Nothing makes cooking more fun than knowing clean-up will be a breeze, but there are only so many Instant Pot recipes a person can enjoy — especially in warmer weather. Most one pan meal recipes err on the wintery side, like heavy casseroles, rich stews, and hearty soups. Because of that, finding single equipment dinner recipes for spring to fall can be a bit of a challenge.
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So if you want to know how to make dinner during the warmer months with just a single piece of equipment, we’ve got numerous answers, from a healthy paella to a zoodle take on baked feta pasta — and they all require only one pot or pan. If you love eating dinner but don’t love doing dishes, these are the recipes that will inspire you to get cooking — no matter how warm it is.
1. One Pan Spring Tuscan Quinoa Bake
Make use of leftover cooked quinoa with a Tuscan quinoa bake that requires only a single baking dish in the oven. Strong flavors like pickled pepperoncinis, sun dried tomato pesto, dried pepper flakes, and kalamata olives will mellow as they cook, lending tang and spice to the quinoa and bell peppers. This recipe calls for a whole lot of cheese, so feel free to reduce by half — it’ll still have plenty of flavor. This would also work well with a vegan variation instead.
2. Fish in Parchment With Asparagus, Tomatoes, and Herbs
Cooking “en papillote” sounds really intimidating, but it just means wrapping your meal up in parchment paper — and it’s an ideal way to have practically zero clean up after a great dinner. Healthful dishes like this fish en papillote with asparagus, tomatoes, and herbs are a great, easy addition to your regular dinner rotation. We love the flexibility to use whatever fish is in season and available, and you’ll be amazed by how much flavor the herbs can add; the parchment paper creates a steamy environment for them to infuse the other ingredients. It can be a little tricky to master the art of folding the paper, but you can also tie bundles up with kitchen string if you don’t feel like fussing with it.
3. Healthy Chicken and Shrimp Paella
Full of whole grain brown rice and fresh citrus, this healthy chicken and shrimp paella is a beautifully lighter take on the classic Spanish dish and makes excellent use of leftover brown rice you might have on hand. It takes less than a half hour to make, and requires just one large pan. We love the usage of antioxidant-laden turmeric, which is an affordable substitute for traditional saffron. Chicken breasts and shrimp offer plenty of protein while red onions, garlic, and coconut oil amp up their flavors.
4. Brown Rice Risotto With Peas
If you’ve ever made a risotto, you know that it requires multiple pots and a ton of stirring. Not so with this remarkable one pan meal version, which instead allows you to walk away for a full forty minutes as it cooks on the stove in a pot. If fresh peas are available, we recommend opting for those instead of frozen — just add them to the brown rice risotto with peas when you would the frozen ones, as they cook quickly and are great if left al dente. You could also scale up the fresh herbs from one tablespoon to two, to make this a more refreshing dish fit for the warmer months.
5. Summer Vegetables With Sausage and Potatoes Skillet
Zucchini and bell peppers are summer vegetable stars, and they shine brightly in this summer vegetables with sausage and potatoes skillet. Healthful chicken sausage is employed instead of the fattier pork version, and baby red potatoes let you enjoy a starch alongside your protein and vegetables with no separate cooking vessel needed for a perfect one pan meal. We appreciate the usage of yellow, orange, and red peppers, as well as the copious quantity of fresh garlic.
6. Baked Feta Zoodles
One-pan pasta with feta cheese was a bit hit on the internet this year, but it wasn’t exactly the healthiest of food trends. This baked feta zoodles is a much more nutritious dish thanks to the swap of zucchini for pasta. It has the same tomatoes, fresh basil, and garlic of the original, so you’ll get all the delightful flavors you expect from the dish, and it bakes similarly in a single baking dish. By adding the zucchini noodles at the end, you prevent them from overcooking, and they’ll have a more prominent texture than they would if added earlier.
7. Sheet Pan Salmon With Asparagus
This is one of our favorite one pan meal recipes because it’s so simple and tasty. Fiber-rich broccoli and asparagus accompany this sheet pan salmon, which has a glaze guaranteed to give it plenty of kick. The glaze is made with rice vinegar, chili paste, fresh ginger, and low sodium soy sauce — and unlike most recipes for glaze components, it doesn’t need to be made separately on the stove. You’ll pour the marinade mixture directly over the salmon on the baking pan, then bake it right alongside the broccoli and asparagus.
8. Sheet Pan Chicken With Rainbow Vegetables
It’s easy to get your fill of colorful produce with this sheet pan chicken with rainbow vegetables recipe. The vegetables include yellow squash, broccoli, sweet potatoes, bell pepper, and zucchini, which cook alongside boneless, skinless chicken breasts on a sheet pan. Seasoned simply with lemon juice, garlic, onion, and Italian herbs, this is a perfect meal for warm evenings when you want something filling but light. To avoid dairy, use nutritional yeast or a vegan parm instead of smattering parm on top.
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