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7 One-Pan Meals For The Realistic Weeknight Cook

These less than elaborate dinners will feed your family without crowding your dishwasher.

Photogenic sourdough and perfectly plated cassoulet are nice to aim for once in a while, but sometimes you want the satisfaction of making a meal from scratch without any additional commitments. Whether you live alone or cook for a busy family, everyone can appreciate the efficiency of a one-pan (or one-pot) meal. Here are some easy and delicious weeknight dinners that you can rely on and repeat as often as you like.

Crock-Pot Curry

This easy curry dish is primarily based on butter and potatoes, with the added bonus of peas to get some green veggies in there for the kids (and adults). The heat is provided by the red pepper flakes, so you can adjust the spice level at will. While this mea is great on its own, you could also serve it over rice—but that does create more than one dish to clean up after. Get the recipe for Crock-Pot Potato Pea Curry here.


Chili-Cornbread Skillet Pie

The only tricky part with this delicious dinner is spreading the cornbread layer atop the chili, but once everything is assembled, it bakes up in a neat 30 minutes. If you don't have a cast iron skillet, you can bake it in a casserole dish, too. Get the recipe for Chili-Cornbread Skillet Pie here.


Stovetop Lasagna

It's true that streamlining your dinner into one pan pares down on your cleanup time, eliminating the most painful part of the meal for some. But it also incorporates all the elements of the meal, making your prep and planning that much easier. The secret to this easy lasagna (from the cookbook One Pan, Whole Family by Carla Snyder) is its no-cook noodles, which are layered between portions of sauce. It's a rousing success with picky eaters. Get the recipe for Stovetop Lasagna here. 


Greek Braised Green Beans

This Greek family recipe for Fasolakia is simple and sturdy. Throw some feta and extra green onions on top and add some crusty bread on the side for an easy, nutritious, and inexpensive entry in your weeknight rotation. You can swap frozen green beans for fresh, and/or use up whatever vegetables you might have hanging around in your larder, like carrots or zucchini—as long as the green beans and potatoes still take center stage. Get the recipe for Fasolakia here.



Shakshuka, a spicy Moroccan vegetable stew with eggs poached right unto it, is an easy and delicious way to feed a lot of people. It's also versatile; thanks to its savory flavor profile, you can enjoy it for breakfast, brunch, late-night dinner. Its showy presentation never fails to impress, and while the ingredient list in the recipe is pretty specific, you can also add any vegetables you're trying to use up out of your fridge. Get the recipe for Shakshuka here.


Bisquick Burritos

If the phrase Burrito Bisquick Bake doesn't mean anything to you, it's about to mean "weeknight salvation." Basically, this meaty casserole is a deconstructed burrito, a crust of refried beans and Bisquick topped with taco-seasoned ground beef, salsa, and cheese. The whole thing gets baked up in a cast-iron skillet; it takes all of 10 minutes to pull together and costs less than $10 total. The hardest part is browning ground beef. You deserve a meal that takes it this easy on you. Get the recipe for Burrito Bisquick Bake here.


Dump Cake

And for dessert, look no further than Dump Cake, a high-yield recipe that doesn't require any measuring—indeed, it hardly requires any stirring. True to its name, you simply dump in the ingredients, bake, and enjoy, which means this dessert lends itself well to weeknight family dinners and crowded gatherings alike. Get the instructions for Dump Cake here.