Our Easiest Single-Skillet Dinner Recipes
The last thing that anyone wants to do after enjoying a delicious meal is to wash a sink filled with dishes. Luckily, these one-dish dinner recipes make it easy to prepare, cook, and clean in record time. All you need is a 10-inch or 12-inch oven-safe skillet, such as a cast-iron, to make these tasty weeknight meals a regular part of your rotation.
Pork Tenderloin with Mushrooms, Fennel, and Blue Cheese
This gorgeous main uses just one skillet--first to sear and roast the pork, then to caramelize the fennel and mushrooms. Arugula isn't only for salads; it wilts nicely when sautéed in the pan juices from the pork tenderloin.
Pan-Seared Pork Chops with Roasted Fennel and Tomatoes
One pan, a handful of ingredients, and 30 minutes are all you need to put this impressive pork chop skillet dinner on the table. This flavor-packed, single-skillet supper is an easy dinner for two that feels like something special. It’s also an ideal recipe for one, as the leftover chop and veggies reheat well for a next-day lunch worth looking forward to.
Pan-Seared Hanger Steak with Brussels Sprouts, Potatoes, and Lemon-Herb Butter
Ladies and gentleman, meet your new favorite single-skillet supper. When done right, a pan-seared hanger steak is one of the most delicious cuts of beef you’ll ever eat; it’s incredibly flavorful, tender, juicy, and best of all, relatively inexpensive. If it’s a new cut to you, trust us, it’s definitely one worth exploring. Perfectly pan searing a steak is one of those essential kitchen skills that every home cook should master (don’t worry, it’s easy) in order to whip up an impressive, company-worth meal at the last minute or simply to treat yourself and/or your family to a special meal—any night of the week. And a simple-to-make compound butter dresses hanger steak up to appear far more sophisticated than its price tag might suggest. In fact, keeping a compound butter like this versatile Lemon-Herb variation on hand is an easy and awesome way to dress up any number otherwise average meals throughout the week. This recipe will leave you with plenty leftover, simply wrap it up and pop it in the freezer for later use. One final note on the compound better: Don’t fear the anchovy. Anchovy paste (if you’d prefer, you can also use a couple of oil-packed anchovy fillets, mashed well with a fork, in place of the paste) will not infuse the butter with a fishy flavor; rather, it will provide an added element of richly subtle savoriness. Of course, you can always leave the anchovy out… but we’d highly encourage giving it a try. Using the tasty drippings left in your pan to sauté a quick veggie side dish is another delicious pro move that makes this one-pan meal perfect for even a hectic weeknight. A mix of Brussels sprouts, potatoes, and onions makes for a comforting side dish that balances out the richness of the meat and butter. Any leftover steak can (and should) be used to make an epic next-day steak sandwich or salad. Make this dish once, and we can almost guarantee that butter-basted seared steak + a quick, same-skillet veggie sauté will become a dinner game plan you’ll come back to again and again. If you want to try the same technique with a different cut of steak, we’d suggest our Pan Seared Strip Steak with Mushrooms, Asparagus, and Vanilla-Cabernet Butter. And you can find more helpful technique tips for achieving a perfect sear on your steaks right here.
This savory, spicy dish is essentially a stir-fry made for meat-lovers. A great, hearty meal to serve for a crowd, you’ll definitely want to pull out your largest skillet (or even a large wok would be great) for this recipe; you’ll also want to make sure you have a wooden spoon handy for scraping the bottom of the pan. If you want to tone the heat down a bit, simply omit one of the jalapeños. There will be a decent amount of liquid left in the pan after you’ve cooked the various meats (trust us, don’t skip the hotdogs), but your vegetables will ultimately soak up this flavorful cooking liquid, yielding an incredible filling for tacos. Discada is also excellent served alongside eggs for a seriously hearty breakfast dish.
Summery Pork and Beans
This one-skillet meal can work on a busy weeknight or for casual weekend entertaining. Butter deglazes the pan, melding flavors.
