There are fast meals, and then there are one-dish meals. Most people love eating, quite a few enjoy cooking, but almost nobody gets their kicks from washing a tower of dirty dishes. To make prioritizing healthy eating at home that much easier easier, here are a whole slew of healthy recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, and side dishes that only use one pot. From skillet dishes to tasty casseroles, read on for plenty of healthy recipes that are quick, straightforward, and most importantly, easy to clean up!
Baked French toast with less than 250 calories per serving? What’s not to love?! It’s a little extra fuss, but the mini ramekins make it easy to portion out the right amount to each person. For an easier approach, use one larger oven-safe pan.
Why settle for one grain in the morning when two are so much better? Mix it up with a gluten-free combination of oats and quinoa, plus plenty of dried fruit, vanilla almond milk, and agave for a touch of sweetness.
This veggie-loaded skillet meal would be a perfect breakfast, brunch, or even a light dinner. Best of all, it just takes a skillet and about 25 minutes to prepare!
Start the day with a meal that will keep you full until lunchtime. Cook steel-cut oats with some water, milk, banana, flaxseed, cocoa, and cinnamon for a flavorful and filling, hot breakfast. Add walnuts, dried or fresh fruit, and maple syrup on top!
This “A-B-C” egg dish is as easy as one-two-three. For a lighter meal, use reduced-fat cheese and less bacon. Serve it with whole-grain toast or spicy arugula to give the meal some kick. To make it truly one-dish, cook the bacon, remove, and then mix everything up the same skillet.
This skillet meal is full of big, sophisticated flavors—perfect for a special breakfast or brunch. The addition of chili pepper, yogurt, and tahini this dish a distinctive Middle Eastern flavor.
This vegan recipe is miles away from a packet of artificially-flavored instant oatmeal. Start with caramelized banana, then add a swirl of peanut butter, almond milk, chia seeds, oats, and spices for plenty of breakfasty goodness. For even more delicious flavor, top with an additional scoop of PB or nuts, a dash of cinnamon, and a drizzle of maple syrup.
Technically this recipe involves two dishes, but if you make a big batch of pesto yogurt (and really, why wouldn’t you?) ahead of time, there’s just one pot to wash. Or, just make the mix right in the yogurt container! The recipe is designed for a solo breakfaster, but it’s pretty easy to adapt to a larger crowd.
As far as breakfast breads go, this one is pretty guilt-free. Minimal butter, no white sugar, and whole-wheat flour make this pumpkin bread a good quick breakfast or snack with a mug of coffee or tea. If muffins are more your style, mix everything up in a bowl and then transfer to muffin tins.
This recipe is perfect for those days when you need a lil’ spice to get going in the morning. Cayenne pepper and hot sauce give the sweet potatoes, black beans, and corn a nice kick, while eggs and Monterey jack cheese add some protein to keep you full ‘till lunch.
Like the name suggests, this lighter breakfast treat gets its sweetness from honey and its hearty crumb from whole-wheat pastry flour. Save a bowl and mix everything up right in the baking dish.
For a gluten-free, low-fat, vegetarian, veggie-rich breakfast (or light lunch or dinner) look no further than this easy frittata. This skillet egg dish is loaded with colorful veggies, especially if you can score some multi-hued heirloom cherry tomatoes.
Soups, Snacks, and Sides
The beauty of this recipe is that it can be as decadent or as healthy as you choose. For a lighter version, just use less butter, part-skim cheese, and skim milk. Otherwise, this comforting soup is pretty easy—just onions, potatoes, chicken stock, and corn—and only requires about 10 minutes of active cooking time.
If you’re in the market for a super-flavorful yet healthy soup, look no further. This recipe features plenty of nutty, fresh pesto as well as a ton of kale, beans, and carrots. Oh, and it takes about 30 minutes (and one pot!) from start to finish. What’s not to love?
