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Simply Nutritious, Quick and Delicious

One pot meal made simple

A pot on a stove with steam coming off the top

This blog post was written by Illinois State University graduate student and dietetic intern, Kayla Kaspari.

Before you go out and grab a pre-made bite to eat, make a healthy meal in one pot! One-pot meals make cooking easy, fun, and they make cleanup a breeze!

While eating out is convenient and gives you a break from doing all the dishes, people who consume more meals at home consume fewer calories, less fat, less sugar and sodium compared to those who eat out (Tiwari et al., 2017, Mills et al., 2017, Todd et al., 2010). One-pot meals are dishes that are easy to make and easy to clean up, while still providing the same nutritional value as a normal dinner that would take much longer to cook and clean up. Preparing everything in one dish makes it easier to ensure that several food groups are included on everyone’s plate. One-pot meals don’t necessarily have to be in a pot; Try cooking everything in a pan, a slow cooker, or a sheet pan. One-pot meals allow you to enjoy the taste and health benefits of home cooked food while having the ease of preparation.

Check out Illinois Extension’s Quick, Easy, Healthy One-Pan Meals fact sheet with tips on making one-pan meals!


One-pot Chicken Chili (Printable PDF)

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 medium white onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, chopped

2 bell peppers (mixed colors), chopped

1 ½ teaspoons chili powder

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon paprika

1 can (28 oz.) crushed tomatoes with juice

1 whole rotisserie chicken, cooked and shredded

½ can black beans, rinsed and drained

2 ½ cups low sodium chicken broth

*Optional ingredients for topping: Fresh cilantro, corn tortilla stipes, lime wedges, shredded cheese

In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat oil until hot. Add onion and garlic; stir. Cook on medium-high heat for 3 minutes or until tender. Add bell peppers, chili powder, cumin, and paprika; stir 2 minutes on medium-high heat. Increase to high heat and stir in crushed tomatoes with juice, shredded chicken, black beans, and broth. Bring to a rapid boil. Immediately cover and reduce heat to simmer for 10 minutes. Serve with optional toppings, as desired. Cover and refrigerate chili for  no more than 3-4 days. (In fact, flavor intensifies wonderfully the next day.)

Yield: 4 servings


Nutrition Facts (per serving): 290 calories, 9 grams fat, 800 milligrams sodium, 34 grams carbohydrate, 10 grams fiber, 22 grams protein