11 Healthy One Pot Recipes For Minimal Clean-Up

Recipes

You’ve worked hard in the kitchen to make a glorious meal for your loved ones. You spent hours chopping, boiling, marinating, and mashing to get it right. It wasn’t a race; it was a marathon. Now, that everyone’s eaten, though, there’s one nagging problem. The mess. You glance to the kitchen and see the stacked-up pots, pans, and more.

If you want to cut back on this hellish situation, we might have the answer. Why not take the time to learn some super healthy one pot recipes instead? Not only are they easy and quick to whip up, they’re nutritious and tasty as well. Keep reading to learn more.

The Benefits of One Pot Recipes

If you’ve never tried making any one pot recipes before now, it’s time to change your ways. When you learn the art of these dishes, you will see that nothing could be easier. From tried and tested one pot pasta recipes to one pot stews, there’s something for every taste. Here are just four of the benefits of making irresistible one pot meal recipes.

1. Make large batches

a one pot meal of roasted chicken and vegetables on an oven tray

Cooking for your kids or a huge family? It might be difficult. Having a handful of one pot meal recipes up your sleeve could be your secret weapon. So long as you’ve got a large pot or pan, you have the capacity to make some massive batches of food. Easy!

2. Ideal for dinner parties

one pot meal of chicken, olives, and vegetables in a slow cooker

In the same vein, if you’re making food for a whole load of people – let’s say for a dinner party – it can be rather stressful. Don’t let the worry get to you. Choosing one of the many one pot mealrecipes below means that the whole process will be straightforward.

3. Minimal clean-up needed

one pot meal of baked potatoes topped with cheese in a skillet

Are you sick and tired of cleaning up after every family meal? If so, think about cooking some of the recipes in this article instead. These recipes are unique in the fact that you only have to clean one thing after you’ve made them. It’s that simple. That means that the whole clean-up process should take you no longer than a few minutes.

4. Save time and effort

an uncooked one pot meal of pasta and vegetables in a pan

Let’s face it, we’re all busy bees these days. If you find that you hardly have any down time when you get home, the thought of cooking may be all too much to handle. One pot recipes don’t take too much effort or time. That’s a major bonus, we can all agree on!

5. Home-cooking is the healthy option

an oven dish filled with meat and roasted vegetables, topped with basil leaves and citrus fruits on the side for zest

Finally, it’s worth taking a moment to think about your health. Cooking at home, rather than going for the convenience of a ready-made meal or takeout, is the healthiest way to go. This habit is associated with having a better overall level of wellness and, unsurprisingly, weight loss, according to research.[1] Learning about simple dishes you can make on a whim will mean that you’re more likely to make food at home than order food.

Healthy & Tasty One Pot Vegetarian Recipes

You are what you eat. Giving your body super nutritious food is a fantastic way to support your health and wellness. With that in mind, here are a couple of one pot recipes that pack as much flavor as they do goodness. Oh, and they just so happen to be veggie too!

1. Vegan Mexican-Style Quinoa

Do you have a hankering for Tex-Mex food? When you’re craving a little spice in your life, you might fall into the trap of going for something deep-fried or cheese-laden. Don’t do it. Instead, a much healthier (and equally as stomach-satisfying!) option is this vegan-friendly and delicious Mexican-style dish that draws on the power of fiber-packed quinoa. As with most one pot meal recipes, this one is super simple to make and won’t take you all that long. Here’s what you need to know.

Prep Time: 10 minutes  |  Cook Time: 35 minutes  |  Serves: 6  |  Calories per serving: 554 kcal
Tools/Equipment: Large skillet and large spoon

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 25g chopped jalapeños
  • 10g peeled and crushed garlic
  • 1 tbsp chili flakes
  • ½ tbsp paprika
  • 400g canned kidney beans
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 400g canned chopped tomatoes
  • 100g chopped and peeled avocado
  • 400g canned yellow corn
  • 100g chopped red peppers
  • 1 cup vegetable stock*
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

* It’s always sensible to check the ingredients on the stock that you use. Before using your vegetable stock, take a moment to check that it is 100% vegan.

