Sometimes the simplest meals are the best. A one-pot meal, for example, can not only feed the whole family, but it won’t break the bank. And they can be healthy, too!
A well-made one-pot meal brings the family together in more ways than one. Making the food together, eating it, and cleaning up are all easier. This leaves you with more time for things like family game night or homework.
But what are the easiest one-pot meals? Let’s take a look at the meals that are simple to learn. Here’s my list of the seventeen easiest one-pot meals.
17 Easy One-Pot Meals
1. Vegetable Fried Rice
Rice is one of the most widespread meals in the world. It’s ready to eat in around twenty minutes, and of course, it’s packed with nutrients.
Adding vegetables makes the rice taste better, and some recipes use spices as well. A savory combination of onions and garlic always goes down well.
An Italian pasta, tortellini is traditionally served as a soup, but can also be strained like spaghetti. It’s usually stuffed with either cheese or some kind of meat.
Pasta is the ideal food for one-pot meals, since it’s not only compact but has a lot of carbohydrates for energy. Tortellini adds the stuffing for an even better taste.
3. Coq Au Vin
This French meal is made with wine-braised chicken, pork or bacon, and vegetables. Add some seasonings and you get a hearty meal that will fill you up.
If you don’t want to use wine for the recipe, there are plenty of substitutes online. Using grape juice or vinegar is the most common recipe I’ve seen.
4. Macaroni and Cheese
I have many fond memories of eating macaroni and cheese as a kid, it’s truly a meal for the whole family. And it tastes even better if it’s homemade.
Macaroni and cheese can be combined with many other foods, like bacon, sausage, or salsa. It’s an all-star meal that’s easily made at the end of a long day.
5. Chickpea and Potato Curry
Looking for something vegan-friendly and cheap? This curry blends rice and chickpeas with potatoes, vegetable stock, peas, and curry. It’s a healthy way to bring home the taste of India.
This recipe will be ready in a little over half an hour and can be made for any occasion. Try serving it with some garlic bread.
Lasagna might just be the ultimate filling meal. Between the cheese, the pasta, and the meat in the middle, it’s very hard to turn it down.
If you want to make lasagna, there are many recipe options online for different diets. There are also other ways to make lasagna, like lasagna soup.
7. Chicken and Dumplings
Not all dumpling dishes are Asian; this recipe for chicken and dumplings comes from America. It’s made from seasoned chicken cooked in a thick broth with sauteed vegetables and dough dumplings.
Chicken and dumplings taste the best when served with savory sides. My suggestion is a side with garlic in it since the chicken and garlic flavors complement each other.
8. Minestrone Soup
A hearty soup fills you up while offering a lot of vitamins and nutrients. Minestrone is a prime example of this, and if you don’t believe me, wait until you try it!
The beauty of minestrone is that there is no “official” recipe for it. It’s whatever vegetables you have all cooked up in a thick, delicious, soup.
9. Chicken and Vegetable Ramen Stir Fry
Instant packs of ramen noodles are the go-to food for a quick meal, especially for people with busy lives, like me. These noodles can be ready in as little as twenty minutes.
The noodles aren’t the healthiest, but adding vegetables and chicken makes the noodles taste great. It’s satisfying to see such a delicious dish come out of instant ramen.
10. Skillet Sausage Pasta
The name pretty much says most of it: sausage and penne pasta, cooked on the skillet. Throw in some broth, olive oil, vegetables, cream, and cheese for a yummy dish.
Skillet sausage pasta is ready in around half an hour. It’s full of protein and carbohydrates. It’s a hearty meal for when you have no time to cook.
11. Sweet and Spicy Pork Tenderloin
If you’re looking for an Asian-themed dish, here’s a good idea. This dish is made from strips of pork tenderloin fried with chili oil and other spices, then covered in a sweet sauce.
This recipe isn’t limited to pork; chicken can be added in a pinch. I’m also tempted to try it on tofu or tempeh and see how it turns out.
12. Five-ingredient One-Pot Pasta
Fewer ingredients mean something is easier to make, and this one-pot pasta is no exception. All you need is cheese, pepper, a kind of pasta called penne, marinara sauce, and sausage.
This pasta only takes a half-hour to cook in a skillet, so it’s perfect for someone who’s in a hurry or too tired to do anything spectacular. It’s got something for everybody!
13. Chili Con Carne
Chili is a classic, simple, one-pot meal. It can be made with as few as four ingredients. Even with few ingredients, it will still fill you up and taste delicious.
Not all chili recipes are quick, but longer cook times mean that the tastes blend together better. A tasty chili will be the MVP of game night.
14. Mexican Rice Casserole
Here’s a recipe with a lot of culture behind it. This rice casserole blends many common Mexican food staples like corn, black beans, and brown rice into a savory meal.
A potful of gooey goodness, this casserole will be ready in under a half-hour. It’s vegetarian friendly and with a couple of substitutions becomes vegan-friendly, as well.
15. Chicken and Rice Soup
Chicken soup is the best for cold days or for when you aren’t feeling good. While chicken and rice soup don’t have the same reputation that chicken noodle soup does, it’s just as delicious.
While it is possible to buy chicken soup with rice at a store, it’s more nutritious and healthier if homemade. It also tastes better, of course!
16. One-Skillet Steak and Potatoes
Steak and potatoes almost define the word “filling.” Add in spices like paprika for flavoring, and maybe some other vegetables if you feel up to it for a big meal.
The greatest combinations in life are sometimes the simplest. Steak and potatoes have complementary tastes that subtly turn these two foods into something special when eaten.
17. Penne Pasta with Turkey and Spinach
This combination of pasta, turkey, and spinach is underrated, in my opinion. A meeting between grains, vegetables, and meat is the best of both worlds, or should that be all three worlds?
The ingredients come together for a nutritious meal that’s ready in a half-hour. I recommend serving it with a no-bake side like a salad for an even better experience.
And there you have it, seventeen easy meals that are made using either one pot or one skillet. There are many more that I wanted to include, but couldn’t
When you’re cooking, make sure that you don’t rush things too much. A good flavor builds slowly, and the smiles and demands for seconds make the meal.