25 One-Pot Meals to Rely On

Swiss Army Stew Recipe
Photo: Jennifer Causey

If you ask us, the fewer pots and pans you need to wash after cooking, the better—which is why we love one-pot meals. They help keep everything streamlined, so you're not juggling, say, a bubbling sauce on one burner while the vegetables sauté on another. Some of our favorites include a lamb and butternut squash tagine with apricots and a classic beef chili; believe it or not, you can pull off one-pot pasta meals, too. Read on for the whole spread.

01 of 25

Ginger Crispy Rice with Salmon and Bok Choy

Clay Pot Crispy Ginger Rice with Salmon and Bok Choy Recipe
Victor Protasio

Grains of jasmine rice take on a toasty, crispy crust in this perfect pot of rice topped with salmon, bok choy, and corn. To achieve the crust at the bottom of the pot, use a squeeze bottle to drizzle oil around the edge of the pot, or apply it precisely with a spoon.

02 of 25

Spaghetti with Cacio e Pepe Butter

Spaghetti with Cacio e Pepe Butter
Eric Wolfinger

Cacio e pepe is a Roman pasta dish prized for its simplicity. Justin Chapple puts a spin on the original with a black pepper and Pecorino Romano compound butter. Just boil the pasta, grate the chilled butter over the top, and dinner is done.

03 of 25

Slow-Cooked Pork Belly with Potatoes, Onions, and Garlic

Slow Cooked Pork Belly with Potatoes, Onions, and Garlic Recipe
Cedric Angeles

Pre-seasoning the pork belly with salt not only flavors the meat itself, but creates a crispy crust, while dry white wine helps balance the richly fatty meat. Save rendered fat for searing vegetables or making onion confit.

04 of 25

Coconut Chickpeas with Winter Squash

Coconut Chickpeas with Winter Squash
Johnny Miller

Starchy, slightly sweet plantains are a natural addition to winter squash. Here, New York chef JJ Johnson simmers both, along with canned chickpeas, in coconut milk that's steeped with aromatics. The result is creamy, fragrant, and so comforting.

05 of 25

Classic Beef Chili

Classic Beef Chili Recipe
Caitlin Bensel

Thanks to convenient canned beans, you can get this chili on the table in under an hour.

06 of 25

Slow-Roasted Lamb Shoulder with Shallots and White Wine

Slow-Roasted Lamb Shoulder with Shallots and White Wine Recipe
Eva Kolenko

Pre-salting the lamb (the longer the better) will deepen its flavor and increase moisture and tenderness in the meat. Afterward, a simple sear then braise renders fork-tender shreds of meat. A spoonful of garlicky gremolata heightens those long-cooked flavors.

07 of 25

Seafood-and-Seaweed Chowder

Seafood and Seaweed Chowder
Caitlin Bensel

A combination of dry hard cider and dried seaweed brings a sweet, mild salinity to the stock, making it ideal for precooking the mussels and clams before using it as the base of the chowder.

08 of 25

Linguine with Frenched Green Beans and Parsley Pesto

Linguine with Frenched Green Beans and Parsley Pesto Recipe
Photo by Tara Donne / Food Styling by Chris Lanier / Prop Styling by Raina Kattelson

In this classic recipe, Johanne Killeen employs starchy pasta water to thicken her fresh pesto into a sauce that clings to and flavors each strand of linguine, instead of pooling in the bowl. Thinly sliced green beans intertwine with the pasta, offering a refreshing crunch.

09 of 25

Spicy Pot Roast with Oranges, Sweet Potatoes, and Calabrian Chile Gremolata

Spicy Pot Roast with Oranges, Sweet Potatoes, and Calabrian Chile Gremolata Recipe
John Kernick

Whole orange segments and freshly squeezed orange juice and zest give this hearty winter braise a burst of fresh citrus flavor. Creamy sweet potatoes and celery root along with tender beef chuck fill out this satisfyingly hearty meal.

10 of 25

Chicken Tortellini Soup with Kale

Chicken Tortellini Soup Recipe
Caitlin Bensel

Fresh ingredients team up with store-bought shortcuts to get this comforting dinner on the table in just over 30 minutes. Frozen cheese tortellini only need a five-minute dip in the simmering broth to cook up perfectly. Don't be tempted to just dump the whole can of tomatoes into the pot; draining them first concentrates the flavor.

11 of 25

Spicy Cumin-Braised Pork

Spicy Cumin-Braised Pork Recipe
Photo by Greg DuPree / Prop Styling by Christine Keely / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer

Just a tablespoon of Onwuachi's Pepper Sauce brings plenty of heat and tenderizing flavor to this braised pork shoulder. As the pork simmers, it becomes richly seasoned, perfect for eating with rice or leftover bara flatbreads.

12 of 25

Mushroom-Chickpea Pozole

Vegetable Posole Recipe
Caitlin Bensel

"Traditional pozole is made by creating a rich broth by cooking a whole pig head with some neck bones along with dried hominy and then adding either a red or green salsa for color and flavor," Marcela Valladolid writes. "Here I use mushrooms to give us that earthy heartiness that you expect from pozole, no meat needed."

13 of 25

Lamb and Butternut Squash Tagine with Apricots

Clay Pot Lamb and Butternut Squash Tagine Recipe
Victor Protasio

Savory lamb, salty olives, and ras el hanout (a North African spice blend of coriander, cumin, and warming spices) are balanced by sweet butternut squash, apricots, and a touch of honey in this dish.

