5 Easy One-Pan Dinner Recipes for your busiest evenings

5 Easy One-Pan Dinner Recipes For Your Busiest Evenings

They're delicious and make clean up a breeze.

At the end of a long work day, the best dinner dinner options (other than ordering in) are always recipes that make cooking—and cleaning up afterwards—a breeze. Which is why we're such big fans of dishes that only require one pot or pan to create something simple and delicious, like those in The Ultimate One-Pan Oven Cookbook by Julia Konovalova. Julia's new book features everything from chicken to fish to pasta dishes—all using just one single pan. Here are five recipes you can try for yourself:

Easy Chicken Thighs in Peanut Sauce with Green Beans

Serves 4

2 tbsp (30 ml) olive oil, divided
¼ cup (45 g) smooth peanut butter
2 tbsp (30 ml) lemon juice
4 tbsp (60 ml) orange juice
2 tbsp (30 ml) soy sauce
2 tbsp (30 ml) Sriracha
8 organic skinless, boneless chicken thighs  
¾ lb (340 g) green beans
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 425°F (218°C). While the oven is preheating, mix 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of the olive oil with the peanut butter, lemon juice, orange juice, soy sauce and Sriracha in a bowl. I like using a small glass jug for this. It’s a lot easier to mix this sauce if the peanut butter is warm. I don’t have a microwave, so I put a jug with the sauce into a bowl of just boiled water to heat it up. If you have a microwave, you could heat it for 20 to 30 seconds.

Place the Greensbury organic, free-range chicken thighs in the middle of a nonstick baking pan. I use an 11 x 17–inch (28 x 43–cm) pan. Make sure that the chicken thighs are fully flattened. Pour half the sauce over the thighs, then flip and pour the rest of the sauce, making sure that it fully covers the chicken. Spread the green beans around the chicken thighs in one layer. Pour the remaining 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of olive oil over the green beans, season with salt and pepper to taste and lightly mix with your hands or tongs to cover them with oil and seasoning.

Roast for 30 minutes, or until the chicken thighs are cooked to 165°F (74°C) and the sauce is thickened.

Serve with rice, if desired, or double the amount of green beans and cook on a separate pan.

No-Boil Ricotta and Broccoli Pasta Bake

No-Boil Ricotta and Broccoli Pasta Bake
. Working Mother

This pasta bake is easy to make and requires almost no hands-on cooking, making it ideal for a weeknight meal. Feel free to add extra vegetables—frozen peas and carrots will work wonderfully.

Photo: Julia Konovalova

Serves 4 to 6

1 small head broccoli (about 3 cups [270 g] florets)
1 mozzarella ball (9 oz [260 g]), not fresh
½ lb (227 g) dry fusilli pasta (about 2½ cups)
1 tub (10.5 oz [300 g]) smooth ricotta
¾ tsp salt ½ tsp pepper
½ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
1½ cups (355 ml)
2% milk
½ cup (120 ml) half-and-half cream (10%)

Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Separate the broccoli into florets. Cut bigger florets in half. I like separating the stalks and chopping them into smaller pieces. Grate the mozzarella cheese ball and divide in half. In a 2.5-quart (2.4-L) Dutch oven, combine the dry (uncooked) fusilli noodles, broccoli florets and stems, half of the shredded cheese and the tub of ricotta. Add all the seasonings and mix with a spoon.

Pour the milk and cream over the noodle–broccoli mixture and, using a spoon, press the dry pasta to the bottom of the Dutch oven pot, making sure that all the noodles are submerged in milk. Cover the pot with a lid and place in the oven for 50 minutes.

After 50 minutes of baking, take the pot out of the oven and mix the pasta well. Test the pasta for doneness. If it’s still not fully cooked, return to the oven for another 5 minutes or until it’s cooked. If the pasta is cooked, sprinkle evenly with the remaining shredded cheese, and return to the oven to melt the cheese. I like turning the broiler on at this point to get the cheese a little bit golden, but make sure to watch the stove as the cheese could go from perfectly bubbly to burnt within a few minutes.

Note: I have also made this in a ceramic, lidded pot, but I much prefer using a Dutch oven, as the texture of the dish is much better. Also, ceramic pots usually cannot be used with a broiler. If you don’t have a 2.5-quart (2.4-L) Dutch oven, use an equivalent-size ovenproof pot or roasting pan and cover tightly with foil. You may need to adjust the cooking time to accommodate a different size pan.

One-Pan Fish Tacos

One-Pan Fish Tacos
. Working Mother

In this recipe, you cook fish, peppers and onions together on one pan, making the prep a lot easier. While the fish and veggies are cooking, you have time to prepare the creamy sauce and get all your favorite taco toppings ready.

