Pork Chops with Balsamic Roasted Vegetables and Gorgonzola
For big flavor without the cleanup, look no further than this one-pot collection. These comforting dishes are complete meals, made entirely in one cooking vessel from start to finish.
First up are these gorgeous pork chops. A quick balsamic vinaigrette doubles as a marinade for the vegetables and a sauce for the pork. Taking the roasting pan from stove to oven jump-starts cooking so the pork, potatoes, and onions finish at the same time.
Wheat Berry "Ribollita"
Traditional ribollita is a Tuscan specialty made of leftover minestrone warmed up with chunks of bread tossed into it. In this version, wheat berries stand in for bread, bulking up the soup with nutty flavor and pleasant texture. The Parmesan cheese rind that simmers in the broth enriches the whole pot with umami depth. It’s a great technique that’ll convince you to always save your Parmesan rinds, stashing them in the freezer for uses like this. If you don’t have any, check the cheese counter at your local gourmet grocer; you’ll often find rinds for sale there.
Umami Broth with Buckwheat and Vegetables
The richness of the broth comes from what’s basically an Asian version of soffrito, the Italian “starter paste” that flavors so many delicious soups and sauces. Whereas the Italian version is a mixture of sautéed celery, onions, garlic, bell peppers, and sometimes tomato paste, this version uses miso, onion, ginger, and garlic sautéed in toasty sesame oil until browned and caramelized. We opt for red miso here, the saltiest and most pungent kind. If you only have white miso on hand, it will work, too; you just might want to add a splash of soy sauce to deepen the flavor.
Mediterranean Chicken and Bulgur Skillet
You'll be delighted by the incredible results from this one-pot wonder: tender, fluffy bulgur; creamy feta; and moist chicken. You don't even need a sauce since there's so much flavor in the pan. It's a complete meal, though you could serve with a side salad if you'd like.
Cajun Red Beans and Brown Rice with Andouille
We use nourishing whole grains and mix in veggies to create a family dinner without the fuss. Prep the beans overnight to reduce cooking time the next day.
Skillet Chicken and Root Vegetable Potpie
Classic potpies use several pans to simmer and sauté vegetables, build a sauce, and bake the pie. The skillet does it all here, and it is the perfect size for a golden, flaky piecrust lid. No chicken collection is complete without a potpie. You can substitute diced Yukon Gold potatoes and kale or chard for the turnips and turnip greens.
Easier Chicken Noodle Soup
When cheese-filled tortellini is the noodle in your chicken noodle soup, the whole bowl gets a hearty upgrade. Using cheese-filled tortellini as the noodle here adds more flavor than plain pasta; a hint of miso further enriches the broth. You can make the soup a couple of days ahead—just leave out the pasta, as it will swell once it goes into the liquid. Reheat the soup until it comes to a simmer. Then add the tortellini, and cook 6 minutes.
One-Pot Chicken with Farro
This easy dish is perfect for a casual get-together with friends. Inspired by arroz con pollo, it is hearty with satisfying complexity. Cumin, saffron, and oregano season rich chicken thighs and nutty farro as the dish simmers. If using saffron, deploy it sparingly; those tiny threads bring subtle flavor and a little color to the dish, but too much will yield a medicinal taste. Serve with a side salad to complete the meal.
Lemon and Dill Quinoa Chicken Soup
Tuscan Chicken with White Beans and Kale
The main (chicken), starch (white beans), and veggie side (carrots, kale, and tomatoes) are all included in this true one-dish stovetop dinner. And it all comes together in only 22 minutes. Feel free to use bumpy lacinato kale or sturdy curly kale; just be sure to remove the tough stems first.
Stroganoff is the definition of absolute comfort: If it could restore its Russian creators 200 years ago, it will restore you on any winter weeknight. We’ve swapped traditional beef for chicken and added earthy cremini mushrooms to our one-pan version. Cooking the egg noodles in the same pan allows the pasta to absorb that rich liquid and release starch to thicken the sauce. Substitute boneless, skinless chicken breast for the tenders if you like. Serve with simply wilted kale dressed with a little lemon juice, or a beet salad dressed with a little horseradish cream (another favorite Russian combo).