14 of 25

Thin Spaghetti with Tomatoes, Kalamata Olives, Feta, and Mint

Thin Spaghetti with Tomatoes Kalamata Olives Feta Mint
Greg DuPree

For a weeknight when speed is key, whip up this one-pot pasta. It's inspired by Greek ingredients like whole cherry tomatoes, briny olives, salty feta cheese, and fresh mint and oregano, and makes a satisfying meal for a summer evening with very little effort.

15 of 25

Nqaj Qaab Zib (Sweet Pork)

Nqaj Qaab Zib (Sweet Pork)
Celeste Noche

Fragrant lemongrass and galangal add brightness and balance to the savory-sweet sauce that coats tender pork belly.

16 of 25

Kwame's Pepper Shrimp

Pepper Shrimp
Photo by Caitlin Bensel / Food Styling by Emily Nabors Hall / Prop styling by Christine Keely

Infused with layers of heat from Scotch bonnet chiles and fresh ginger, Kwame Onwuachi's pepper shrimp are inspired by a beloved Jamaican street food. Deveining the shrimp but leaving the shell on helps protect against overcooking. Onwuachi fell in love with this recipe when traveling in Jamaica.

17 of 25

Miso-Tofu Hot Pot with Ramen

Clay Pot Miso-Tofu Hot Pot with Ramen Recipe
Victor Protasio

A soothing hot pot is the perfect excuse to set out ingredients and casually dine at the table. Although this recipe can be executed at the stove, donabe hot pot is traditionally prepared on a portable burner at the table. Cook the tofu and vegetables first, then soak up the delicious broth with chewy ramen noodles as a second course.

18 of 25

Lentil and Bean Stew with Gremolata

Lentil and Bean Stew with Gremolata
David Malosh

Lentils add a delicious earthy flavor to the stew; their starchiness helps thicken the broth. Brown lentils work fine in this recipe, but we prefer French green lentils; they hold their shape better. Feel free to cook dried beans especially for this recipe, but any leftover or canned beans—rinsed and drained—will work well.

19 of 25

Braised Beef and Handmade Noodles

Braised Beef and Handmade Noodles
Victor Protasio

Tender but hearty handmade noodles, simply made with flour, eggs, and whole-milk yogurt, add texture to the stew and thicken the broth. Store the noodles and broth separately to prevent the noodles from dissolving. Read Iliana Regan's essay about this recipe, My Mom Daydreams About These Noodles.

20 of 25

Swiss Army Stew

Swiss Army Stew Recipe
Jennifer Causey

"Everything goes into one pot; a few hours later a meal ideal for the depths of winter emerges," Andrea Slonecker writes of this stew. "It's just the right kind of healthy eating for that post-holiday detox, without sacrificing flavor and satisfaction."

21 of 25

Wine-Braised Beef with Green-Garlic Soubise and Young Chicories

Wine-Braised Beef with Green-Garlic Soubise and Young Chicories
Victor Protasio

Beef cheeks, which are available at whole-animal butcher shops, melt to tenderness when braised and add to the silky, wine-fortified sauce.

22 of 25

Gaeng Rawaeng

Gaeng Rawaeng
Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Torie Cox / Prop Styling by Lydia Pursell

At Nari in San Francisco, chef Pim Techamuanvivit's gaeng rawaeng, a whole Cornish game hen submerged in a deeply savory golden curry redolent with spices is served with impossibly flaky roti for sopping. In this recipe, a small chicken—standing in here for the Cornish game hen in the original dish—gently cooks in a velvety sauce of coconut milk spiced with chiles and galangal, a piney, citrus-flavored cousin of ginger.

23 of 25

French Onion Soup with Roasted Poblano

French Onion Soup with Roasted Poblano
Photo by Greg DuPree / Food Styling by Torie Cox / Prop Styling by Prissy Lee Montiel

Hiding under the blanket of cheese, a thick slice of baguette soaks up a soup suffused with flavor from a mountain of jammy onions, balsamic vinegar, and bay leaves. Poblano chiles add a mild, vegetal heat and slight charred flavor. To ensure even caramelization, keep the onions in an even layer while they cook.

24 of 25

Brisket-Braised Chicken

Brisket Braised Chicken
Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Margaret Dickey / Prop Styling by Audrey Davis

Beef brisket is the most common latke pairing during Hanukkah. But for those looking to eat less red meat, or who simply want to switch up their holiday main-dish game, try braising chicken in a traditional brisket sauce. Heaped with sliced onions and flavored with red wine, paprika, and a touch of honey, the chicken is falling-off-the-bone tender with a deeply craveable sweet-savory sauce. And since chicken cooks significantly faster than a side of brisket, Hanukkah dinner doesn't take all day to prepare.

25 of 25

Soto Ayam

Soto Ayam
Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Torie Cox / Prop Styling by Lydia Pursell

This hearty Soto Ayam, an Indonesian soup, served at Diana and Maylia Widjojo's restaurant Hardena in Philadelphia, is the perfect one-bowl meal. The fragrant soup, filled with juicy chicken and delicate vermicelli noodles, gets topped with cabbage and sprouts to add texture and fresh crunch. The spice paste, bloomed in oil alongside fresh lemongrass and lime leaves, layers a mildly earthy, warming flavor into the broth.

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