Make Healthy Eating Easy With These One Pot Meal Ideas
If you were to look in the dictionary under the word “chaos,” would you find a picture of your family at dinnertime? There’s a hungry toddler throwing a tantrum, dogs chasing each other around the kitchen island and exhausted parents staring into the freezer hoping to find something microwaveable lurking in the back.
Dinnertime can definitely be crazy time in many households. That’s why one pot meals are such a Godsend. They are incredibly easy to make and even easier to clean up after.
But with so many one pot recipes floating around the internet, it’s not always easy to find the healthy ones to make for your family. Well, that’s about to change because we’re sharing some of our favorite deliciously healthy one pot meals to make 2021 the year of healthy eating (without the chaos).
21 Healthy One-Pot Meals for Easy Meal Prep in 2021
Before we get to the recipes, let’s talk about some of the kitchen tools you’ll need. As mentioned, these one pot meals are not only healthy but also incredibly easy to make. The idea is to spend a little bit of time prepping and cooking the meal, then portion and store away in sealed containers so you have meals ready to go for the rest of the week.
What You’ll Need:
Before we get into the recipes, you’ll want to do an inventory check for the following kitchen tools and meal prep accessories:
You can’t slice, dice and chop with dull knives, so you’ll need to make sure you have some sharp ones on hand – especially a sharp chef's knife. If you’re not quite sure your knives are up to the task, here are the signs of a dull kitchen knife. Since eating healthy means lots of proteins and veggies, you’ll want to be sure you have the best knife for cutting veggies and the best knife for slicing through the meats.
If your don't think your knives are up for the job, then check out our guide to buying new kitchen knives. Or, save yourself even more time and get the knives you need now by simply heading over to F.N. Sharp to grab a new chef's knife, Santoku knife, paring knife, boning knife, utility knife or bread knife – or just get them all in one go with a 6-knife set of essentials!
These meals are so simple because you make enough for an entire week, then store in the fridge and freezer so you can simply heat them up later. This means you’ll need plenty of good storage containers to keep your meals organized for the week.
You’ll see some of the recipes we share with you are specifically for an instant pot. Now, if you don’t know what an instant pot is, it’s a small kitchen gadget that is ridiculously versatile. You can use it as a pressure cooker, rice cooker, steamer, and more. While it won’t clean your kitchen for you, it does just about everything else!
You know ‘em, you love ‘em, they’re slow cookers. Fill it up with ingredients in the morning, turn it on and let it slow cook all day. If you like tender, juicy meats, a slow cooker is where it’s at. We’ve included 5 recipes that use a slow cooker.
Cast Iron Skillet
And finally, there are 5 recipes that you can cook right on the stovetop in a pot or a cast iron skillet. We highly recommend using a cast iron skillet. For starters, the bottom heats evenly, so everything in the skillet cooks evenly. You can’t beat the crust a cast iron skillet gives to meats or the flavor imparted, either. And if you need to, you can stick the whole thing in the oven to keep your meal warm. Plus, if you take good care of your cast iron skillet, it will last forever. If you’re new to cooking with cast iron, here’s a guide to get you started.
Of course, you’ll need some of the other standard kitchen tools, like tongs, spatulas, wooden spoons, etc. Okay, now let’s get chopping and cooking!
6 One Pot Meals You Can Toss in the Instant Pot
Get to healthy eating in an “instant” with these healthy one pot recipes for the Instant Pot!
Instant Pot Turkey Chili
Ever have that experience where someone in your family is cooking chili and it takes ALL day? You’re starving and ready to eat a throw pillow because it smells so good in your house, but you have hours to wait until you can dig into a warm bowl? That won’t happen with this recipe. Thanks to the technology Gods, you can now have delicious chili in half an hour. Get the recipe from F.N. Sharp.
Instant Pot Butter Chicken
What’s the secret to making an incredibly delicious meal? Cook it in a whole lot of butter. The flavor and texture of this dish is to die for. And again, because you’re cooking it in an instant pot, you’ll have Heaven on a plate in about 15 minutes. Get the recipe from F.N. Sharp.
Instant Pot Pulled Pork
It doesn’t get much better than watching the game on a cold, snowy Sunday and chomping into a luscious pulled pork sandwich. Well it does get better when the recipe calls for beer and it’s done in 15 minutes! And, of course, to make it healther, simply skip the bun and enjoy it in a bowl topped with the slaw – it’s so good, you won’t even miss the bun. Get the recipe from F.N. Sharp.
