a foil-lined sheet tray meal of four pieces of baked salmon with spring vegetables like peas, green beans, and herbs, plus a wedge of lemon
Photo by Heami Lee

15 One-Pot Meals Since We're All Tired of Doing Dishes

Yes, instant noodles only use one pot, but you should add these sheet-pan dinners and one-skillet meals to your cooking routine.
May 22, 2020, 7:02pm

The thing about dishes is that you blink and somehow, they've tripled, as though an army of elves has snuck into your home, leaving a stack of plates in the sink and a trail of peanut butter knives on the counter because you'll "use them again." Spending more time at home, for most of us, probably means cooking more, and that means realizing how much of a pain it is to clean up after. Alas, the cooking process doesn't end with eating.


Some days, you're just… Extremely. Freakin'. Over. It. Short of switching your dinnerware to paper—which we don't endorse for the sake of the environment—you might wonder how to feed yourself without ending up with so many goddamn things to clean. While, yes, instant noodles are a "one-pot meal," the category is much broader than that: There are plenty of dinners you can make using one big bowl, one sheet pan, or one skillet, all to make your life a little easier.

Luckily for all of us with no patience and no dishwashers, these one-pot meals and sheet-pan dinners will keep your cooking simple, so you can give yourself and your poor, chapped hands a break for once.

Baked Shrimp Scampi Recipe

Baked Shrimp Scampi Recipe

The kind of dinner where all you've gotta do is throw it on a sheet pan. Skip the extra dish and serve this baked shrimp scampi with crusty bread to sop up all the garlic butter goodness.

Breakfast Hash Recipe

Breakfast Hash Recipe

The best thing about a breakfast hash is that you can serve it and eat it straight from the skillet (mind the hot handle, of course) and that only adds to its homey appeal.

Sheet Tray Roasted Vinegar Chicken and Potatoes Recipe

Red wine vinegar and honey make for a quick chicken and potatoes sheet pan dinner with as much flavor but as few dishes as possible.

Sheet Pan Pepperoni Pizza Recipe

No matter how many YouTube videos you watch, that "stretch the pizza dough by tossing it with your hands" technique is never as easy as it looks. Save yourself the stress by forming your homemade pizza on a sheet tray, just like any Italian grandma would.

One-Skillet Crispy Skin Salmon and Potatoes Recipe

Here's how to make perfectly crisp salmon skin—and your entire meal—all in your trusty cast-iron skillet.

Simple Sheet Tray Salmon Recipe

Simple Sheet-Tray Salmon Recipe

Cleaning up after a sheet tray meal, like this baked salmon with spring vegetables, is even easier if you remember to line it with foil (the heavier duty, the better), so do Future You a favor.

Smothered Chicken Recipe

Smothering is a classic Southern technique of covering meat or vegetables in a silky, bacon-y gravy. This smothered chicken from chef Kia Damon is based on the food she grew up with, and it's no-nonsense enough for any weeknight dinner.

Pork and Black Bean Stew Recipe

A big batch of stew is the GOAT of the one-pot meal, but this one's full of pork and black beans.

Coconut Chickpea Curry Recipe

Coconut Chickpea Curry Recipe

Coconut milk, chickpeas, curry powder, and cashews come together in our favorite chickpea stew—and though we added frozen spinach, you can pat yourself on the back if you swap in another vegetable that fits the theme. Collard greens, perhaps?

Easy Ribollita Recipe

Easy Ribollita Recipe

This easy one-pot soup of bread, beans, vegetables, and cheese will keep you fed for days.

Spiced Beef with Eggs and Spring Onions (Vaavishkaa) Recipe

If shakshuka has got you stewing tomatoes, baking eggs, and scooping the whole thing up with flatbread, then vaavishkaa—a spiced mix of all those things, plus ground beef—will fit right in on your breakfast table.

Asparagus and Spring Pea Salad Recipe

Full of asparagus, peas, and herbs, this big, fresh plate of springtime flavor is the kind of salad that you can eat with your hands—ya know, to spare the dishes.

Easy Antipasti Salad Recipe

Easy Antipasti Salad Recipe

The most effortless, basically no-cook, big bowl salad relies on a bunch of fun canned stuff from your pantry.

Cheesy Turkey Party Sliders Recipe

Here's one way to use your Pyrex baking dish that isn't a tray of brownies. This big batch of cheesy, baked turkey melts will feed a whole crowd, or one very hungry you.

Fideos Recipe

Fideos Recipe

Chefs Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette run the Barcelona-style tapas bar Toro, and their one-pan fideos is like a pasta-based paella that clears out all the random food in your fridge and cupboard. Take the formula for this recipe and run with it—the only real necessities are noodles, onions and garlic, and stock.

Chicken, Persian Lime, and Swiss Chard Soup Recipe

Celery and carrots kinda have a monopoly on chicken soup, but it doesn't have to be that way. This version keeps it bright and fresh with Persian limes and Swiss chard, for a more spring-inspired kind of soup.

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