32 Tasty Skillet Meals That Make Clean-Up Easy

Good things come from one pan

Skillet Lasagna

The Spruce/Leah Maroney

Solve the weekday dinner dilemma with our best recipes for skillet meals. We've collected our favorite recipes that use just a single skillet to rustle up a satisfying dinner (or lunch, or breakfast), without needing too much time and effort. From an outrageously easy and cheesy skillet lasagna, to copycat Chinese take-out beef and chicken recipes, vegetarian stir-fries, and even a crazy pizza-cookie dessert, you'll find great ideas here for using your trusty kitchen skillet.

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    Skillet Lasagna

    Skillet Lasagna

    The Spruce/Leah Maroney

    Skillet lasagna is a genius recipe that allows you to have lasagna night on any weekday, without pre-boiling noodles, meticulous layering, or long oven baking. You get all the fantastic flavor, texture, and goodness of your favorite meat lasagna, minus the fuss. It's ready in 30 minutes, and serves a family of 4.

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    Shrimp and Asparagus

    Shrimp and Asparagus

    The Spruce/Leah Maroney

    Celebrate the grassy goodness of fresh asparagus in season with this quick-cooking, one-pan dish. Just a few simple ingredients, including lots of freshly chopped garlic, lemon juice, and herbs, are needed to enhance plump pink shrimp and crisp-tender asparagus, flash-fried to perfection. Serve with crusty bread for sopping up the insanely good, buttery lemon sauce.

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    Skillet Sesame Chicken

    Skillet Sesame Chicken

    The Spruce

    Satisfy a Chinese take-out craving without ordering in. Our copycat restaurant sesame chicken is quick and easy to make, and tastes better because you get to enjoy it fresh and hot from the stove. With tender chicken morsels (and optional broccoli florets) in a sweet and savory sesame sauce, it's a little salty, a bit sweet, a touch nutty, and totally delicious.

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    Chicken Marengo With Mushrooms, Garlic, and Tomatoes

    Chicken Marengo With Mushrooms, Garlic, and Tomatoes

    The Spruce

    Chicken Marengo is a saucy French dish with a history dating back to Napoleon, and a taste that's kept it popular for over 200 years. Our recipe makes it easy to whip up a chicken Marengo to feel proud of in about an hour, using just one skillet. Serve this tasty chicken and tomato dish with hot cooked pasta or rice, and a salad, for a fabulous meal.

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    Vegan Tofu and Vegetable Stir-Fry With Ginger

    Vegan Tofu and Vegetable Stir-Fry With Ginger

    The Spruce

    Packed with healthy plant protein from tofu, and tons of nutrients from colorful fresh vegetables, this easy, Chinese-style tofu and vegetable stir-fry is a vegan and vegetarian dinner winner. It's also a great way to use up leftover rice from the fridge, and can be tweaked to taste with any veggies or greens hanging out in your crisper.

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    Sweet Potato Hash

    Sweet Potato Hash

    The Spruce/Ulyana Verbytska

    This country-style sweet potato hash with sausages and eggs is so darn good, you may find yourself making it for dinner. Using sweet potatoes instead of white or yellow spuds yields a sweeter, more caramelized tasting hash, and boosts the comfort factor. Bright red pepper strips and savory onions add just the right flavor balance.

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    Family Meatballs With Brown Gravy

    Family Meatballs With Brown Gravy

    The Spruce/Ali Redmond

    When you want a comfort food dinner, you'll never go wrong with tender, savory meatballs smothered in a simple, homemade brown gravy, and served over mashed potatoes. Browning the meatballs in the pan before simmering them to perfection in beef broth is a great way to coax out maximum flavor. The quick gravy is made right in the same pan, so it's boosted by the meatball drippings. Yum!

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    Blackened Catfish

    Blackened Catfish

    The Spruce/Kristina Vanni

    A healthy fish dinner with big flavors is as easy and budget-friendly as this. Mix up a simple dried seasoning blend, and sprinkle it on skinless catfish fillets. When seared in a hot pan, the spices create a black (but not burnt) crust that is the signature of blackened fish. It's perfect for a weeknight dinner, with some rice and veggies, and lemon wedges for squeezing.

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    Shanghai Stir-Fried Noodles With Chicken

    Shanghai Stir-Fried Noodles With Chicken

    The Spruce

    Shanghai-style noodles are often enjoyed as one course among many at a Chinese feast, but this hearty noodle stir-fry can easily stand as a meal on its own. You may never spend on the take-out version again once you see how easy it is to prepare a satisfying stir-fry of tender marinated chicken, chewy noodles, cabbage, and onions in a tangy, Asian-style sauce.

