One-pot meals are a lazy cook's dream. Simply toss the ingredients together, stir the pot occasionally, and serve. (Honestly, nothing could be easier.) Considering the midweek struggle to get a healthy dinner on the table in a timely manner is real, we went in search of easy-to-make one-pot meals to add to our weeknight recipe repertoire. From a crowd-pleasing single-skillet spaghetti to a one-bowl salad that doesn't require mixing up a special dressing, these are the one-pot recipes that will save you from doing the dishes tonight.
Keep scrolling for 30 one-pot vegetarian recipes that are so easy to make even staunch carnivores will want to keep them on constant rotation.
The Hero Ingredient: The smoked paprika. While the base for this one-pot vegetarian recipe is relatively classic as far as stews go (it includes ingredients such as onions, garlic, carrots, and celery), this smoky spice lends an unexpected and delightful kick to the dish.
The Pro Tip: Although you can simply ladle this soup into bowls and call it a day, Laura Wright of The First Mess writes, "I'm slightly obsessed with the idea of ladling this lovely stew into a piping-hot baked potato." Wright adapted this recipe from A Couple Cooks' Pretty Simple Cooking cookbook.
The Clincher: A side of crusty bread. The more rustic, the better.
The Hero Ingredient: In this one-bowl salad, dried cranberries add a touch of sweetness without overpowering the flavor profile of the entire dish (and without maxing out your sugar intake for the day).
The Pro Tip: "To add more protein to this salad, serve with cooked (and cooled) quinoa, baked chickpeas, or additional sunflower seeds," recommends recipe creator Dana Shultz of Minimalist Baker.
The Clincher: The no-mix dressing. (Yes, you read that correctly—no need to break out the salad dressing shaker for this one.) Simply drizzle on some tahini, squeeze a lemon over the salad greens, and dig in.
The Hero Ingredient: The red sauce. When simmered with a drizzle of olive oil, fragrant garlic, flavorful herbs, and, of course, some water, the red sauce become the ideal pasta-cooking liquid for this one-pot vegetarian spaghetti.
The Pro Tip: "If you wanted to add something a little green to this, I'd recommend stirring in a few handfuls of fresh baby spinach or a couple of cups of chopped broccoli," says recipe creator Tieghan Gerard of Half Baked Harvest.
The Clincher: The ricotta and mozzarella. Just look at that deliciously melty cheese. Who wouldn't want to stick a fork into that tangle of gooey goodness?
The Hero Ingredient: The fire roasted tomatoes. They're the perfect counterpart to the creamy coconut milk.
The Pro Tip: "I used just enough garam masala so that you can taste it among the rest of the seasonings. A traditional recipe might use more masala but you can always taste test it and add more if you prefer," says Cook.
The Clincher: The fact that this warming dish can be whipped up in 30 minutes!
The Hero Ingredient: This pasta bake features a combo of marinara sauce, sun-dried tomatoes, and fresh cherry tomatoes for intense tomato flavor.
The Pro Tip: "To add a spicy kick? Enchilada sauce. I know, it’s beyond weird, but trust me, the enchilada sauce is that ingredient that makes everyone say YUM," writes Tieghan Gerard of Half Baked Harvest.
The Clincher: A touch of coconut milk or heavy cream makes this dish extra luscious.
The Hero Ingredient: The starch from this vegan penne pasta binds all the ingredients together for a creamy-like sauce.
The Pro Tip: Cooking this dish in one pot means "this method creates a creamy sort of sauce that wouldn’t be there if you cooked and drained your pasta," writes Jeanine of Love & Lemons.
The Clincher: Lemon juice and zest brighten up this one pot meal. See also an option to top with Jeanine's "cheese-like" hempseed "Parmesan."
The Hero Ingredient: With a handful of ingredients you likely have on-hand, this one pan grain dish plays host to a number ways to enjoy this dish, whether as a hearty main, or with a poached egg, and roasted sausages (for our meat eaters) like Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen does.
The Pro Tip: Regarding the use of whole/unpearled, semi-pearled, or pearled farro, "This recipe will work for all three versions... but I’ve defaulted to semi-pearled below, which I find most frequently in stores," writes Perelman.
The Clincher: Finish with an extra drizzle of olive oil.
The Hero Ingredient: Thinly sliced summer squash, seared with olive oil, salt and pepper flakes add a summer vibe to this wintery casserole.
The Pro Tip: "If you’ve got an oven-save 3-quart deep skillet or braising pan, use it here and you’ll only need one pot for the whole recipe. Otherwise, bring an medium/large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente, about 1 to 2 minutes before perfect doneness," advises Perelman.
