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Save Time on Busy Weeknights with These One-Pot Cookbooks

The covers of "One Pan, Two Plates," "One-Pot Vegetarian," and "The Complete Cast-Iron Cookbook."
Chronicle Books/Hardie Grant/Cider Mill Press

We all know that cooking is almost always healthier and less expensive than ordering takeout. However, it can also be exhausting. That’s why we went looking for cookbooks loaded with one-pot recipes, so everything from meal prep to cleanup will be a breeze!

After a long workday, few of us feel like multitasking over a hot stove, not to mention all the cleaning required after. One-pot meals, though, make things a lot easier. Plus, the recipes are typically easier to follow. They might not all cut down on the prep time, but they definitely cut down on the cleanup.

Below are some of our favorite one-pot cookbooks, all of which feature convenient, delicious recipes even beginners can master!

Best Overall: Skinnytaste One and Done

The cover of the "Skinnytaste One and Done" cookbook and a bowl of pasta with vegetables.
Clarkson Potter

The Skinnytaste One and Done cookbook by Gina Homolka is full of simple, versatile, and delicious recipes that are all on the healthier side. This one gives you a really great variety of options, with simple one-pan meals for your Instant Pot, slow cooker, air fryer, sheet pan, Dutch oven, and more.

We love that a lot of the recipes give you several different ways to make them (for example, there will be Instant Pot instructions, and then instructions for everyone else).

Each recipe is accompanied by a large, high-res image that’s helpful, as well as nice to look at. Nothing’s too time-consuming, and there are recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even convenient snacks.

Largest Selection: The Complete One Pot

cover of the complete one pot cookbook/a photo of halibut and lemon over roasted potaotes
America’s Test Kitchen

If you like to have a very wide variety of recipes to choose from, then you can’t go wrong with The Complete One Pot from America’s Test Kitchen. There are 400 recipes here for simple meals that can be prepared in everything from an air fryer to a sheet pan.

Over 185 of these take just 45 minutes to put together, and most of them give you several different preparation options, including Dutch oven, Instant Pot, or slow cooker. They cover pretty much every type of meal, and even have a chapter dedicated to vegetarian options, so this one really offers a huge variety.

Best for Couples: One Pan, Two Plates

The cover of "One Pan, Two Plates" and two plates of baked salmon over asparagus.
Chronicle Books

Cooking for two can be annoying because you usually end up making either way too much or not enough. The One Pan, Two Plates cookbook by Carla Snyder has over 70 recipes specifically for two people.

Each meal can be made in one skillet in less than 60 minutes, and they all cut down both prep and cleanup time. The recipes range from classic favorites to more unique options, like mac and cheese and catfish tacos. Everything is full of flavor and convenient to make.

Best for Couples

Best Variety: One-Pan Wonders

one pan wonders cookbook cover/a photo of baked chicken with vegetables on a sheet pan
America’s Test Kitchen

The One-Pan Wonders cookbook from America’s Test Kitchen makes it easy to try a variety of different one-pan prep methods. Each chapter is split into sections for Dutch ovens, sheet pans, skillets, casserole dishes, roasting pans, and slow cookers. No fancy equipment is required—just the classics.

The 138 recipes range from breakfast to dinner options, and each recipe is focused on simplifying meal prep and cleanup time. The instructions are easy to follow, and there are a ton of fan favorites.

Best Sheet Pan Recipes: Sheet Pan Suppers

The cover of "Sheet Pan Suppers" and a sheet pan full of steak and peppers.
Workman Publishing Company

If you’ve ever cooked an entire meal on a sheet pan, then you know how convenient it is. It’s fast, low-maintenance, and the cleanup is super easy. Sheet Pan Suppers by Molly Gilbert is dedicated entirely to recipes made on a sheet pan, and it’s a really great resource.

When you cook on a sheet pan, you can roast, broil, or bake, which adds so much flavor, and it also typically doesn’t take very long. This cookbook features mostly dinner recipes that range from easy weeknight options to special-occasion meals, but it also includes some clever brunch and dessert recipes.

Best Sheet Pan Recipes

Best for Guys: A Man, A Pan, A Plan

The cover of "A Man, A Pan, A Plan," and a stack of blueberry pancakes with sliced bananas on top.
Rodale Books

A Man, A Pan, A Plan by Paul Kita features 100 nutritious recipes that are easy to prepare and full of flavor, and are meant for a bachelor lifestyle (although, honestly, there’s nothing about it that means you have to be a man in order to enjoy it).

The recipes are all healthy without being boring, and everything is meant to be accessible—you should be able to make these with ingredients you already have in your kitchen. They were also put together with cooking newbies in mind, meaning even if you’re just starting out, you’ll still get these right.

Best for Guys

Best Keto: The One-Pot Ketogenic Diet Cookbook

The cover of "The One-Pot Ketogenic Diet Cookbook" and a head of lettuce, a bowl of eggs, and a bottle of oil.
Rockridge Press

If you’re following the keto diet and want to make meal planning and cooking a little easier, try The One-Pot Ketogenic Diet Cookbook by Liz Williams. There are over 100 recipes all made in one pan, that should only take about 30-45 minutes to complete.

There are also less than eight ingredients in every recipe, which means you should already have most of the items in your kitchen. Aside from the recipes, you’ll find helpful cooking tips and weekly meal plans to help you stay on track.

Best for Cast-Iron Pots: The Complete Cast-Iron Cookbook

the cover of the complete cast iron cook book with a photo of a pork chop/a loaf of freshly baked bread
Cider Mill Press

If you recently bought a cast iron pan and don’t know what to do with it, or you’ve had one forever and have only used it once, then you need The Complete Cast-Iron Cookbook. There are 300 recipes here to help you put that pan to good use.

There are tons of options, from twists on old classics to gluten-free options and vegetarian recipes. But the real benefit of this cookbook is learning how to take advantage of your cast-iron pan. With the right care, they can last forever and bring tons of flavor to any dish.

Best for Cast-Iron Pots

Best for Vegetarians: One-Pot Vegetarian

The cover of the "One-Pot Vegetarian" and a pot full of beans and veggies.
Hardie Grant

The One Pot Vegetarian cookbook by Sabrina Fauda-Role is a must-have for any vegetarian. It includes over 80 recipes that give you options for quick weeknight suppers to bigger special-occasion meals.

All of the recipes are easy and healthy, and the book is laid out beautifully: Instead of just a list of ingredients, you also get a bright photo showing each one. This is great for beginners or seasoned cooks, and everything in it tastes delicious.

Most Convenient: 30-Minute One-Pot Meals

The cover of "30-Minute One-Pot Meals" and a veggie and fruit pizza on a cutting board.
Page Street Publishing

Most people don’t have time to come home from work and make something that takes an hour, but 30 minutes is doable! The 30-Minute One-Pot Meals cookbook by Joanna Cismaru only features recipes that take half an hour to make, so they’re perfect for weeknights.

The chapters are broken down by preparation method, including sheet pan, saucepan, skillet, casserole dish, and more. There are both unique recipes and classic options for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert, and everything is easy to follow.

Jessica Booth Jessica Booth
Jessica Booth is a freelance writer for LifeSavvy. She has been working in the editorial world as a freelance writer for over two years and previously worked as an editor for over eight years.  Jessica writes about travel, beauty, wellness, health, food, home decor, and parenting, and has reviewed and tested out products for all of those verticals over the course of her career. Read Full Bio »

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