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30 One-Pot Wonders For More Manageable Weekdays, School Nights, and More

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This summer, we partnered with Jet.com to share recipes to help you hone nearly every skill in the book. (And Jet will have you covered with all the fresh and pantry goods you'll need. Seriously, they have everything. Use the code Food52 at checkout for 20% off your first 2 orders of $35 or more. Maximum discount $30.*) We've covered the gamut—block party staples, 5-ingredient or fewer dishes, gluten-free picnicking, grilling go-to's, and make-ahead salsas. And as we say farewell to summer, we have one final round-up for you: one-pot wonders that will make back-to-school something to look forward to.

My brother-in-law and I are the same kind of cooks—it's been described that we will grab every clean mixing bowl or pot in a kitchen and dirty it somehow, in one dinner alone. He says it's the result of working in restaurant kitchens for so long, but I don't really have much of an excuse to work like the Swedish Chef from the Muppets on a weeknight. (It's not a great habit.) My husband, however, is the complete opposite; he will thoughtfully pull out exactly what he needs and clean one bowl and mixing utensil as he goes along so there's very little, if anything, to clean up at the end of the night.

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Photo by Mark Weinburg

I'm trying to channel this kind of cooking zen lately—and if you're a parent, you probably are, too, now that it's back-to-school season. More often than not, I seek recipes that will pass as one-pot instead of few-pots. Here are some of my favorite one-pot wonders, from chicken dinner and stir-fries to sweets, for when you want to bypass the whole "sink filled with pans" thing.

Itsy Nibbles

These are for when the after-school crowd hits your house, or when a Friday night party calls for more effort than cheese and crackers.

Jacques Pépin's Fromage Fort

Jacques Pépin's Fromage Fort by Genius Recipes

Jennie Cook's Zucchini Butter

Jennie Cook's Zucchini Butter by Genius Recipes

Greens Galore

A pot or a pan full of greens and other good things means there's no need to think too hard about what else is on the dinner table.

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Fresh Raw Pea, Asparagus & Fava Bean Salad with Herbs & Pecorino

Fresh Raw Pea, Asparagus & Fava Bean Salad with Herbs & P... by Sara Jenkins

One Pot Kale and Quinoa Pilaf

One Pot Kale and Quinoa Pilaf by deensiebat

Baked Tofu with Coconut Kale

Baked Tofu with Coconut Kale by Alexandra Stafford

Sautéed Zucchini with Mint, Basil, and Walnuts

Sautéed Zucchini with Mint, Basil, and Walnuts by Marian Bull

Here Chicken, Chicken (Dinner)

The granddaddy of one-pot meals: the chicken dinner. It never fails us. It won't fail you, no matter what season it is.

Chicken Thighs with Tomato, Orzo, Olives, and Feta
Chicken Thighs with Tomato, Orzo, Olives, and Feta
Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic

Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic by Merrill Stubbs

Chicken with Caramelized Sumac Onions, Preserved Lemon, and Israeli Couscous

Chicken with Caramelized Sumac Onions, Preserved Lemon, a... by em-i-lis

Moroccan-Spiced Chicken and Rice with Dates and Pistachios

Moroccan-Spiced Chicken and Rice with Dates and Pistachios by Alexandra Stafford

Chicken with Sausage, White Wine and Artichokes

Chicken with Sausage, White Wine and Artichokes by Merrill Stubbs

Moroccan Chicken Tagine with Figs and Apricots
Moroccan Chicken Tagine with Figs and Apricots

The Pork Special

From low and slow to a quick, simple roast, pork and sausage play out great in one pot.

Andy Ward & Jenny Rosenstrach's Pork Shoulder Ragu

Andy Ward & Jenny Rosenstrach's Pork Shoulder Ragu by Genius Recipes

Roasted Sausage with Broccoli and Fennel

Roasted Sausage with Broccoli and Fennel by EmilyC

Roasted Sausage, Chard, and Cannellini Beans

Roasted Sausage, Chard, and Cannellini Beans by EmilyC

Anytime Jambalaya

Anytime Jambalaya by hardlikearmour

Pasta! Pasta! Pasta!

What's that? Stovetop lasagna, lazy alfredo, and cacio e pepe? These are pasta dishes you can make with your eyes closed. (Of course, keep those peepers open while chopping!)

Cacio e Pepe

Cacio e Pepe by Jenny Goycochea

Kathy Brennan & Caroline Campion's Skillet Lasagna

Kathy Brennan & Caroline Campion's Skillet Lasagna by Genius Recipes

Martha Stewart's One-Pan Pasta

Martha Stewart's One-Pan Pasta by Genius Recipes

Pasta with Tomatoes, Garlic, Basil, and Brie

Pasta with Tomatoes, Garlic, Basil, and Brie by Merrill Stubbs

One-Pot Garlic Parmesan Pasta (a.k.a. the Lazy Cook's Fettuccine Alfredo)
One-Pot Garlic Parmesan Pasta (a.k.a. the Lazy Cook's Fettuccine Alfredo)

Stir-Fry Staples

High heat, lightning fast: Stir fries are a good way to get everyone involved with chopping and portioning during prep. Just have any little ones stand back while cooking!

Spicy Pineapple Chicken Stir Fry

Spicy Pineapple Chicken Stir Fry by QueenSashy

Melissa Clark's Crispy Salt & Pepper Pork

Melissa Clark's Crispy Salt & Pepper Pork by Genius Recipes

Stir-Fried Rice Noodles with Minced Pork and Black Bean

Stir-Fried Rice Noodles with Minced Pork and Black Bean by Kirthana | Theblurrylime

Fried Rice with Ginger, Bok Choy, and Peas

Fried Rice with Ginger, Bok Choy, and Peas by Gena Hamshaw

Lazy Sweets

One-bowl sweets do exist, whether it's prepping a dump-and-stir cake or baking one big, melty cookie instead of 2 dozen. And they are magical.

One-Bowl Vanilla Cake

One-Bowl Vanilla Cake by Alice Medrich

Hippie Crispy Treats

Hippie Crispy Treats by Alanna

Mango Srikhand

Mango Srikhand by Panfusine

Date and Honey Coconut Ice Cream

Date and Honey Coconut Ice Cream by Tasty Plan

Brown Butter Ginger Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie

Brown Butter Ginger Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie by Laura Biscaro

Paal Payasam (3-Ingredient Rice Pudding)

Paal Payasam (3-Ingredient Rice Pudding) by Panfusine

Jet.com stocks thousands of grocery items and delivers to your door sans scheduling. They have all your pantry and home needs covered, and offer two-day delivery, free shipping on orders over $35, and are membership fee-free. (All of this? Makes us giddy.) We've used jet.com to get basics like chicken**, grains, and more—so see what's on their (digital) shelves here, and use discount code Food52* at checkout for 20% off your first 2 orders.

*Applies to new customers only. Maximum discount $30. Minimum amount $35. Valid on first 2 orders. Offer expires 9/01/2017 at 11:59pm PST. Offer cannot be applied to previous orders. Offer is subject to change or cancellation. Void where prohibited. Brand, category and other restrictions may apply.
**Jet’s fresh grocery offering is currently available in select zip codes. See jet.com for details.

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