The Clincher: A handful of fresh herbs (like thyme, oregano, mint) and lemon add interest to the bechamel sauce.
The Hero Ingredient: Baked, then browned halloumi cheese is at once moist and crisp in this one pot tomato and halloumi dish.
The Pro Tip: "High quality tinned plum tomatoes are helpful in making this sauce as delicious as can be," writes Christine of Happy Veggie Kitchen.
The Clincher: Lots of smoked paprika and garlic lend the sauce Spanish inspiration.
The Hero Ingredient: The combination of sweet potato, quinoa, and kale bring dynamically sweet, nutty, and earthy flavors to this one-skillet meal.
The Pro Tip: "The trick to getting everything cooked evenly is cutting the sweet potatoes small enough. Anywhere from half-inch to quarter-inch sized cubes is ideal, and anything larger than that could result in unevenly cooked quinoa and vegetables. When in doubt, cut the cubes smaller than larger," writes Sher Castellano of With Food + Love.
The Clincher: Aromatics like shallots and sage round out the dish.
The Hero Ingredient: Eggs provide a filling, vegetarian protein for a southwestern spin on shakshuka, a Middle Eastern classic.
The Pro Tip: On the perfect yolk, Krista of Joyful Healthy Eats writes, "The trick is cooking it just until the egg whites set, if you cook it longer the yolks will be hard. And let’s be honest, nobody likes a hard yolk!"
The Clincher: Poblano peppers, queso fresco, and cilantro for garnish. Add jalapeño to amp up the heat.
The Hero Ingredient: Like most pasta dishes, you can choose the shape and type based on your preference, like choosing gluten-free pasta. This particular recipe is made with orecchiette pasta.
The Pro Tip: Once everything is cooked, writes Dana of Minimalist Baker, adjust the seasonings to taste. That might mean more salt and herbs, which Dana added at this point.
The Clincher: This recipe can be customized with your own favorite veggie medley, so if you're not a fan of eggplant or mushrooms, the substitution options are literally endless.
The Hero Ingredient: The mixture of carrots and lentils create a hearty "meat" base for this vegan barbacoa recipe.
The Pro Tip: Use canned lentils to shave off prep time.
The Clincher: "To balance the spice and smokiness, I added some coconut sugar for sweetness, lime juice and apple cider vinegar for acidity, and coconut aminos for that “umami” flavor," writes Minimalist Baker.
The Hero Ingredient: Cauliflower and coconut cream keep this sweet corn and cauliflower grits recipe creamy, yet not at all heavy.
The Pro Tip: "Almost all aged cheese is lower in lactose! Which also makes it more Low FODMAP friendly, depending on if you are reintroducing certain dairy," writes Lindsay Cotter of Cotter Crunch. Which brings us to the clincher of the recipe.
The Clincher: Aged hard cheese dials up the flavor.
The Hero Ingredient: Peanut or almond butter lend a creamy, nutty profile to this one pot noodle dish.
The Pro Tip: Richa of Vegan Richa explains this recipe can be ready in a pinch. "Just chop things up, layer, cook and done."
The Clincher: Chop, layer, cook and enjoy in 12 minutes.
The Hero Ingredient: Green curry paste stars in this comforting, vegan dal dish, made with mung beans.
The Pro Tip: Prep those mung beans first. "Allow to soak for at least 1 hour (to increase absorption and speed cook time), or overnight," writes Minimalist Baker.
The Clincher: Make this recipe when you're craving a dual Indian- and Thai-inspired fix.
The Hero Ingredient: A cheesy blend of ricotta, Fontina, and Parmesan drape spinach and artichokes in melty goodness in this deep dish, Country Living pizza recipe.
The Pro Tip: Make sure your dough is at room temperature before pressing it into a skillet.
The Clincher: Crushed red pepper add another dimension of flavor.
The Hero Ingredient: Happy Veggie Kitchen makes the case for mascarpone in this one-pot tomato-based pasta dish, "It adds a rich, sweet and creamy texture which really brings the sauce together."
The Pro Tip: "This dish is best eaten on a busy weeknight, investing the time you save on cooking into a slightly longer than usual Netflix binge," writes Happy Veggie Kitchen.
The Clincher: Nutritious greens bring balance to this one-pot pasta dish.
The Hero Ingredient: Asparagus gives this one-pot gnocchi recipe a seasonal crunch.
The Pro Tip: Tangy lime and orange zest add an extra flavor burst.
The Clincher: A trifecta of flavor and texture is in this dish; creamy, crunchy, and zesty.
The Hero Ingredient: Your favorite dairy-free milk makes this a vegan-friendly mushroom pasta recipe.
The Pro Tip: After adding the milk, "the milk may curdle a little, but stick with it and you’ll end up with a deliciously creamy mushroom pasta sauce," writes Nicole of Delicious Everyday.
The Clincher: To add some color and up the nutrition factor, throw in some spinach or arugula.
The Hero Ingredient: Thick-cut zucchini mingle with fluffy udon noodles for a balanced carb and vegetable combination.
The Pro Tip: Add some crushed peanuts for extra texture, writes Jessie of Life As a Strawberry of her one pot udon and zucchini curry noodle bowl recipe.
The Clincher: That we can customize this recipe with whatever beautiful, colorful produce we have on hand—carrots, red peppers, more zucchini, for example.
The Hero Ingredient: Versatile quinoa, which is a complete protein and boasts 8 grams of it in one cup.
The Pro Tip: "Black beans add extra protein and fiber to the quinoa to make it a complete meal," writes Jessica Gavin of her one pot Mexican spiced vegetable quinoa recipe.
The Clincher: That this recipe stretches to feed a crowd, or leaves enough leftover to enjoy the next day.
The Hero Ingredient: Adding hot Jamaican style curry (and Scotch bonnet pepper) give this chickpea curry recipe a Caribbean flair.
The Pro Tip: Elsie from Afrovitality Eats writes that while this recipe calls for canned chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans), you can use dry beans soaked in water overnight. However, just know that cook time will take longer.
The Clincher: A Scotch bonnet pepper if you can find it (a cousin to the habanero), adds a distinct bite.
The Hero Ingredient: Tomatoes, garlic, and onion make this Cameroonian jollof rice dish undeniably savory.
The Pro Tip: Since basmati rice cooks quickly, writes Elsie of Afrovitality Eats, she chose to add the vegetables along with the rice.
The Clincher: Perfectly enjoyable on its own, or with a protein of choice.
The Hero Ingredient: It might have to be the melty Mexican cheese binding the rice, beans, and other fixings together in this Southwest Mexican Bake.
The Pro Tip: Taste of Home recommends letting the dish stand for 10 minutes before serving.
The Clincher: On chilly nights, this recipe is a treasure trove of satisfying comfort and flavor.
The Hero Ingredient: Pan-frying this dish in a sweet soy sauce keeps this Mee Goreng recipe as close to the traditional Indonesian version. In this case, Oh My Veggies's take is made with tofu instead of traditional meat and shrimp.
The Pro Tip: "Because the noodles are sweet, a squeeze of lime juice just before serving is essential in balancing the flavors of the dish," writes Oh My Veggies of the America's Test Kitchen recipe they recreated.
The Clincher: Sambal oelek (a ground chili paste) adds spicy contrast to the sweet soy sauce.
The Pro Tip: Chinkiang vinegar is a must for this recipe, writes Maggie of Omnivore's Cookbook. "There is no replacement for this ingredient, so go get a bottle now if you haven’t already," she writes, and adds that this vinegar is like the balsamic vinegar of Chinese cooking.
The Clincher: We're intrigued at how just two ingredients, the vinegar and white pepper powder, when combined, "create such a potent, spicy taste with an earthy citrus zing," according to Maggie.
The Hero Ingredient: Sazon spice, a popular and nostalgic seasoning (annatto, garlic, cumin) used in many Puerto Rican dishes, like this arroz con gandules recipe. Technically, this dish requires two pots, but we just couldn't pass this recipe up.
The Pro Tip: Monique of Ambitious Kitchen acknowledges that green pigeon peas can be hard to find, so subbing in frozen peas instead is doable too.
The Clincher: Monique includes a sazon recipe at the bottom of her post in case you get a hankering to go completely homemade.
The Hero Ingredient: Beets are the main event of this Borscht recipe, a classic Russian soup.
The Pro Tip: Taste of Home recommends topping each serving with a dollop of sour cream. And although this recipe calls for beef stock, replace with vegetable stock to keep things animal-free.
The Clincher: Chopped chives or dill sprigs to garnish, which always elevates any dish.
The Hero Ingredient: Soups often offer a lot of leeway to use ingredients of your choice. This minestrone soup is no exception; choose your own adventure of beans and seasonal veggies.
The Pro Tip: Jessica of Jessica in the Kitchen uses algae oil in her minestrone soup recipe as it stands up to high heat, and for a good dose of heart-friendly monounsaturated fats.
The Clincher: This hearty soup is big on flavor and good-for-you ingredients, and light on the wallet.
Looking for more easy-to-make, veggie-packed recipes? Here are seven vegetarian soup recipes so good even staunch carnivores will want seconds.