Pan-Seared Strip Steak with Mushrooms, Asparagus, and Vanilla-Cabernet Butter
This single-skillet supper may sound highbrow (and look the part too), but trust us, it’s about as simple as it gets. Perfectly pan searing a succulent cut of steak is one of those essential kitchen skills that every home cook needs in order to whip up an impressive, company-worth meal on the fly or simply to treat yo’self at the end of an exceptionally long day. Topping your seared New York strip steak with a decadent compound butter is another back-pocket trick that is simple to do, but reads incredibly sophisticated/delicious. For this steak skillet, we opted to infuse our butter with vanilla bean and red wine—vanilla brings out the robust flavors of the ruby port and Cabernet, both of which partner beautifully with a tender New York strip. A vegetable medley of mushrooms, asparagus, and shallots quickly sautéed in the flavorful pan drippings makes the perfect side dish to round out this plate, balancing your rich steak and butter sauce. Make this dish once, and we can almost guarantee that butter-basted seared steak + a quick, same-skillet veggie sauté will become a dinner game plan you’ll come back to again and again. Note: You will definitely have leftover compound butter… which is not a bad thing. The butter freezes beautifully and is excellent to have on hand for flavoring veggies, spreading over warm bread, and topping other cooked meats. If you have leftover steak, it makes for one heck of a next-day steak sandwich—especially if you dress toasted bread with a generous smear of your compound butter. If you want to apply this same easy and elegant meal strategy to a slightly more budget-friendly cut of beef, try our Hanger Steak with Brussels Sprouts, Potatoes, and Lemon-Herb Butter. And you can find more helpful technique tips for achieving a perfect sear on your steaks right here.
Skillet Chicken Thighs with Spring Vegetables and Shallot Vinaigrette
This elegant single-skillet meal for two is deceptively easy to make. Ready in under an hour, this skillet chicken dinner includes your protein (perfectly golden-crisp chicken thighs), green veggies (peas and asparagus), a starch (baby Yukon gold potatoes), and a whole lot of vibrant flavor (hello, shallot vinaigrette). A great recipe for anyone cooking for one or two, this easy weeknight chicken dinner is one you’re sure to come back to again and again.
Crispy Chicken Thighs with White Wine-Butter Sauce and Vegetables
Building incredible flavor in a single skillet is one of the smart tricks pro cooks use to get food on the table fast. That said, you’ll actually need 2 skillets—a 12-inch nonstick for cooking and a 10-inch cast-iron for weight—to make this fabulous chicken-under-a-brick inspired dinner. The heavy cast-iron acts as your “brick,” which is essential to getting glorious crispy skin and helps speed up the cooking. You could also use a large brick or tile wrapped in aluminum foil for the same effect. The result is super juicy chicken, with ridiculously crisp skin, ready in a fraction of the time it would typically take to cook whole chicken thighs on the stovetop. While this chicken skillet supper is an exceptionally elegant weeknight meal, the weighted cooking method is a great technique that you can use for a wide variety of chicken dishes, like this Single-Skillet Crispy Chicken Caprese Dinner. You can serve these glorious thighs and crisp-tender veggies alongside your favorite starch to round out the pate. We particularly love this entree with simple boiled or roasted red potatoes, as they are perfect for soaking up the rich, butter white wine sauce.
Skillet-Toasted Penne with Sausage
This one-pot meal packs in the flavor with toasted pasta, sautéed onions, and spicy Italian sausage. The tangy lemon juice with the kick of the chiles adds freshness to the creamy and rich penne.
One-Pan Pasta with Ricotta and Artichokes
One skillet from start to finish--can't beat it on a busy weeknight. The ricotta adds rich creaminess when mixed into each portion on the plate, while fresh mozza creates that ooey-gooey baked pasta feel.
Skillet Nacho Dip
We combined our favorite elements of cheesy queso dip and loaded beef nachos into one epic skillet dish.
Single-Skillet Crispy Chicken Caprese Dinner
Building incredible flavor in a single skillet is one of the smart tricks pro cooks use to get food on the table fast. That said, you’ll actually need 2 skillets—a 12-inch nonstick for cooking and a 10-inch cast-iron for weight—to make this fabulous chicken-under-a-brick inspired dinner. The heavy cast-iron acts as your “brick,” which is essential to getting glorious crispy skin and helps speed up the cooking. You could also use a large brick or tile wrapped in aluminum foil for the same effect. The result is super juicy chicken, with ridiculously crisp skin, ready in a fraction of the time it would typically take to cook whole chicken breasts on the stovetop. And once you throw marinara saucy and melty mozzarella into the mix… well, you’ve got a weeknight recipe the family is going to beg for again and again. Serve the completed saucy-cheesy chicken over pasta or on toasted hoagie rolls.
