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15 One Pan Meals with Easy Cleanup So You Can Enjoy Your Night, Too

I'm sure I am not the only one who loves to cook and prepare an awesome meal when I have the time, but seriously dreads the cleanup process! Why can't all the dishes that have been piling up in the sink just magically go away? Unfortunately, there isn't a way to avoid all those dishes (I mean, you can just recruit your spouse or partner!), but this might help for a more enjoyable experience.

The idea of making a satisfying dinner during this busy season can pretty daunting. This time of year can be crazy between the holidays, hosting events and shopping. Who has the time every night to spend hours by the sink or cleaning up the greasy stovetop? Well, there is a way to feed your family a delicious supper with a lot less clean up; that means more family time and less kitchen time. There are a ton of one pot and one pan meals that only require a few supplies and have all the necessary foods. And if you pair them with these drinks, you're set. Try out these dishes that are perfect for you and your busy life.

1. Orange Glazed Pork with Sweet Potatoes

Family dinners are now easier than ever. For this one pan meal, sweet potatoes and apples are baked together in the oven. Pork tenderloin is then placed on top and covered in a sweet orange and brown sugar glaze.

Your home is going to smell so good! Find the recipe here.

2. Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole

This cozy casserole is one of my favorite chicken recipes. Onions, garlic, wild mushrooms, apples and thyme are sautéed together. These ingredients are covered in chicken broth and white wine. Wild rice and diced chicken is then added and simmered until cooked through.

Lastly, spinach is tossed in for even more nutrition. The casserole has a nice layer of Gruyère cheese on top, which gets nice and crispy from the oven. I need this meal in my life right now!

3. Sheet Pan Steak Fajitas

This family-friendly meal is the perfect change from taco night. Flank steak is marinated with a spice blend of chili, paprika, garlic, onion and cumin powders as well as some soy sauce and lime juice.

The steak is placed on a pan with onions and bell peppers, and cooked to the desired temperature. Serve with warm flour tortillas and rice. Check out the recipe.

4. Maple Mustard Roasted Chicken

Chicken thighs are flavorful, juicy and inexpensive making them perfect for easy dinner recipes. This meal on one pan will be a perfect addition to your autumn supper.

In fact, butternut squash and Brussel sprouts are two delicious vegetables this season that you should definitely give a try. The chicken thighs are coated in a sweet and savory glaze made with maple syrup and grainy Dijon mustard. Check out the recipe.

5. Honey Mustard Salmon and Rainbow Veggies

Is this dinner stunning or what? The colors of all the veggies are definitely eye-catching. If you love healthy recipes, this is the dish for you. This healthy meal includes red onions, broccoli, squash and cherry tomatoes, which are roasted together with some olive oil, salt & pepper.

The salmon fillets are placed on top and brushed with a mixture of mustard, honey, garlic, olive oil and lemon juice. Get your cameras ready for this meal, and find the recipe here.

6. One-Pan Healthy Sausage and Veggies

This meal uses sausage, which  is a nice change in protein from the typical beef or chicken dinner. All the vegetables (broccoli, green beans, potatoes and peppers) and sausage are baked together with some olive oil and spices.

Helpful hint: Since the potatoes will take the longest to cook, try dicing them around the same size as all of the other ingredients. A nice sharp kitchen knife will help with that! Here's the recipe.

7. One Pot Mushroom and Swiss Chard Pasta

I love that even this pasta dinner will still only require one pan. This weeknight meal starts off by making brown butter and then setting it aside until the very end. The mushrooms and garlic are cooked until fragrant and then the pasta, Swiss chard, stock and pasta are added.

This dish is finished with the reserved brown butter and Parmesan cheese. The Swiss chard is a very nutritious dark, leafy green vegetable. They grow in colors of white, red or yellow, and for a fun garden hack, try growing them in a pumpkin this season. If you do not wish to use Swiss chard, spinach is another great substitute. Here's the recipe.

