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10 Healthy (and Delicious) One Pot Recipes

Cooking healthy doesn't have to be complicated or require you to spend hours in the kitchen. Want quick, easy, yummy one-pot recipes?

One of the most common barriers to eating healthy is time. If you are like most people, you want healthy, affordable, delicious meals that don't requires hours in the kitchen cooking in multiple pots and pans. Here are some scrumptious one-pot meals to make following a healthy diet a little easier.

Red Beans & Rice with Sausage

This healthier version of the Creole classic packs a punch of flavor with more vegetables and whole grains and less total fat than the original version.

Make 8 servings, serving size 1 cup


1 pound dry red kidney beans

1 tablespoon olive oil

6 ounces turkey or chicken andouille sausage, diced

1 large bell pepper, diced

1 large yellow onion, diced

3 stalks celery, diced

1/4 cup chopped green onions

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

4 cups unsalted chicken stock

6 cups water

1 cup brown rice, uncooked

1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped


1. Rinse beans, place in large bowl, and cover 2 inches with water. Soak at least 8 hours; drain and rinse.

2. In large Dutch oven, heat oil. Add sausage and cook 3 minutes. Remove sausage from pan, set aside. To pot, add onion, garlic, celery, bell pepper, green onion, sage, thyme and cayenne and cook, stirring occasionally, about 7 minutes or until softened. Add water, stock, beans, bay leaves, and salt; bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Simmer uncovered on medium about 1 1/2 hours.

3. Add in rice and sausage, cover and cook about 1 hour. Discard bay leaves, add parsley and serve hot.

Per serving: 307 calories, 3.7 grams of fat, 55 grams of carbohydrates, 16 grams of fiber, 22 grams of protein

Basil Chicken Chili

This healthified chili adds extra veggies and lean chicken, plus fresh basil and lime for an added kick of flavor.

Makes 6 servings, serving size 1 1/2 cups


1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, diced

1 large onion, diced

2 medium red bell peppers, diced

2 medium zucchini, diced

1 tablespoon minced garlic

Juice from 1 large lime

1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped

2 Tablespoons canola oil

2 (15-oz) cans white cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

4 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth

1 can diced tomatoes, no salt added

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 tablespoon cumin

1 tablespoon smoked paprika

2 teaspoons dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper


1. Heat oil in large pot. Add chicken and cook about 5 minutes. Add onion, bell peppers, zucchini, and garlic. Cook about 5 minutes, until vegetables are soft.

2. Add all remaining ingredients except fresh basil. Stir and bring to a boil.

3. Reduce heat, simmer for 30 minutes.

4. Stir in basil. Serve hot.

Per serving: 230 calories, 6 grams of fat, 25 grams of carbohydrates, 8 grams of fiber, 26 grams of protein

Salsa Chicken

This incredibly simple weeknight dish is always a hit and can all be done in a 9 x 13 baking dish.

Serves 4, serving size 1 chicken breast


4 (4-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts

4 teaspoons reduced-sodium taco seasoning

Salt and pepper to taste

½ cup salsa

½ cup reduced-fat shredded Mexican cheese blend

Juice of 1 lime

¼ cup finely chopped cilantro (a small handful)

¼ cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Coat 9 x 13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Season both sides of all chicken breasts with salt and pepper and place in baking dish. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon taco seasoning on each breast. Spoon salsa over the top of the chicken, spread over evenly. Cover with foil and bake about 25-30 minutes.

3. Remove dish from oven and sprinkle 2 tablespoons of cheese over each chicken breast. Bake additional 3-4 minutes or until cheese is melted.

4. Remove dish from oven and squeeze lime juice over chicken. Put 1 tablespoon of Greek yogurt on top of each chicken breast. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.

Per serving: 189 calories, 6 grams of fat, 5 grams of carbohydrates, 28 grams of protein

Spicy Seafood Stew

This hearty dish only tastes fattening! It’s actually low in calories but high in flavor.

