36 One-Pan Meals Just Right for Dinner Tonight

salmon creamy orzo
Photo: Julia Gartland

One pan, pot, skillet, or Instant Pot is all you need to make these no-fuss family dinners, which include recipes for salmon, pasta, pot roast, chili, and so much more.

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sheet pan vegetable hash with eggs
Chris Simpson

Whether you make dinner in a Dutch oven, a skillet, Instant Pot, or a sheet pan, you'll love these one-pan meals that make a weeknight dinner deliciously doable and keep clean-up to a minimum. Our test kitchen has developed and tested a broad range of creative one-pan, pot, or sheet recipes using chicken, salmon, beef, and other family-favorite proteins. We even have vegetarian options that are guaranteed crowd-pleasers; the entire family will love Sheet Pan Vegetable Hash with Eggs, which is shown here (who doesn't like breakfast for dinner?), Baked Butternut Squash Risotto, and Cannellini-Bean and Greens Stew.

Since we know that everyone likes to cook in different ways, you'll find a mix of cooking methods in the slides ahead. There are stovetop one-pan meals, recipes that let the oven do the work, and a couple of multicooker recipes—after all, this type of hearty one-pot dinner is a most excellent use of the Instant Pot. Of course, we've included our most famous one-pan meal: One-Pan Pasta. It's based on a recipe one of our food editors enjoyed while traveling in Puglia, Italy. Back in the test kitchen, she made the dish for her fellow cooks and, the rest is history. The recipe has been an internet sensation ever since. Dry pasta cooks in a skillet, not the usual large pot, along with the other ingredients. The result is maximum flavor and ease.

If you're new to one-pan cooking, know that there's more to this meal prep style than just the rich selection of dinner recipes here. We also have collections of healthy one-pan meals, vegetarian one-pot meals, one-pot meals made for summer, and a collection devoted to one-pot recipes with chicken.

Are you feeling full yet? If you're really into the one-pan genre, might we suggest you take it to its logical conclusion: Finish off a one-skillet meal with a one-bowl dessert from our collection of easy-going cakes and cookies.

Make this slideshow your go-to source for dinner recipes that are delicious, family-friendly, and easy on the cook. We call that a win-win-win!

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Creamy Chicken and Mushrooms with Egg Noodles

creamy chicken and mushrooms with egg noodles
Johnny Miller

Get out your straight-sided skillet for this delicious weeknight dinner that's made with chicken breasts and an easy sauce of mustard, broth, and cream cheese which the egg noodles cook in.

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Shrimp with Zucchini and Spicy Couscous

shrimp with zucchini and spicy couscous
Johnny Miller

This one-skillet dinner borrows flavors from chile verde. We love that the couscous gets tang and heat from the salsa as well as earthy notes from canned green chiles.

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Pressure-Cooker Chile Verde

pressure cooker chili verde
Justin Walker

This is a rich, delicious pork stew that's hands off-easy when you make it in the pressure cooker—it's one-pan dinner cooks long and slow with flavorful results. No pressure cooker? No problem! It can also be made on the stovetop.

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Baked Salmon with Creamy Orzo

salmon creamy orzo
Julia Gartland

A flavor-packed triumph, this one-pot wonder pairs lemon-coriander salmon fillets with a bed of rich bacon-flecked orzo.

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Ginger-Peanut Turkey Stir-Fry

Ginger-Peanut Turkey Stir-Fry
Justin Walker

A bold and silky sauce made with lime juice, fish sauce, peanut butter, and chili complements ground turkey in this stir fry. You could even swap in ground pork with equally delicious results.

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One-Pan Pasta

Marcus Nilsson

At a tiny restaurant in the Puglia region of Italy, we saw a chef place dried pasta in a skillet with water, tomatoes, onion, garlic, herbs, and a glug of extra-virgin olive oil, and then cook everything together. It has been one of our "back pocket" recipes ever since: Once the water has boiled away, you are left with perfectly al dente pasta in a creamy sauce that coats every strand.

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Pork-Meatball Skillet Bake

Pork-Meatball Skillet Bake
Justin Walker

One of our favorite ground pork recipes, these meatballs are made with just three ingredients (the pork, fennel seeds, and Parmesan). They cook in tomato-bell pepper sauce in a straight-sided skillet. Then, slices of toasted Italian bread are nestled into the pan and everything is topped with mozzarella and broiled. It's an irresistible meal.

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Korean Beef Chuck Roast

beef roast on cutting board

Give traditional pot roast a Korean twist by slow cooking beef chuck with gochujang (Korean pepper paste), mirin (sweet rice wine), sake, and plenty of garlic and ginger. Carrots and shiitake mushrooms complete the dish. Serve with rice or transform into quick Korean Beef Tacos.

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Arroz con Pollo


The traditional Spanish chicken and rice casserole gets its distinctive flavor from white wine, saffron, and pimiento-stuffed green olives. Nestle seared chicken thighs into the seasoned rice and cook everything together on the stovetop.

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Savory Pudding with Sausage and Tomatoes

savory pudding
Jonathan Lovekin

This skillet of sausage, scallions, and tomatoes surrounded by oven-puffed savory pudding was inspired by the English dish toad-in-a-hole.

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Fish Stew with Herbed Toasts

Fish Stew with Herbed Toasts
James Ransom

Quick, easy, and delicious, cod stars in this tomatoey fish stew that takes just 30 minutes to prepare from start to finish.

