Fast and Easy One Pot Recipes

by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.91 from 10 votes
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It’s a pretty busy week around the Budget Bytes household, so I’m just going to take a quick minute today to round up some really fast and easy ONE POT recipes for when your life is as busy as mine! :D  All of these recipes feature your protein, vegetables, and grains cooked together in one skillet or pot, making dinner ridiculously easy to prepare and serve. Here are 24 of our best super easy one pot dinner ideas that require little effort and even less clean up. XOXO

Collage of one pot recipes with title text in the center.

See our full One Pot Category here.

Tips for One Pot Recipes

I find that the success of “one pot” recipes rests on two things: quality cookware and a good flavored broth (most of these recipes use broth as a cooking liquid). One pot recipes need very even heating, so good cookware is crucial. Poorly constructed cookware or vessels that are too thin tend to have hot spots that cause rice and pasta to scorch or stick to the bottom of the pot. I use Better Than Bouillon to make my broth for cooking, which not only offers a lot of flavor, but usually provides enough salt to season the entire dish. If your recipe turns out bland, your broth may be less flavorful or less salted than mine. Sometimes adding a pinch of salt to your final recipe can really help the flavors pop!

One Pot Pastas

1. One Pot Cheeseburger Pasta

One Pot Cheeseburger Pasta

Close up of cheeseburger pasta skillet being scooped out with a spoon
Cheeseburger Pasta is a fast and easy homemade version of hamburger helper that cooks all in one pot for easy cleanup!
4.79 from 65 votes
$5.03 recipe / $1.26 serving Get the Recipe

When you’re craving a cheeseburger but need that ground beef to stretch to more servings, this one potp cheeseburger pasta is IT!

2. One Pot Creamy Sun Dried Tomato Pasta

One Pot Creamy Sun Dried Tomato Pasta

Overhead view of creamy pasta twirled around the tongs in the skillet.
This incredibly fast and easy Creamy Sun Dried Tomato Pasta cooks in 30 minutes and uses just one pot. The perfect quick and satisfying weeknight dinner! 
4.77 from 99 votes
$4.22 recipe / $1.06 serving Get the Recipe

When you want something that feels fancy, but is still incredibly easy, try this one pot creamy sun dried tomato pasta!

3. One Pot American Goulash

Easy American Goulash

close up of american goulash in the pot
This easy one pot version of American Goulash cooks the pasta and beef in the same pot with a homemade red wine tomato sauce for extra flavor. 
4.82 from 55 votes
$10.96 recipe / $1.83 serving Get the Recipe

This American Goulash is such a classic comfort food! It’s definitely in my regular rotation during the colder winter months.

4. One Pot Creamy Pesto Chicken Pasta

One Pot Creamy Pesto Chicken Pasta

Close up of one pot creamy pesto chicken pasta in a shallow bowl with a black fork.
This super lush and Creamy Pesto Chicken Pasta is perfect for busy weeknights. Everything cooks in one pot and is done in under 30 minutes! 
4.84 from 137 votes
$10.41 recipe / $2.60 serving Get the Recipe

Need a dish that’s going to impress a date, your in-laws, or even yourself? Whip up this Creamy Pesto Chicken Pasta. ;)

5. One Pot Bacon Broccoli Mac and Cheese

One Pot Bacon Broccoli Mac and Cheese

This One Pot Bacon Broccoli Mac and Cheese is fast, easy, and absolutely fool proof. This sauce stays smooth and creamy! BudgetBytes.com
This One Pot Bacon Broccoli Mac and Cheese is fast, easy, and absolutely fool proof. This sauce stays smooth and creamy!
4.65 from 31 votes
$6.81 recipe / $1.70 serving Get the Recipe

Take your classic mac and cheese up a notch with bacon and broccoli!

6. One Pot Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta

One Pot Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta

One Pot Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta in the pan.
Cook a complete dinner in one pot with this Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta, using mostly pantry-stable items. Perfect for busy weeknights! 
4.71 from 272 votes
$9.41 recipe / $2.35 serving Get the Recipe

This Cajun chicken pasta is FULL OF FLAVOR. A healthy does of herbs and spices make every bite a flavor explosion.

