
No need to worry about a separate pan to boil spaghetti. The noodles cook right in the sauce in this no-fuss dinner recipe.

Why boil your noodles separately when you can make it all together? This one-pot pasta recipe allows your spaghetti noodles to absorb the herb and tomato goodness right from the start. Add a side of bread and you’ve got a one-pot dinner in less than an hour.

Vegetable-Beef Pot Pie

You can change up this recipe by using different kinds of frozen mixed vegetables. Give it a Tex-Mex twist by adding Southwestern-blend vegetables. Or try a mix of cauliflower, broccoli, and carrots.
You can change up this recipe by using different kinds of frozen mixed vegetables. Give it a Tex-Mex twist by adding Southwestern-blend vegetables. Or try a mix of cauliflower, broccoli, and carrots.

For a quick ground beef dinner, this one-pot dinner will satisfy the whole family. Instead of making pastry for your pot pie from scratch, refrigerated pizza dough goes right on top before it’s baked to golden-brown perfection.

Buy It: Lodge 6-Quart Cast Iron Enamel Dutch Oven ($70, Target)

Spicy Chinese Chicken and Noodles

This one-pot dinner gets a kick from sambal oelek, a spicy chili paste popular in Southeast Asia. Look for it in the Asian section in larger supermarkets.
This one-pot dinner gets a kick from sambal oelek, a spicy chili paste popular in Southeast Asia. Look for it in the Asian section in larger supermarkets.

Prepare your taste buds! This spicy chicken recipe uses both sriracha hot sauce and Asian chili paste (sambal oelek) for heat. It’s a delicious one-pot meal idea that can be on the table faster than takeout.

Buy It: Huy Fong Chili Paste ($2, Target)

Meat Lover’s Pizza Tot Casserole

There's more than one way to do pizza night. In this easy one-pot dinner, we've combined classic meat lover's pizza toppings with some crunchy potato rounds for a filling dinner the whole family will enjoy. If you don't have canned pizza sauce for this recipe, stir up your own!
There’s more than one way to do pizza night. In this easy one-pot dinner, we’ve combined classic meat lover’s pizza toppings with some crunchy potato rounds for a filling dinner the whole family will enjoy. If you don’t have canned pizza sauce for this recipe, stir up your own!

Pizza made in one pot? Yes, please! Crunchy potato tots take the place of traditional crust and are presented as a topper instead of a base to hold all the flavors you love in a meaty slice of pizza. If you don’t have pizza sauce, we’ve also got an easy DIY recipe in there. 

Buy It: Crock-Pot Artisan 5-Quart Enameled Cast Iron Round Dutch Oven ($70, Bed Bath & Beyond)

One-Pot Beef Goulash

Make this simple beef goulash recipe for when you need a comforting dinner but don't have a lot of time to spend in the kitchen. This one-pot recipe has a secret ingredient (cocoa powder!) that really gives this broth-based pasta a rich flavor.
Make this simple beef goulash recipe for when you need a comforting dinner but don’t have a lot of time to spend in the kitchen. This one-pot recipe has a secret ingredient (cocoa powder!) that really gives this broth-based pasta a rich flavor.

Our one-pot recipe for goulash is a cozy dish of beef and noodles in a rich broth. It’s got the traditional paprika, but we’ve also thrown in a special ingredient (cocoa powder!) for added flavor that will have the family asking what you did to make it so delicious.

One-Pot Barbecue Chicken Pot Pie

This savory pie starts on the stove and ends in the oven. Your comforting dinner will be left with fewer dishes to wash.
This savory pie starts on the stove and ends in the oven. Your comforting dinner will be left with fewer dishes to wash.

Here’s a new twist on chicken pot pie. We’ve swapped out the creamy sauce for barbecue sauce in this Dutch oven recipe that starts on the stove and ends in the oven. You can also prepare this delicious one-pot dinner ahead by keeping the filling in an airtight container in the fridge up to three days.

Buy It: Le Creuset Signature Enameled Cast Iron Essential Oven ($180, Williams Sonoma)

Crustless Denver-Potato Quiche

Egg bakes like this one need time to set up after baking, so don't skip the standing time after they come out of the oven. Use this time to gather any toppings and set the table.
Egg bakes like this one need time to set up after baking, so don’t skip the standing time after they come out of the oven. Use this time to gather any toppings and set the table.

Filled with ham, potatoes, and green peppers, this one-pot meal is hearty enough to serve for brunch or dinner. The lack of crust helps keep the carb count down, which means you’ll have room for cinnamon rolls (or another dessert).

Related: Our 35 Best Brunch Recipes of All Time

Za’atar Chicken and Lentils

Start to finish:

Za'atar, a mixture of herbs traditionally used in Middle Eastern cooking, takes this braised chicken recipe from basic to brilliant. Add French green lentils, chopped carrots, and green olives to make it a one-pot meal.
Za’atar, a mixture of herbs traditionally used in Middle Eastern cooking, takes this braised chicken recipe from basic to brilliant. Add French green lentils, chopped carrots, and green olives to make it a one-pot meal.

