I’ll be honest: I’m not someone who revels in the challenge of cooking a complicated meal. And to me, complicated means running around between different pots and pans on the stove. Nothing’s ever done at the same time, and it’s just not my idea of a relaxing evening in the kitchen. And let’s not even start on the pile of dishes. Enter one-pot and one-pan dinners.
They solve many of my biggest kitchen gripes and often keep me from turning to Postmates or a bowl of cereal. When everything comes together in one pan or pot, I’ve only got one thing to focus on, and at the end of a long day, minimal mental energy is exactly what I’m after. There’s no major clean-up to take away from precious Netflix time after dinner, and there’s built-in meal prep for a next-day lunch without all of the effort of actual meal prep. As a bonus, stovetop dinners mean there’s no need to turn on my oven and heat up my house when on toasty summer nights.
One-pot and one-pan meals are also my sneaky trick for entertaining—I can enjoy a glass of wine (or two) with my friends while things on the stove are running smoothly, and then whip out a meal that looks more impressive than it actually is.
Because I like my dinners to be as delicious as possible with as little effort as possible, these eight one-pan and one-pot stovetop dinners are life-savers to have on hand. Plus, they’re high in protein to keep me full, fueled, and away from midnight snacks—RDs recommend at least 15 grams of protein at every meal, and these all fit the bill.
The lemons in this tangy five-ingredient recipe serve as garnish for pretty plating. Get the recipe here.
Per one serving: 303 calories, 34 grams protein
Pasta recipes usually involve cooking the noodles separately, but this colorful recipe gets it all done in one pan and just five ingredients. Get the recipe here.
Per one serving: 390 calories, 19 grams protein
Put a creative twist on taco Tuesday with this low-carb skillet packed with veggies and spices. Cheese topping optional—but is it, really? Get the recipe here.
Per one serving: 303 calories, 29 grams protein
Italian sausage pairs well with pretty much anything, in my opinion. Get the recipe here.
Per one serving: 418 calories, 21 grams protein
This recipe gets covered to simmer the rice and the chicken together, and since there’s no peeking allowed, you have 20 free minutes to get a head start on clean-up, catch up on Insta, paint your nails…whatever your heart desires. Get the recipe here.
Per one serving: 407 calories, 28 grams protein
This dish uses frozen onions and peppers for a super-easy way to add veggie power to a classic comfort food. Get the recipe here.
Per one serving: 521 calories, 22 grams protein
This flavorful cajun classic holds up well as leftovers for an easy, filling office lunch that will make your coworkers jealous. Get the recipe here.
Per one serving: 383 calories, 20 grams protein
This light, zesty dish is a foolproof way to get in a couple servings of veggies and plenty of protein (almost 30 grams!) at the end of the day. Get the recipe here.
Per one serving: 270 calories, 29 grams protein
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