Serves 2, serving size 2 cups


2 teaspoons olive oil

1 medium onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 medium red bell pepper, diced

1/2 cup green beans, cut

1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, no salt added

4 ounces bay scallops, raw

4 ounces large shrimp, raw

1/4 cup reduced-sodium vegetable broth

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon fennel seed

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Several saffron threads, crumbled


1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, heat oil. Add bell pepper and onion and sauté about 3 minutes. Add garlic, salt, pepper, thyme, fennel seed, cayenne and saffron and cook for 20 seconds more. Add green beans, tomatoes (with juice), and broth and let simmer for 3 minutes.

2. Stir in scallops and sauté about 2 minutes. Add shrimp and sauté for 2 minutes more.

Serve with toasted whole-grain bread or whole-grain crackers.

Per serving: 227 calories, 6 grams of fat, 20 grams of carbohydrates, 6 grams of fiber, 20 grams of protein

Italian Chicken with Beans & Greens

Serves 4, serving size 4 oz. chicken and 1 1/2 cups bean mixture


1 tablespoon olive oil

4 (6 ounce) boneless skinless chicken breast halves

1 medium yellow onion, diced

2 large carrots, diced

1 bunch kale or Swiss chard, stemmed and sliced thinly

5 cloves garlic, minced

2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes, no salt added

1 cup unsalted chicken stock

1/2 cup dry white wine

2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Zest of 2 lemons

1 tablespoon unsalted tomato paste


1. In a large skillet with high sides (an electric skillet works well), heat oil. Sprinkle chicken breasts with 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper and add to skillet. Cook 4 minutes each side, remove from pan and set aside (chicken not completely cooked through).

2. Add carrot, garlic, and onion to skillet; sauté 5 minutes. Add white wine and cook 2 minutes more. Add kale or Swiss chard and cook an additional 3 minutes (until wilted). Add chicken back in and add remaining ingredients. Cover, reduce heat, simmer about 4 minutes.

Per serving: 466 calories, 9 grams of fat, 43 grams carbohydrate, 12 grams fiber, 52 grams of protein

Shrimp & Veggie Stir-Fry

Stir-fry dishes are some of the easiest, healthiest, most flavorful one-pot meals you can create. They also help you use up excess veggies or cooked grains, and they make excellent leftovers.

Serves 4, serving size 2 cups


1 pound raw shrimp (21-25 per pound), peeled and deveined

2 tablespoons canola oil, divided

1 cup snow peas

1 cup broccoli florets

1 cup diced carrots

8 ounces white button mushrooms, sliced

3 cups mung bean sprouts

2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced

2 tablespoons minced garlic

1/4 cup dry sherry

1/4 cup lite soy sauce (reduced sodium)

2 tablespoons cornstarch

2 tablespoons brown sugar

Pinch of cayenne pepper


1. In a large skillet over high heat, heat 1 tablespoon of oil. Add shrimp and sauté until pink. Transfer to a plate.

2. In a small bowl, make the sauce — whisk together sherry, soy sauce, brown sugar, cornstarch, and cayenne.

3. Add remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the skillet. Add snow peas, broccoli, carrots, ginger, and mushrooms and sauté 4 minutes. Add garlic and sauté 1 minute more.

4. Turn the skillet down to medium and add in the shrimp, bean sprouts, and sauce. Stir constantly for about 1-2 minutes or until sauce thickens. Serve as is or over brown rice.

Per serving: 225 calories, 8 grams of fat, 21 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, 21 grams of protein

Autumn Vegetable Curry

This savory Indian dish is so satisfying, you won’t even notice that it is meatless.

Serves 4, serving size 1 cup curry with 2 tablespoons yogurt


1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil

1 cup diced sweet potato

1 cup cauliflower florets

1/4 cup diced yellow onions

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 (15-ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, no salt added

1/2 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt

1/2 cup reduced-sodium vegetable broth

1 tablespoon Madras curry powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro


1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add sweet potatoes and sauté 3 minutes. Cut heat down to medium and add onion, cauliflower, garlic, and curry powder and cook 1 minute more.