Most people don’t consider homemade bread “easy” or “one-bowl,” but this no-knead recipe is a cinch. Mix the ingredients in a Dutch oven and, while the dough is resting wrapped in a towel, give the pot a quick wash to get rid of any messy residue. Preheat the clean pot in the oven for 30-40 minutes. Next, pop the dough back into the hot pot and bake until golden and crusty.
This colorful veggie-rich salad would make an ideal side dish or even light lunch. The recipe is pretty darn easy, too. Just chop up the vegetables, add peanuts and edamame, and toss with a ginger-peanut dressing.
This beautiful bean salad hardly counts as a recipe—it’s so easy! Combine all the ingredients (black beans, corn, tomato, red onion, scallion, lime juice, olive oil, and cilantro) and refrigerate for a bit to let the flavors soak in together. Just before serving, cut up an avocado and add slices on top.
Feeling drained and droopy after a tough workout (or illness)? This soup will get you back on track fast: It’s loaded with protein and complex carbs to fuel those muscles right. We recommend cooking up a big pot and freezing it in smaller portions for easy quick meals whenever you want.
This one-pot meal takes a bit of extra effort: Each vegetable must be peeled, chopped, and then cooked separately before the whole dish comes together. But it’s worth it—we promise. Cut down on washing dishes by placing sautéed vegetables in the lid of the pot before adding the veggies back to the pan for the final part of cooking. This stew gets better the longer it’s in the fridge, and it’s delicious as a side dish or a vegetarian entrée.
20. Minestrone Soup
As far as soups go, this traditionally Italian vegetarian recipe is as easy as they come. While it takes a bit of time to cook, about 95 percent of that time is just letting the dish simmer on the stovetop. The hardest part is cutting up vegetables, and even that step can be simplified by buying pre-chopped veggies.
Thinly sliced raw veggies add plenty of freshness to this Asian-inspired dish. After cooking the noodles, remove them from the pot and then mix up the sauce. Once that’s done, add the vegetables and noodles and toss everything together.
This might be the best salad tip ever. When making salad for a crowd (or just for lunch or dinner), ditch extra dirty dishes by mixing the dressing in the serving bowl first. Then, add the vegetables and toss from the bottom up. Seriously genius—why didn’t we think of this?
The ingredient list may look daunting, but this flavorful, colorful soup is actually a breeze. Sauté veggies and spices, then add lentils, vegetable stock, and water. Make it creamier by stirring in some Greek yogurt (or leave it out for a less-filling soup).
24. Broccoli Bites
To get away with washing only one bowl, line a baking tray with parchment paper before assembling these quick, easy appetizer bites. Mix chopped broccoli, cheddar cheese, eggs, breadcrumbs, and salt and pepper together in a large bowl. Form the mixture into patties, lay them on the parchment-lined sheet (hooray for easy clean-up) and bake for about 25 minutes.
Vegetarian Main Dishes
Between the cheese, refried beans, and even more cheese, Tex-Mex cuisine has a reputation for being not so healthy. Luckily, this dish incorporates all of the flavor along with plenty of protein, thanks to quinoa and black beans. Sauté the onions in a Dutch oven on the stovetop, add the other ingredients, and transfer to the oven.
This vegan version of home-style shepherd’s pie makes an ideal healthy main course. Make it in one pot by preparing the mashed potato topping first in a Dutch oven. When it’s all set, set aside (in the lid of the Dutch oven to save on dishes!), clean out the pot, and mix together the filling. Finally, add the potatoes on top and stick under the broiler until toasty.
This hearty stew is perfect for a big group. With plenty of spices, sweet potatoes, greens, and beans, it’s a hearty vegetarian option that will fill up even the most dedicated meat-lover.
Need a way to use up leftover rice? This healthy skillet meal is basically a quiche that uses brown rice instead of pastry for the crust, so it’s extra healthy. Serve with a side salad for lunch or pair with a light soup for a quick and easy dinner.
This Asian-inspired quinoa recipe calls for a wok, but a regular pan with high sides will work in a pinch. Quinoa adds an extra hit of protein to traditional fried-rice ingredients like eggs, onion, red pepper, sugar snap peas, and corn. Add whatever’s lurking in the crisper drawer for an even more veggie-rich dish.