7. One Pot Sausage and Sun Dried Tomato Pasta

One Pot Sausage and Sun Dried Tomato Pasta

This One Pot Sausage and Sun Dried Tomato Pasta cooks quickly and in one skillet so that no flavor is lost! Make dinner fast, easy, and delicious. BudgetBytes.com
This One Pot Sausage and Sun Dried Tomato Pasta cooks quickly and in one skillet so that no flavor is lost! Make dinner fast, easy, and delicious.
4.82 from 65 votes
$5.58 recipe / $1.40 serving Get the Recipe

Simple, delicious, and well rounded, this one pot pasta is a classic.

8. Cheesy Vegetarian Chili Mac

One Pot Cheesy Vegetarian Chili Mac

This rich and comforting One Pot Vegetarian Chili Mac and Cheese is the perfect quick and easy weeknight meal. Works great for meal prep! 
4.68 from 137 votes
$8.90 recipe / $1.11 serving Get the Recipe

Vegetarian comfort food at its best!

9. One Pot Roasted Red Pepper Pasta

One Pot Roasted Red Pepper Pasta

This smoky, sweet, and creamy One Pot Roasted Red Pepper Pasta cooks in one single pot and can be on the table in about 30 minutes. 
4.78 from 71 votes
$7.54 recipe / $1.26 serving Get the Recipe

This amazing roasted red pepper pasta is great whether you make it creamy or not!

10. Pastalaya

Pastalaya

Celebrate like you're in Louisiana with this easy, filling, and inexpensive one pot favorite, Pastalaya. It's the shortcut pasta version of Jambalaya! BudgetBytes.com
Celebrate like you’re in Louisiana with this easy, filling, and inexpensive one pot favorite, Pastalaya. It’s the shortcut pasta version of Jambalaya!
4.98 from 38 votes
$7.51 recipe / $1.25 serving Get the Recipe

If you need to feed a crowd, this Pastalaya is always a winner. It has tons of flavor and is a breeze to prepare.

11. Bacon and Spinach Pasta with Parmesan

Bacon and Spinach Pasta with Parmesan

Bacon and Spinach Pasta with Parmesan is a quick and flavorful weeknight dinner that only requires a few ingredients. BudgetBytes.com
Bacon and Spinach Pasta with Parmesan is a quick and flavorful weeknight dinner that only requires a few ingredients.
4.68 from 106 votes
$5.23 recipe / $1.31 serving Get the Recipe

Bacon makes everything better! …And we add a couple handfuls of fresh spinach for good measure. ;)

12. Tomato and Spinach One Pot Pasta

Tomato Spinach One Pot Pasta

All the ingredients for this Tomato Spinach One Pot Pasta cook together to make an incredibly fast, flavorful, and easy weeknight meal.
4.75 from 259 votes
$6.24 recipe / $1.04 serving Get the Recipe

This simple one pot pasta is where it all started!

13. Beef Taco Pasta

One Pot Beef Taco Pasta

Close up of beef taco pasta in the skillet
This Beef Taco Pasta is like a homemade version of hamburger helper with a southwest flavor spin. Hearty, delicious, and comforting!
4.75 from 63 votes
$10.33 recipe / $1.72 serving Get the Recipe

All the flavors of tacos in a simple to prepare (and eat) pasta dish.

14. One Pot Creamy Mushroom Pasta

One Pot Creamy Mushroom Pasta

Close up of pasta being twirled around the tongs in the skillet
This creamy mushroom pasta is a rich, umami-filled delight that cooks quickly and easily in one pot. The perfect dinner for busy nights.
4.84 from 30 votes
$3.74 recipe / $0.94 serving Get the Recipe

This creamy pasta is full of earthy mushrooms and umami!

