Busy winter nights can be tough — by the time you get home it’s dark and cold and all you want to do is cuddle at home on the couch with your mom’s homemade chicken soup (unless you’re lucky enough to live in a warm climate). Cooking a meal under such circumstances should be both easy to make and easy to clean up because dishes are the last thing you want to do before bed. Enter: these one-pan wonders that will make you believe in the beauty of a home-cooked meal on a cold winter’s night.
1. One Pot Taco Zucchini Noodles
If you’re a lover of all things carbs, you’re in good company. While carbs are surely not “the enemy,” they can add uncomfortable bloat and heaviness that can weigh you down even if your workout game is strong. Instead, swap in veggie noodles, such as zucchini. When tossed together with a slew of other delicious ingredients, as in this tacolicious recipe, you can hardly tell the difference (seriously!). You can use either ground beef or ground turkey as your protein here and you’ll even have enough energy to last you through that challenging post-work boot camp class.
Get the recipe: Kirbie’s Cravings
2. One Pan Balsamic Chicken and Veggies
If you’re looking for a hearty recipe you can throw together in no time, try this guaranteed hit. It requires just a handful of ingredients (along with a handful of others for seasoning and flavor, of course), and yields a meal worthy of actually sitting down at a kitchen table for. The best part? It’s healthy as can be. The chicken and veggies (broccoli, carrots and tomatoes) are all roasted with the slightest amount of olive oil to avoid them drying out.
Get the recipe: Chelsea’s Messy Apron
3. Sheet Pan Steak With Potatoes and Broccoli
There are few winter dinner staples than good-old steak and potatoes (with broccoli, of course, because why not?). Whether you’re cooking for one or trying to impress a number two, this stand-by recipe is almost too easy to believe. For added flavor, you can marinate the meat in a plastic bag with ¼ cup olive oil, balsamic vinegar and 4 cloves of garlic, along with salt and pepper for as long as an hour or as little as 15 minutes. Then you scatter the rest of the ingredients onto a pan with the proper seasoning, brown them in the oven for about 20 minutes, throw in the broccoli and add the steak in for the last 10-15 minutes.
Get the recipe: Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen
4. Mustard Salmon Sheet-Pan Dinner
Too often we tend to save seafood dishes for dining out at restaurants, when it’s relatively easy to serve them at home—especially salmon. All you really need are the right ingredients to season and bring out the true flavor of the fish and some sensational sides that pair well with it. This recipe packs a powerful flavor punch in just a few main ingredients. The key is mixing them all together beforehand—the lemon juice, grainy and Dijon mustards, salt and pepper and some dill. You’ll want to douse the salmon generously in this marinade and before adding in the sides (in this case potatoes and asparagus).
Get the recipe: Foodie Crush
5. One Pot Spanish Chicken, Chorizo and Lentil Stew
If you’re in the mood to feel like you just landed in Spain’s capital, Madrid, opt for this unique blend of ingredients that forms one mouthwatering dish ideal for cold-weather nights. It’s loaded with protein (chicken and brown lentils) and bubbling with flavor, thanks to the addition of chorizo, tomatoes, black pitted olives and seasoning ingredients such as dried chili flakes, fresh oregano or thyme and fresh garlic cloves. Make twice the amount and freeze some for weeks to come!
Get the recipe: Supergolden Bakes
6. One Skillet Cashew Chicken Stir Fry
Next time you’re craving takeout, consider making your own. Many of the dishes are easily replicable with the right sauces, such as this Asian-inspired stir-fry. Just toss together all your chopped-up ingredients in one pan (boneless chicken, garlic, broccoli florets, red bell pepper, sugar snap peas, carrots, cashews and green onion) and add in some soy sauce, peanut butter, honey, sesame oil and grated ginger to taste. Spice lovers will want to top this one off with Sriracha!
Get the recipe: Eat Yourself Skinny