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    Tortilla Española (Spanish Omelet)

    Tortilla Española (Spanish Omelet)

    The Spruce

    When you're craving a hearty breakfast, or breakfast for dinner, grab your skillet for a Spanish omelet. It's essentially a crustless potato and egg quiche, with moist, custardy eggs nestled into layers of crispy fried potatoes. Dig in while it's hot, or make it ahead for the fridge. It makes a great bagel or pita sandwich filling, or mid-morning work-from-home snack.

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    Skillet Chicken With Bacon and Sour Cream

    Skillet Chicken With Bacon and Sour Cream

    The Spruce

    Bacon adds great smoky flavor to this creamy skillet chicken dish. It tastes like an indulgent special occasion meal, but takes just minutes to prepare and cook, making it ideal for weeknight suppers, and feeding last-minute guests. Serve it with hot cooked rice or noodles for a tasty everyday meal.

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    Maple and Orange Glazed Pork Chops

    Maple and Orange Glazed Pork Chops

    Diana Rattray

    Mouth-watering maple glazed pork chops are a dinner worth waiting for, but you don't have to with this easy, 30-minute recipe. You need just a single pan for these Creole seasoned pork chops that are finished with an irresistible sweet, citrusy maple-orange glaze.

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    Skillet Pepper Steak and Rice

    Skillet Pepper Steak and Rice

    The Spruce/Andrew Bui

    Save money with this Chinese take-out style beef dish that makes steak an affordable weeknight staple. Tender slices of steak stir-fried with colorful vegetables in a savory, Asian-style sauce is a satisfying family dinner that never gets old. For fork-tender meat that cooks quickly, slice the steak very thinly against the grain.

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    Chicken Almondine

    Chicken Almondine

    The Spruce

    A little white wine, some sliced almonds, and a few aromatics and spices are all you need to elevate economical boneless chicken breasts into a company-worthy dish. Call it skillet chicken with almonds, or chicken almondine if you're fancy. Either way, it takes well under an hour to prepare, and makes a scrumptious everyday family meal with rice.

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    Pizookie

    Pizookie

    The Spruce/Diana Rattray

    It's not a pizza or a cookie — it's a pizzookie! Recreate the fun and outrageous deep-dish skillet cookie dessert made famous by BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse with our copycat recipe. It's so easy to prepare with baking ingredients you probably stock in your pantry already, plus vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce for topping.

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    Low-Fat Skillet Ground Beef and Vegetables

    Low-Fat Skillet Ground Beef and Vegetables

    The Spruce/Diana Chistruga

    Have your beef and eat low-fat too with this hearty yet health-conscious ground beef skillet dinner that cooks in 30 minutes. Extra-lean ground beef can be dry, but not when it's cooked in a savory sauce with canned tomatoes and Worcestershire sauce, balanced by loads of textural (and good-for-you) vegetables. 

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    Savory Bacon and Cheese Dutch Baby Pancake

    Savory Bacon and Cheese Dutch Baby Pancake

    Diana Rattray

    Dutch baby is the adorable name for a certain kind of pancake-meets-popover puffed treat. The texture is close to a Yorkshire pudding, but it cooks in a cast iron pan on the stove-top, and is great for delighting a brunch crowd. We used crispy bacon and Fontina cheese for this savory version, but feel free to use any cheese you favor to make it your own.

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    Easy Chicken Lo Mein

    Chicken lo mein recipe

    ​The Spruce Eats / Ulyana Verbytska

    Using chicken-flavor instant ramen as a base makes an easy Chinese-inspired meal come together in a snap. It's full of veggies and bursting with flavor. You can vary the vegetables or use thinly sliced pork instead of chicken for a different twist, too.

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    Scrambled Eggs with Spinach

    Scrambled Eggs With Spinach

     The Spruce

    Who doesn't love breakfast for dinner? Toss together this super quick and flavorful eggs and spinach dish when you're running low on ingredients and don't want to sweat over dinner. Serve it with a fresh tomato salad, buttered toast, and a side of fresh fruit to round things out.

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    Lemon Chicken with Mushrooms

    Lemon Chicken With Mushrooms
    Diana Rattray

    Use any kind of mushrooms you like for this zesty lemon chicken skillet that's easy enough for a family dinner but delicious enough to serve to guests. Button mushrooms are the most common, but you can use baby 'bellas or a mix of wild varieties. Just stay away from canned mushrooms because; they won't have the same texture.

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    Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls

    Easy Unstuffed Cabbage Skillet Meal
    Easy Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls Skillet. Diana Rattray

    Enjoy all the meaty flavor of cabbage rolls with far less fuss by making this deconstructed version in your trusty skillet. Just shred the cabbage leaves and mix them right in with the beef, rice, and tomatoes. Use long-grain white rice for best results.

