While everyone can get excited about a homemade meal at the end of a long day (hi, Plated), there’s one part of the process that every home cook really doesn’t love: the clean up. We all know that sinking feeling that comes from watching the pots, pans, cutting boards, and spatulas pile up during meal prep—the point at which you’ve probably found yourself wondering, “was this all even worth it?”
But fear not—we have the solution to all of your clean up woes. These one pot meals will deliver minimal cleanup and maximum flavor for the ultimate, no fuss dinner. From cozy soups to spicy stir frys, we’re here to convince you that yes, it was all worth it.
Soups are the are original one pot meal; one sturdy pot does everything from sautéeing the aromatics (onion, garlic spices), to heating up the stock, to simmering the stew so the vegetables break down and the flavors all meld together. Plated’s ribollita soup recipe is the perfect antidote to those cold winter nights when you need a quick, hearty dinner to warm you up. Even better—any leftovers can be easily reheated for lunch or dinner later on, which means even less clean up all week long. Win, win.
Chicken teriyaki stir fry
The ingredient list may look daunting, but this delicious stir fry comes together so quickly, and cleans up even quicker. This recipe is also easy to customize—feel free to swap out the chicken for beef or shrimp, or use asparagus and potatoes instead of the broccoli and zucchini. Really, anything goes here.
4 tablespoons canola oil, divided
1 large sweet or yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 cups broccoli florets, cut into small pieces
3 medium carrots, cut into matchsticks
2 medium zucchini, chopped
1 cup snow peas, trimmed and halved lengthwise
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons low-sodium chicken broth, divided
1/2 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup rice wine
3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon grated or minced peeled fresh ginger
3 small cloves garlic, grated or minced
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 cups cooked rice
Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a 3–5 quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering.
Add the onions, broccoli, and carrots and sauté until the broccoli is a bright green and the carrots are still crisp but slightly tender, about 2 minutes. Add the zucchini and snow peas and cook, stirring, until heated through, about 1 minute. Transfer to a large plate and set aside.
Sprinkle the chicken with the salt and pepper on both sides.
Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in the same Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the chicken in a single layer and cook until browned on both sides, 3 to 4 minutes total.
Add 1/2 cup of the chicken broth, soy sauce, rice wine, brown sugar, honey, ginger, and garlic. Stir and scrape up any flavorful browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Reduce the heat to low and cook just until the mixture comes to a gentle boil, 2 to 3 minutes. Cover, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook until the chicken is just cooked through and no longer pink, 5 to 6 minutes.
Whisk the cornstarch with the remaining 3 tablespoons chicken broth in a small bowl until fully combined. Stir the chicken and sauce in the Dutch oven, and drizzle in the cornstarch mixture. Increase the heat to medium and bring to a boil, stirring the liquid constantly, 1 to 2 minutes.
Add the rice and reserved vegetables and stir to combine. Cover and cook until the rice has begun to absorb the sauce, the vegetables are cooked to the desired doneness, and the chicken is soft and tender, about 3 to 5 minutes.
If you thought that making pasta the traditional way (one pot for pasta, one pan for sauce) was the easiest weeknight dinner plan, we’re about to blow your mind, because this one-pot linguine makes life even easier. The trick is to use stock in place of water, which—in the case of this vegetable linguine—mixes with the pasta starch and heavy cream to make a luxurious, thick sauce that’s balanced perfectly by the fresh, crunchy vegetables. Leave your colander and extra sauce pans in the cupboard, and get cooking!
Coconut curry shrimp
While cooking with curry powder can get a bit messy, rest assured that this recipe will keep all of the mess contained to one pan. Coconut milk adds decadent creaminess to the curry, while cashews and broccoli lend heft, and a nice crunch.
While most think of shakshuka as a brunch recipe, it’s equally delicious for when you need a hearty, warming dinner. Bulk up this classic tomato-onion-parsley dish by adding roasted eggplant to the sauce before cracking the eggs in, and finish everything off with a sprinkling of feta or goat cheese. Serve with toasted bread or pita, and you have a spicy and filling one-pot dish.
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