Za’atar is a spice blend of thyme, oregano, sesame seeds, and sumac, is traditionally used in Middle Eastern cooking. That beautiful mix of spices takes this one-pot chicken recipe from basic to brilliant. Some French green lentils, chopped carrots, and green olives make it a delicious one-pot meal.

Chicken Cheeseburger Shepherd’s Pie

Enjoy the flavors of a juicy cheeseburger in this delicious food mashup. We used ground chicken, but you could easily swap for ground turkey or beef.
Enjoy the flavors of a juicy cheeseburger in this delicious food mashup. We used ground chicken, but you could easily swap for ground turkey or beef.

There are some pretty amazing food mashups out there, and this one-pot meal is one of them. It looks close to a traditional shepherd’s pie, but one bite and you’ll taste the flavors of a juicy cheeseburger. Our mouths are watering just thinking about it. 

Cauliflower-Bacon Shells and Cheese

Cauliflower florets add a healthy punch to this one-pot dinner flavored with crispy bacon and a velvety two-cheese sauce.
Cauliflower florets add a healthy punch to this one-pot dinner flavored with crispy bacon and a velvety two-cheese sauce.

The gouda and sharp cheddar in this one-pot dinner recipe really take the macaroni and cheese side of this dish to the next level. Of course, bacon makes everything better, too. We included cauliflower for some added nutrients.  

Beef and Bean Chili

With rich ground beef, peppery cilantro, and spicy jalapenos, this incredible chili has all the basics covered. But what is that flavor singing in the background? Your guests will be surprised -- and delighted -- to learn that the secret ingredient is chocolate. When buying jalapeno chiles for this dish, choose those with vibrant, blemish-free skins. And remember: the smaller the pepper, the hotter the pepper.
With rich ground beef, peppery cilantro, and spicy jalapenos, this incredible chili has all the basics covered. But what is that flavor singing in the background? Your guests will be surprised — and delighted — to learn that the secret ingredient is chocolate. When buying jalapeno chiles for this dish, choose those with vibrant, blemish-free skins. And remember: the smaller the pepper, the hotter the pepper.

Prepare to spend a cool evening inside with a bowl of this classic one-pot dinner. There are a few jalapeño peppers in this chili for some heat, but they have some oils in them that can burn your skin. Be careful to avoid direct contact with those chile peppers as much as possible. 

Related: 29 Cozy Chili Recipes to Keep You Warm All Season Long

Creamy Sausage Rigatoni with Peas

This cream-sauced sausage pasta is the perfect one-pot meal for your family tonight.
This cream-sauced sausage pasta is the perfect one-pot meal for your family tonight.

A touch of cream and cheese makes everything taste better. This one-pot pasta has the perfect balance of fresh and rich flavors with chicken or pork sausage, peas and tomatoes. Add a dash of cayenne for a kick.

Related: 15 Sizzling Pasta Skillet Recipes

One-Pot Pork Cassoulet

This slow-cooked dish hails from France's Languedoc region. Although it varies according to preference and location, it typically includes a mixture of white beans and various meats, such as sausage, pork, and/or duck.
This slow-cooked dish hails from France’s Languedoc region. Although it varies according to preference and location, it typically includes a mixture of white beans and various meats, such as sausage, pork, and/or duck.

The rich French dish is usually slow-simmered for a long time, but our quick take utilizes pork tenderloin and turkey sausage for a juicy one-pot meal. The addition of veggies and beans make it a hearty meal that will fill you right up. 

One-Pot Chicken and Shrimp Jambalaya

This classic Cajun meal easily comes together in an hour. Got time? Try making it in the slow cooker.
This classic Cajun meal easily comes together in an hour. Got time? Try making it in the slow cooker.

Succulent shrimp and tender chicken combine with Cajun spices. Add some veggies and rice and you’ve got a standout one-pot dinner ready in an hour. If you’ve got some time, follow the instructions to make this in your slow cooker. 

Buy It: Crock-Pot 6-Quart Programmable Cook & Carry Slow Cooker ($30, Target)

Lentil and Black Bean Tacos

Enjoy a meatless dinner tonight with these filling lentil and black bean tacos. Use already-steamed lentils and this is one-pot meal will be on the table in no time.
Enjoy a meatless dinner tonight with these filling lentil and black bean tacos. Use already-steamed lentils and this is one-pot meal will be on the table in no time.

Lentils and black beans are great plant-based proteins to utilize for meatless Mondays. Mix with mushrooms and taco seasoning and you’ve got an irresistible one-pot vegetarian meal. Use pre-steamed lentils to keep the cook time to a minimum.

Related: Quick and Easy Vegetarian Dinners to Try Tonight

Jalapeño Popper Chicken Soup

All the flavors of your favorite fried appetizer come together in this jalapeño popper chicken soup recipe. The chicken gives this main dish soup and extra boost of protein. You'll have this pot of cheesy goodness ready in just 30 minutes.
All the flavors of your favorite fried appetizer come together in this jalapeño popper chicken soup recipe. The chicken gives this main dish soup and extra boost of protein. You’ll have this pot of cheesy goodness ready in just 30 minutes.