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    Spinach and Artichoke Stuffed Chicken Breast

    spinach-artichoke-chicken

    The Spruce Eats / Elaine Lemm

    Stuffed chicken breasts are easier to make than you may think, and this spinach and artichoke recipe is a great place to begin. Slice the breasts open, flatten them, then add a filling of baby spinach, artichoke hearts, and mascarpone. Cook them in the skillet, then top with a creamy lemon sauce, and dinner is ready.

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    Ground Turkey Stir-Fry

    Ground Turkey Stir-Fry

     Anita Schecter

    Change up your stir-fry routine with this recipe using ground turkey instead of chicken, beef, or shrimp. The addition of soy sauce gives it that signature Asian flavor, while broccoli and red pepper offer color, texture, and nutrition. Served over rice, you'll have a delicious dinner for the whole family in just 30 minutes.

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    Skillet Chicken Stew with Tomatoes and Beans

    chicken and black bean stew
    Chicken and black bean skillet stew. Diana Rattray

    When you hear the word "stew," you may think of a pot bubbling away on the stove all day. Let this skillet chicken, beans, and tomato stew change your mind! Bursting with Tex-Mex flavor, this stew can be made with leftover, shredded rotisserie chicken, or fully cooked chicken strips. Try serving with crusty bread or corn muffins for sopping up the last bits in the bowl.

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    Easy Fried Salmon Patties

    Diana Rattray

    Swap your usual burger for one of these fried salmon patties to make a delicious lunch or dinner that's much easier than it looks. Use canned salmon for an easy preparation, or flake fresh fillets if you have them. Serve with a squeeze of lemon for brightness, and top with a little creamy tartar sauce. They're great on a bed of lettuce or sandwiched in a bun.

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    Leftover Pork and Potato Hash

    Leftover Pork and Potato Hash

    The Spruce

    If you've got leftover pork, you're halfway to this hearty and delicious pork and potato hash. Condensed cream of mushroom soup gives it a rich creaminess, and peas and carrots round it all out. Any other creamy condensed soup works too, if you're not a fan of mushrooms. Serve it with warm biscuits to sop up the sauce.

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    Skillet Tater Tot Hotdish

    tater tot hotdish

     Leah Maroney

    Midwesterners probably already know the wonders of tater tot hotdish. It's ubiquitous at potlucks, church suppers, and parties for its crunchy, creamy, salty, craveable flavor. It's made with mixed vegetables, condensed soup, and meat -- usually ground beef. And of course, it's topped with tater tots. Once you try this recipe, you'll want to add it to your regular rotation.

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    Hamburger and Pasta Skillet

    easy skillet hamburger and noodles
    Diana Rattray

    Use either macaroni or penne pasta and ground beef to create this zesty, slightly spicy, tomato sauce-y meal. Plain diced tomatoes work well here, but you can pump up the flavor with chili-style tomatoes. Add a tablespoon of olive oil if you choose to omit the bacon, for the proper texture.

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    Simple Chicken and Peppers Stir Fry

    pepper stir fry

    Leah Maroney 

    You can't get much easier than this citrusy chicken and bell pepper stir fry. It only takes about 20 minutes and tastes great over hot white rice. For a successful, stress-free stir fry, cut and measure all of the components and bring them to the stove area with you. It cooks so quickly once you start, you will hardly be able to step away.

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    Skillet Beef Stroganoff

    Beef Stroganoff
    Lisa Thornberg / Getty Images

    Classic beef stroganoff with mushrooms usually gets baked, but this skillet version doesn't require the oven. It's creamy, hearty, and goes wonderfully over egg noddles or rice. Sprinkle chopped chives or parsley over the top before serving, for a pretty presentation.

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    Shrimp and Greens Saute

    Shrimp and Greens Sauté
    Katie Workman / themom100.com

    Shrimp and greens makes a healthy, satisfying dinner the whole family will love. Assertive, spicy hatch peppers add a nice kick to the dish. Use jalapeño or other hot peppers if you can't find that variety. Remember the heat comes from the ribs and seeds, so scrape those out to tame the spice.

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    Skillet Spaghetti and Meatballs

    Skillet spaghetti recipe

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

    You can make spaghetti and meatballs all in one pan with this simple recipe that makes use of pre-made ingredients. Frozen meatballs, jarred tomato sauce, and dried spaghetti noodles are blended with shredded mozzarella and parmesan for a homey meal you'll adore. If you prefer, feel free to use homemade meatballs or sauce, instead.