23 One-Pot Meal Ideas for Quality Dinners with Less Cleanup

Chicken Cheeseburger Shepherd's Pie in cast iron pot
Photo: Blaine Moats

Sometimes you just need a nourishing and delicious meal without having to use multiple pots, pans, and dishes. This roundup has some classic dutch oven recipes that benefit from a nice simmer on the stovetop and/or oven (think pot roast and short ribs). But you'll also find quick and easy one-pot recipes such as pasta, soups, and even pot pies. So grab your dutch oven or stockpot and let's get cooking!

01 of 24

One-Pot Spaghetti

One-Pot Spaghetti
Blaine Moats

Why boil your noodles separately when you can make them 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.

02 of 24

Vegetable-Beef Pot Pie

Vegetable-Beef Pot Pie
Blaine Moats

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 ($80, Target)

03 of 24

Spicy Chinese Chicken and Noodles

Spicy Chinese Chicken and Noodles in blue pot
Blaine Moats

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)

04 of 24

Meat Lover's Pizza Tot Casserole

Meat Lover’s Pizza Tot Casserole

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 Round Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven ($70, Bed Bath & Beyond)

05 of 24

One-Pot Beef Goulash

Beef goulash in a bowl with pot and spices to the side
Jason Donnelly

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.

06 of 24

One-Pot Barbecue Chicken Pot Pie

Barbecue Chicken Pot Pie in blue pot with spoon
Blaine Moats

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 for up to 3 days.

Buy It: Le Creuset Signature Enameled Cast Iron Round Essential Oven ($360, Williams Sonoma)

07 of 24

Crustless Denver-Potato Quiche

Plated Crustless Denver-Potato Quiche slices with fresh berries
Blaine Moats

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).

08 of 24

Za'atar Chicken and Lentils

Za’atar Chicken and Lentils on pot with lemon wedges

Za'atar is a spice blend of thyme, oregano, sesame seeds, and sumac, and it 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.

09 of 24

Chicken Cheeseburger Shepherd's Pie

Chicken Cheeseburger Shepherd's Pie in cast iron pot
Blaine Moats

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.

10 of 24

Cauliflower-Bacon Shells and Cheese

Cauliflower-Bacon Shells and Cheese in bowls
Brie Passano

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.

11 of 24

Beef and Bean Chili

Beef and Bean Chili
Andy Lyons

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.

12 of 24

Creamy Sausage Rigatoni with Peas

Creamy Sausage Rigatoni with Peas in a pot
Jason Donnelly

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.

13 of 24

One-Pot Pork Cassoulet

Pork Cassoulet
Blaine Moats

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 makes it a hearty meal that will fill you right up.

14 of 24

One-Pot Chicken and Shrimp Jambalaya

One-Pot Chicken and Shrimp Jambalaya
Jacob Fox

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 ($50, Target)

15 of 24

Lentil and Black Bean Tacos

Lentil & Black Bean Tacos
Jacob Fox

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 cooking time to a minimum.

16 of 24

Jalapeño Popper Chicken Soup

Jalapeno Popper Chicken Soup
Jacob Fox

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.

17 of 24

Four-Cheese Butternut Spaghetti Pie

Four-Cheese Butternut Spaghetti Pie in a pot
Jacob Fox

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.

18 of 24

Coffee-Braised Pot Roast

Coffee Braised Pot Roast
Andy Lyons

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.

19 of 24

Coconut-Curry Short Ribs

Coconut-Curry Short Ribs with lemons peppers and cabbage
Blaine Moats

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.

20 of 24

Make-It-Mine Thai Curry Pot

large enamel pot with Thai curry
Carson Downing

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.

21 of 24

Mac and Cheese Soup

Mac and Cheese Soup
Andy Lyons

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.

22 of 24

Chickpea Tikka Masala

bowl of Chickpea Tikka Masala
Jason Donnelly

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.

23 of 24

One-Pot Ham and Greens Pasta

One-Pot Ham and Greens Pasta

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.

24 of 24

Bonus: One-Pot Mixed Berry Cobbler

One-Pot Mixed Berry Cobbler
Blaine Moats

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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