Main dishes are easy. Eggs for breakfast, chicken breast for lunch, steak for dinner — the list goes on and on! Oftentimes, the hard part of meal planning is deciding which side dishes to serve. Side dishes can be an excellent way to add additional nutrients, flavor, and balance to your meals. Unfortunately, they can also prolong the time involved in cooking meals and it can be difficult to come up with healthy ideas for sides. One tip that we recommend to clients who are short on time and stumped by side dishes is trying a one-dish meal!

One-dish meals are meals that incorporate all components into well, one dish! Protein, carbohydrates, healthy fats, and veggies all cooked together — no sides necessary. These balanced meals can ensure that you’ll be satisfied. Here are some of our favorite one-dish meals crafted by Registered Dietitians.

Southwest Stuffed Peppers by Rebecca Bitzer & Associates

Southwest stuffed peppers

Southwest Stuffed Peppers are one of our RBA original recipes. We LOVE them because they’re full of protein and provide you with a serving of vegetables. They’re perfect for anyone who follows a gluten-free or low-sodium diet.

Thai Tofu Veggie Noodle Bowl by Sharon Palmer

Thai Tofu Veggie Noodle Bowl

Did someone say #MeatlessMonday?! Eating plant-based (vegan) doesn’t mean that you need to compromise flavor or nutritional value. RD Sharon Palmer’s delicious bowl incorporates everything you need to give you some major plant-power!

Eggs-and-Veggie-Topped Hummus Toast with Everything Bagel Spice Mix by Amy Gorin

Eggs and Veggie Topped Hummus Toast with Everything Bagel Spice Mix

Amy Gorin’s Eggs-and-Veggie-Topped Hummus Toast with Everything Bagel Spice Mix makes planning a balanced breakfast easy. Switch up your usual cereal routine by trying this tasty nutrient-filled toast.

Loaded Veggie Nachos with Homemade Tortilla Chips by Nutrition Hungry

Loaded Veggie Nachos with Homemade Tortilla Chips

Who said that nachos have to be an appetizer? We think that they’re just as great served as a one-dish meal. These Loaded Veggie Nachos can be ready in just 30 minutes and are a great way to use up your leftover veggies.

Easy Shrimp Sheet Pan Dinner by Nourish Nutrition Co.

Easy Shrimp Sheet Pan Dinner

Sheet pan dinners can be a life saver for those looking for an easy one-dish meal. They require a bit of prep, but don’t worry — it’s just chopping up fresh veggies. If you’re short on time, you can also buy pre-chopped vegetables at the grocery store. And after the prep is over, you can relax while your oven does the rest of the work.

Instant Pot Greek Gyro Bowl by Jessica Ivey

Instant Pot Greek Gyro Bowl

This Mediterran-inspired Instant Pot Greek Gyro Bowl is a one-dish-wonder! Juicy chicken breast, fresh veggies, quinoa, and Tzatziki make this bowl flavorful and nutritious – no side dish necessary. Give this recipe a try for your next lunch or dinner.

One-dish meals are incredibly easy, hearty, and can help reduce the amount of dirty dishes in your sink. Thank you to all of the amazing RDs who contributed recipes to this blog!

Looking for more recipes ideas and how to meal plan for you and your family?  Contact us at 301-474-2499 or at to set up an appointment with one of our Registered Dietitians!

An award winning recipe developer, Dietitian Kaitlin’s mission is to empower others to reach their health goals by encouraging them to get back into the kitchen. Co-author of Nourished: 10 Ingredients to Happy, Healthy Eating and Cooking with Diabetes.