15. One Pot Veggie Pasta

One Pot Veggie Pasta

One pot veggie pasta in a bowl with a fork
This one pot veggie pasta is an easy, satisfying, and quick dinner. Use whatever vegetables you have on hand and make it your own!
4.92 from 12 votes
$7.99 recipe / $2.00 Get the Recipe

Get your daily dose of veggies in this hearty and delicious one pot meal.

16. One Pot Beef and Mushroom Stroganoff

One Pot Beef and Mushroom Stroganoff

Overhead view of a bowl full of beef and mushroom stroganoff
This super easy one pot Beef and Mushroom Stroganoff is a delicious and comforting weeknight dinner that requires just a few ingredients.
4.68 from 178 votes
$5.54 recipe / $1.39 serving Get the Recipe

Creamy and beefy, this one pot beef and mushroom stroganoff can help you stretch your ground beef over more meals.

One Pot Rice Recipes

17. One Pot Cajun Sausage and Rice

Cajun Sausage and Rice Skillet

Side view of a skillet full of Cajun Sausage and Rice
This easy Cajun Sausage and Rice Skillet is the perfect easy and filling weeknight dinner, packed with plenty of smoky-spicy flavor!
4.89 from 105 votes
$7.21 recipe / $1.80 serving Get the Recipe

It’s like jambalaya “lite”. Fast, easy, simple.

18. One Pot Lemon Garlic Shrimp and Rice

One Pot Lemon Garlic Shrimp and Rice

overhead view of lemon garlic shrimp and rice in a skillet
You only need one pot and 8 ingredients to make this easy and flavorful Lemon Garlic Shrimp and Rice. Fast, easy, and delicious!
4.71 from 37 votes
$7.53 recipe / $1.88 serving Get the Recipe

This is the perfect light, fresh, and zesty spring or summer meal!

19. Unstuffed Bell Peppers

Unstuffed Bell Peppers

Close up side view of unstuffed bell peppers in the skillet
All the ingredients and flavor of stuffed bell peppers cooked in one skillet for an easy, free-form bowl meal. It's UNstuffed Bell Peppers!
4.79 from 74 votes
$8.29 recipe / $1.38 serving Get the Recipe

If stuffing bell peppers is a bit too tedious or tricky for you, just throw it all into one pot!

20. One Pot Teriyaki Chicken and Rice

One Pot Teriyaki Chicken and Rice

Close up of One Pot Teriyaki Chicken and Rice in the skillet.
This One Pot Teriyaki Chicken and Rice is an easy and satisfying meal that the whole family will love. It also meal preps well for lunches all week! 
4.50 from 38 votes
$6.26 recipe / $1.57 serving Get the Recipe

Utilizing frozen vegetables makes this meal so fast and easy, and with next to no chopping!

21. Greek Turkey and Rice Skillet

Greek Turkey and Rice Skillet

Everything cooks together in one pot for this fast and easy Greek Turkey and Rice Skillet, creating big flavor without a lot of fuss. BudgetBytes.com
Greek Turkey and Rice Skillet is an easy and flavorful ground turkey recipe that cooks in one skillet for maximum flavor and minimum effort. 
4.91 from 64 votes
$9.96 recipe / $2.49 serving Get the Recipe

Super flavorful ingredients like lemon, feta, olives, and sun dried tomatoes takes the flavor of this rice dish to the NEXT LEVEL.

22. Southwest Chicken Skillet

Southwest Chicken Skillet

If you're looking for a quick and easy dinner, this Southwest Chicken Skillet is it! Precooked chicken makes this dinner possible in about 30 minutes. BudgetBytes.com
If you’re looking for a quick and easy dinner, this Southwest Chicken Skillet is it! Precooked chicken makes this dinner possible in about 30 minutes.
4.82 from 160 votes
$6.76 recipe / $1.69 serving Get the Recipe

You can never go wrong with rice, beans, and salsa, and this meal takes it a step further with some chicken and cheese. All in one pot!

