Next Week's Meal Plan

5 Easy One-Pot Dinners for New Parents

updated Mar 5, 2020
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Credit: From Left to Right: Joe Lingeman, Lauren Volo, Joe Lingeman

Getting dinner on the table each night is tricky. Add a new baby to the equation and it can feel overwhelming. Trust me, I know: My son is nearly nine months old and the dinner struggle is real. I have a feeling that it’s never going to be easy, but I’ve been trying to gather some tricks to make it feel a bit more manageable. That means super-simple meals that don’t require much thinking or hands-on work and that use as few ingredients as possible (preferably with a grocery store shortcut or two thrown in!). At the top of my list are dinners that come together in a single pot. One-pot meals almost always check all those other boxes, plus they come with the promise of quick and easy clean up.

Whether you’re a new parent, like me, who’s still figuring it all out, or you simply love dinners that are as easy as they are satisfying, here are five one-pot dinners to work into your meal plan.

Credit: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Pearl Jones

Monday: Parmesan Brussels Sprouts Orzo

This creamy orzo has the kind of comfort I need at the beginning of the week, and I feel good knowing that vegetables play a major role. It’s reminiscent of risotto, minus all the time spent at the stove stirring the rice. It hits the table in 20 minutes, max.

Get the recipe: One-Pot Parmesan Brussels Sprouts Orzo

Credit: Lauren Volo

Tuesday: Feta and Tomato Braised Chickpeas

This recipe is delicious, but it has a drawback: It calls for 10 ripe plum tomatoes. Even if they were in season right now,I don’t have it in me to dice them all at the end of the day. Weeknight solution: Swap in a 28-ounce can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes instead, and the dish tastes just as delicious, if not more. I plan to partner dinner with a loaf of sourdough.

Get the recipe: Feta and Tomato Braised Chickpeas

Credit: Lauren Volo

Wednesday: Lemony Tortellini Spinach Soup

Consider this reason number one to keep a bag of frozen tortellini in the freezer. By the time the middle of the week rolls around, I’m feeling a little worn out. This quick weeknight soup is a trusty pick-me-up. It has all the heartiness my family craves in winter, plus a bright punch of lemon that keeps it super fresh.

Get the recipe: Lemony Tortellini Spinach Soup

Credit: Joe Lingeman

Thursday: Instant Pot Weeknight Chicken and Rice Burrito Bowls

Even when I really don’t feel like cooking, this dump dinner is totally doable. And it’s always way more satisfying (and less salty!) than takeout. It also leaves us with plenty of leftovers, which we’ll stuff into soft tortillas for lunch.

Get the recipe: Instant Pot Weeknight Chicken and Rice Burrito Bowls

Credit: Joe Lingeman

Friday: One-Pot Creamy Broccoli Pasta

This one-pot pasta has become our favorite way to close out the week. It’s wonderfully creamy thanks to a generous amount of Greek yogurt, which also keeps it kind of healthy. I love that it helps me pack in some green vegetables, too. To minimize the prep work, I use a bag of frozen broccoli, which I’ll stir into the pot in the last couple minutes of cooking.

Get the recipe: One-Pot Creamy Broccoli Pasta

Meal planning isn’t always easy — especially if you’re just getting started. But we’re firm believers that it’s the secret to stress-free weeknight dinners. We want to help you find inspiration and ease some of the pain points that come with getting dinner on the table night after night, whether you’re cooking one or a family of four or five. Every week we share a new meal plan solution specifically customized for you from reader requests or from a guest contributor, for Next Week’s Meal Plan!

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