15 Perfect One-Pot Recipes For A Weeknight Meal

As someone who cooks dinner nearly every night, I am forever thankful for one-pot wonders that make a meal as effortless as possible. Big on taste and short on cleanup, these are the dinners that don't require endless obscure ingredients, all your time and energy, and a dozen pots and pans to prep. They're the unsung heroes of weeknight eating and they deserve more recognition. Without further ado.

One-pot whole wheat pasta carbonara

Warm, comforting, and simple, this one-pot pasta carbonara definitely belongs on your dinner rotation. Nutty whole wheat pasta is cooked in chicken broth until the strands are just al dente. Tossed with lightly beaten eggs, salty Parmesan cheese, crispy pancetta, and a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper, this is the perfect dinner for those busy weeknights when you don't feel like slaving over the stove for hours. As the eggs emulsify and cook using the heat from the pasta, you're rewarded with a thick and creamy sauce that effortlessly clings to every strand of noodle. #dinnerwin

One-pot red lentil chili

This recipe from Minimalist Baker is an excellent mashup of warming lentil soup and hearty chili. The best part? You can prepare this weeknight-friendly dinner using pantry staples you're likely to have on hand, cook everything in one single pot, and do it all in less than an hour. Red lentils are combined with kidney and black beans, tomatoes, and vibrant spices reminiscent of Indian cuisine. The result is thick chili with complex layers of flavors and textures — one that is delicious ladled into bowls the first night and even better enjoyed as leftovers the next day.

Chicken tagine with couscous

Tagine is a flavorful traditional North African stew of meat and vegetables customarily cooked in earthenware of the same name. In this recipe from Delish, the classic is transformed with easy-to-find ingredients and streamlined steps. Made with tender boneless chicken thighs, a handful of fresh aromatics, tomatoes, and fragrant spices, this meal is one to use for cold evenings. Cilantro, refreshing mint, and toasted almonds make perfect garnishes. Serve alongside heaps of fluffy couscous to soak up all the delicious stew for maximum enjoyment.

Baked cod and chorizo

If you're anything like me, you're always looking for easy ways to incorporate fish into your diet. Fish is good for you yadda yadda yadda. Well, this recipe from Real Simple makes it easy to prepare a nourishing seafood dinner with sides in one pot. Chorizo is combined with hearty potatoes and crowd-pleasing cod fillet. Baked together for about 20 minutes, the resulting dish bursts with flavor. Garnish with parsley for bright color and you have yourself a picture-perfect dinner.

Chicken and biscuits in a pot

Satisfying, cozy, Southern-style chicken and biscuits can be all yours even on a busy weeknight when you use this recipe from Food & Wine. Please do! Cooked in one pot, shallots, shiitake mushrooms, carrot, and rotisserie chicken are topped with buttery homemade biscuits. Throw the whole thing in the oven for about 20 minutes. The resulting dish feels like a big hug and smells and tastes like you spent all day in the kitchen, which is the illusion I like to give off to the world.

One-pot chicken with farro

Cooking Light does casual entertaining the right way with this recipe for one-pot chicken. A take on Spanish arroz con pollo (chicken with rice), this dish brings together succulent chicken thighs, multicolored bell peppers, and spices with great success. Ancient grain farro is used in place of standard white rice to lend nutritious flavor and unbeatable texture. Pimiento-stuffed olives lend a touch of brine that balances the other flavors in the pot. Make this to share with your favorite people the next chance you get.

Easy one-pot lasagna

Lasagna is one of those classic Italian-American dishes that seems like it would be super easy to make but always ends up being pretty labor-intensive, using up about a dozen dishes in the prep alone. Luckily with this recipe from Damn Delicious, you can whip up dreamy, layered, carby goodness all in one pot. Layers of farfalle pasta are used in place traditional wide, flat noodles, making the process simpler already. Add ricotta, Parmesan, and mozzarella along with zesty tomato sauce and crumbled sausage links and you have yourself a winner for even the busiest of weeknights.

