The Great Dinner Dilemma (Every. Single. Night)
I don’t know if there’s anything that stresses me out more than planning for dinner. When I’m on my game, I have things prepped and ready, but there’s still a whole lot of room for error when it comes to timing and getting everything out to the table at the same time.
On a day when I’m not on my game, it’s a ton of stress inside the kitchen, scrambling through the cabinets, trying to see what I can throw together that will be 1. Easy, 2. Fast. 3. Healthy, 4. Satisfy my tribe.
Pretty lofty dinner goals, right?
Enter One-Pan Dinners
A friend turned me on to one-pan dinners a few years ago when she gave me a recipe for one-pot pasta. I thought it was the most brilliant thing in the entire world. Your entire dinner being cooked in just one pan or pot. Fast. Easy. And, maybe the best of all (for me) – no mess. Could there be a more perfect dinner? I didn’t even know there was such a thing.
All of the dinners listed below use just one pan or pot or skillet. All the cooking is done right there and that’s the majority of your clean-up as well. Amazing, right?
Stovetop One Pan Dinners and Oven-Baked Sheet Pan Dinners
I’ve separated them into one pot|pan or one skillet meals – ones that you would cook on the stove, and then there’s also sheet-pan dinners – recipes that are cooked in the oven. If you are more carb-conscious and trying to stay away from pasta and rice, I’d recommend trying the sheet pan dinners (#16-30) first. Most of those are just a source of protein and vegetables.
I haven’t included crockpot recipes – to me, that’s a whole separate category, but in case you’re looking for those, I have 30 Healthy Crockpot Recipes you can try.
And if you are just looking for easy and healthy and just one pan or pot isn’t a big deal to you, check out these 30 Easy and Healthy Weeknight Dinners for Busy Moms.
Top 3 Pro-Tips for One-Pan Meals
Although this is really as easy as dinner gets, here are some tips to help the process along so it’s the EASIEST and most-streamlined that it can be.
Have Everything Prepared Ahead of Time
This really goes for any recipe, but reading through the recipe and gathering the ingredients first makes a big difference. Cut whatever needs cutting before you start cooking. Because for several recipes, you could be letting certain ingredients cook for a period of time before adding in the next, timing is important. You don’t want to be cutting up peppers and in the meantime, the garlic is burning.
Clean as You Go
This helps me so much! If you have a minute while you’re standing around as things are cooking, start loading the dishwasher or putting ingredients back. Not only will it save time after dinner, but it helps keep you organized as you are cooking.
Pay Attention to the Timing
While one-pan dinners are fairly easy, the timing in which you are allowing things to cook and add more ingredients can be fairly precise. Pay close attention to the timing in the recipe. You don’t need to be an expert in knowing which ingredients need shorter or longer cook times; by having everything ready ahead of time, it allows you to pay attention to the recipe instructions.
OK, let’s start helping moms out and get to those recipes!
Easy, No- Mess One Pan Dinner Recipes for Busy Moms
Stovetop One Pot| One Pan | Skillet Dinners
1| One Pot Cheesy Italian Pasta Chicken from Slow Roasted Italian
This recipe is SUPER easy and super delicious! Ready in about 10-15 minutes, this is perfect for a busy weeknight!
2| One Pan Chicken and Rice from Vintage Kitty
This recipe has a delicious mix of spices. I love this take on chicken thighs!
3| Skillet Chicken Rotini from This Ole Mom
With kids, you really can’t go wrong with spiral pasta. Add in some chicken for protein, and you’ve got yourself a killer meal!
4| Sticky Chinese Chicken Thighs from Emma Eats and Explores
If your family is into Chinese food, this is a great meal to try! I know, take-out is so easy, but it can’t compete with this!
5| Tex Mex Skillet from Foodal
Anything Tex-Mex is a fan favorite in our house. If it has beans and corn, I’m all over it! Made with brown rice, it’s keeping things healthy as well!
6| Easy Skillet Lasagna from this Kitchen Table
There’s no comfort food like lasagna. If you can make it in just one skillet like this, then sign me up!
7| Vegan Cheese One Pot Taco Pasta from Delightful Adventures
Here’s another great Mexican spin on dinner! Those spiral noodles with taco flavors should please the pickiest person in your house!
8|One Pot Gnocchi Bake from The Cook Report
Oh my. This is a filling, comfort food that will definitely hit the spot after a long day!
