Most of us can’t be bothered with intensive cooking in the summer. When the days are long and kitchens are often hot, the last place we generally want to be is inside surrounded by a pile of dishes and a few steamy appliances. Nevertheless, we still have to eat—and ice cream for dinner can only happen a few times each year.
When warm-weather impatience complicates your need for a satisfying meal, turn to one-pan options that make cooking as painless as possible. These seven healthy recipes, which include everything from lemon-roasted salmon to honey-roasted chicken, come together with minimal effort and maximum flavor. In other words, they’re exactly the type of dishes to make whether you’re on your own or looking to serve an alfresco meal to friends. Cooking should be easy this time of year, and these one-pan recipes meet that requirement.
Aside from the fact that this recipe from Food Faith Fitness can be made in a Crock-Pot, the other reason why it’s so appealing is that you can make use of summer tomatoes and corn. Those in-season veggies are mixed with quinoa, black beans, chickpeas, onions, and spices to combine over the course of a few hours, and then everything is topped with Cheddar cheese and cilantro. Save the fresh corn for the end of the cooking process so that it doesn’t get mushy, and serve alfresco after a long workday.
When temperatures rise and dinner is looming, the last thing you want to do is spend too much time in a hot kitchen. That’s why this salmon recipe from Half Baked Harvest is so appealing: It comes together in one pan in less than 30 minutes. A pound of skin-on salmon is layered in a marinade—featuring honey, garlic, parsley, and oregano—and then surrounded by baby potatoes and asparagus. Once everything is cooked, a basil chimichurri can be poured on top.
Pan-Seared Citrus Shrimp
And speaking of quick-and-easy seafood, this recipe from Foodie Crush manages to make an enticing shrimp meal in no more than 20 minutes—and incorporates the colors and flavors of citrus, too. Fresh orange and lemon juice intertwine with garlic cloves, red onion, fresh parsley, and red pepper flakes to create a base for the shrimp to cook in. Citrus slices are added at the end to make for an eye-catching display.
Honey Mustard Chicken
Let’s say that you’re having guests over and you’re not sure what to make. Opt for this easy yet impressive chicken dinner from The Modern Proper, which incorporates the flavors of Dijon mustard, paprika, rosemary, apple cider vinegar, and honey. Those additions enliven the namesake chicken, green beans, and fingerling potatoes for a comforting feast that’s made even better if served outside.
One-pan recipes can work wonders in the morning, too, especially when you need more than coffee to get by. Serve up this colorful dish from Half Baked Harvest, which combines marinara sauce, artichoke hearts, crumbled feta, flat-leaf parsley, and six to eight large eggs in a skillet for an irresistible shakshuka. All you need to add are large slices of bread.
Zucchini and Three-Cheese Lasagna
Our last installment from Half Baked Harvest shows how to make a healthy lasagna in a single pan—and such a premise must be shared. Spicy Italian sausage, sweet onion, heirloom tomatoes, whole-milk ricotta, mozzarella, fresh herbs, Parmesan, and lasagna noodles cook with the eponymous zucchini to make a hearty and delicious dinner that’s perfect for summer.
Sun-Dried Tomato Chicken
And if you need one more summer-appropriate dish to round out your recipe collection, add this inventive one from Le Creme de la Crumb to your arsenal. Sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil add color and flavor to chicken, which is also cooked alongside diced tomatoes, red lentils, feta cheese, minced garlic, and herbs. The orange and red colors of this one-pan meal will look striking on your dinner table.