15 {Lightened Up} One Pot Dinners

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I think we need to talk about the fact that today is the last day of November. That both Halloween and Thanksgiving have come and gone and that is is dark by 4:00 PM where I live. That Hanukkah is next week! And Christmas and New Years are rapidly approaching.

I vaguely (insert sarcasm) remember complaining about the dark last year but it seems cozy and comforting right now, probably because it just started. Talk to me in about six weeks – I can’t guarantee that I will have the same outlook.

One thing that these dark afternoons always seem to bring with them is the desire to simplify dinner. It just seems so late and I don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen cooking, especially when I can’t take any pictures of it and share it with you ;).

Enter One Pot Dinners.

I put together a list of whole foods based one pot dinners for both you and me to rely on in these next, super-busy weeks. Quick meals that are relatively easy to put together, weight watchers friendly (some with points), dinners the whole family will love and that clearly only use one pot. Enjoy!


1.     Let’s start with Faith’s Singapore Mei Fun Noodles. This is clearly happening tonight. You can make these with Tofu, Shrimp, Chicken, even Beef. Basically, use what you have and it will still be delicious. To keep it simple and not use a second pot for the rice noodles, soak them instead of boiling like I do in this Beef Chow Fun.

2.     Next up is a Veggie-Loaded and Lightened Up Chicken and Dumplings from The Gluten Free Doctor. Chicken and Dumplings that are healthy? Sign me up! I think my family will love this, especially my toddler. These dumplings are like matzo balls on steroids and the sauce looks so creamy and sinful but it’s healthy and nourishing!

3.     Because I can’t stay away from Asian food and from soups, I bookmarked Jeanette’s Chinese Szechuan Spicy Fish Soup. Once you score the Szechuan Peppercorns and Szechuan Hot Bean Paste, this will come together quick. I am really excited about the flavors in this broth!

4.    More soup but soup that is a meal. Liz from The Lemon Bowl has a beautiful Lemony Chicken Soup with Greens {and beans} that looks both light and hearty. How is that even possible? I think it’s the awesome combo of lean chicken, chickpeas and vegetables. I see this in our future  paired with a green salad and a slice of whole wheat peasant bread from here.

 5.     Next up is a lightened up and reinvented classic from Aggies Kitchen – Stuffed Cabbage Casserole. If you grew up eating Stuffed Cabbage like me, then you know how unbelievably time consuming it is to make. Aggie simplifies the whole thing by making it into a casserole (genius!) and keeps it healthy by lightening it up. My mom is going to freak out over this one.

6.     While we are discussing casseroles, don’t forget about my Chicken Tamale Casserole. You can easily make this a Vegetarian Main Dish!

 7.     When it comes to Vegetarian Main Dishes, few make them look as delicious as Joanne. Here, she offers an Ethiopian Lentil Stew that sounds so fragrant and comforting. I am imagining adding some chopped kale right into the pot at the end of cooking and calling it a day. The potatoes and green beans also sound pretty amazing but that would push this over the proverbial one-pot cliff so I can not in good conscious recommend it ;).

8.     Another dish that I plan to make over a bed of chopped kale is this Baked Pesto Chicken from Kalyn’s Kitchen. You already know how obsessed my husband is with pesto, there is no question this is going to score major points around here.

9.     Sometimes after cooking and cleaning up an easy dinner, I’ll have some energy left over to prep vegetables for the next day. Whenever this happens, that next day’s meal is usually some version of my Superfoods Stiry Fry. I’ll use tofu or shrimp to keep it quick or shredded chicken if it’s leftover from another meal.

10.     Living in Seattle has many perks, one really obvious one is the availability of fresh, local, wild salmon. This Smoked Salmon and Potato Fritatta from Healthy Delicious is the perfect way to use up some of that salmon. I know my family will love this, especially since there are potatoes in it. I will most likely serve alongside some sauteed spinach with garlic. Yum!

 11.     A simple and flavorful recipe that I have gone back to a couple times now is this Curried Cauliflower and Quinoa from Bluebird Kisses. Something I do to keep it one-pot style is make the onions first, set them aside and then use that pot for the main dish. I love the flavors and how Ana incorporates all those vegetables!

12.     While we are talking Quinoa, I would be doing us all a disservice if I didn’t mention this Mediterranean Quinoa with Caramelized Onions. A bit more work than Ana’s Curried Quinoa, but still a one pot dinner and loaded with flavor and great vegetarian protein!

13.     This next dish only has seven ingredients but is packed with intense flavors. I cannot wait to make it. It is Coconut Almond Cranberry Chicken from The Gracious Pantry. Tiffany mentioned that her mini-chef loved it, which gives me hope that my mini-me will also devour this healthy and easy dinner!

14.    If you follow me on Instagram, then you may recall the other day that I posted about a great deal I got after Thanksgiving on Organic, Free-Range Turkey’s at one of my local supermarkets. One of the ways I plan on using up some of that turkey is this Turkey and Kale Fried Rice from The Perfect Pantry. I will use the pre-cooked brown rice that is occupying space in my freezer to keep it easy. Fried Rice with Kale? Why didn’t I think of this?

15.     Last but certainly not least is this One Pot Turkey Skillet with Potatoes and Smoked Mozzarella from The Chic Life. Another awesome way to use of some of that turkey. I think I’ll double the amount of greens and will obviously use shredded turkey (probably white meat to keep the Points Plus under control). I love the addition of rosemary and know that the potatoes will make the family happy.

 Whew. Lots of good looking food going on there. Now, to decide which to make first. I hope some of these Healthy One Pot Dinners make your life a bit easier during the blur that can be the holidays. Have a great weekend!

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    • EverydayMaven says

      You’re welcome Jeanette – that soup has been on my radar since you posted it. I am just excited to finally eat it!

  1. says

    So many delicious recipes here, thanks so much for including mine! I’ve been dying to try Joanne’s Ethiopian Lentil Stew as well…and yum, Tamale Casserole sounds delish!

  2. says

    Wow, what a terrific collection! So many comforting, delicious choices. You’re right, the early dark evenings are feeling cozy so far. How is it already December and Hanukkah this weekend? The days are flying. I will be making a number of these dishes in the weeks ahead. Thank you for sharing them!
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  3. says

    Wow! I love this so much. I’m such a big fan of One Pot Dinners, for so many reasons. So many here I want to try!!!

    Thank you so much for including my recipe – so appreciated!! Hope you are having a great weekend :)

    • EverydayMaven says

      Me too Laura – there is just something about the cold weather that makes me want to eat my meals out of bowl!

  4. says

    This is a post to be bookmarked and shared for all those, “What can I make for Dinner ?” nights.
    Thank you for including my Chicken and Dumplings. The dumplings are like matzo balls, fluffy and tender.

    • EverydayMaven says

      I am going to make the chicken and dumplings in the next week or so – it looks awesome Jean! Have a great weekend :)

    • EverydayMaven says

      Thanks Joanne – I am looking forward to your Lentil Stew! It doesn’t even get light here until like 8am so it’s really hard to get motivated to exercise outside on both the front and back end of the day. sigh.

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