Cue scene: you’ve just had a busy day. It could be that you worked a long day, you were in school from morning until evening, or maybe today’s the day that all the kids have their extra-curricular activities. No matter what the circumstance, there’s one thing that’s very likely: unless you’ve planned out a week’s worth of meals in advance, you’re probably feeling sorely tempted to skip cooking dinner and go the route of fast food, takeout, or something from the frozen aisle of the grocery store. And while we’re not shunning the convenience of grab-and-go foods by any means, if you find yourself working late often, then the temptation to buy your meals could lead to you spending a little more money than you meant to in your weekly budget. Don’t worry — One Green Planet has some solutions for you and they taste delicious: one-pan meals.
Not only do you not have to waste time cleaning pots and skillets for each separate component of the meal, you’re also not dealing with checking on your cauliflower steak while making sure your lentils don’t get mushy while they’re cooking on the stovetop. Everything you need stays nice and contained in one spot in front of you. So, you can be your hard-working self and still treat yourself to a hearty home-cooked meal. You can even try bulking up your meals with rice and still save time by making a big batch to use throughout the week on your day off.
If that all sounds good to you, then try these 11 one-pan meals that are a weeknight lifesaver.
1. One-Pan Mushrooms With Noodles
This recipe for One-Pan Mushrooms With Noodles is made by sautéeing rice noodles with mushrooms in an umami sauce until the sauce has reduced. This dish is an easy weeknight meal that’s ready in less than 20 minutes and is made in just one pan, making clean-up a breeze. It’s savory, substantial, and it’s sure to earn a spot in your weekly meal rotations.
2. One-Pot Louisiana Stew
This One-Pot Louisiana Stew is a simpler version of a traditional recipe inspired by Creole and Cajun flavors. You get the tomatoes from Creole cooking and plenty of spiciness from Cajun. Instead of rice, this recipe uses potatoes for heartiness and forgoes the celery, but it’s easily added in if you want even more of a Louisiana feel. This stew is for the true spicy food lovers out there.
3. Campfire Paella Primavera
A hearty rice casserole, paella is ideal camping cuisine, as it is easily adaptable, requires minimal intervention once prepped, and showcases the complex smokiness you can only get from a real wood fire. Since this Campfire Paella Primavera is intended to be prepared without access to measuring tools and over an unpredictable wood fire, the quantities and cooking times are meant to be eyeballed and taste-tested as you go.
4. Pancit: Filipino One-Pan Noodles
Pancit, the Filipino word for “noodles,” is a stir-fry dish that can be made with any variety of noodle. In this recipe, rice noodles are stir-fried with vegetables and tofu. As they cook, they’re seasoned with tamari, fresh ginger, and vegetable broth until fragrant and flavorful. This simple dish makes a great weeknight dinner.
5. Tofu Scramble-Stuffed Avocado
Want a wonderfully light, yet satisfying breakfast? Look no further than this Tofu Scramble-Stuffed Avocado. Sure, you can eat tofu scramble for dinner! In this recipe, creamy halved avocados are stuffed with a savory tofu scramble. Not only is this breakfast different, it’s also incredibly easy to make!
6. Quick and Easy Fried Rice
Dinner can be a rushed affair, but it doesn’t have to be. When you’re low on time, this Quick and Easy Fried Rice is here for you! Coconut oil, sun-dried tomatoes, and cashews boost the umami flavors while raisins add some sweetness.
7. Unbelievably Simple One-Pot Seitan Chili
This One-Pot Seitan Chili is an amazing dish to make when you’re looking forward to a busy week – you can make a huge batch on Sunday or Monday night and keep it in the freezer! Presto, a simple and comforting dinner when you are running low on time and energy.
8. One-Pan Cheesy Mexican Quinoa
This powerhouse One-Pan Cheesy Mexican Quinoa is loaded with spicy flavor and ingredients that will keep you full. Quinoa, black beans, and chickpeas bring on the protein and chopped red bell pepper is mixed in for fresh flavor and crunch. It’s cheesy, warm, and takes only one pan to make.
9. One-Pot Red Curry Noodle Soup
This One-Pot Red Curry Noodle Soup will bring you to flavor paradise! As the rice noodles cook, they soak up the creamy red curry flavor. One of the best things about soup is that it is a one pot wonder, making it an easy clean-up. Sauté the vegetables, add some spices and broth, drop in some noodles and voila! Dinner in under an hour!
10. Campfire Broccoli and Chickpea Curry
Get your cast iron skillet ready for something new! This spicy Campire Broccoli and Chickpea Curry will give you all the energy you need for outdoor camping fun and activities. It’s simmered with fresh broccoli, yellow bell pepper, and chickpeas, and swirled with creamy coconut milk. Serve with a side of rice and follow it up with some campfire treats!
11. One-Pan Singapore Noodles
Stir-fried noodles are an easy dish for anytime — they cook fast, they’re flavorful, and cooking using one pan makes clean-up a breeze. Made from rice vermicelli, curry powder, bean sprouts, bok choy, spring onion, carrots, red pepper, snow peas, and a ton of other nutritious and easy-to-get ingredients, these One-Pan Singapore Noodles are a surefire noodle winner.
The less time spent cleaning up dirty dishes, the more time you can spend on other things. Like making dessert, for example.
Lead image source: Pancit: Filipino One-Pan Noodles