One-pot lemon herb chicken and rice

What if I told you that you could enjoy a dinner of buttery, lemony, herbaceous chicken and fluffy rice in 30 minutes from start to finish? While this meal scenario seems too good to be true, it's totally possible. This recipe from Creme de la Crumb is a miracle worker. Prepared in one skillet, lean chicken breasts are cooked in butter and combined with rice, Italian seasonings, and lemon juice. The finished dish melds flavors beautifully and has the power to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters.

One-pot enchilada rice casserole

If you love enchiladas, you'll be smitten with this one-pot casserole spin on the Mexican favorite from Chew Out Loud. You get all the rich and vibrant flavors of enchiladas minus the excess fat and calories when you streamline the ingredients and cook it all in one pot with rice instead of tortillas. Shredded chicken, sweet corn, hearty black beans, enchilada sauce, and shredded cheese recall your favorite Mexican takeout order, but the brown rice and fresh garnishes let you enjoy guilt-free seconds.

One-pan gnocchi with sundried tomatoes and white beans

Healthy, delicious, protein-forward gnocchi that uses just one pot is the stuff dreams are made of. This recipe from Sweet Peas and Saffron makes me weak in the knees. Light, pillowy Italian dumplings pan-fried until they are just crisp on the exterior, then combined with earthy mushrooms, creamy white beans, sweet-tart sundried tomatoes, leafy spinach, and Parmesan cheese. This meal is at once familiar and new, simultaneously light and filling. Magic.

One-pot stifado beef stew

Stifado — a classic Greek stew — gets a weeknight makeover with this recipe from Supergolden Bakes. Intensely flavorful and deeply aromatic, this dish gets its oomph from warm spices such as cloves, cinnamon, and allspice. While it is traditionally cooked with rabbit, this recipe cues braising steak, which may be slightly less intimidating to some. An overnight marinade and slow cooking time make for rich, complex flavors. It's a great hands-off dinner to cook on nights when you want to set it and forget it while you catch up with your loved ones.

One-pot spicy Thai zoodles

I am obsessed with this veggie-forward twist on Thai noodle dishes from Domestic Superhero. Zucchini "zoodles" replace carb-heavy noodles for a lighter take on your favorite takeout dishes. Combined with mushrooms, carrots, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, and ginger, the dish is delightfully zesty and bright and totally addictive. This meal is the perfect healthy alternative for breaking up Boring Dinner Syndrome or just to alleviate the mid-week supper blues.

One-pot mac and cheese

No list of one-pot dinners is complete without a recipe for mac and cheese, so here you go. This one from PureWow epitomizes creamy stovetop macaroni and cheese goals. Made with orecchiette pasta, cream cheese, and cheddar, it's so unapologetically unfussy I could scream for joy. Make this when you're feeling lazy, when you're hungry, when you have a dinner date, or when you just need to indulge in hot, cheesy, carb action — fast.

One-pot coconut shrimp curry

Yes, shrimp curry can indeed be cooked in a single pot. Try this recipe from Plated Pixels. Deliciously creamy and rich, this seafood curry surprises by not requiring a gazillion ingredients to recreate the vibrant flavors of traditional curry. Hurray! Made with shrimp, snow peas, and bell pepper, this dinner promises to make your kitchen smell like a five-star restaurant. Whip this up on a cold wintry night and feel satisfied from the first bite until the last.

Sesame chicken meatballs and lo mein in one pot

Skip the takeout and opt to make your own instead. With this recipe from How to This and That, you get the satisfaction of enjoying your favorite Chinese food dish minus the grease. No tipping required. Lower in sodium and general fattiness than what you would order from a restaurant, this dish combines delectable sesame chicken meatballs with sweet and savory lo mein noodles for dinner that's as easy as it is tasty. Dinner just got a whole lot easier.