For a 30-minute meal that tastes like the classic jalapeño popper appetizer, look no further than this one-pot soup recipe. Utilize shredded rotisserie chicken to keep the prep time to a minimum. You’ll be coming back for second and third helpings of this chicken dinner.

Four-Cheese Butternut Spaghetti Pie

Enjoy a classic spaghetti pie (all made in one pot!) featuring some healthy, vitamin A- and C-rich butternut squash.
Enjoy a classic spaghetti pie (all made in one pot!) featuring some healthy, vitamin A- and C-rich butternut squash.

This take on spaghetti pie is a one-pot vegetarian meal even meat eaters will love. Tender chunks of butternut squash add texture and extra vitamins A and C to your plate. Top with some freshly torn basil and cheese and enjoy.

Coffee-Braised Pot Roast

Instant espresso powder, crushed pineapple, crushed red pepper and more bring sweet heat to this pot roast and sweet potato dinner.
Instant espresso powder, crushed pineapple, crushed red pepper and more bring sweet heat to this pot roast and sweet potato dinner.

A meaty pot roast might be the most well-known one-pot meal in history. For a twist on the traditional meat-and-potatoes dish, give this succulent coffee-braised version a chance. We’ve also got a tasty portobello pot roast for anyone needing a meat-free option.

Related: The Best Pot Roast Recipes Ever Developed in Our Test Kitchen

Coconut-Curry Short Ribs

Start to finish:

We know it's tough to wait while you braise short ribs, but the low-and-slow method produces the juiciest, tastiest results. Red curry and coconut milk gives this super tender rib recipe a taste of Thai flavors.
We know it’s tough to wait while you braise short ribs, but the low-and-slow method produces the juiciest, tastiest results. Red curry and coconut milk gives this super tender rib recipe a taste of Thai flavors.

It may take a little longer to braise meats such as short ribs, but trust us: It’s a one-pot dinner you have to try. Here the meaty bone-in ribs are packed with a Thai-inspired blend of coconut and curry flavorings for a fork-tender meal you won’t regret waiting for.

Related: One-Pot Beef Recipes That Make Dinner Cleanup a Snap

Make-It-Mine Thai Curry Pot

Put down the take-out menu and save your dollars. Our master formula for homemade curry allows you to plug in different flavor and texture combos to personalize every potful.
Put down the take-out menu and save your dollars. Our master formula for homemade curry allows you to plug in different flavor and texture combos to personalize every potful.

Keep this one-pot recipe on hand when you need to clean out the fridge. Choose whatever protein and veggies you want to create a delicious Thai-style curry. Serve with hot cooked rice and dinner is complete.

Mac and Cheese Soup

Calling all macaroni and cheese fans! This soup is delightfully creamy, cheesy and a perfect one-pot recipe for a weeknight dinner. Top your bowl with some fish-shape cheddar crackers for an extra satisfying cheesy crunch.
Calling all macaroni and cheese fans! This soup is delightfully creamy, cheesy and a perfect one-pot recipe for a weeknight dinner. Top your bowl with some fish-shape cheddar crackers for an extra satisfying cheesy crunch.

Traditional mac and cheese is a classic one-pot meal, but this soup is a bit heartier thanks to the addition of cooked ham and peas. It’s a comforting meal both kids and adults will enjoy on a cozy night in.

Related: Delicious Fall Comfort Food That Will Make You Feel Warm and Cozy

Chickpea Tikka Masala

Usually made with chicken, this vegetarian version of the classic Indian dish is packed with the same spices in a flavorful creamy-tomato sauce.
Usually made with chicken, this vegetarian version of the classic Indian dish is packed with the same spices in a flavorful creamy-tomato sauce.

Instead of ordering takeout tonight, try making this easy Indian-inspired one-pot dinner. Using purchased tikka simmer sauce is a shortcut ingredient that will add the flavor of your favorite Indian spices with ease. Look for it in the Asian or ethnic section of your grocery store.

One-Pot Ham and Greens Pasta

On a busy night, turn to this quick one-pot pasta dinner. Serve with a bowl of berries and cream for dessert to cover all of your nutrition bases.
On a busy night, turn to this quick one-pot pasta dinner. Serve with a bowl of berries and cream for dessert to cover all of your nutrition bases.

Save some leftover ham from the holiday feast to get this one-pot meal on the table fast. To the sautéed ham, you’ll add garlic, butter and seasoning for a delicious simple sauce. Toss in some greens and your one-pot dinner is ready. 

Bonus: One-Pot Mixed Berry Cobbler

This one-pot cobbler easily comes together thanks to refrigerated biscuits. The hint of lime zest and flaked coconut gives it an extra burst of flavor and texture.
This one-pot cobbler easily comes together thanks to refrigerated biscuits. The hint of lime zest and flaked coconut gives it an extra burst of flavor and texture.

This isn’t a meal, but you might as well finish off your one-pot dinner with a one-pot dessert! Fruit cobblers and crisps are great desserts to serve when you’ve got a lot of mouths to feed. Refrigerated biscuits make this berry-filled dessert a breeze to put together.

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