Caldo de Gallina (Peruvian Hen Soup)
A corner of Cusco's San Pedro Market is devoted to open kitchens where Quechua women make this soup with new crop potatoes and tough old stewing hens, which can stand up to the long simmering time better than young chickens. We find that widely available roasting hens—older than broilers and fryers—work just fine, growing tender and succulent after hours of stewing. The lime-herb-chile garnish makes the dish sing with flavor.
Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore
The slow cooker acts as a braiser for this Italian classic. While the chicken becomes succulent and fall-apart tender, briny capers, crushed red pepper, and garlic infuse the crushed tomatoes for a robust sauce you won’t find in a jar. True to our one-pan plan, the spaghetti cooks right in the sauce when the chicken comes out, absorbing just enough liquid so it doesn’t need to reduce on the stove. We like the look of the whole, deboned chicken thighs atop the pasta, but you could shred the meat into large pieces and stir into the sauce if you like.
Hearty Tortellini Soup
This satisfying main is a great way to reset after a few weeks of meat-centered holiday eating. If freezing, be sure to cool the soup completely before adding the tortellini or they will absorb too much liquid and lose their shape.
Creamy Lemon Orzo with Peas and Shrimp
We apply the risotto cooking method to pasta instead of rice for an easy, comforting main dish.Toasting the orzo in oil coats the grains so they will absorb the stock slowly and release their starches into the sauce. This happens quickly—just 15 minutes compared to the 20 to 30 minute preparation of most risottos. Cream cheese adds body and a luxurious creaminess. Shrimp and peas are a delicious duo, but you could substitute any combination like mushrooms and asparagus, chicken sausage and spinach, or parboiled butternut squash and pecans.
Chicken and Butternut Gnocchi
Gnocchi are the base for a simple toss with sweet butternut squash, rich chicken thighs, spinach, and sage. Prepared gnocchi is a fast cook’s dream. They don’t need to be boiled separately, take on a beautiful sear, and will hold up after a thorough sauté and simmer with other ingredients. A dollop of prepared pesto binds and brightens the dish. Look for prepeeled and cubed butternut squash to save even more time. Instead of spinach, you could also try tender baby kale. For a bit of heat, add 1⁄4 teaspoon crushed red pepper to the pan before you simmer the squash.
Chicken Potpie Skillet Pizza
Try this quick, playful spin to turn pizza night on its head—in a good way. You get all the creamy goodness of chicken potpie, in a fun, eat-with-your-hands way that kids will love. Grown-ups will dig it, too, especially if you offer hot sauce at the table. Cooking the pizza in a preheated cast-iron skillet makes the crust wonderfully crispy so that it doesn’t sog out when the creamy sauce goes on. Be sure to use only 10 ounces of dough (though you’ll likely have to purchase in a 1-pound or larger ball); save the remaining dough to make breadsticks the next night.
Slow Cooker Chicken, Bacon, and Potato Soup
The slow cooker gently coaxes out delicious flavors from simple, hearty ingredients. This soup is perfect for ushering in fall: It's hearty enough for the beginning of soup season, yet brothy and veggie-packed so that it doesn't feel too heavy. Pair it with a slaw or kale side salad and crusty whole-grain bread for a light, satisfying dinner. This recipe is ideal for a weekend, when you can check on the slow cooker after just a few hours; though you won't be able to leave the soup unattended all day, this still offers the benefit of hands-free, fuss-free cooking. Either baby red, Yukon Gold, or fingerling potatoes will work well here, as they'll maintain their shape nicely during cooking.
Ground Beef and Pasta Casserole
This quick and easy recipe delivers a family-friendly dinner to the table in just 45 minutes.
Weeknight Lemon Chicken Skillet Dinner
It doesn't get much easier, or more satisfying: a complete chicken dinner in one pan in half an hour. Lemon brightens this cozy winter meal, but the classic flavors are sure to elicit cries for a second helping any time of the year. This one-pan chicken dish is a whole meal in one skillet, but serve with a simple side salad to sneak in another serving of veggies. We call for tender haricots verts because they're quick cooking; traditional green beans likely won't be tender enough after the brief cooking time at the end. If that's all you have on hand, steam them first, and then add them to the pan for the final step.
Springy Chicken Soup
The torn romaine lettuce wilts just slightly in the soup and has a lighter, fresher, less earthy flavor than heartier greens like spinach or kale. Slice the carrot the same shape and thickness as the leek so you get a balance of both vegetables in every spoonful.