23. Spanish Chickpeas and Rice

Spanish Chickpeas and Rice

Spanish Chickpeas and Rice - BudgetBytes.com
This one pot Spanish Chickpeas and rice has big flavor thanks to liberal dose of spices, artichoke hearts, and fresh lemon. 
4.81 from 126 votes
$7.39 recipe / $1.84 serving Get the Recipe

This is, hands down, the most flavorful vegan meal I’ve ever had in my life!

24. Chorizo and Sweet Potato Skillet

Chorizo Sweet Potato Skillet

It only takes one skillet and a few ingredients to make this incredibly flavorful and filling Chorizo Sweet Potato Skillet. BudgetBytes.com
It only takes one skillet and a few ingredients to make this incredibly flavorful and filling Chorizo Sweet Potato Skillet. 
4.89 from 98 votes
$7.09 recipe / $1.81 serving Get the Recipe

Spicy chorizo and sweet potatoes make a perfect match in this simple rice-based one pot meal.

And here’s a bonus low-carb one pot meal for you:

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Sausage and Vegetable Skillet

4.91 from 10 votes
This super fast and easy Sausage and Vegetable Skillet is the ultimate busy-day meal and is perfect for meal prep!
Sausage and Vegetables in glass meal prep containers.
Servings 4 about 1.25 cups each
Cook 15 mins
Total 15 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil ($0.04)
  • 1 lb. Italian sausage ($5.99)
  • 1/2 lb. frozen cauliflower florets ($1.00)
  • 1/2 lb. frozen peppers and onions ($1.00)
  • 1/4 lb. frozen kale ($0.83)
  • ½ tsp seasoning salt or seasoning blend (or to taste) ($0.05)

Instructions 

  • Add the cooking oil and sausage to a skillet. Cook the sausage over medium heat until brown and crispy.
  • Add the cauliflower, peppers and onions, and kale to the skillet with the sausage. Continue to stir and cook until the vegetables are heated through.
  • Add a liberal amount (or to taste) of your favorite seasoning salt or seasoning blend and stir to combine. Serve hot.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.25cupsCalories: 484kcalCarbohydrates: 12gProtein: 20gFat: 40gSodium: 1178mgFiber: 5g
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  1. I loved these one pot meal recipes. Your recipes are quite simple and easy to understand and make. i totally enjoyed making Pastalaya for my kids in no time. and they just loved it. Being a foody person i always try to find more and more Indian food recipes for myself and for my family. few days back i have tried one pot meal recipes at http://indiafoodnetwork.in/recipes/dinner/one-pot-meals/ which i thought to share here with your readers too.
    Hope you will like many from this list.

    1. Several people have told me about that method/recipe, but I haven’t had a chance to try it yet! :) I’m very intrigued, though!

  2. Thanks for putting these in one spot, they’re some of my favorite of your recipes!

    1. Well, this list is specific to those rice and pasta “one pot” style dishes. :) I don’t think I’ve made any recipes where the potatoes cook in the same skillet or pot as the rest of the meal… I will need to brainstorm that! :)

  3. I’ve made many of these dishes and added them to my meal rotation. Thanks for highlighting some others that I haven’t tried yet!

  4. I make my own broth/stock and it incredibly flavorful. I really think the secret is adding in a few sprigs of “fresh” rosemary (I freeze some just for making stock) per pot, as well as (if you have a small stockpot, like I do) adding in half an onion or a few more cloves of garlic per new batch. I tend to make three or four batches at a time, usually using 2 chicken carcasses and a bag of veggie scraps that I keep in my freezer just for broth making days. This last time I used my usual 2 chickens and the turkey carcass that I had saved from Thanksgiving and did about 6 batches. I think I could have done one more, but I got tired of it being on my stove, LOL! Got about 23 quarts out of it. I also don’t salt it, but always add more salt to recipes anyway, so it is not a problem. :) The stock does take up some room in my freezer, though…I need to invest in a pressure canner to free up some of that space.

  5. I’d also love one-pot meals that aren’t so pasta heavy. I know it’s cheaper, but it would be nice to have a mainly veggie/meat dish and use cheap veggies to bulk it out.