Mediterranean Chicken and Bulgur Skillet
You’ll be delighted by the incredible results from this one-pot wonder: tender bulgur, creamy feta, and moist chicken. You don’t even need a sauce since there’s so much flavor in the pan. It’s a complete meal, though you could serve with a side salad if you’d like. Though you can swap dried oregano for fresh if you don’t have fresh on hand, we strongly urge you to stick with the fresh dill flourish at the end; it adds a burst of herbal goodness that you just won’t get from dried. If you don’t have a 10-inch cast-iron skillet, you can use any other medium-sized ovenproof skillet.
Skillet Apple Pork Chops
Just like our Skillet Apple Chicken Thighs, but with pork. This twist on an easy one-pot recipe is weeknight-fast yet fit for company and makes us simply giddy for fall. The chops will finish cooking in the apple mixture, and get ready, because your kitchen is about to smell like a crisp, Autumn breeze.
Beef Tenderloin Steaks with Chipotle Butter and Bell Pepper Sauté
Make sure the cast-iron skillet is hot before adding the steaks so that they get a nicely browned crust on both sides. We like both red and orange peppers, though just one color will work.
Chicken, Mushroom, and Bok Choy Bowls
If ground turkey is a staple protein in your kitchen, try ground chicken—the blend of light breast and rich thigh meat is just as flavorful and quick-cooking. A cast-iron skillet helps with browning, but any large skillet will do. True to most stir-frying techniques, we separate the tough stems of the bok choy from the tender leaves and cook them first so that everything has just the right doneness. One large bok choy can stand in for the baby ones; be sure to trim off the wide, fibrous ends and cut the stems into thin slices.
Skillet Apple Chicken Thighs
This dish is perfect for easing into fall and comes together in one pan to boot. To make the September 2016 cover recipe, use 4 (6-ounce) bone-in pork chops in place of chicken thighs. The thighs will finish cooking in the apple mixture, and the flavors will combine beautifully as they sit in the pot.
Weeknight Lemon Chicken Skillet Dinner
It doesn't get much easier, or more satisfying: a complete dinner in one pan in half an hour. Lemon brightens this cozy winter meal.
Skillet Green Bean Casserole
We've shortened (and lightened) this holiday classic by bringing everything together in one pan and using the stovetop and broiler rather than baking. To save yourself even more time, you can substitute panko in place of homemade breadcrumbs.
Thai Spring Beef Stir-Fry
For a quick dinner, cook up Thai Spring Beef Stir-Fry. You'll hardly need any oil when you sitr-fry this one-dish meal in a cast-iron skillet.
Pork Tenderloin and Collards Skillet
The Southern tradition of eating black-eyed peas and collard greens in the New Year is a delicious one, though not remotely quick enough for a weeknight. Until now, that is. Collards fair nicely in a quick sauté; slice into thin ribbons so they wilt quickly and stay tender. Canned black-eyed peas also save time. Pork is a natural pairing for greens and black-eyed peas. Here a lean, perfectly seared pork tenderloin is the star.
Creamy Chicken-Tomato Skillet
Yes! You can make chicken and rice in 20 minutes. When a craving for comfort food hits and you need it in a hurry, this fast take on chicken and rice hits the spot. Stirring chopped baby spinach into warm brown rice is a smart way to get more vegetables and jazz up an otherwise plain starchy side. Our pro tips for speedy cooking: Cut chicken into bite-size pieces so it cooks in just a few minutes, use precooked rice and heat it in the microwave, then use the hot rice to wilt the spinach for you while you finish the chicken. Fresh thyme, chopped basil, or parsley are all good stand-ins for the rosemary. Round out the meal with a glass of sauvignon blanc.
Mediterranean Chicken Skillet
This single-skillet recipe is impressive enough to make it company-worthy, but easy enough to make on a weeknight. It’s important to minimize moving the chicken and the onions as they cook in order to help them brown nicely and to reduce the chance of their releasing excess liquid into the pan. Pro tip: Keep a clean bowl or sheet tray handy when you’re making a single skillet meal such as this; that way, you can easily take items out of the pan and set aside as needed.
