There’s a lot that can go wrong when cooking. Maybe you miss an ingredient and now your meal tastes weirdly salty, or you make such a steamy dish that it sets off the smoke detector. But dare we say the worst part of cooking is cleaning up a mountain of dishes afterward.
That’s why we’re so keen on these easy, healthy one-skillet meals. All you need is an oven-friendly pan to make everything from hearty breakfasts to finger-lickin’ desserts. Whether you’re cooking for one or a crowd, try out these tasty meals and say buh-bye to a long cleanup.
1. Huevos Rancheros
Get your Tex-Mex on. Seasoned black beans and a freshly cracked egg are placed on a crisp tortilla then baked. Add your favorite toppings, like fresh salsa, sliced avocado, cilantro, and sour cream, for a breakfast so good you won’t realize it’s meat-free.
2. Baked Eggs Skillet With Avocado and Spicy Tomatoes
These gluten-free baked eggs go from stovetop to oven with zero fuss—just make sure to use a cast-iron or oven-friendly skillet. Top spicy diced tomatoes with fresh avocado slices (for a dose of healthy fats), and then crack a few eggs. Bake for 10 minutes, and you’ve got a vegetarian, protein-packed breakfast.
3. Bacon Tomato Basil Breakfast Pasta
Not only do you get to enjoy pasta in the a.m. with this easy meal, but the noodles cook right in the pan, soaking up bacon juices and garlicky goodness. Topped with fried eggs, a homemade tomato sauce, and cheese, this breakfast will keep you full for hours.
4. Eggs, Spinach, and Mushroom Skillet
Get one of your vegetable servings out of the way early on with this simple skillet breakfast. Sauté mushrooms in a little olive oil, and add in spinach or another leafy green. You’ll create a little “well” in the middle, so you can cook the egg right in the pan. Serve with whole-wheat toast or Greek yogurt.
5. Cheesy Hash Brown Eggs
Hash browns are one of the best parts about breakfast, but many recipes use a frozen variety. Not this one. Instead, you’ll use a real live potato, shred it up, and cook it into the hash brown of your dreams. Add some zesty Monterey Jack cheese, crack a few eggs, and slide the skillet into the oven to finish.
6. Polenta Skillet Eggs With Chorizo
At a loss for how to use polenta? Try it in this dish that works for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. With spicy chorizo, melty cheese, cilantro, and, of course, baked eggs, this Spanish-inspired recipe will turn you into a convert. No polenta? You can easily swap cornmeal instead.
7. Spicy Shakshuka With Feta
Tomato sauce forms the base of this North African breakfast. Then add in caramelized onions, poached eggs, and tangy feta cheese to make a real winner of a meal.
8. Dutch Baby Pancake
These German pancakes are delicate and crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside. The best part, though, might be the garnishes: berries, maple syrup, powdered sugar, thinly sliced apples, and cinnamon.
9. Balsamic Skirt Steak With Zucchini, Squash, and Tomatoes
A steak dish that’s ready in under 20 minutes? Sign us up! Sauté a combo of zucchini and squash along with tomatoes and garlic. Add in a skirt steak, which requires just three minutes to cook per side. For the finishing touch, toss in balsamic vinegar and sugar for a sweet glaze that’s drizzled onto the steak and veggies.
10. Cauliflower Rice Skillet With Zucchini and Kielbasa
Low in calories but high in vitamins and antioxidants, cauliflower takes the place of carb-heavy rice in this simple veggie and Polish sausage dish. With a hefty dose of zucchini and peas (or whatever other vegetables you’ve got on hand), plus a sprinkle of cheese, you’ve got a tasty dinner on your hands. Lighten things up even more by using olive oil in place of half the butter.
11. Cheesy Tuna Pasta
Tired of tuna salad? Enjoy this hearty pasta dish instead. Reminiscent of mac and cheese, this gooey number ups the nutrient content by adding peas and tuna. With a dash of hot sauce, paprika, and chopped parsley, this is adult comfort food.