9| Chicken Florentine Skillet from Keto Cooking Christian
This is all kinds of creamy goodness with a cheesy sauce, mozzarella, chicken and spinach!
10| Coconut Curry Chicken from Wholesome Yum
This recipe is actually a fan favorite in our house! We love this one!
11| Asian Steak Bites and Potatoes from Delightful Plate
If your family is the meat and potatoes type, you can freshen up a favorite by making this Asian style!
12| Sauteed Shrimp and Zucchini from Delightful Plate
Simple, healthy, delicious and ready in 15 minutes? Done.
13| One Pot Easy Turkey Parmesan Pasta from Moneywise Moms
This is another super-easy dish that comes together quickly and fills the tummy with healthy comfort food!
14| One -Pot Garlic Herb Spaghetti Courgetti from Kitchen Sanctuary
This spaghetti dish is filled with lots of healthy veggies, so no guilt serving this one to the kids! It’s a nice mix-up on traditional spaghetti!
15| Easy One Pot Taco Soup from The Berry Basics
I don’t know why but I always forget about soup as a dinner! This is a fantastic one that loads up all kinds of healthy ingredients!
Oven Sheet Pan Dinners
16| Lemon Thyme Chicken Sheet Pan Dinner from Hot Pan Kitchen
Anything lemon-flavored has recently become my new favorite. So many healthy traits of lemons you can sneak to your kids!
17| Sheet Pan Chicken Fajita from Mommy Musings
Anything you can roll in a tortilla or make in a bowl is a hit – chicken fajitas are no exception.
18| Sheet Pan Cashew Chicken from Powered By Mom
Here’s another option for Chinese food rather than take-out. That looks AMAZING!
19| Caprese Sheet Pan Chicken Dinner from Food Meanderings
Just 5 ingredients and gluten-free as well. Doesn’t get easier or healthier than that!
20| Sheet Pan Cilantro Lime Chicken from Easy Family Recipe Ideas
Cilantro lime is my go-to flavor in the summer, but I would love this summer flavor any time of year!
21| Hawaiian Steak Sheet Pan Dinner from Vintage Kitty
Mmmmm – Hawaiian steak with sweet peppers and pineapple. Now that’s a taste of summer I’d eat all year long.
22| Weight Watchers Teriyaki Chicken Sheet Pan Dinner from The Holy Mess
Here’s a very healthy version of teriyaki chicken, especially good for a family that might be sticking to Weight Watchers.
23| Sheet Pan Baked Chicken Thighs and Sweet Potatoes from Recipes from a Pantry
This is a hearty, filling dinner with a fantastic new spin for chicken thighs. and I LOVE those sweet potato steak fries!
24| Sheet Pan Gnocchi with Roasted Garlic and Vegetables from Dancing Through the Rain
This is a super-original idea for a sheet pan dinner. Who knew you could eat gnocchi other than a substitute pasta?!?
25| Sheet Pan Shrimp with Pineapples from Sidewalk Shoes
Here’s another mix of savory and sweet. This is easy and perfect to combine with leftover rice!
26| Chicken Parmesan Sheet Pan Dinner from Operation $40K
This is a leaner way to make chicken parmesan! Love it! (Note: if you’re preparing the noodles as in the picture, that is a separate pot on the stove).
27| Garlic Parmesan Chicken from Whispered Inspirations
A delicious healthy chicken dish with potatoes and green beans! I love that a kid is putting this together!
28|Sheet Pan Maple Glazed Chicken from 5 Minutes for Mom
Another mix of sweet and savory, a great low-carb option as well.
29| Sheet Pan Pesto Chicken with Asparagus and Mushroom from Mash-up Mom
Pesto is one of those flavors that will always add a nice little punch to something that could be a little bland on its own. Done perfectly here!
30|Sheet Pan Bruschetta Chicken from The Girl on Bloor
This looks so, so amazing! Yum. I need to make this STAT.
One Pan Dinner Recipes to the Rescue!
These one pan dinners – whether one-pot, one-pan, one-skillet – are lifesavers for mom! Fast, easy, healthy dinner options with NO MESS! You cannot go wrong with these dinners! If you made one, I’d love to hear how it went over!
And if you need some other recipe ideas, especially if you’re going the Whole30, paleo or clean eating route, check these out for more dinner inspiration: