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 vegetarian 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 19 one-pot vegetarian recipes that are so easy to make, even staunch carnivores will want to keep them on constant rotation.
One-Pot Smoky Red Lentil Stew
The Hero Ingredient: The smoked paprika. While the base for this one-pot lentil stew recipe by The First Mess 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."
The Clincher: A side of crusty bread. The more rustic, the better.
One-Bowl Detox Salad
The Hero Ingredient: In this one-bowl salad by Minimalist Baker, 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.
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.
One-Pan Cheesy Spaghetti
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 by Half Baked Harvest.
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?
One-Pot Chickpea Tikka Masala
The Hero Ingredient: The fire-roasted tomatoes. They're the perfect counterpart to the creamy coconut milk in this tikka masala recipe by Making Thyme For Health.
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 dish can be whipped up in 30 minutes!
One-Pot Creamy Tomato Basil Pasta Bake
The Hero Ingredient: Tomatoes. Half Baked Harvest's 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 recipe creator Tieghan Gerard.
The Clincher: A touch of coconut milk or heavy cream makes this dish extra luscious.
One-Pot Vegetable Penne Pasta
The Hero Ingredient: Brown rice pasta. The starch from Love and Lemon's vegan penne pasta binds all the ingredients together.
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 recipe creator Jeanine.
The Clincher: Lemon juice and zest brighten up this one-pot meal.
One-Pan Farro With Tomatoes
The Hero Ingredient: Farro. With a handful of ingredients you likely have on-hand, this one-pan farro recipe 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.
One-Pot Herbed Summer Squash Pasta Bake
The Hero Ingredient: Summer squash. In this pasta bake from Smitten Kitchen, 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-safe 3-quart deep skillet or braising pan, use it here and you’ll only need one pot for the whole recipe. Otherwise, bring a 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 flavor to the bechamel sauce.
One-Pot Smoky Tomato and Halloumi Bake
The Hero Ingredient: Halloumi. In this recipe from Happy Veggie Kitchen, baked then browned halloumi cheese is at once moist and crisp.
The Pro Tip: "High-quality tinned plum tomatoes are helpful in making this sauce as delicious as can be," writes recipe creator Christine.
The Clincher: Lots of smoked paprika and garlic lend the sauce Spanish flavor.
One-Skillet Mexican Shakshuka
The Hero Ingredient: Eggs. In this Mexican shakshuka recipe from Joyful Healthy Eats, eggs provide a filling, vegetarian protein for a southwestern spin on shakshuka, a Middle Eastern classic.
The Pro Tip: On the perfect yolk, recipe creator Krista 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.
Looking for something a little spicier? Add jalapeño to amp up the heat.
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 recipe creator Lindsay Cotter.
The Clincher: Aged hard cheese dials up the flavor.
One Pot Pasta With Tomato & Mascarpone Sauce
The Hero Ingredient: Mascarpone. Happy Veggie Kitchen makes the case for mascarpone in this one-pot tomato-based pasta recipe, "It adds a rich, sweet and creamy texture which really brings the sauce together," recipe creator Christine says.
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 Christine.
The Clincher: Nutritious greens bring balance to this one-pot pasta dish.
One Pot Asparagus and Spinach Gnocchi
The Hero Ingredient: Asparagus. The veggie gives this one-pot gnocchi recipe by Green Evi a seasonal crunch.
The Pro Tip: Add tangy lime and orange zest for an extra flavor burst.
The Clincher: A trifecta of flavor and texture is in this dish—creamy, crunchy, and zesty.
One Pot Udon and Zucchini Curry Noodle Bowls
The Hero Ingredient: Zucchini. Thick-cut zucchini mingle with fluffy udon noodles for a balanced carb and vegetable combination in this recipe by Life as a Strawberry.
The Pro Tip: Add some crushed peanuts for extra texture, writes recipe creator Jessie.
The Clincher: That we can customize this recipe with whatever beautiful, colorful produce we have on hand—carrots, red peppers, or more zucchini, for example.
One Pot Mexican Spiced Vegetable Quinoa
The Hero Ingredient: Quinoa. Quinoa is a complete protein and boasts 8 grams of it in one cup, so whip up this Mexican quinoa recipe by Jessica Gavin ASAP.
The Pro Tip: "Black beans add extra protein and fiber to the quinoa to make it a complete meal," writes Gavin.
The Clincher: That this recipe stretches to feed a crowd, or leaves enough leftover to enjoy the next day.
Spicy Caribbean Chickpea Curry With Rice
The Hero Ingredient: Jamaican curry. Adding hot Jamaican style curry (and Scotch bonnet pepper) gives this chickpea curry recipe by Afrovitality Eats a Caribbean flair.
The Pro Tip: Recipe creator Elsie 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 (a cousin to the habanero), if you can find it, adds a distinct bite.
One Pot Cameroonian Jollof Rice
The Hero Ingredient: Tomatoes, garlic, and onion. The combination of the three make this Cameroonian jollof rice dish by Afrovitality Eats undeniably savory.
The Pro Tip: Since basmati rice cooks quickly, Elsie chose to add the vegetables along with the rice.
The Clincher: This dish is enjoyable on its own, or with a protein of choice.
Vegetarian Hot and Sour Soup
The Hero Ingredient: Chinkiang vinegar and white pepper powder. The unusual ingredients are the stars of the hot and sour flavor profile of this northern Chinese-style vegetarian hot and sour soup by Omnivore's Cookbook.
The Pro Tip: Chinkiang vinegar is a must for this recipe, says recipe creator. "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: This recipe makes your favorite takeout meal healthier.
One Pot Hearty Minestrone Soup
The Hero Ingredient: Veggies. Switch this minestrone soup recipe by Jessica in the Kitchen up seasonally by using different vegetables.
The Pro Tip: Recipe creator Jessica uses algae oil in her minestrone soup recipe, as it stands up to high heat and adds a good dose of heart-friendly monounsaturated fats.
The Clincher: This hearty soup is big on flavor and good-for-you ingredients.