When you're trying to eat well during the week, it's always important to think about minimizing the amount of clean up you'll have to do after making dinner. The last thing you want to do is clean up half your kitchen after working a full day. One-pot meals, then, are absolutely the way to go. Chicken is quick and inexpensive enough to be a weeknight staple, and it happens to be very conducive to one-pot cooking. From chicken thighs and sausage cooked with Brussels sprouts to cold sesame noodles with shredded chicken thighs, we've rounded up 14 of our favorite chicken dinners to make with just one pot or pan.
One-Pan Chicken, Sausage, and Brussels Sprouts
This hearty one-pan meal pairs tender chicken thighs and Italian sausage with Brussels sprouts and shallots. The meat renders out fat that soaks into the vegetables, giving them extra flavor. As the dish bakes, both the chicken skin on top and the Brussels sprouts on the bottom crisp up beautifully.
Chicken Scarpariello (Braised Chicken With Sausage and Peppers)
Another chicken and sausage recipe, but in this one the meat is braised with bell pepper and onion in a mix of chicken stock, white wine, and the liquid from a jar of pickled cherry peppers. Two tablespoons of sugar balance the acidic pickling liquid and wine.
One-Skillet Crispy Chicken With Saffron, Lemon, and Red Potatoes
Here we pair chicken thighs with red potatoes and saffron. I know saffron is expensive—you only need a pinch for this dish, but if you prefer you can replace it with turmeric. The flavor won't be the same, but you'll get a similarly striking color and it'll still taste delicious.
Pan-Seared Chicken Thighs With Butternut Squash and Carrots
I hope you're sensing a theme at this point: it's easy to make a chicken dinner by cooking the meat on top of whatever side you'd like. In this case that means butternut squash and carrots, which get braised in broth along with the chicken. Cutting the squash is the hardest part of this recipe, but we've got a video and guide to help you out.
Crispy Braised Chicken Thighs With Cabbage and Bacon
This braise is made with bacon and cabbage, which we cook down with apple cider vinegar and whole grain mustard into something reminiscent of sauerkraut. You can use bacon strips, but thick lardons of slab bacon have a meatier texture. Be sure to let the chicken skin fully crisp before trying to turn the pieces to prevent sticking.
Chicken Cacciatore With Red Peppers, Tomato, and Onion
There are a million ways to make chicken cacciatore, but this one hits the ingredients you're most likely to find in an Italian-American version: chicken, tomatoes, red bell pepper, and onion. If you want to try something else, check out our earthier cacciatore made with mushrooms instead of peppers.
Easy 4-Ingredient Chicken Paprikash
Our ultimate chicken paprikash is a one-pan recipe, but it's a little involved for a simple weeknight dinner. This 4-ingredient version is almost as good and way simpler. All you need to make it are chicken thighs, an onion, Hungarian sweet paprika, and sour cream (plus oil and salt).
Curried Chicken With Israeli Couscous
The first step to this easy recipe is to get your chicken poaching—you can do the rest of your prep while it cooks so that everything else is ready to go. Once the chicken is finished take it out and shred it, then cook Israeli couscous and Swiss chard in the same pot. Stir in the chicken and dinner is ready.
Creamy Garlic Chicken Spanakopita Skillet
Spanakopita takes a lot of work for an appetizer—this recipe is both much easier and hearty enough to be a full meal. We start with the traditional spinach and feta, but also add in chopped chicken. We cook all the ingredients in a garlicky cream sauce and top the skillet with phyllo dough.
Easy One-Pot Chicken Tinga (Spicy Mexican Shredded Chicken)
Traditional chicken tinga is made with fresh chorizo—if you don't have a good Mexican grocer nearby then you're going to have to make it yourself. That's a hassle, though, so we prefer to just leave it out. Don't worry, the tinga still gets plenty of flavor from the tomato, tomatillo, garlic, onion, Mexican oregano, bay leaves, and chipotles in adobo.
Pozole Verde de Pollo (Green Mexican Hominy and Chicken Soup)
There's a reason a lot of Mexican restaurants only serve pozole once a week—making it the traditional way is an extremely involved affair that takes all day. This recipe turns the soup into something manageable on a weeknight by cooking the meat and vegetables at the same time and searing the broth to bring out a ton of flavor quickly.
Chicken in Tomato Sauce With Chickpeas and Kale
We tend to stick with chicken thighs because they're so moist and flavorful, but that doesn't mean you should ignore lean chicken breasts. The key to preparing chicken breasts right is to cook them gently and serve them with flavorful accompaniments, like this well-seasoned tomato sauce with chickpeas and kale.
Easy Cold Sesame Noodles With Shredded Chicken
A single pot of water does double duty in this recipe—first we use it to poach the chicken, then we use the now chicken-flavored water to cook the noodles. We shred the chicken, mix it with the noodles, then dress it all with a sauce made with tahini, vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, ginger, sesame oil, sambal, and fish sauce. Cabbage and peanuts give the dish a little crunch.
Shredded Chicken With Soba and Miso-Butter Sauce
Miso butter is just what the name implies: a mixture of miso paste and butter. Popular in Japan as a topping for just about everything, here we use it as a sauce for soba noodles, shredded chicken, scallions, cilantro, and bean sprouts. We make the dish with chicken thighs, which leave behind tasty drippings to cook the soba with.