  6. I love your website!!! I actually squealed with glee came when I saw today’s post.

    1. Oops, meant to say ‘squeal with glee’. (Was writing ‘a squeal of glee came out of my mouth’, then changed it.

      Anyways, love this post!

  7. I love me some one-pot meals! One request when you’re developing future recipes – maybe less pasta-centric? I see that a few of these are rice based, which is awesome. I am supposed to eat gluten-free (I have Hashimoto’s, and it’s a debate in that community but consensus is that gluten is bad for us even though I feel just fine when I do have it*), so some more one-pot meals that don’t have pasta in them would be welcomed! (GF pasta is finicky and often crumbly and gross, so I’d be wary to try it in a one-pot dish….I’d hate to ruin a whole recipe because of shitty pasta!)

    That said, for my fellow GF peeps, if you’re boiling it the old-school way, Barilla has really good GF pasta. Don’t know how it would hold up in a 1-pot dish, but if you just need some pasta & sauce, they’re the way to go.

    *I was in New Orleans in April and I ate all the gluten! I went on a self-imposed “gluten vacation” and I ate po-boys and beignets and fried everything EVERY DAY. And OH LORD the biscuits. Heaven. I felt just fine (I mean, aside from the fact that I ate and drank more than normal, but I was overall fine) and my doc’s visit in May showed my numbers going in the right direction! So I am still skeptical about the Hashimoto’s-Gluten connection (for me and my body) but am continuing to be reluctantly GF while I’m living my “normal life.”

    1. I hope you enjoyed New Orleans! Stews and chili make great pasta-free one pot meals, too, but I left them out of this round up because I felt like they were their own category. :) You can find them all under my “soup” category, though. I definitely want to cut down on my pasta dependency, too, so I’ll hopefully be doing less of that in future recipes.

  8. My BF loved that bacon spinach pasta dish so much he requested I make it again like two days later.

    1. It was delicious as is, but not super-filling. I added some sliced zucchini the second time and it was WAY more filling. It lasted long enough to feed us throughout the week as opposed to gobbling it all up right then. Sometimes what’s good for you is also practical, hey hey.

  9. Would love to see a link to recommended pots/skillets. I’ve had a hard time choosing one after I got rid of a 12″ nonstick skillet that sat unevenly on the stove. And do you find them hard to clean, being not nonstick?

    1. I was lucky enough to marry into my husband’s All-Clad. I think they’re pretty expensive, and although they are not non-stick, no matter how badly I think I destroyed a pan, it cleans up like magic. If you can afford it, I highly recommend.

    2. I use cast-iron skillets and a porcelain enamel cast-iron dutch oven. I’ve never had an issue with sticking (and I’ve made most of these dishes in them!) and they last forever!! Totally worth the cost. I found most of mine at an antique shop actually. You can google ways to bring them back to life. They seriously last forever. Can’t recommend cast iron enough.

    3. This post I made about how to shop for cookware has links to my current stainless steel set (by OXO) and the non-stick set that I’ve had for >15yrs (Calphalon). Both are nice and thick and do a great job of heating evenly. :)

  10. The creamy spinach and sausage pasta is a mainstay for busy weeks in our house! I love how flexible it is too – I’ve taken to adding a bell pepper and garlic along with an ounce or two of cream cheese at the end to make the sauce really silky. It’s so flexible – I’ve adjusted the onion if I have half of one I need to use up, used every pasta shape under the sun, added broccoli, changed up the cheese, added more or less greens depending on what needed to get used… I’m rambling now but seriously, this simple dish makes me weak in the knees with how amazing it is!

  11. Great list! I love these one pot meals. One question: Do you use a 10inch skillet with deep sides? I’ve been using a 12inch skillet but find it’s a bit too big sometimes.

    Heads up that there’s a link error for the Skillet Chicken with Orzo and Olives recipe; clicking on it will send you to the 20 Minute Creamy Spinach and Artichoke Pasta recipe instead.

    1. Thanks for the heads up! Going to go fix that now. Yes, I believe my deep skillet is 10″ wide. :)