One pot meals - Dr. Axe

One of the biggest hassles of at-home cooking is the amount of cleanup involved. Bowls for mixing, cutting boards for prepping and the pots and pans — so many pots and pans!

But there’s a solution: one-pot meals. Like crockpot recipes, I love these recipes because while you might use a few tools to get the recipes together, they all cook in just one pot or skillet. This also makes tidying up a breeze.

I’ve collected some of my favorite healthy one-pot meal recipes below. Not only do these taste great, but they’re full of ingredients you can feel good about serving your family. Enjoy making these and do something fun with the extra time you’ll have available!


20 One-Pot Meals

1. Cheesy BBQ Ranch Chicken Skillet

You can never have enough sauces or dressings, one of the reasons this cheesy chicken is so good. First, the chicken gets covered in barbecue sauce and browned. Then you’ll cook up corn, rice and fiber-rich beans in ranch dressing.

The whole skillet gets finished off with cheese, cilantro, green onions and avocado slices for tons of flavor. Opt for brown rice here and skip the store-bought dressings — why not make your own? Try my Homemade Ranch Dressing and Sweet & Tangy Barbecue Sauce instead.

Cheesy BBQ Ranch Chicken Skillet

Photo: The Cookie Rookie

2. Cheesy Mexican Lentils, Black Beans and Rice

Even without meat, this veggie-friendly main is loaded with protein, thanks to the nutrition-rich lentils. A combination of cumin, chipotle powder and chilies add a smoky taste. This is one of those one-pot meals that uses canned corn, black beans and fire-roasted tomatoes, too — which you likely have these in the pantry, making this recipe easy to pull together with little notice.


3. Egg and Turkey Skillet

With just four ingredients, you really can’t go wrong with this basic one-pot recipe. Brown ground turkey with salsa and salt and pepper, then crack a few eggs over them. I love how easy it is to make this dish your own.

Add in veggies like onions and peppers with the meat, or serve with heart-healthy avocado. The recipe makes six servings so feed the whole family or have leftovers to enjoy throughout the week.


3. Italian Chicken & Quinoa Recipe

Put a new spin on chicken and rice with this naturally gluten-free, portein-rich quinoa recipe. With a handful of ingredients like crushed tomatoes, oregano and garlic, you’ll take boneless, skinless chicken thighs and transform them into a gorgeous, tasty Italian dinner.

Italian Chicken & Quinoa Recipe

Photo: Cookin Canuck

4. Four-Layer Breakfast Skillet

This breakfast skillet is reminiscent of a dish you’d order at a roadside diner, but so much better! You’ll start with a crispy hash brown base, then toss in your breakfast meat of choice — I recommend turkey or beef bacon, or leftover shredded chicken.

Add in some veggies here, too: nutrition-rich spinach, mushrooms and onions would all work nicely. Top it with cheese and stick the whole skillet in the oven. Top with fresh herbs for added flavor.


5. Healthy Cinnamon Skillet Apples

Instead of the usual baked apple recipes that call for heaps of sugar and butter, try this better-for-you version instead. Chopping the apples and cooking them with water and cinnamon produces a similar taste without all the unhealthy extras. Top with toasted nuts and serve with vanilla ice cream, yogurt or just on its own!


6. Lemon Parmesan Chicken and Asparagus

It might not be in a pot, but this one-pan chicken and asparagus dish deserves to be on your menu. Lemon and garlic is the name of the game here. The chicken is breaded in garlic-Parmesan panko breadcrumbs and baked alongside asparagus drizzled with lemon butter. You’ll top it all off with a honey-lemon dressing that, quite frankly, you’ll want on everything.

Lemon Parmesan Chicken and Asparagus

Photo: Chelsea’s Messy Apron

7. Mexican Egg and Tortilla Breakfast Skillet

Breakfast, naturally, is a great time for one-pot meals. You can’t beat the mix of crunchy corn tortillas with creamy eggs that you’ll find in this Mexican one-pot meal. I especially love that Isabel includes instructions on either making your own tortillas or how to choose the best store-bought options — the tortillas are key here! With bell peppers, onions and seasonings as well, this is a meat-free dish that will be a hit.


8. One-Pot Chicken, Quinoa, Mushrooms & Spinach Recipe

Fresh mushrooms and spinach with juicy chicken nestled in healthy quinoa — how could you go wrong? The season is perfectly seasoned with salt, pepper, smoked paprika and rosemary, while the quinoa cooks alongside the veggies for one of the simplest one-pot meals.