It’s time to get a little exotic at the dinner table. This North African dish is full of flavor and plenty of kick (for a less spicy version, use fewer chili flakes). The best part about this recipe is that it’s totally adaptable to what’s available in the pantry. It works with pretty much any combination of greens and beans (hence the name of the recipe) so start experimenting to find your favorite mix.
It may look unassuming, but this simple dish is packed with protein from beans, fiber from bulgur, and vitamins and nutrients from the vegetables.
Nothing says spring like pasta primavera with fresh pesto. This pesto recipe is vegan and uses silken tofu, nutritional yeast, nuts, and plenty of garlic and basil. Whip together the pesto sauce ahead of time to make this one-pot, 30-minute meal come together even more quickly.
These hearty, seasoned beans might not be the prettiest dish on the table, but the flavor more than makes up for its ugly duckling appearance. On its own, this would make a great snack. Paired it with a salad or some roasted vegetables and a loaf of bread for a light, no-stress meal.
Vegan? Check. Feeds a crowd? Check. Comes together in less than 20 minutes? Check. This warm and comforting stew is pretty much perfect. Pro tip: Make a big batch on the weekend and reheat throughout the week for plenty of easy, wholesome meals.
Every once in a while, everyone just needs a detox meal. Boil mung beans, drain, and add chopped veggies, fruit, nuts, and olive oil and lemon juice to dress it. Use whatever’s in the crisper—this recipe is ideal for using up spare odds and ends in the refrigerator.
36. Chana Masala
The spice list for this dish might be a little daunting, but assembling all the ingredients is definitely the trickiest part of this recipe. Chana masala is super-versatile—serve it with brown rice, naan bread, or hey, just a fork.
Meat, Chicken, and Fish Main Dishes
What’s even easier than a one-pot meal? A one-tray meal, of course. Line a baking tray with aluminum foil for zero clean-up. Just toss shrimp and broccoli with olive oil, spices, and lemon zest and bake for 20 minutes.
It’s simple addition: six ingredients plus one pan equals dinner. Grab a cast-iron skillet and add some potatoes and olive oil. When the taters are crispy, scoot them over to the side of the pan, add salmon fillets, and put the whole shebang in the oven for 10 minutes until the fish is cooked.
Use up leftover pasta (rice works, too) with this Mediterranean-inspired skillet dinner. Feta cheese, kalamata olives, crushed red pepper, and basil give this dish plenty of exciting flavors.
All the yummy flavor of stuffed peppers without having to deal with all the scooping and balancing. Cook ground beef (go 90- or 95-percent lean for a healthier dish) in a skillet, then add peppers, tomatoes, and onions, seasoning, and rice.
41. Arroz Con Pollo
This classic Spanish dish starts by letting chicken pieces hang out in a garlicky marinade for 15 minutes. Make it truly one-dish by mixing everything up in the Dutch oven. Just be sure to wash the dish carefully before cooking everything else (to get rid of any raw chicken residue!).
This combo of ingredients is usually featured in soup or stew, but here they jump out of the stockpot and into the skillet. Crushed red pepper, sage, and plenty of garlic make this dish bright and loaded with flavor.
The three distinctive ingredients give this recipe some serious North African flavor. Balance out sweet apricots with spicy cinnamon and earthy lamb. It doesn’t hurt that this recipe is beyond easy to make—just combine ingredients and let it simmer for about an hour until the flavors have combined and the meat is tender. About 20 minutes before serving, add chickpeas and honey for an extra touch of sweetness.
To make this dish a bit lighter, go with skinless chicken thighs (just keep an eye on them to avoid burning or drying them out by accident!). Brown the chicken, and then remove from the pan while garlic onion and tomatoes cook down into a flavorful sauce.
Cooking fish “en papillote” (a.k.a. in a parchment-paper packet) is the ultimate one-dish cooking method. Fill each parchment packet with a halibut fillet, veggie strips, and seasoning. Cook for about 15 minutes and serve. When the meal is over, just toss the empty wrappers.