12. Garlic Chicken Pasta
This meal has all your favorite Italian flavors with none of the hassle. Cook cubed chicken in Italian seasoning until it’s golden brown to ensure it’s nice and crisp. Then you’ll cook the pasta and tomato sauce right in the same pan, so every bite is full of flavor. Finish it all off with half and half and mozzarella cheese for a thick, creamy sauce that won’t feel like dairy overload.
13. Gluten-Free Skillet Lasagna
Lasagna without an oven? Believe it. Layer gluten-free noodles onto a meaty sauce that’s hiding grated zucchini for extra veggie power. Top the noodles with fresh cheese and basil, and you’ll never go back to oven lasagna again.
14. Honey Mustard and Rosemary Chicken
A classic chicken and potatoes dinner gets a sweet upgrade. Layer raw chicken tenders over sliced potatoes and smother the whole thing with a crazy good homemade honey mustard. Pop the skillet in the oven for 35 minutes, and serve with a side salad for a complete dinner with minimal fuss.
15. Ground Turkey Curry With Spinach, Garbanzo Beans, and Dates
Tired of using ground turkey for burgers or Taco Tuesday? Switch things up with this spicy low-carb curry. Garbanzo beans add protein, and fresh spinach gives a dose of fiber and iron. Finish off with fresh lemon juice for one turkey dish you’ll want to make over and over again.
16. Harvest Chicken Skillet
This veggie-packed skillet is full of delicious autumn flavors you can enjoy no matter what time of year. Cook Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes in bacon fat to make them deliciously crisp, and stir in apples to finish it all off.
17. Lime Cilantro Chicken With Mixed Rice and Black Beans
This Mexican-inspired rice dish works well on its own or as a taco filling—or double the recipe, and use it for both! Thanks to bell peppers, corn, and cilantro, it’s colorful and healthy, while the lime-honey sauce gives plain old chicken breasts a ton of flavor.
18. Mac and Cheese With Sausage and Bell Peppers
Similar to Hamburger Helper without the weird powdered ingredients, this mac and cheese uses diced sausage, peppers, and marinara for a creamy tomato sauce that’s way better than anything from a box.
19. Shrimp Parmesan Pasta
Get your shrimp fix in with this fast pasta dish. Fresh baby spinach, yummy fettucine (opt for whole-grain or brown rice varieties), and sauce straight out of the jar make this a great go-to on busy nights. If you’re not fond of shellfish, swap in chicken, and simply cook it longer.
20. Pork Chops and Rice
Pork chops get a bad rap for being tough or overcooked. And there’s truth to that if you don’t use a good recipe. Luckily, that’s not the case with this one. The pork chops are sprinkled with Old Bay, the famous seafood seasoning that’s amazing on everything, and seared for just a few minutes to add color. Then they cook through on a bed of black-eyed peas, tomatoes, green chilies, peppers, onions, and rice. No need to separate anything: Just dump and cook.
21. Skinny Seafood Alfredo
Need a change from chicken alfredo? This healthy seafood version is your answer. Instead of poultry, use crab meat and shrimp as your meat. The pasta gets creamy thanks to a mix of chicken broth, milk, and flour, keeping it light and easy. Garnish with fresh basil and parsley for an impressive weeknight dinner.
22. Smothered Steak Tips With Creamy Mushrooms and Onions
Anything with the word “smothered” is delicious, right? These steak tips are no exception. Plan ahead because the steak needs to marinate overnight, but it’s worth it. It’ll tenderize a tougher cut of meat, making this a great budget-friendly option. Serve with mashed potatoes or cauliflower and green beans.
23. Mexican Quinoa
Lighten up dinnertime with this creative quinoa dish. All of it, including the quinoa, is cooked in one pan for easy cleanup. It’s full of zesty flavors, courtesy of black beans, fire-roasted tomatoes, avocado, and lime juice. And it’s just the thing to share with veggie or vegan friends.
