Our Favorite Cookware for Preparing One-Pot Dinners

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Martha Stewart Dutch Oven at Macy's
Photo: Photo courtesy of Macy's

From skillet to Dutch oven to sheet pan and more, these are the best pieces of cookware to have on hand for all your one-pot dinner favorites—including our beloved one-pan pasta!

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sheet pan with chicken and vegetables
Ren Fuller

When it comes to cooking dinner, is there a greater feeling of relief than knowing there won't be a pile of dirty dishes waiting for you after the meal? We don't think so. That's why we rave about one-pot recipes that bring a whole new meaning to quick and easy weeknight dinners.

But a great one-dish recipe doesn't get there on its own; whether it's by way of baking sheet, skillet, or casserole, there's a hard-working piece of cookware (not to mention the cook!) behind its success. This collection includes lots of recipe ideas for sure, but its main purpose is to highlight the actual equipment that serves as the vessel for so many of our one-dish dinners.

For those new to the world of one-pan recipes, it can be hard to imagine much more than soups and casseroles being possible. While those categories are great, when you're armed with the right equipment (and a delicious recipe), a one-dish dinner can be anything from a cozy skillet of Baked Salmon with Creamy Orzo to fiery Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas, shown here. You'll never need to decide between feeding a crowd or making a one-dish meal; when you cook with a Dutch oven or stockpot, you'll be able to fit in everything from a One-Pot Pasta with Broccoli and Lemon to a Classic Chicken Noodle Soup.

If you're not sure you're ready to dive in and outfit your kitchen for the full one-dish experience, then start with these three essentials: a good skillet, a sturdy rimmed baking sheet, and a Dutch oven or stockpot. Once you are convinced that this style of cooking is worth the investment, consider tricking out your kitchen with the other great options for one-dish cookware that can be found ahead.

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12-Inch Stainless-Steel Sauté Pan

Cuisinart 5.5 quart saute pan with lid
Courtesy of Cuisinart

This type of sauté pan wins best in all-around for being an everyday multitasker (and not to mention the vessel for Martha's famous one-pan pasta). Whether you plan to sear, simmer, or stir-fry your way to a great one-pot meal, a large straight-sided sauté pan like this one from will be up for the task.

Shop Now: Cuisinart MultiClad Pro Stainless 5-1/2-Quart Sauté Pan with Helper and Cover, $79.95, amazon.com.

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Dutch Oven

Martha Stewart Dutch Oven at Macy's
Photo courtesy of Macy's

They're hefty and long-lasting, but these Dutch ovens are also pretty enough to go right from oven to table. We recommend enameled Dutch ovens which allow you to cook recipes that contain acidic ingredients like tomatoes and wine.

Shop Now: Martha Stewart Enameled Cast Iron Round 6-Qt Dutch Oven, $199.99, macys.com.

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Cast-Iron Skillet

Lodge 12-inch cast iron skillet
Courtesy of Lodge Cast Iron

A versatile kitchen companion that will keep and retain heat beautifully for so many dishes. The cast-iron skillet is ace for searing meat, as demonstrated in this recipe for Cast Iron Pork Chops. Many modern cast-iron skillets come pre-seasoned, so with a little care and maintenance, they can be kept in the family for generations to come.

Shop Now: Lodge 12-Inch Cast-Iron Skillet, $24.99, target.com.

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Eight-Quart Stockpot

MadeIn stockpot
Courtesy of MadeIn

This stockpot is big enough to fit a whole chicken inside for Chicken in a Pot, and it will also as the perfect place for simmering a big batch of Everyday Vegetable Soup. When shopping for a stockpot, choose a sturdy stainless-steel one with a heavy bottom.

Shop Now: Made In Stainless Clad Stockpot, $159, madein.com.

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Instant Pot

instant pot duo
Courtesy of Amazon

A multi-cooker like the Instant Pot that has a pressure-cooker feature can deliver all of the benefits of a one-pot dinner in a fraction of the time. This time-saving appliance opens up all sorts of delicious possibilities for weeknight dinners, like a hearty and healthy turkey chili.

Shop Now: Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 Pressure Cooker, 6-Qt, $99.95, amazon.com.

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Rimmed Baking Sheet

USA Pan Pro Line non-stick baking sheet
Courtesy of Crate and Barrel

We will wax poetic about our love of sheet-pan dinners to anyone who will listen, but we know the proof is in the cooking. Try one of the recipes from our special gallery round-up and you'll be impressed at how easy and tasty dinner can be when it's cooked on a single sheet pan. A rimmed baking sheet makes the job of preparing these meals so simple.

Shop Now: USA Pan Pro Line Non-Stick Baking Sheet, $19.99, crateandbarrel.com.

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Three-Quart Oval Baking Dish

Emile Henry ova baker dish
Courtesy of Sur La Table

Baking dishes come in various shapes and sizes and are ideal for making comforting casseroles. The ubiquitous square and rectangular set from Pyrex are a good foundation, but when you're ready to branch out we recommend going for a three-quart oval like this beauty; it can hold the same volume as a 9-by-13 dish and will look exceptionally pretty on your table.

Shop Now: Emile Henry Modern Classics Oval Baker, $74.95, surlatable.com.

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Roasting Pan

Food52 roasting pan with rack
Courtesy of Food52

You can—and should—haul your roasting pan out for more than just the annual Thanksgiving turkey; it's perfect for one-dish dinners, too. A generous-sized pan with sturdy handles and an optional rack is your best bet for creating one-of-a-kind dinners, like Lamb with Asparagus and Potatoes.

Shop Now: Five Two Essential Roasting Pan & Rack, $149, food52.com.

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Slow Cooker

KitchenAid 6qt slow cooker
Courtesy of Crate and Barrel

Last but not least, here's a fantastic vessel for hearty one-pot dinners like Tex-Mex Chicken and Beans. While the slow-cooker is busy cooking low and slow, you can get on with your day and only stop to think about dinner when it's time to eat.

Shop Now: KitchenAid Six-Quart Slow Cooker, $99.99, crateandbarrel.com.

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