8. Roast Chicken with Fennel and Olives

I know how intimidating preparing a whole chicken can be, but trust me, this recipe has your back-and maybe even a proposal. The meat is rubbed with butter, fennel fronds and lemon zest and baked underneath are potatoes, sliced fennel and Spanish olives.

It takes a little longer to bake, but the results are incredible! The skin turns crispy and the meat is tender and juicy. Find the recipe of this weeknight dinner here.

9. Baked Ranch Chicken Tenders and Vegetables

This is such a kid-friendly one pan dinner with potatoes, zucchini and chicken tenders. The chicken is flavored with ranch seasoning and crushed corn flakes. The corn flakes will make this chicken crispy and fun for the kids! Here is the recipe.

10. Butternut Squash & Cider Soup

Any soup recipe that requires only one pot and takes around 45 minutes of my kitchen time is a win in my book! I always crave soup during this time of year, but after a long day, I really find it hard to prepare one. And sadly I don't always have time to make one in the slow cooker.

For this recipe, shallot or onions, garlic, butternut squash and broth are brought to a simmer until the squash is soft. The vegetables are then puréed with apple cider and sour cream. It's suggested to serve this with crusty bread. This recipe just screams autumn and winter! Find it here.

11. Pork Chops with Roasted Apples and Brussels Sprouts 

Pork and apples are a classic combination and the added Brussels sprouts make this the perfect dinner to go along with the cooler weather. The pork is rubbed with a combination of olive oil, paprika, chili powder, garlic salt, ground red pepper, cinnamon, brown sugar, and rosemary.

The apples and Brussels sprouts are tossed in some apple cider vinegar, brown sugar and rosemary and placed on a baking sheet along with the pork chops. Talk about a cozy meal! Find it here.

12. Steak with Garlic Butter and Fries

Steak and potatoes, you just can't go wrong. The potatoes are cut into long wedges and coated with olive oil, garlic, Italian seasoning and Parmesan cheese and baked for about 20 minutes. After the fries cook , the steak is simply seasoned with salt and pepper and placed on the opposite side of the pan.

The steak and potatoes are broiled in the oven until the steak is cooked to the desired temperature. The recipes suggest topping the steak with garlic butter. Here is the mouthwatering recipe.

13. 30-Minute Chili

Chili is on the top of my list for ultimate comfort foods. This recipe is wonderful because it only takes 30 minutes to prepare. It starts off by browning ground beef, green bell peppers, onions and garlic. The seasonings are added as well as Worcestershire sauce, canned tomatoes, chilies and kidney beans. If you want to use a meat other than beef, try using ground turkey or chicken.

These meats tend to be leaner and contain less fat. Serve with an assortment of fixins' like: shredded cheese, sour cream and diced avocado or tomatoes. You can also serve this cheesy cornbread on the side-perfect for dipping. Find the chili recipe here.

14. Sausage Biscuit Skillet with Guinness 

For this hearty meal, sausage is removed from its casing and browned in a heavy duty cast iron skillet- I think my cast iron skillet is the item I use most when I cook. Easy to use a worth the investment! After the sausage cooks, potatoes, carrots, onions, garlic and mushrooms are sautéed and then simmered in Guinness.

The veggies will really soak in all the flavor from the beer. To thicken the liquid, a slurry is added for a more gravy-like consistency. The homemade biscuit mixture is dropped on top and then baked in the oven until cooked. You should absolutely serve this meal with a beer! Here is the recipe.

15. Roasted Broccoli and Shrimp

This meal is incredibly simple and you can whip up in under 20 minutes making this a perfect addition to our one-dish dinners. If you want to save even more time and avoid cutting broccoli, you can buy frozen broccoli florets.

The broccoli is tossed with olive oil, ground or whole coriander seeds, cumin, salt, pepper and chili powder and roasted in the oven. The shrimp is added and cooked for a few minutes more-try not to over cook the shrimp! Squeeze lemon juice over the shrimp and broccoli before serving. Here is the simple recipe.

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