7 Meals You Can Make Using Just One Dish

I love to cook — it's relaxing, it's cost-effective, and it's pretty tasty, if I do say so myself. Conversely, I do not love doing the dishes. These one-pot recipes will allow you more time to enjoy dinner, and spare you the soapy, soggy drama of the after-dinner dish slog.

When my boyfriend and I moved out of our last apartment, we had a list of upgrades that we wanted to make over our previous place — namely, more windows, more space, and a dishwasher. We found our current place after just one day of searching. It nearly doubled our square footage, and quadrupled the supply of natural light, all at the perfect price-point. The one thing that it didn't have was a dishwasher. Micro-womp.

But rather than ordering takeout every night, or begrudgingly humming "Castle on a Cloud" as I clean up after every meal, there are creative ways to minimize dishes while still making some pretty cool meals. These one-pot weeknight dinner recipes are incredibly creative and shockingly good, and none of them even involve my personal obsession with Crock-Pots. Until that glorious day when we're "rich and famous," we will continue to bask in the nightly romance of the soaking, scrubbing, and hand-drying.

1. Chili Mac & Cheese

Not only is this recipe extremely efficient dish-wise, it also requires almost none of your attention once you get it on the stove. Oh, the beauty of the stew. I recently postulated that chili is just the American version of Asian curries. It sure does make chili sound more complex than the thing you make when your kitchen supply has dwindled to meat, a lonely onion, and canned goods. Find this recipe at Damn Delicious.

2. Chile Verde With Pork

Now moving from chili to chile! My friend actually turned me onto the New Mexican delicacy that is chile verde. I learned two food-related things that day — New Mexican food is actually a thing, and chile verde is really, really, super delicious. Whip up this recipe from The Kitchn, and reheat and eat until it’s gone.

3. One-Pot Pasta With Andouille Sausage

Get to Italy in 20 minutes all-in. The pasta even goes right into the pot with everything else. From these recipes, I’ve learned that I should probably rush right out and buy a red Le Creuset dutch oven, since they’re apparently essential to never washing a second dish. Find the whole recipe at Damn Delicious.

4. Fried Rice At Home

I’ve got a joke for you: Leftover or frozen veggies, yesterday’s rice, and a scrambled egg walk into a bar… Yeah, there’s no punchline, but fried rice is the bomb. It is the ultimate one-dish meal, because traditionally it’s made with lots of leftover stuff. Check out this fried rice tutorial from The Kitchn to save the Seamless delivery guy another trip to your house.

5. Chicken Enchilada Skillet

I just made enchiladas last week, and I thought my way was easy. As it turns out, there’s an even simpler method. Damn Delicious strikes again with another great lazy weeknight recipe that takes approximately three seconds to clean up.

6. Spring Green Veggie Pasta

Looking for an efficient way to pack vitamins and essential nutrients into your weeknight feast? Toss together this super colorful penne, complete with leeks, asparagus, and peas, and feel great with no hassle.

7. Easiest Lasagna Of All Time

Usually, when I make lasagna the way my mom always did, it makes a five-alarm mess, so it’s very unusual that I actually get up the motivation to actually make lasagna. This recipe is similar to the enchilada skillet recipe, because you just add things to the pot until the thing is done — no architecture or layering required.

Looking for some more fun food ideas? Visit Bustle on YouTube!

Images: Damn Delicious (5); The Kitchn (2); Table For Two