One Pan Meals: Quick and Easy Dinner Ideas

Something I read the other day made me laugh:

Does anyone have a recipe for ‘I don’t know or ‘I don’t care?’  It’s what my family requested for supper and I can’t seem to find any recipes.  

It’s not necessarily funny, but it’s definitely relatable.  

If you have kids then I’m sure you’ve heard those exact two comments more than once.  Super helpful, right?  

Finding the time to cook dinner for your family can also be hard when you take into account after-school activities and events.   By the time you get done with drop-offs and pick-ups the last thing you want to do is start cooking a meal.

Sometimes it may just seem easier to eat “on the run.”   

But sitting down to eat dinner together has many benefits.  It’s a great time to connect and talk about your day.  You may not be able to do it every night of the week, but there are things you can do to make it happen as often as you can.

One Pan Meals: Quick and Easy Dinner Ideas

Something for us that has proven to be helpful with that has been planning ahead. 

Sundays are ‘menu making days.  Making a dinner menu as well as the grocery list in advance allows for a smooth start to the week and eliminates the question of “what are we going to cook for dinner tonight?”  

But figuring out what to cook for dinner every single night of the week can be hard. 

I focus on having healthy meals that will create leftovers for lunch the following day when planning our meals.  I for one also really enjoy the meals that are easy to prepare, quick to make, and easy to clean up.   They can also be beneficial to those returning home later in the evening after a practice or activity.  A quick reheat in the microwave and voila! Dinner is served.  

Life is busy; spending hours in the kitchen just isn’t always an option.  Plus, uninterrupted time in the kitchen when you’re a mom is nearly impossible.  

So let’s review…

  1. Healthy Meals
  2. Leftovers
  3. Easy Prep
  4. Quick to Make
  5. Easy Clean-Up

Would you believe me if I told you I had just the thing to check off each item on that list?

One-pan recipes. 

One-pan or one-pot meals are the ultimate conveniences for weeknight dinners. They’re easy to put together and anyone can cook them.  The majority of these meals are done, prep and all, within an hour.  Along with that, they only use one pan (and possibly a crock-pot but remember to use the liners for super easy cleanup!)  

Here is a variety of one-pan meals to help you take the stress out of cooking.

*One Skillet Chicken and Spinach Gnocchi

http://www.chelseasmessyapron.com/one-pan-chicken-and-spinach-gnocchi/

*Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli Rice Casserole

http://www.dinneratthezoo.com/one-pot-chicken-with-cheddar-broccoli-rice/

*One Sheet Pan Roasted Garlic-Parmesan Chicken Tenders and Green Beans with Fresh Grape Tomatoes

http://www.cookingclassy.com/2015/04/one-sheet-pan-roasted-garlic-parmesan-chicken-tenders-and-green-beans-with-fresh-grape-tomatoes/

*Sausage Pasta Skillet

http://www.yellowblissroad.com/one-pot-cheesy-smoked-sausage-pasta-skillet/

*One Pot Creamy Parmesan Garlic Risotto with Lemon Pepper Chicken

http://www.recipetineats.com/one-pot-creamy-parmesan-garlic-risotto-with-lemon-pepper-chicken/

*Crockpot Orange Chicken

https://thefrugalgirls.com/2013/04/crockpot-orange-chicken-recipe.html

*One Pan Ranch Pork Chops and Veggies

http://damndelicious.net/2015/07/29/one-pan-ranch-pork-chops-and-veggies/

*One Pot Roasted Red Pepper and Sausage Alfredo

http://hostthetoast.com/one-pot-roasted-red-pepper-and-sausage-alfredo/

 *Crockpot Zuppa Toscana Soup (we like to have breadsticks with this!)

 https://theblondcook.com/crock-pot-zuppa-toscana/

Other quick and simple weeknight meals could include the following

  • Spaghetti, Cesar Salad & Garlic Bread
  • Lasagna & Breadsticks
  • Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes & Corn
  • Chicken & Vegetable Stir-fry with Rice or Quinoa
  • Chicken Thighs (skillet cooked), Couscous & Mixed Vegetables
Happy Cooking and Bon Appetit!

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Ashley is a ‘small town’ girl who moved to the ‘big city’ of Cedar Rapids after high school. A graduate of Coe College, Ashley is currently a kindergarten teacher and a true lover of yoga pants, cozy sweatshirts, chai tea lattes and cookie dough. Ashley and her husband, Mitch, first met each other back in middle school, dated when they were freshmen in high school, then reconnected one final time via Facebook back in 2006 shortly after Mitch returned from his first deployment. They've stood by their vows of ‘for better or worse,’ and as they approach their 10 year wedding anniversary, they aren’t afraid to admit that marriage isn’t easy. They welcomed their first child, Stella Grace Bass, in May of 2013 and their second child, Archer Mitchell Bass, in December of 2017!

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