Instant Pot Arroz con Pollo
Chicken and rice is the PERFECT comfort food on those days you’re feeling blah. And when you need comfort ASAP, you can throw all of the ingredients into an instant pot and 15 minutes later have a meal that makes it okay for you to come out of the fetal position. Get the recipe from F.N. Sharp.
Instant Pot Asian Honey Chicken
With this recipe, boneless chicken breasts, carrots, Brussels sprouts, shallots and Asian spices all come together to create a deliciously healthy Instant Pot meal! Ah Brussels sprouts, you either love ‘em or hate ‘em, but when they’re smothered in this delicious sauce, you’ll forget you’re eating healthy. Get the recipe from F.N. Sharp.
Instant Pot Breakfast Cobbler
I can’t think of a better way to start the day than eating dessert for breakfast. Am I wrong? If you like a sweet start to the day, you’ve got to try this AMAZING breakfast cobbler! Get the recipe from Epicurious.
5 One-Pot Meals You Can Toss in the Slow Cooker
Get ready to come home to the aroma of a home-cooked meal with these one pot slow cooker recipes!
Slow Cooker Ginger Beef
There’s nothing better than having your entire house smell like ginger, except maybe having your entire house smell like ginger while holding a winning scratch off ticket. Oh well, at least this dish tastes as good as it smells. And to make it extra healthy, you can swap out the soy sauce for coconut aminos and the cornstarch for arrowroot powder. Get the recipe from The Spruce Eats.
Slow Cooker Apple Pork Chops With Sauerkraut
Raise your hand if you love the idea of combining sweet potatoes, onion, apples, and pork into one wonderful recipe and having these ingredients simmer slowly as you nap on the couch ? Get the recipe from The Spruce Eats.
Vegan Slow Cooker Chickpea Tikka Masala
While I am a big fan of tender chunks of chicken swimming in a delicious creamy tomato sauce, substituting with chickpeas is equally delicious. If you’re a vegetarian who has a hard time finding vegetarian slow cooker recipes, here is one you should definitely try. Get the recipe from Kitchn.
Slow Cooker Jambalaya
If you’ve ever been to Mardi Gras, you know that the best remedy for a hangover is a big bowl of Jambalaya. On those weekend days when you’re wishing you hadn’t done those last three shots of Patron the night before, this is the recipe to reach for. You can get that hangover cure ready ahead of time with this slow-cooker recipe from Spicy Southern Kitchen, or head on over to overlandsite.com for an easy stove-top recipe, ready in just 20 minutes.
Quinoa Black Bean Crock-Pot Stuffed Peppers
In my experience, stuffed peppers are a bit of a crap shoot: they are either really good or sort of… meh. These stuffed peppers may just be the best you’ve ever had. Cross my quinoa. Get the recipe from Pinch of Yum.
5 One Pot Meals You Can Cook on the Stove
One Pot Splendiferous Veggie Soup
I know, we’ve been hearing “eat your veggies” our whole lives…and apparently, part of adulting is eating even more veggies 🙄 For those days when even just the word “vegetable” sounds totally unappealing, you can always throw a bunch into a pot of water with some spices to make this splendiferous veggie soup! Get the recipe from F.N. Sharp.
One Pot Teriyaki Chicken and Pineapple Rice
If you’re a sweet and sour chicken fan, you’ll love this recipe that includes pineapple to give each bite a bit of sweetness. The recipe gives you a choice of using thighs or breasts. Go thighs, you can’t beat the tenderness. Just sub the soy sauce for coconut aminos and the cornstarch for arrowroot powder to make it a little healthier. Get the recipe from Carlsbad Cravings.
Cauliflower Rice Skillet with Zucchini and Kielbasa
For you low-carbers looking for a tasty recipe, check out this skillet meal that creates a rice-like dish using cauliflower. This recipe is versatile so if you don’t love peas and zucchini, you can replace with any veggies you like. Get the recipe from The Food Charlatan.
Frittata With Chorizo, Red Peppers & Tomatoes
Frittatas. Fun to say and even more fun to eat. Especially when that frittata includes chorizo and red peppers. This paleo-friendly meal is great for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Get the recipe from Irena Macri Food Fit for Life.
Thai Red Curry With Sweet Potato Noodles
Do you love pasta but are trying to eat low-carb? Here’s a perfect solution. The sweet potato noodles give just the right texture against the chicken. And the whole thing can be made in less than 30 minutes! Get the recipe from Savory Lotus.
There’s no reason why 2021 can’t be your healthiest year yet. And there’s also no reason why you should spend most of your year washing dishes. Thankfully, these one pot recipes offer healthy eating and easy cleanup in one.