9. One-Pot Greek Meatballs with Lemon Dill Rice

There are restaurant-quality one-pot meals that are easy to whip up at home. Here you’ll roll together some meatballs, using oregano and lemon zest for flavor. They’ll cook with the Arborio rice, which will soak up the meatball’s juices. Before serving, add in lemon juice, fresh dill and cherry tomatoes for a recipe with little hands-on prep but a huge payoff.

One-Pot Greek Meatballs with Lemon Dill Rice

Photo: Dinner at the Zoo

10. One Pan Mexican Quinoa

This is like a giant Mexican salad — just, you know, without the greens and with quinoa instead! It’s full of corn, black beans, jalapeño for some kick and, of course, quinoa, which is full of antioxidants and contains all of the essential amino acids our bodies need.


11. Paleo Chicken Curry with Cauliflower and Sweet Potatoes

Paleo is a style of eating that also fits well into one-pot meals. This delicious Paleo curry recipe is all sorts of practical. Instead of starting the tomato sauce base from scratch, it uses leftover tomato sauce, a great way to use up lingering sauce from a pasta night. I love the cauliflower and sweet potatoes, but you could also substitute other veggies that you might have on hand, like broccoli or mushrooms. Coconut milk makes it all nice and creamy.


12. Quinoa Apple Cake

Quinoa and cake? Believe it. You’ll combine plain, cooked quinoa with fresh apple slices, almond milk, eggs, almond flour and a few other ingredients (replace the brown sugar with coconut sugar, please!). Pour the batter into a greased, oven-proof skillet and 40 minutes later, you have a delicious apple cake on  your hands that’s super healthy!


13. Quinoa Chickpea and Spinach Soup

Quinoa is a versatile ingredient that’s excellent in this vegan chickpea soup. The variety of fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme and sage, along with garlic and onions mean that it’s full of flavor, while the chickpeas make it hearty while adding fiber and protein. This soup will definitely warm up your bones on a cold day.

Quinoa Chickpea and Spinach Soup

Photo: Making Thyme for Health

14. Sesame Chicken Meatballs & Lo Mein

Why order takeout when you can make a better version at home with one-pot meals? Don’t be deterred by the list of ingredients for this one-pot meal; they’re all readily available in the Asian section of your favorite grocery store. I love that the meatballs and lo mein cook right in the mouth-watering sauce that gives this dish a ton of taste. If lo mein noodles aren’t in your diet, whole-wheat or brown rice spaghetti would work as a substitute, too.


15. Simple Vegetarian Skillet Lasagna

Everyone knows that lasagna is delicious, but there’s so much prep involved: boiling the noodles, getting the filling ready, painstakingly layering it all — and that’s before baking! But no more.

This entire cheesy lasagna comes together in an oven-proof skillet and finished off in the oven for a pasta dish it looks like you spent hours slaving over. It’s also jam-packed with veggies, from zucchini and mushrooms to red peppers and spinach. Adding lentils keeps this veggie pasta super hearty, too.

Simple Vegetarian Skillet Lasagna

Photo: Half Baked Harvest

16. Skinny, Creamy Garlic Noodles

These noodles are cooked in milk and chicken broth to achieve that creamy texture without loads of butter and cream. While these noodles are good enough on their own, adding broccoli and chicken right into the pan makes this a well-rounded one pot meal.


17. Spicy Thai Zoodles

If you’re anything like me, you enjoy seeing what new culinary creations you can come up with for zoodles. These spicy zucchini noodles make an easy meat-free weeknight meal. Best of all, there are no out-of-the-ordinary ingredients; with soy sauce (or coconut aminos), ginger and veggies, you can have this on the table in half hour.


18. Sweet Potato and Mozzarella Egg Skillet

Mozzarella cheese and sweet potatoes isn’t a typical combination, but after trying this one-pot meal, it might become a new favorite. It’s really as simple as the title — just sweet potatoes, mozzarella cheese and eggs, but the mix is delectable, with the eggs setting and the cheese melting in the oven. Serve this one for a breakfast-at-dinner meal.

Sweet Potato and Mozzarella Egg Skillet

Photo: Averie Cooks

19. Sweet Potato Apple Breakfast Bake

This one of the one-pot meals where you’d never believe how healthy this breakfast also is. By shredding the sweet potatoes and apples the night before, you can have this dish ready in under 30 minutes. You’ll add the potatoes and cook with coconut milk, then add the apples, raisins and spices. Pop it in the oven and top with pecans for a filling, delicious start to the day.


20. Vegan Skillet Brownies with Lentils

This gooey brownie is full of wholesome ingredients, like dates, oats and applesauce for sweetness, but it’s the lentils that are the biggest surprise. They add extra nutritional value without sacrificing the brownie flavor. Trust me: the kids will never know!

Vegan Skillet Brownies with Lentils

Leave a Reply