20 Easy One Pot Meals To Save Time And Money

Want to save money on buying food and spend less time cooking? Then one-pot meals are the answer. They are a delicious and convenient way to prepare healthy and low-cost meals. And we’ve got 20 great ideas to share with you as you create your meal plan!

Easy one pot meals

Whether you live alone or you’re looking for simple meals to prepare for the whole family, easy one-pot dinners can make your life easier. They often include simple ingredients, so you’re not wasting food, and they are easy to clean up. 

If you’re looking for simpler meal times, keep reading to learn about easy one-pot meals.

20 Easy one pot meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner

Now that you know what one-pot meals are and their advantages, let’s dive into some of the cheapest meals to make your stomach and wallet happy.

One pot meals for breakfast

One pot meals eggs

Breakfast is the day’s most important meal, yet you’ve probably skipped it a few times because you were short on time. Not to worry, many breakfast one-pot meals are easy and quick to prepare.

1. Omelets

Omelets are a great one-pot meal that gives you a hearty amount of protein to start your day. You can have a meal in minutes with a simple flip and fry.

Adding vegetables and herbs will make your omelet healthier and tastier. Spinach is a common omelet ingredient, but you can add cherry tomatoes, parsley, mushrooms, and cheddar cheese. 

2. Baked eggs in tomato sauce with kale

Baked eggs in tomato sauce with kale can brighten your mornings when you grow tired of making omelets. 

With only three main ingredients, eggs, tomato sauce, and kale, it’s a great way to use that pre-opened jar of red sauce before it goes bad.

You only need to lightly cook the kale, pour in and heat the tomato sauce, crack in the eggs, and place the saucepan in the oven to bake. And eating clean on a budget meal plan is simple with this recipe.

3. Pesto scrambled eggs

Have you ever had leftover pasta sauce you didn’t know how to use? Next time you have some leftover pesto sauce, throw it in scrambled eggs for a unique and tasty one pot meal.

Prepare your scrambled eggs how you like, and add pesto sauce as the topping. 

4. Apple-cinnamon oatmeal

Plain oatmeal isn’t the most exciting breakfast option. However, there are many ways to make oatmeal a tasty go-to meal. 

One simple way to jazz up the grain is by making apple cinnamon oatmeal. Combine the water, oatmeal, apples, cinnamon, and nutmeg, and cook them together. Once the oats are cooked and the apples are tender, enjoy the aroma of what smells like an apple pie.  

The great thing about this low-cost meal is that if you don’t finish everything you made, refrigerate it for the next day or later that week. 

5. Frittatas

One pot frittatas

The word frittata sounds fancy, but it’s basically the Italian word for fried. 

A frittata is the cousin of the omelet and the quiche. It only requires one more additional ingredient than an omelet and fewer ingredients than a quiche.

The key ingredients of a frittata are eggs, cream, vegetables, and seasonings. When preparing, you want to whisk the ingredients thoroughly. The stovetop or the oven are both great options for cooking.

However, the frittata must be placed in the boiler to cook fully.  

6. One skillet quinoa breakfast

If you need a break from oatmeal, try using quinoa for breakfast. Whether fresh or precooked, quinoa is easily prepared in a skillet.

Start with the quinoa, add your preferred milk, and cook until absorbed. Then add fruits such as bananas and berries. 

7. Double puff berry pancake

Instead of making the usual stack of pancakes, you can create one giant pancake and slice out individual pieces. 

Start by blending the pancake ingredients, then pour the mixture until it covers the entire pan. Add berry toppings of your choosing. Then once it’s cooked on one side, place the skillet into the oven until the pancake is golden brown. 

Easy one pot meals for lunch

One pot meals soup

Now that you’ve got breakfast covered, here is how to make some scrumptious one pot meals for lunch.

8. Chicken tortellini soup 

Soups, in general, make for delicious and easy one pot meals. With some broth and an assortment of vegetables, you’ll have a meal in no time.

However, if you want to advance your soup-making skills, you can try chicken tortellini soup. 

Start with a large pot; and then add oil and vegetables. Next, add chicken, followed by water and or broth. Last, you’ll add herbs and tortellini pasta. Cook until tender, and enjoy.

9. Pozole

Pozole is a traditional soup or stew dish from Mexico. It comes loaded with flavors and spices for those craving a little more kick from a soup-like dish.

Although this recipe includes many ingredients, you can conveniently cook everything in one pot.

Plus, you can make different types of pozole, such as green, red, and white. Although traditionally made with chicken or pork, you can make a vegetarian-friendly pozole. 

10. Skillet tacos

One pot skillet tacos

These are a fun twist on traditional tacos. 

You’ll cook everything in a skillet using similar ingredients to regular tacos. You can add elbow macaroni to make the meal more filling.

When everything is cooked, serve it with crushed nacho chips instead of a taco shell for added crunch.

11. One pot enchilada pasta

Enchilada pasta is a unique way to enjoy a pasta meal. Using one pot, you’ll use many of the same ingredients when making enchiladas—such as black beans, tomatoes, chill peppers, enchilada sauce, and cheese. 

With this one pot meal, you can get a scrumptious lunch in around 30 minutes.

12. Skillet lasagna

Lasagna is typically an oven dish that takes a lot of time and preparation. However, skillet lasagna is the tasty cheat code.

Start with your meat of choice and start cooking it almost to completion in a skillet. To cook a vegetarian lasagna, you can begin with tofu, vegetarian meat, or vegetables. Next, add pantry staples such as onion, garlic, and other seasonings. 