24. Teriyaki Chicken and Pineapple Rice
Chicken glazed with teriyaki and nestled into pineapple rice—all cooked in one skillet. Do you need another excuse to make this? Didn’t think so.
25. Stuffed Pepper Skillet
Stuffed peppers taste great, but sometimes the effort of actually stuffing the vegetable doesn’t feel worth it. Enter this skillet. You’ll get all the taste without the stuffing. And of course, top with plenty of cheese.
26. Summer Squash Hash With Chicken Sausage
This skillet dish is impressively healthy and still manages to taste crazy good. It’s loaded with fresh vegetables, like leeks, asparagus, and squash, and combined with chicken sausage and eggs for a high-protein, low-carb dinner. It’d also make a stellar breakfast before a big hike or long day.
27. 20-Minute Skillet Pork Lo Mein
Why bother with Chinese delivery when you can make this lo mein in less than a half hour? This recipe calls for a frozen stir-fry vegetable mix to save time while not skimping on the nutrients. You can switch up your protein or leave out the meat altogether—it’s up to you.
28. Veggie Shrimp Orzo
What makes this dish stand out are the sneaky fresh flavors: The lemon juice and basil tie everything together. This recipe calls for squash, bell peppers, and tomatoes, but you can really use whatever vegetables you have in the fridge. And make sure you don’t skip the Old Bay seasoning for an added kick.
29. Chili Lime Corn
This corn is meant as a side dish, but it’s so good you might skip the main and eat it solo. Marrying spicy and sweet, this chili lime corn is a necessity on Taco Tuesday.
30. Caramelized Butternut Squash
This caramelized squash makes a terrific side for steak dishes. Better yet, it requires only two ingredients. And if you buy pre-cut butternut squash at the store, you’ve made it even easier.
31. Loaded Smashed Potato Skillet
This makes for a yummy game day snack—and it doesn’t hurt that it’s super easy to prepare. You’ll mash these potatoes right in the skillet and load ‘em up with everything that makes potato skins great, like crispy bacon, sour cream, and sliced green onions.
32. Sautéed Spinach With Cranberries and Feta
This fancy spinach dish is excellent with grilled fish or chicken. Sauté the garlic and cranberries, then add and cook the spinach until it wilts. Top with feta and freshly ground pepper for a knock-your-socks-off side.
33. Simple Skillet Green Beans
These green beans are so easy to make, you’ll be devastated you haven’t been making them this way all this time. Green beans, minced garlic, salt, pepper, and just enough red pepper flakes to add some zing. They go with practically everything—even as a snack.
34. Skillet Roasted Bacon Brussels Sprouts
If you haven’t hopped on the Brussels sprouts bandwagon yet, this recipe will do get you there. The veggies are pan fried with bacon and drizzled with a sauce you’ll want to spoon over everything. Make extras: This one might not make it until the main course.
35. Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Bars
These bars are made with ingredients you probably have at home—just pantry staples and pumpkin purée. The accompanying butterscotch sauce is “optional,” but after trying it, we would say it’s “pretty much a necessity.”
36. Spiced Coconut Flour Skillet Cake
This sweet treat—similar to a pound cake—is equally as delicious for dessert or as a light breakfast. With no dairy or gluten, it’s terrific for those following a Paleo diet.
37. Indoor S’mores
Even if there’s not a campfire in sight, you can still get your hands on some s’mores. Baking the chocolate chips and marshmallows in a skillet ensures a perfectly gooey dip for graham crackers.
38. Strawberry Shortcake Skillet Cobbler
A cornmeal-based batter makes a delicious crust for this cobbler. It’s so easy to whip up, you’ll want to add it to your regular rotation. Just make sure you use the best quality strawberries you can find; they’ll make an already-awesome dish outstanding.