Here’s your guide to one-pan meals and an easy recipe

Here's your guide to one-pan meals and an easy recipe

For seasoned chefs and kitchen novices, cookbook author and nutritionist Robin Miller goes back to basics with great, family-friendly recipes worth making again and again.

One-pot meals with short ingredient lists are on every cook’s wish list. Not only are they perfect for busy weeknights, one-pan recipes combine ingredients in a single pot, giving the dish’s flavors a chance to mingle and evolve.

Think about it – if you cook chicken in one pan and sauce in another, there’s no flavor transition. And you have two pans to clean.

The recipe below shows you how to make an incredibly easy, ultra-flavorful one-pot chicken dish with a buttery honey-lemon sauce.

Using the principles behind this dish, you can branch out and make all kinds of pan sauces and one pan works wonders regularly and easily.

Less is more when cooking during the week

When it comes to weeknights, rest assured, you can create restaurant-quality dishes with very few items. And less dirty dishes.

More is no more when it comes to creating flavorful meals. The truth is that when you combine contrasting flavors, such as spicy and sweet or sweet and fiery, you need very few ingredients. The recipe below is a good example of this.

Golden brown seared chicken is sauced with a vibrant blend of sweet honey, tangy lemon and silky butter. Plus, extra flavor comes from the caramelized chicken pieces that sit in the bottom of the pan.

So, in a nutshell, if you pick the right balance of flavors and apply a culinary trick or two, sensational meals can be made with a handful of ingredients and just one pan.

Here’s the easy process to make this winning chicken dish: Season the chicken breasts with salt and black pepper. Fry the chicken in hot, bubbling butter until golden brown. Transfer the chicken to a plate while you make the quick and easy pan sauce.

Combine chicken stock, lemon juice, and honey in the same pan you used to sear the chicken. Bring the sauce to a boil and scrape out the flavorful browned bits created by searing the chicken.

Add a little more butter and return the chicken to the pan to simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce thickens. Adding butter towards the end of cooking makes the sauce thicker and more satiny — another culinary trick you’ll need in your arsenal.

Serve with your favorite side dishes knowing you only have to clean one pan.

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What type of chicken is best in a one-pot meal?

This recipe calls for skinless chicken breast halves. If you can find chicken breast halves that are about four to five ounces each, all you need to do is pound them out until they’re about an inch thick, which promotes even cooking and keeps the chicken tender.

If you’re buying larger chicken breast halves (about 8 to 10 ounces each), halve them crosswise and mash them out until they’re about an inch thick.

Alternatively, you can cut the larger chicken breast crosswise and in half (as if you were slicing a bagel) to make four equal chicken breast fillets that are about 1 inch thick.

In some stores, you can find thinly sliced ​​chicken breast fillets that are about four to five ounces each; these will work too and they don’t require any extra effort on your part as there’s no need to knock them out.

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What to serve with honey lemon chicken?

To round out this or any main dish with pan sauce, I recommend serving it with a starch such as roasted red or golden potatoes, fluffy white or brown rice, plain or pearl couscous, curly quinoa, or your favorite grain of choice. You can also add your favorite steamed vegetables such as broccoli, asparagus, green beans, green peas, carrot or spinach.

Recipe: One-pot honey lemon chicken

Servings: 4


  • 4 boneless chicken breast halves, about 4 to 5 ounces each, pounded to 1 inch thickness (see note above)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • Chopped fresh parsley to serve, optional


  1. Season both sides of the chicken with salt and black pepper.
  2. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium heat. When the butter is bubbling, add the chicken and cook, turning after a few minutes, until golden brown on both sides. Place the chicken on a plate and set aside.
  3. Add chicken stock, lemon juice, and honey to the same saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, scrape any browned bits off the bottom of the pan and add to the sauce. Add the remaining tablespoon of butter.
  4. Return the chicken to the pan with any accumulated juices from the plate. Simmer for 3 to 5 minutes, until chicken is cooked through and sauce thickens and thickens. Top with parsley, if using, and serve.

Ground Beef Recipe Inspiration: Make this easy, kid-friendly nacho casserole

Bonus: one-pot meal inspiration

Now that you’ve mastered the basics, I wanted to give you a variety of delicious five-ingredient recipe ideas that you can use as a starting point. They are endlessly customizable and well within reach for even the busiest weeknights.

Ground beef Ramen

Ingredients: Ground beef, broccoli, ramen noodles, soy sauce, sesame oil.

Directions: Brown ground beef in a skillet. Fold in the cooked ramen noodles, steamed broccoli, soy sauce and sesame oil.

Cheesy Mexican Chicken and Rice

Ingredients: Chicken, rice, taco seasoning, shredded Mexican cheese, green onions.

Directions: Saute chicken in a skillet. Season with taco seasoning. Fold in cooked rice. Top with cheese. Garnish with chopped green onions.

Creamy Pasta And Peas

Ingredients: Pasta, tomato sauce, whipped cream, green peas, Parmesan cheese.

Directions: Combine tomato sauce, whipping cream, and green peas in a saucepan. Bring to boil. Fold in cooked pasta. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Couscous salad with tuna

Ingredients: Couscous, canned or bagged tuna, roasted red pepper, Italian vinaigrette, parsley.

Directions: Cook the couscous according to package directions. Fold in the tuna, chopped roasted red peppers, Italian vinaigrette and fresh parsley.

Frying Pan Pork and Mushrooms

Ingredients: Pork tenderloin, mushrooms, sherry wine, chicken stock, Italian herbs.

Directions: Cut the tenderloin into medallions. Fry until golden brown on both sides. Add sliced ​​mushrooms and cook until soft. Season with Italian herbs. Add sherry wine and stock and simmer until the liquid reduces.

Always perfect: This is the only pasta salad recipe you’ll ever need

Questions or remarks? Email the culinary team at [email protected]