Directions

  1. Put the skillet on a medium heat and add the olive oil. When the pan is hot, add the chopped jalapeños, crushed garlic, and red peppers. Cook on medium heat until soft.
  2. Drain the yellow corn and kidney beans. Add the vegetable stock, quinoa, yellow corn, kidney beans, chili flakes, paprika, and chopped tomatoes to the skillet.
  3. Bring the pan to a gentle boil. Then turn the heat down and allow the pan to simmer. Cook for around 20 minutes.
  4. When the quinoa is cooked (it should be light and fluffy!), turn off the heat. Stir the avocado and lemon juice into the mixture. Season with sea salt to taste!

2. Chickpea and Vegetable Medley

one pot meal of roasted peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, onions, and zucchini on an oven tray

Whether you happen to be vegetarian or simply want to add more essential nutrients to your diet, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s one of the best one pot dinner recipes you can learn. It’s painfully simple to get right and the preparation will take you no longer than a mere 15 minutes. Plus, as an added bonus, this meal is morishly good. Here’s how to do it.

Prep Time: 15 minutes  |  Cook Time: 1 hour  |  Serves: 4  |  Calories per serving: 325 kcal
Tools/Equipment: Large baking tray

Ingredients

  • 300g sliced eggplant
  • 300g sliced squash
  • 200g sliced potatoes
  • 200g sliced red peppers
  • 100g sliced and peeled onion
  • 400g canned chickpeas
  • 400g chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

Directions 

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Grease the bottom of the baking tray with olive oil.
  2. Line the baking tray with the vegetables; eggplant, squash, potatoes, peppers, and onions. Make sure the ingredients are spaced out evenly. These are the base of your meal!
  3. Sprinkle the garlic powder and paprika over the top of the vegetables. Put the baking tray in the oven for 30-40 minutes.
  4. When the vegetables are partially cooked, it’s time to add the rest of the ingredients. Pour the chopped tomatoes over the top of them. Drain the chickpeas and add them too.
  5. Mix the vegetables and chickpeas well. Put the baking tray back into the oven for a further 30 minutes, checking it regularly.
  6. Add a little lemon juice to the medley before serving!

Spice it up!

The flavors in this vegetarian meal are relatively mild! If you want a bit of spice in your life, you can add some to the dish. Add a little chili powder to the medley before cooking and watch the meal really come to life. It’s one of the healthiest one pot recipes you can learn, so give it a go.

7 One Pot Dinner Recipes for Every Day of the Week

When you come in after a long, stressful day at work, the last thing on your mind is cooking. It can be a real pain, to say the least. Luckily, there’s a life hack you can try that will help you solve that very problem. Why not try some of our weekday one pot recipes? You can either prepare these before work (and leave them to slow cook) or make them when you get home. Here are seven that we come back to again and again.

1. Meaty Beef Goulash

one pot meal of meaty beef goulash in a clay pot with a wooden spoon

Looking for a flavorsome “go to” evening meal? We’ve got you covered. A goulash is an enticing beef stew that you can feast upon during the cold fall and winter months. As far as one pot pasta recipes go, you won’t find one more enticingly delicious than this one. What’s more, once you’ve mastered the basic recipe, you can tweak it and add various things to make it your own. But first, let’s take a look at how to nail this meatilicious dish.

