A Culinary Tour of Healthy, One-Pot Meals

Meals from around the world.


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One-pot meals make a wise menu choice. They are best suited for busy families, working couples, singles on the go, and at-home moms. Simple to put together and easy to clean up, most one-pot meals require a cutting board, a knife and a pot. The pot can be a wok, a tagine, a skillet, or Dutch oven. And as the meal usually combines a starch and a protein, there is no need for a side dish. Just one pot!

Most cultures have a traditional one-pot dish that is simple, fast, and filling. Here is a diverse, exotic, and healthy collection of international one-pot meals to spice up your dinner table. Five cultures, one pot. No fuss, no muss!

Italian one-pot mains

Mangiamo! Here are two delicious and easy Italian recipes that are prepared in one pot. Lasagna has a reputation of being time consuming and messy to make, and with all the layers, it requires pots, pans, and clean up. But not so with the easy skillet vegetable lasagna recipe from two peas & their pod! In this short-cut lasagna recipe, the noodles cook right in the pan, plus it is filled with healthy vegetables and cheese, of course!

Baked cauliflower pizzaiola is a vegetarian rendition of the Neapolitan classic. Meaning “pizza chef” in Italian, this BBC Good Food version uses baked cauliflower for the crust and as the tomatoes and garlic cook in the pan, you will have a home-made sauce. Breadcrumbs tossed with parmesan form the topping.  

Indian one-pot wonders

Some people may shy away from cooking Indian food, but not when it comes in one pot! This easy, healthy one-pot lentil dhal from BBC Good Food is made from lentils, spinach, sweet potatoes, fresh ginger and basil, cumin, and turmeric.

Cauliflower rice kitchari is a rendition of the southern Indian classic which combines mung beans and rice. Minimalist Baker replaces the rice with grated cauliflower, creating a flavorful, comforting, and healthy meal in one pot.

Middle Eastern one-pot favorite

This one-skillet dish can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, or dinner and is a favorite in many Middle Eastern restaurants. In the Minimalist Baker’s version, the protein is not from eggs, rather they use chickpeas in their  one-pot shakshuka recipe. It is spicy, hearty, and easy to make (and clean up)!

Spanish one-pot classic

In Spain, the favorite one-pot meal is paella. Here is a delicious vegan, easy-to-make recipe from Vegan Huggs. This one-pot healthy meal honors the Spanish delicacy with golden saffron and a smoky taste from paprika. Don’t be tempted to stir it; the best part of this dish is the socarrat, the crispy crust formed at the bottom of the pan.

One-wok favorite from Thailand

Pad Thai is the classic Thai dish. In Thailand, pad thai is made on street corners and in market stalls almost every hour of the day and night. Pad thai literally means Thai stir fry and is made in minutes in one wok. Contentedness Cooking has a vegan, gluten-free recipe with a creamy, nicely spiced peanut sauce and your choice of veggies. It takes five minutes to prep, five minutes to cook, and less than five minutes to clean up!