Photo: Julia Konovalova

Serves 4

1 lb (455 g) wild-caught cod fillet
1 tsp vegetable oil

¼ tsp crushed coriander seeds
¼ tsp cumin powder
½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp paprika
½ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp citrus salt
1 tsp dried chives

1 large bell pepper
¼ red onion
1 tbsp (15 ml) vegetable oil

4 tbsp (60 g) sour cream
2 tbsp (30 g) mayo
2 tbsp (5 g) chopped dill
6–8 corn tortillas
Avocado, guacamole, salsa, coleslaw, cheese and so forth, for serving

Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Cut the wild-caught cod into 11/2- to 2-inch (3.8- to 5-cm) pieces. Spread it in the center of a large sheet pan (I use 11 x 17 inches [28 x 43 cm]) and drizzle the oil over the fish. In a small mixing bowl, combine all the dry spices and sprinkle half of them over the fish. Remove the stem, seeds and white ribs from the inside of the pepper. Slice it into ¼-inch (6-mm) strips. Slice the red onion. Scatter the sliced pepper and onion around the fish, drizzle with the vegetable oil and sprinkle with the remaining seasoning. Mix.

Bake for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, place the corn tortillas in another small ovenproof pan and bake for 5 minutes to heat them up and finish cooking the fish. Meanwhile, prepare the sauce by mixing the sour cream, mayo and dill together. Serve the baked fish, onions and peppers on warmed-up corn tortillas with the sour cream sauce and your favorite taco toppings, such as avocado, guacamole, salsa, coleslaw or cheese.

Note: Feel free to use your favorite taco seasoning in this recipe for an even quicker way to prepare the fish and veggies.

Sausage Bites with Potatoes and Carrots

Sausage Bites with Potatoes and Carrots
. Working Mother

By placing sausage on a wire rack and letting the hot air circulate all around, you get delicious, crunchy edges. Even better, the juices from the meat trickle down and flavor the carrots and potatoes.

Photo: Julia Konovalova

Serves 2

2 large potatoes (about 1¼–1½ lbs [565–680 g])
1 large carrot
½ large onion
1 tsp paprika
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
¼ tsp chili powder
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp garlic powder
2 sprigs savory herb
1 tbsp (15 ml) olive oil
4 Italian sausages
A few leaves of fresh savory for serving (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400°F (204°C). Thinly slice the potatoes, carrot and onion. You can use a food processor to make this easier and faster. In a small bowl, mix all the spices. Arrange the vegetables in one layer on a large sheet pan. I use one that is 11 x 17 inches (28 x 43 cm). Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with the seasonings and mix well. Scatter the savory leaves over the vegetables.

Cut each sausage into 6 to 8 pieces. It’s easier to do if the sausages have been in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes. Place a wire rack over the sheet pan with vegetables and arrange the sausage pieces on it.

Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until the potatoes and sausages are cooked through. Optionally, broil for 2 to 3 minutes at the end to sear the sausages and add a little bit of color. Just be sure to watch the oven so that the sausages don’t burn. Serve with extra fresh savory herb, if desired.

Note: For a healthier version of this dish, place the wire rack with the sausage pieces over an empty, foil-covered sheet pan. This way the fat from the sausages drains and doesn’t go onto the potatoes. You may need to add extra seasoning to the vegetables if the sausages aren’t cooked over them. I’ve tried it this way and, although yummy, I prefer everything cooked together.

One-Pan Chicken and Rice with Peas

One-Pan Chicken and Rice with Peas
. Working Mother

Most one-pan recipes still call for multiple steps of sautéing and precooking some ingredients. Not this one—it only takes five minutes to put together!

Photo: Julia Konovalova

Serves 4

1½ cups (315 g) basmati rice
1½ cups (250 g) frozen peas
4 tsp (8 g) seasoning mix (like Mrs. Dash no-salt seasoning), divided
½ tsp salt
8 organic chicken thighs (2 lbs [0.9 kg])
3 tbsp (45 g) mayo 2½ cups (590 ml) boiling stock (chicken or vegetable)

Preheat the oven to 400°F (204°C). Add the uncooked rice and frozen peas to a 13 x 9-inch (33 x 23-cm) roasting pan (3-quart [2.8-L] capacity) with 2 teaspoons (4 g) of seasoning (I like Mrs. Dash) and the salt; mix with a spoon. Arrange the chicken thighs over the rice, skin-side-up. I always try to get as much skin facing up as possible.

In a small bowl, combine the remaining 2 teaspoons (4 g) of seasoning with mayo and brush the mixture over the chicken thighs. Pour the boiling stock over the rice around the chicken. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes. Then broil for 2 to 3 minutes so that the skin crisps up, but be sure to watch the chicken carefully as it can burn really fast.

Note: I love this dish best with frozen peas, but I’ve made it with frozen corn as well as with mixed frozen vegetables. Use whatever frozen veggies you have in the freezer.

Reprinted with permission from The Ultimate One-Pan Oven Cookbook by Julia Konovalova, Page Street Publishing Co. 2018.

Written by Joseph Barberio for Working Mother and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@getmatcha.com.


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