Prep Time: 10 minutes  |  Cook Time: 50 minutes  |  Serves: 4  |  Calories per serving: 553 kcal
Tools/Equipment: Large pot and large spoon

Ingredients

  • 500g mincemeat (preferably beef)
  • 15g chopped and peeled garlic
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 200g sliced onions
  • 100g chopped celery
  • 100g chopped carrots
  • 3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cups of beef stock
  • 400g canned chopped tomatoes
  • 400g passata
  • 3 cups dried macaroni
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp sea salt

Directions 

  1. Heat the oil in a large pot for a minute or so. Add the mincemeat to the pot and stir regularly until it is brown. It should take around 10 minutes, but keep checking it regularly.
  2. Add the chopped onions, garlic, celery, and carrots to the pan. Cook for a further 10 minutes, stirring the mixture regularly. The vegetables and meat should be well-mixed.
  3. It’s time to get seasoning! Add the chopped tomatoes, passata, Worcestershire sauce, oregano, and sea salt into the pot. Stir well!
  4. Add the beef stock to the pot. Doing so will give this dish a wholesome, meaty flavor that few people are able to resist!
  5. Bring the mixture to the boil. (You may need to add a little more water if it’s too thick now!) Turn down the heat and leave to simmer for 20 minutes.
  6. Finally, put the macaroni in the pot, cover, and leave to simmer for another 20 minutes.

Pro Tip: After you’ve browned the meat, there’s a simple way to make this meal a little healthier. Drain the excess fat/grease from the pan before adding the rest of the ingredients. This little hack will go a long way to making your one pot recipes extra healthful.

Add some extra flavor!

Of course, it goes without saying that one pot recipes like this one are brimming with flavor. If you want to make this one extra tasty, though, you should consider adding some yeast extract into the mix. It’s a strong and heavy taste, but it really does work. Try it today!

2. Slow Cooker Chicken Korma

chicken korma curry in a silver dish on a white plate, with sides of yellow rice and samosas

The invitingly decadent spices of Asian-inspired cuisine ought to be enough to tempt you to try this  slow cooker chicken korma. Not only is it rich in flavor, it’s also high in protein. For the best results, do your food preparation in the morning, and then leave the curry to cook away throughout the day. (Note: You need to ensure that either your slow cooker can be left cooking safely, or make sure that someone is in to watch it!) When you come home, the fragrant scents of this dish will await you, calling you to tuck into this mildly-spiced meal. Here’s how to get it right.

Prep Time: 30-40 minutes  |  Cook Time: 7 hours (or more)  |  Serves: 4  |  Calories per serving: 626 kcal
Tools/Equipment: Slow cooker and large spoon

Ingredients

  • 400g chopped chicken breast
  • 200g sliced yellow onions
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 15g peeled and crushed garlic
  • 20g peeled and crushed ginger
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp cumin powder
  • 2 tbsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Directions 

  1. Put the slow cooker on high and add the olive oil. After around 5-10 minutes, add the chopped chicken breast. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring regularly.
  2. Add the yellow onions, crushed ginger, and crushed garlic. Cook for a further 10 minutes, stirring as much as possible.
  3. Pour in the chicken stock and coconut milk. Cover the slow cooker and leave to cook on high for around an hour.
  4. Add the turmeric, garlic powder, mustard seeds, cumin powder, cinnamon, and honey to the mixture. Cover the slow cooker and leave on high for a further six hours (or more, if at all possible!). The longer you leave it, the better it will taste.

Important!

Make sure that the chicken is fully cooked before serving this dish. Take the largest piece of chicken out of the curry and cut it in half. It should be white all the way through. The meat ought to be tender and succulent – it should pull apart in your hands!

Serving Tip: Of course, there are many ways in which you can serve your chicken korma. You may want to boil some brown rice ahead of time or simply have it on its own. When you’ve portioned out your meals, why not add a little extra something to the dish? For instance, you could try garnishing with some desiccated coconut or toasted almond flakes. Fancy!

3. Spanish Chili Prawns

stir fried prawns with garlic, chili, and parsley in a skillet

Ready for a real flavor fiesta in your mouth? Let’s face it, some of the best meals are also the simplest. Should you like the spiced taste of Spanish food, here’s a super quick recipe you can whip up at the drop of a hat. Having this recipe on hand means that you never need to worry about that fussy “what to have for dinner” conundrum again. Plus, it’s brimming with antioxidant-rich ingredients like rosemary.