Heart-healthy anchovies give this pasta recipe plenty of deep, intense flavor. The whole thing comes together in a skillet—start it on the stovetop, and finish in the oven. Cut down on fat and calories by reducing the Parmesan cheese and olive oil and using part-skim mozzarella.
This weeknight recipe features seven ingredients, four easy steps, and just one pan. First, braise chicken in olive oil until lightly browned. Next, add potatoes, carrots, thyme, and chicken broth (or water, to slash calories). Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, and then add green beans for another 15 minutes.
Everyone has his or her own special recipe for chili, but you might want to give this healthier version a second look. It combines lean turkey, black beans, corn, kale, and plenty of chili powder (duh!).
Whip up this easy cake-in-a-mug any night of the week—it comes together in about a minute and change in the microwave. The recipe is for a single serving, but double (or triple) it to share with friends.
Make a whole batch of these cute fruit cups and just wash one dish afterwards. Mix up the berries, spoon them into a muffin pan (lined with cupcake wrappers) and then wash the bowl. Combine the dry ingredients for the pecan-and-oat topping and then sprinkle on top of the berries. Bake ‘em for 15 or 20 minutes until the topping is brown and crunchy-looking.
One-bowl brownies are in every home baker’s recipe repertoire, but they’re not so good for you. This healthier version uses light butter, whole-wheat flour, and flax seed meal for some healthy bonus points.
Natural ingredients, no baking, and it all comes together in one bowl. What’s not to love? Mix up nut butter, honey, rolled oats, unsweetened coconut, vanilla, sea salt, and add any other additions (like chopped nuts, seeds, dried fruit, chocolate chips, or spices). Refrigerate the “dough” for 30 minutes, and then roll into balls and refrigerate or freeze until you’re ready to eat ‘em.
53. Chocolate Mousse
Even with no added sugar, this chocolate pudding is seriously decadent and perfect for a special occasion. Mix dates, coconut milk, cocoa powder, and vanilla in a blender and pour into ramekins or small bowls for individual servings. If there’s an immersion blender or hand-mixer lurking somewhere in the kitchen, you can even mix and serve this rich mousse all in one bowl!
These cookies are pretty healthy and easy to prepare. Wash only one dish by thoroughly lining a baking tray with aluminum foil. Combine bananas, oats, peanut butter, cocoa powder, applesauce, vanilla, and cinnamon and, then spoon cookie-size portions onto the cookie sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes and you’re all set.
Keep the dentist happy with this no-white-sugar fudge. The sweetness comes from super-ripe bananas (and maple syrup, if the bananas aren’t very ripe). Combine bananas, cocoa powder, coconut butter, and salt in a food processor and let the mixture set in a pan in the freezer for a few minutes. Add cinnamon or vanilla extract for extra flavor.
This dairy-free fro-yo is perfect for people without a food processor or blender. Just combine the ingredients in a bowl and freeze for about an hour. Remember to stir occasionally, or you’ll have a frozen block of pumpkin-flavored goodness instead of creamy frozen soy yogurt.
Some granola bars are more dessert than snack. This version embraces the chocolate and doesn’t even try to pose as post-workout fuel. For dessert, though, these homemade treats are perfect. To make the whole recipe in one pan, melt the butter, peanut butter, and honey in a square cake or brownie pan. Then add the other ingredients and stick the whole mess in the refrigerator until cool and ready to cut into squares.
Cookies with just four ingredients? Yup! In a food processor, blend almonds. Next, add pitted dates, peanut butter, and vanilla. Roll the dough into balls and refrigerate for half an hour for easy, healthy cookies in no time.
This fancy-looking dessert takes about three minutes to make. Mix reduced-fat cream cheese, sugar (use honey or maple syrup to ditch the processed white sugar), and lemon juice in a bowl. Spoon the mix into a premade graham cracker crust and top with whipped topping (or skip it to make this dessert a bit healthier.).
Originally posted October 2014. Updated April 2015.