2. Add broth, salt, garbanzo beans, and tomatoes and bring to a boil.

3. Reduce heat, cover, and cook about 10 minutes more, stirring occasionally. Top each serving with 2 tablespoons of yogurt. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.

Per serving: 211 calories, 2 grams of fat, 41 grams of carbohydrates, 9 grams of fiber, 10.4 grams of protein

Lemon Halibut & Asparagus En Papillote

En papillote means “in parchment paper” in French. This healthy way of cooking food in a folded pouch is commonly used to cook fish and vegetables. As it cooks, the bag fills with steam and this steam infuses the contents with the flavors of the seasonings inside.

Serves 4, serving size 1 packet


4 skinless halibut fillets (about 6 ounces each)

1 medium red onion, thinly sliced

1 pound asparagus, trimmed

1 plum tomato, seeded and diced

2 teaspoons olive oil

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup basil, finely chopped

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper


1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut 12” x 18” pieces of parchment paper (foil works too).

2. Place the sheets of parchment paper down with the long sides facing you. Spray with nonstick cooking spray. Fold the sheet in half from one short end to other short end and open like a book. Place one-quarter of the onion in center of right half of the sheet and drizzle with 1/4 teaspoon of oil. Place the halibut fillet on top of onions. Place one-quarter of asparagus next to halibut; sprinkle tomatoes over both. Drizzle with 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice and 3/4 teaspoon olive oil. Repeat with remaining parchment paper, onion, oil, halibut fillets, asparagus spears, tomatoes, and lemon juice. Sprinkle salt and pepper over all parchment packets. Fold parchment paper over halibut mixture and firmly crimp the edges to seal packets.

3. Place all packets on a large baking sheet. Bake 12 minutes or until parchments packets expand and are fluffed up. Remove contents from each packet (be careful of the steam) and sprinkle basil on top.

Per serving: 253 calories, 9 grams of fat, 6 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 37 grams of protein

Beef Barley Skillet

Yes, a healthy diet can include ground beef as long as you seek out lean versions, meaning 90 percent lean or leaner.

Serves 4, serving size 1 1/2 cups


1 pound 95 percent lean ground beef

1/4 cup diced onion

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 medium carrots, diced

1 small zucchini, diced

1 plum tomato, seeded and diced

1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce

1 (14.5-ounce) can beef broth, reduced-sodium

1 cup water

1 cup pearl barley

1 tablespoon Italian seasoning

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper


1. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook ground beef and onions until beef is browned. If necessary, drain off any fat. Add garlic, cook 1 minute more. Add tomato sauce, beef broth, and water; bring to a boil. Stir in barley, vegetables, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.

2. Reduce heat to simmer, cover, and cook about 45 minutes or until barley is tender.

Per serving: 384 calories, 7 grams of fat, 49 grams of carbohydrates, 14 grams of fiber, 32 grams of protein

Roasted Pork with Sweet Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts

Plenty of veggies boost the nutrition content of this classic American dish.

Serves 4, serving size 4 ounces pork with 1/2 cup sweet potatoes & 1 cup Brussels sprouts


1 pound lean pork loin (boneless, center cut)

1 pound Brussels sprouts, cut in half

1 large sweet potato, diced

2 shallots, diced

4 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

2 sprigs rosemary, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

Nonstick cooking spray


1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Line baking sheet with aluminum foil.

2. In a small bowl, mix together shallots, rosemary, garlic, salt, and pepper. Rub one-third of this mixture over pork loin. In a separate bowl, toss sweet potatoes with one-third of the seasoning mixture. In another small bowl, toss Brussels sprouts with remaining one-third of the mixture.

3. Place pork loin on a baking sheet and place sweet potatoes around the loin. Bake 30 minutes.

4. Remove sheet from oven. Add Brussels sprouts and drizzle entire sheet with balsamic vinegar. Bake 30 minutes more.

Per serving: 233 calories, 3 grams of fat, 19.6 grams of carbohydrates, 5 grams of fiber, 31 grams of protein

[Image via Shutterstock]

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