Cook Time: 10-20 minutes  |  Serves: 2  |  Calories per serving: 455 kcal
Tools/Equipment: Medium skillet and medium spatula

Ingredients

  • 10 medium shelled king prawns
  • 20g peeled and crushed garlic
  • 3 tbsp chili-infused olive oil
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp dried rosemary
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice

Directions

  1. Put the skillet on a medium heat and drizzle the chili-infused olive oil into it. Add the garlic, garlic powder, paprika, cilantro, and dried rosemary to the pan. Leave to simmer on a low-medium heat for a couple of minutes.
  2. Turn the heat back up to medium. Put the prawns in the pan and cook them on each side for two minutes. Make sure that the prawns are fully cooked.
  3. Serve your prawns with a dash of lemon juice for flavor. You might also want to add a bed of salad and healthy-packed leafy greens to complete the dish.

Spice it up!

Do you like your one pot recipes extra spicy? While the chili-infused oil will give the prawns a little kick, there’s a simple way to turn it up a notch. Why not chop up a fresh green chili and add it to the mix? You should pop it in the pan at the same time as the herbs and spices, i.e. at the start of the recipe. Mmm…zingy!

4. Orange Carrot and Lentil Soup

a bowl of orange carrot lentil soup topped with parsley, and 3 toasted breadsticks on the side

Feasting on a homemade soup is a great way to boost your health! If you’ve yet to try making your own broth at home, there’s no denying the fact that you’ve been missing out. The fantastic thing about soup one pot recipes is that they take no time at all. When you learn how to do them for yourself, you will never feel the need to buy ready-made canned soups again. This recipe is far tastier than you might imagine, and packs a real punch.

Cook Time: 40 minutes  |  Serves: 3  |  Calories per serving: 618 kcal
Tools/Equipment: Large pot, hand blender, sieve

Ingredients

  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • ½ cup vegetable stock
  • 400g canned lentils
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 400g chopped carrots
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • Water

Directions

  1. Put some water in the large pot over medium heat and add the carrots. Bring the water to the boil and then turn down to simmer for around 20 minutes.
  2. Turn off the heat. Drain the water, leaving only the carrots. Add the vegetable stock and use the hand blender to blend the mixture until it’s smooth.
  3. Put the heat back onto a medium level. Add the coconut milk, chili powder, garlic powder, and cinnamon. Stir well for a minute or two.
  4. Drain the lentils and add them to the mixture. Cook on a medium heat for a further 10 minutes and then serve! Enjoy this warming evening meal!

Serving Tip: Before serving, you could make this soup extra tasty by adding some toasted cashews to the mix. Then, pop a piece of crusty, rustic-style bread on the side to complete the meal.

5. Perfect Pasta Bake

Pasta bake topped with fresh green basil in an oven dish, with four forks and a lemon wedge on a green wooden table

Of course, when we’re looking at unmissable one pot recipes that require minimal clean-up, there’s one type that we must never ignore. Yes, we mean the wholesome pasta bake. It might have been quite some time since you had this one for yourself, but that is about to change. The following recipe is ideal for your weekday evening meal plan as the carbs in the pasta will give you the energy you need to complete your week.

Prep time: 10 minutes  |  Cook Time: 1 hour  |  Serves: 4  |  Calories per serving: 562 kcal
Tools/Equipment: Large baking tray

Ingredients

  • 400g passata
  • 300g farfalle pasta
  • 200g chopped onions
  • 200g chopped Romano peppers
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 50g pre-cooked chorizo slices
  • 2 tbsp harissa paste
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Grease the bottom of the baking tray with olive oil and line it with the chopped onions and peppers.
  2. Place the baking tray and vegetables into the oven and cook for around 10 minutes.
  3. Take the tray out of the oven. Add the passata, garlic powder, harissa paste and mix well. Add the uncooked pasta and chorizo slices to the mix. Make sure that the liquid covers the pasta and meat slices or they will burn!
  4. Place the baking tray back into the oven and cook for around 40 minutes. Before serving, check that the pasta is soft and ready to enjoy.