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Creamy Lemon Chicken with Spinach and Artichokes

creamy lemon chicken with spinach and artichokes
Marcus Nilsson

If you haven't made this chicken dinner yet, what are you waiting for? It's one of our most popular one-pan meals and with good reason. Think of it as the favorite dip reinvented as dinner. Plus, it's on the table in 35 minutes!

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Seafood Orzo Risotto

Marcus Nilsson

The secret to the perfectly cooked seafood in this paella-like pasta dish? Adding the mussels, shrimp, squid, cockles, and fish to the pot at different times.

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Pork and Plums

pork medallion in skillet
Jonathan Lovekin

Thin pork tenderloin is sautéed with ripe plums, red onions, and a splash of vinegar for a warming meal with only one pan to clean!

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Spicy Peanut Chicken

broiled peanut chicken
Jonathan Lovekin

Boneless chicken thighs and broccolini, both coated in a chili-spiked peanut sauce, emerge deliciously caramelized after just 10 minutes under the broiler.

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Irish Beef and Stout Stew


Cubes of beef chuck become melt-in-your-mouth tender when braised with Irish stout beer and tomato paste. This dish freezes well: Simply pack the cooled stew into plastic containers and store for up to three months.

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Three-Cheese Skillet Lasagna


Canned plum tomatoes and fresh garlic make an easy, flavorful marinara sauce. Baking the lasagna in the same skillet used to simmer the tomato sauce makes this pasta dish extra quick to whip up.

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Instant Pot Shrimp Boil

instant pot shrimp boil on table on plates
Julia Gartland

Using a multicooker optimizes this classic recipe made with a mix of smoky sausage, briny shrimp, tender potatoes, and sweet corn.

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Black Beans and Sausage


Canned black beans and kielbasa (or any other smoked sausage you choose) make a hearty meal. Top each portion of stew with chopped parsley and a dollop of plain yogurt. This quick weeknight meal is ready in 40 minutes.

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Salmon, Red Cabbage, and New Potatoes

Jonathan Lovekin

Salmon coated in grainy mustard is nestled between red cabbage and new potatoes for a healthy and easy weeknight meal.

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Wine-Braised Chicken


Better known as coq au vin, this rustic French chicken stew gets its richness from bacon and red wine. Serve with crusty bread or buttered noodles.

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Butternut Squash Baked Risotto


Butternut squash and kale cook along with short-grain Arborio rice, making this risotto extra hearty and sweet. After sautéing for a few minutes on the stove, this dish goes into the oven—unlike most risottos, there's no need to stand and stir!

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Beer-Braised Sausages with Warm Potato Salad


Pale ale makes a flavorful braising liquid for sweet Italian sausages and red potatoes. Make a quick sauce of olive oil, red-wine vinegar, and parsley to drizzle over the potatoes.

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Chicken and Dumplings


Steam dill-flecked dumplings over a stew of chicken thighs, carrots, and peas. No need to spend all day in the kitchen—this down-home favorite is ready in an hour.

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Vegetarian Gumbo

vegetarian gumbo
Sidney Bensimon

Not traditional gumbo, this vegan take on the New Orleans classic is sans chicken or shrimp or andouille, but packs plenty of flavor with canned black-eyed peas, tomatoes, okra, and yellow squash.

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Skillet Cod with Bulgur, Zucchini, and Tomatoes

braised cod and bulgur with zucchini and tomatoes
Justin Walker

Here's an easy but sophisticated one-skillet dinner starring mild-tasting but meaty cod along with wholesome bulgur and saucy summer vegetables.

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Pork, Mushroom, and Artichoke Fricassee

pork mushroom artichoke fricassee
Julia Gartland

Garlic, Dijon mustard, and cream amp up the pan sauce for this succulent pork-and-vegetable sauté.

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Drunken Mussels with Chorizo and White Beans

drunken mussels with chorizo and white beans topped with parsley leaves
Con Poulos

Sweet, plump mussels are steamed in a sauce made with cherry tomatoes, garlic, and wine; white beans add heft while chorizo, a Spanish sausage, brings extra heat.

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Chow Mein

chow mein dish
Martyna Szczesna

Making this favorite is as easy as stir-frying noodles, vegetables, and chicken. Serve immediately so the noodles stay nice and crispy.

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Beef Stew

beef stew
David Loftus

You can make this beef stew in the oven or slow cooker. Either way, you will have a warming, wholesome, and wonderfully flavorful meal.

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Cannellini-Bean and Greens Stew

white beans greens stew
Julia Gartland

Here's a hearty, comforting, and totally delicious bean stew. Tender greens, like baby kale, spinach, or chard, are added right before serving so that they're just wilted. And don't sleep on the garlic-and-sage ciabatta toasts—they're the ideal vehicles for soaking up all that delicious broth.

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Vegetarian Enchiladas Suizas

vegetarian enchiladas suizas
Con Poulos

A hearty one-skillet dinner, this vegetable-packed take on Swiss enchiladas makes a delicious and slightly decadent dinner. Layers of poblano peppers, red onion, and zucchini are interspersed with crema and cheese and topped with soft corn tortillas dipped in green salsa. Then everything is baked to perfection.

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Instant Pot Turkey Chili

instant-pot turkey chili and add-ins
Bryan Gardner

Ground turkey makes a rich, flavorful chili in this easy, hands-off recipe that's made in the Instant Pot.

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Beef Stroganoff

beef stroganoff

Use a slow cooker or Dutch oven to simmer sliced beef chuck with onion and mushrooms. Just before you're ready to serve the stroganoff, thicken the sauce with cornstarch and stir in sour cream and Dijon mustard.

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