Skip the cleanup with 5 healthy one-pan dinner ideas under $20


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Photo: Camille Styles

Some evenings, pouring a glass of wine and getting creative in the kitchen is the perfect way to relax. But when you get home late from work, or your attention is torn between helping with homework and getting laundry done, a one-pan dinner recipe can help get something on the table—and fast.

No one is going to complain about an easy dinner that doesn’t leave the sink full of dishes. Each of these dinner recipes requires only a single pan (seriously, that’s it!) and the cost per serving is way cheaper than takeout.

5 healthy one-pan dinner ideas under $20

one pan chicken and veggies
Photo: Holley Grainger

1. Pan-roasted chicken and vegetables

Average price for ingredients: $20

Average price per serving: $4

Chicken and vegetables are the classic one-pan dinner. Everything can be thrown on there and roasted together. The best part of this meal is that you can use up anything in your crisper you want to get rid of. (It’s okay to deviate from the recipe!) If you have leftovers, just spritz some lemon on top the next night to make the dish seem just as fresh as it was the night you made it.

salmon and veggies
Photo: Our Happy Mess

2. Fish and brown butter sauce

Average price for ingredients: $17 (excluding pantry items)

Average price per serving: $9

Excluding a handful of pantry items in the ingredients list, all you need to make this one-pan dinner is fish, green beans, and potatoes. It doesn’t get much any simpler than that. The secret to making this recipe taste like a five-star meal is in the sauce—a blend of butter, lemon juice, and dijon mustard. Just a spoonful brightens the whole dish.

one pan fajitas
Photo: Camille Styles

3. Chicken fajitas 

Average price for ingredients: $8

Average price per serving: $3.60

Mexican in 20 minutes? Done. The recipe is in the same chicken-and-veggies-all-roasted-together vein you already expect from one-pan dinner recipes, but the simple addition of taco seasoning and tortillas makes all the difference. Top with your choice of guacamole or salsa.

shrimp one pan dinner
Photo: Primavera Kitchen

4. Shrimp with cherry tomatoes and asparagus

Average price for ingredients: $10 (excluding pantry items)

Average price per serving: $2.50

This Mediterranean diet-approved seafood dinner only has three (!) ingredients (plus a little salt, pepper, and olive oil for seasoning). Shrimp, asparagus, and cherry tomatoes are so flavorful on their own that they don’t need much dressing up. It also is perfect for anyone doing keto, Paleo, or Whole30.

roasted chickpeas
Photo: She Likes Food

5. Roasted vegetables and chickpeas

Average price for ingredients: $18.50

Average price per serving: $2.50

Don’t eat meat? You can roast chickpeas the same way you would chicken or fish, right on the pan with your veggies. Another bonus: Not only are chickpeas a fantastic plant-based protein, they’re also really cheap! Eat as is or serve atop  a bed of fluffy quinoa.

For more mealtime inspo, check out these 15-minute dinner recipes and these five easy-to-digest late night meal ideas.

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