Serving Tip: If you’d like to add a little extra something to this recipe, we have just the thing. Wash and chop some cilantro and basil ahead of time. Use these fresh herbs to garnish your pasta bake dish before serving to your guests (and yourself!).

6. Easy Chicken Stir Fry

Stir fried chicken, broccoli and peppers in a skillet

Got no time to cook? Don’t panic! Here’s one of the fastest recipes that also happens to be one of the most decadent. Learning how to make a stir fry is handy as it can be made in a flash. What’s more, the juicy chicken breast pieces here mean that this is most certainly a meal that you will never forget. And for the health-conscious, you’ll be happy to learn that chicken is a fantastic source of protein, an essential nutrient you may need more of in your diet. Here’s how to do it.

Cook Time: 10-20 minutes  |  Serves: 2  |  Calories per serving: 688 kcal
Tools/Equipment: Large pan (or wok)

Ingredients

  • 400g chopped chicken breast
  • 200g chopped red peppers
  • 100g chopped broccoli
  • 100g chopped onions
  • 20g peeled and grated ginger
  • 100g chopped carrots
  • 100g bean sprouts
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Directions 

  1. Put the olive oil in the large pan and put on a medium heat. Add the chicken breast to the pan and cook for around five minutes or until brown.
  2. Add the red peppers, broccoli, onions, carrots, and bean sprouts to the pan. Cook and continually stir for around 10-15 minutes.
  3. Dash in the soy sauce, chili powder, honey, and grated ginger. Stir for a few more minutes (if the consistency looks a little thick, you can always add a little water!). Serve.

Serving Tip: When you’ve finished this serve fry recipe, why not make it a little fancier? You can serve the meal with a little pickled ginger, sesame seeds, and chili oil on the top. Of course, you can completely adapt this to suit your own tastes! Go ahead – customize your meal.

7. Majestic Meat-Free Chili

Homemade vegetarian, meat-free chili in a skillet, topped with a whole fresh red chili pepper

When you think of a steaming hot chili, you most likely picture a dish brimming with meat. It doesn’t have to be that way. Some of the tastiest and most daring one pot recipes are actually vegetarian. With that in mind, why not put a super healthy twist on the standard chili dish. This one replaces the mincemeat with soya mince instead. We promise you won’t notice the difference…but your waistline certainly will! Here’s how to make it.

Cook Time: 30 minutes  |  Serves: 4  |  Calories per serving: 308 kcal
Tools/Equipment: Large pan (or wok), large spoon

Ingredients

  • 400g frozen soya mince
  • 400g canned black beans
  • 200g canned yellow corn
  • 400g passata
  • 100g chopped yellow onions
  • 30g peeled and crushed garlic
  • 30g chopped green chili
  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp harissa paste
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Directions

  1. Heat the olive oil in the pan or wok for a minute. Add the garlic, chopped green chili, chopped yellow onions to the pan. Stir and cook for around 5-10 minutes or until the onions become translucent and soft.
  2. Add the frozen soya mince directly to the pan. Cook for a further 10 minutes, stirring throughout the process. You should notice that the mince starts to thaw and brown.
  3. Add the passata to the mixture and fold it into the mince and onions.
  4. Next, drain the black beans and yellow corn. Add them both to the pan and stir well.
  5. Put the paprika, garlic powder, and harissa paste into the pan. Stir well to allow the flavors to truly infuse. Cook for around 10 minutes longer before serving.

Serving Tip: Now that you’ve mastered this vegetarian one pot recipe, it’s time to take a quick moment to talk about how you can jazz it up. Why not cook some tasty bulgur wheat to serve it with instead of rice? Doing so will keep the calorie-count down while still giving you a satisfying meal. Also, you could go ahead and drizzle on some sour cream too.

