Tired of washing so many dinner dishes? One-pan meals make cooking and clean-up fast and simple. Here are some main dish ideas to create a quick, healthy meal on the stovetop, in the oven, or in the slow cooker. First, check the pantry, freezer and refrigerator to see what you have on hand. Next, choose protein, vegetables, grains, and sauce and seasonings to make your meal.


Protein Chicken, Fish, Lean Beef, Turkey, Tofu, Beans, Lentils
(canned, frozen, or fresh)
Corn, Green Beans, Bell Peppers, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Snap Peas, Okra, Tomatoes,
Carrots, Peas, Leafy greens, Potatoes, Onions, Hot Peppers, Turnips, Winter Squash
Grain Brown Rice, Whole Grain Pasta, Quinoa, Barley
Sauce or Seasoning Broth, Low-fat Cream Soup, Herbs, Spices, Low-sodium Sauces
Meal Idea Stir-fry, Casserole, Soup, Stew, Sheet Pan Meal



  1. Cook meat until browned and remove from pan. Add veggies and cook until tender. Add precooked grains, sauce and seasonings, and precooked meat back into the pan to heat through.
  2. Use canned beans or lentils in place of meat or to stretch meat further.
  3. Cook in a pot or pan in less than 30 minutes. 

     Try these stovetop recipes:  Garden Stir-Fry, Pork Chops with Red Cabbage and Pears, and Lentil Stew


  1. Meat, veggies, grains, and a sauce or liquid can be added all together to a sheet pan or casserole dish.
  2. Bake for 30 minutes to one hour or until the meat has reached a safe internal temperature.

     Try these oven recipes:  Chicken and Kale Casserole, Roasted Sheet Pan Chicken, Sweet Potato and Carrot Packets,
      and Baked Fish with Tomatoes, Greens, and Mushrooms

Slow Cooker: 

  1. Combine meat, vegetables, grains, and enough liquid to cover the ingredients.
  2. Cook for 4-6 hours until meat has reached a safe internal temperature.

     Try these slow cooker recipes:  Enchilada Casserole, Turkey Rice Soup, and Pasta with Greens, Beans, and Chicken


Smart Tips

Plan -- Plan ahead for weeknight meals. Gather your ingredients, wash and chop vegetables, and store meat and chopped vegetables in the refrigerator. Make prep time even faster with frozen or canned vegetables in place of fresh.

Shop - Build your meals around what is on sale. Stock up on frozen and canned vegetables and lean meats when you find a great deal. Use what you need and freeze the rest for another time.

Eat - Dinner time is family time! A one pot meal saves time on busy weeknights. Have leftovers? Pack them for lunch the next day or freeze for another time.





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