To add the lasagna element, you’ll break up the lasagna noodles to cook and add them in with the sauce—then top with cheese to finish. 

13. Rice and beans

Rice and beans are simple and low-cost ingredients that can make meals with various variations. 

White rice is often the go-to choice, however, you can experiment with brown or jasmine rice. 

And with a wide variety of bean options such as pinto, black beans, and brown beans, you can get a handful of meals with one recipe.

Easy one pot dinners

One pot meals pasta

When dinner time comes, you want something simple. And so these one pot dinners will help with making life easier for you especially if you are cooking for your family.

14. Spaghetti with tomatoes, olives, feta, and mint

Spaghetti is a classic dinner recipe that can fill you up and doesn’t cost much money. If you want to fancy your current spaghetti recipe, try adding olives, feta, and mint.

These added ingredients will give your pasta some extra flavor.

15. Lentil and bean stew

Stews are very similar to soups; however, they are chunkier and have less water. Thus a lentil and bean stew makes for an appetizing one-pot recipe.  

With the recipe, you can add lentils, beans, garbanzo beans, and chicken for an easy dinner.

16. Instant ramen noodle stir-fry

Ramen stir fry

Most college students have survived on instant ramen noodles. They are cheap and ready in minutes.
Luckily there is a healthier and tastier way to have ramen instead of directly out of the microwave.

Start with cooking chicken and vegetables in a large non-stick skillet. Add water and ramen noodles to the pan when the vegetables and chicken start cooking. After combining the ingredients, cover and cook until the noodles are tender.

17. Lemon pepper chicken with orzo

Did you know there are many easy one-pot dinners using orzo?

Orzo looks like rice, but it’s a protein-rich pasta. You can cook this meal in one pot for around 30 minutes with some chicken seasonings and selected herbs.

18. Pizza pasta bake

Pasta and pizza are the most beloved foods. If you’re longing for a pizza but don’t want to order out, then a pizza pasta bake is your solution.

You only need pasta and pizza ingredients such as mozzarella cheese, marinara sauce, sausage, and tomato. It’ll be sure to satisfy your hunger.

19. One pot teriyaki chicken and rice

With this teriyaki chicken and rice one-pot dinner, use a deep skillet to cook the chicken and the rice in the same pan.

Using long-grain or jasmine rice is also essential for faster cook times.

Start by cooking the chicken until it’s white on the outside. Then you’ll set it aside and combine water, rice, sauces, and other vegetables in the skillet. After a few moments, you’ll add the chicken back in.

Once everything is mixed, you’ll let it stew until everything is tender.

20. Mac and cheese

Mac and cheese is a favorite dish among many. Although it’s tempting to whip up some boxed mac and cheese, you can still have a quality cheesy meal with only six ingredients.

Cheddar, parmesan cheese, milk, water, and elbow pasta are your main ingredients. Other vegetables, such as broccoli, asparagus, and green beans, pair nicely with mac and cheese.

Expert tip

You can save a lot of time and money when making one pot meals.

For example, look at your ingredients and use more vegetables instead of meat to be more cost-efficient. And when you use one pot to make your whole meal, cleaning up takes less time.

What are one pot meals?

One pot meals are simplified dishes that cook all the ingredients in one pot. As a result, the components blend together to become a delicious meal.

These meals are usually less time-consuming and require fewer ingredients. As a result, you save money while grocery shopping on a budget.

What kitchen supplies do you need?

Although the word pot is in the name, you can use a pot, wok, skillet, frying pan, or baking sheet, depending on the recipe.

However, using a quality non-stick pan is essential when practicing your iron chef skills with these recipes. And you don’t need to spend much money on a new pan. Quality skillets can be purchased for around $40.

Are there advantages to a one pot meal?

The most significant advantage of a one pot meal is saving time and money. 

Most one pot meals can be ready in 30 minutes since they are primarily cooked on the stovetop. 

Additionally, most one pot dinners require fewer ingredients, and many are common pantry items. Therefore, you’re not spending money on extra ingredients you’ll only use once. Simultaneously, you’re helping to avoid food waste. 

Did you know that each year 119 billion pounds of food is wasted in the US?

One pot meals are a great way to utilize the food in your cabinets so you can avoid waste.

What are other ways to save on food?

If you enjoyed these money-saving one pot meals and want to stretch your dollar even further, here are other ways to save money on food.

Buy store brand vs. name brand

What’s the difference between store-brand and name-brand items? In reality, not much at all. Especially for pantry staples such as flour, salt, sugar, etc. 

Many store-brand items are made in the same factory as popular brands. Store brands are often cheaper because companies don’t spend extra money on advertising.

Look for items on the discount and sales rack

Grocery stores often discount their prices on foods close to their expiration date. Check for discounted sales racks or unique stickers with marked-down prices to start frugal grocery shopping.

Even though some foods are close to their sell-by date, they can still last a few more days in your freezer or pantry. 

Freeze and save what you don’t eat

Food waste is not only harmful to the environment but to your budget. If you buy too much food or cook more than you’re going to eat, freeze the leftover food. 

One pot meals are great items to freeze and reheat for a meal later in the week.

Enjoyed this article on one pot meals? Check out these related topics!

Use these ideas for easy, tasty, and inexpensive one pot meals!

As you can see, there are many one pot meal options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

You can prepare a meal in minutes using common pantry foods such as pasta, eggs, rice, and beans.

Remember that one pot meals are a great option if you want to live out the save money live better philosophy because they don’t require you to buy a lot of ingredients. They also help you avoid wasting food and are often quick and easy to make!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top