One Pot Chicken Recipes Worth a Michelin Star

If you’re a real chicken lover, we’ve got a couple of one pot recipes that you will want to add to your book. Sure, having a standard chicken dinner is nice now and then, but these dishes are the creme de la creme.

1. Sumptuous Chicken and Pumpkin Dinner

One pot chicken drumsticks, garlic, potatoes and pumpkin presented in a red pot on a wooden table

There’s nothing quite as wholesome as a roast chicken dinner. It’s the type of temptingly delicious meal that gets the entire family around the table. No wonder it’s a staple of many food lovers’ home-cooked recipe repertoires. While there are plenty of one pot chicken recipes, this one has to be one of the most daring, including a modern twist on the classic. Here’s what you need to do and how to get started with this decadent recipe.

Prep Time: 10 minutes  |  Cook Time: 45 minutes  |  Serves: 4  |  Calories per serving: 772 kcal
Tools/Equipment: Medium baking tray

Ingredients

  • 130g sliced and peeled pumpkin
  • 4 medium chicken thighs
  • 150g sliced carrots
  • 150g sliced and peeled red onion
  • ½ cup of honey
  • 1 tbsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 °F. Grease the bottom of the tray with olive oil. Line it with the sliced and peeled carrots, red onions, and pumpkin.
  2. Place the chicken thighs on top of the vegetables. Put the tray in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Turn the chicken over and move the vegetables around. Add the honey to the skins of the chicken thighs. Use some sea salt to season for taste.
  4. Cook for a further 30 minutes. The chicken should be golden and fully cooked throughout, while the vegetables should be soft, tender, and ready to enjoy.

2. Flaming Chicken and Rice

One pot flaming chicken stew topped with a sprig of fresh basil on a red dish

Are you feeling hot, hot, hot?! You certainly will be after you have this one pot chicken dish. This flaming chicken and wild rice combo is certain to have you wanting more and more. The whole thing is fast to make and packs more flavor than you expect. You get a serious hit of taste from the chili, garlic, and onion. Combine that with well-cooked chicken, and you’ve got a recipe for success. Why not spice things up at home tonight and make yourself this daringly devilish meal?

Prep Time: 10 minutes  |  Cook Time: 25 minutes  |  Serves: 4  |  Calories per serving: 490 kcal
Tools/Equipment: Large skillet, large spoon, plate

Ingredients

  • 400g chopped chicken breast
  • 1 cup of wild rice
  • 1 cup of chicken broth
  • 300g chopped sweet potatoes
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 30g chopped red chili
  • 1 tbsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp cayenne pepper powder
  • 1 tbsp sea salt

Directions 

  1. Before cooking, prepare the chicken by rubbing it with olive oil. Next, you should season it using a mixture of the garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, dried thyme, and cayenne pepper powder.
  2. Heat the rest of the olive oil in a large pan. Add the seasoned chicken breast pieces, peppers, and chili to the pan and cook for around 5 minutes or until the chicken is brown. Take the chicken, peppers, and chili out of the pan and leave them on a plate.
  3. Add the chicken broth to the pan and bring it to the boil. Add the wild rice and sweet potatoes to the mixture. Cover and leave to simmer for around 15 minutes.
  4. Finally, add the chicken, peppers, and chili to the mixture. Cover again and cook for a further 20 minutes. Serve and enjoy this spiced meal.

Pro Tip: Fancy trying something a little different? Why not use a bone broth rather than a chicken broth? There are many remarkable health benefits associated with using this type of ingredient, which means that it could well elevate your dish to a whole new level.

11 Healthy One Pot Recipes For Minimal Clean-Up

Conclusion

There you have it – some of the tastiest, most inspiring one pot recipes you will ever come across. Have we managed to pique your interest? Are you going to try some of these sumptuous one pot meals for yourself? Whether you’re cooking for a massive group at a dinner party or just making the family evening meal, these ideas should sort you out. None of them take too long to make and they all require minimal clean-up. What’s not to love?

References

  • [1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25399031

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