Roasted Tomato Mac and Cheese
Make this dish gluten-free by using the brown rice elbow pasta and brown rice flour options listed in the ingredients.
Tomatoes simmer with anchovies, olives, and capers for a tangy, rustic meal sure to please all tastebuds. Bucatini are long noodles with a hole through the center that captures some of the sauce. As a substitute, use thick spaghetti.
Quick Chicken Minestrone
Fresh, brightly colored vegetables add some welcome vibrancy to this comforting soup. Have fun with the noodle shape, or use any small pasta you have on hand. If you'd like, sprinkle each serving with freshly ground black pepper for a finishing touch. Let the toasted bread and cheese sauce cool slightly. Kids can then spread the cheese sauce over the bread with a butter knife. Serve with French Bread with Cauliflower Cheese Sauce.
One-Pot Cheesy Pasta Bake
This easy skillet pasta bake is a surefire family hit. Pasta and meat sauce topped with mozzarella cheese will make everyone at the table happy, and the all-in-one-pot technique will have the cook smiling pretty. Get the kids involved in this family-friendly meal. Kids can help measure wet and dry ingredients as well as sprinkle cheese on the finished product. Use prep time with older kids to reinforce counting, conversions, and measuring by weight.
Creamy Asparagus and Pancetta Penne
Fresh spears of asparagus, pancetta, and cremini mushrooms are tossed in a light white sauce. Lemon rind adds a welcomed extra punch of flavor.
Linguine and Clam Sauce
Traditionally made with crushed red pepper, this recipe uses fresh chiles. Serrano chiles are hot; for less heat, use Fresno chiles.
Spaghetti with Pistachio-Mint Pesto and Spinach
Pistachios lend deep, earthy flavors to this pasta dish that is ideal for potlucks and feeding large crowds.
Slow Cooker Tuscan White Bean Soup
The hands-free wonder of a slow cooker is unmatched. Just toss in a few fresh ingredients in the morning and return to a rich soup with luscious beans and meltingly tender meat at night.
Artichoke and Spinach Strata
Thaw the artichoke hearts according to microwave directions or in the refrigerator for 2 hours. You can also place artichoke hearts in the baking dish and bake at 375° until thawed, then remove from the pan and continue the recipe. Try swapping artichokes and spinach for 1 (14-ounce) bag thawed frozen broccoli florets and Monterey Jack for cheddar cheese.
Braised Chicken Thighs With Wild Rice Pilaf
Browning the meat in the pan first adds all that roasted chicken flavor to the pilaf. The Brussels sprouts and chicken thighs slowly braise as the rice cooks—a protein, vegetable side, and starch all in one pan. Sweet golden raisins and cider vinegar balance out the other hearty, earthy flavors in the dish.
Baked Tilapia with Garlicky Green Beans and Roasted Tomatoes
Green beans steam in their own sealed packet while tomatoes slowly roast and panko-crusted tilapia gets nicely crisp on top, all on a single baking sheet.
Shrimp and Chicken Gumbo
The enamel-coated cast iron of a Dutch oven maintains an even heat at any temperature, so foods won't suddenly scorch or boil over. Great for the low and slow simmer of this flavorful gumbo.
One-Pot Pasta with Spinach and Tomatoes
This pasta dinner is a game changer: You use just enough liquid to cook the pasta—no colander needed.
Smoky Two-Bean Vegetarian Chili
A wee bit of canned chipotle chiles goes a long way in infusing this hearty chili with rich, smoky flavor and a hint of heat.
Sausage and Kale Sauté with Polenta
Leftovers from this one-dish hit make for an easy, delicious breakfast—simply reheat and top with an over-easy egg.
Paella with Poblanos, Corn, and Clams
This recipe from Mark Bittman received rave reviews from CL staffers for its crunchy rice and sweetness brininess from fresh littleneck clams. Bittman says: "The part of paella I couldn't dare change is the socarrat—the crisp browned rice on the bottom of the pan. The crust won't form until all of the liquid from the clams and the tomatoes has boiled off, so be patient with that last step: I promise you, it's worth it."
Sausage and Black-Eyed Pea Hash
This simple one-dish meal is made even more delicious with a fried egg on top of each plate; the yolk creates its own creamy sauce. If you can find fresh peas, use them in place of canned.