Skillet Vegetable Pie
Crisp, buttery phyllo makes a beautiful crust for this veggie-filled skillet pie—no dough-making required. A meatless meal doesn’t mean it has to be skimpy, and even though this filling is meatless, broccolini, butternut squash, and mushrooms make it hearty and satisfying. To make this an easy make-ahead meal, cook the vegetables one day in advance, and store them, covered, in the refrigerator. Add the Parmesan cheese, egg, and seasonings; then proceed with Step 2 as directed.
Fennel, Tomato, and Feta Skillet Bake
Fresh fennel becomes mellow and sweet once sautéed and braised in chopped, strained tomatoes. If you can’t find Pomì brand, drain about 1/3 of the liquid from a (15-oz.) can of unsalted diced tomatoes. Pair this simple, beautiful side with baked fish or lemon-and-herb roasted chicken.
Skillet Chicken Pot Pie with Leeks and Mushrooms
We’ve combined one of our favorite comfort foods with our favorite kitchen staple: a skillet. This Skillet Chicken Pot Pie with Leeks and Mushrooms is creamy and flavorful. The chicken starts out in the slow cooker allowing it to develop rich flavors. Don’t forget reserve the stock from the chicken. It is the perfect addition to the creamy sauce for the pot pie.
Skillet Fajita Pitas
Cooking over high heat without stirring gives the chicken and peppers a smoky, charred crust.
Greek Eggplant Skillet Dinner
Protein-rich tofu teams up with meaty eggplant in this Greek-inspired skillet supper. Pick up San Marzano tomatoes if you can find them; their sweet flavor and low acidity balance the flavors of this dish. Crush them gently with your hands before chopping to release any excess juices. Be sure to purchase extra-firm tofu so that it holds its shape. Serve with toasted whole-wheat pita bread.
Cheesy Turkey Meatball Skillet
Pair these healthy turkey meatballs with baked spaghetti squash for a simple and tasty low-carb dinner. If you don’t have a skillet with a lid, make sure your nonstick skillet is OK to use in the oven—a cast-iron skillet is a safe bet. Gina Homolka is the founder of skinnytaste.com and @skinnytaste.
Skillet Chicken Breast with Beans and Greens
Our Skillet Chicken Breast with Beans and Greens is truly a one pan wonder. Our Test Kitchen came up with this tasty, family friendly chicken dinner which comes together in a single skillet. Packed with protein, loaded with fiber, and just 390 calories per serving, Skillet Chicken with Beans and Greens makes a healthy dinner any night of the week. This recipe is oh-so-versatile too—swap out the turnip greens for collards or kale. Use pinto beans, black beans, or chickpeas instead of cannellini beans. You can make this meal even heartier by serving the chicken and vegetables over cooked rice, whole grains (like quinoa, brown rice, or farro) or orzo pasta. Whatever you do, don’t forget to add a dash or two of hot pepper vinegar at the end. The tang and heat of this Southern pantry staple makes the dish sing, and also adds tons of flavor while keeping the dish light and fresh.
Skillet Enchiladas Suizas
No filling. No rolling. These are our easiest enchiladas ever. Serve this crowd-pleasing skillet supper straight out of the skillet and let everyone add their own toppings for a fun family dinner. Lime wedges, thinly sliced radishes, crumbled cotija cheese, sliced scallions, pickled red onions, and pickled jalapeño slices are all tasty additions.
Cheesy Chicken and Pinto Bean Taco Skillet
If you’re in need of a simple, tasty dish that works for a weeknight meal, consider that need fulfilled. This skillet dish is effortless to throw together and super customizable—you can use black beans or kidney beans instead of pinto. If you’re not in the mood for chicken, try shredded pulled pork from your favorite BBQ place. You can tailor the toppings as you see fit, so keep an open imagination. Serving is simple: just put everything on the table and let everyone make their own tacos.
Single-Skillet Cavatappi Ratatouille
With its roasted vegetables and fresh basil, this gooey, cheesy pasta skillet dinner won a lot of hearts in the test kitchen. This dish is super family friendly, as the vegetables act as a vehicle for the sauce and all the cheesy goodness you can harness in one dish. It’s also easy—all you have to do to the veggies is crush them and give them time to cook down enough so the dish doesn’t get too watery. Either way, it’s a weeknight win.