Let's face it, no matter how devoted to cooking gourmet meals you may be, some days are just too exhausting or busy to warrant messing up the whole kitchen. Cooking elaborate meals always makes a mess, and cleaning up all the pots, pans and various utensils can be extremely time consuming. To avoid an extensive cleanup afterward, turn to a one-pot meal.

One-pot meals are exactly as they sound -- recipes that you can cook entirely in one pot or skillet, thus reducing the number of items to scrub during cleanup. Here are some popular and easy recipes that you can make in one pot:

Cheesy Vegetarian Chili Mac

The perfect comfort meal for a cold, winter night, this cheesy vegetarian chili mac combines elbow noodles and sharp cheddar with a various spices and legumes such as garlic, chili powder, kidney beans and black beans. With such a broad variety of add-ins, this chili is so hearty that you won't notice the lack of meat in this vegetarian-friendly dish. This dish only takes about half an hour to make and can be prepared entirely in a single pot.

Creamy Lemon Chicken With Wild Rice

chicken lemon and garnishes in a black pot

Robyn Mackenzie/Shutterstock

This easy, one-pot recipe for creamy lemon chicken and wild rice boasts a flavor worthy of a five-star restaurant. Say you are hosting a dinner party in the near future and want to impress your friends with a high-end meal without having to worry about cleaning up a pile of dishes after they leave -- this is the perfect dish for you. The recipe is so simple even a total culinary newbie would have no trouble following it. With just a cast-iron skillet and one hour of your time, you can have a delightfully creamy chicken dish coated in a lemon sauce that will have your guests coming back for seconds.

Ham And Cheese Tortellini

This savory ham and cheese tortellini dish is rounded out by scallops, peas and low-sodium chicken broth and smothered in creamy melted Swiss and Parmesan cheeses. This recipe will be a hit with your family and loved by kids, and you only need to spend 10 minutes in the kitchen to prepare it.

Three-Ingredient Spaghetti

parmesan and spaghetti in a white bowl

Arina P Habich/Shutterstock

Though most spaghetti dishes require separate pots for boiling noodles and making sauce, this recipe only requires one pot, two steps and three simple ingredients. Just boil the spaghetti in a pot of hot water and drain it. Then stir in the grated parmesan and lemon juice for a delicious, zesty noodle dish.

Roasted Sausages And Sweet Potato-White Bean Stew

This recipe for roasted sausages and sweet potato-white bean stew packs so much deliciousness into one pot that it will have you wondering why you ever use more than one vessel for any meal. Its hearty components and multi-layered flavors and textures rival that of an entire five-course meal, and yet it can be whipped up in just two easy steps -- laying the ingredients in a large roasting pan and putting it in the oven. To really maximize the tastiness of this dish, go to your local farmer's market and try to get as many of the ingredients fresh as you can.

Chicken Noodle Soup Casserole

plate of chicken noodle soup casserole

Andrea Skjold Mink/Shutterstock

This one-pot chicken noodle soup casserole recipe provides a new take on an old-school comfort food without demanding a lot of labor or dirtying up every pan in the kitchen. The preparation process is easy -- simply stir the ingredients together in a casserole dish and pop it in the oven. In under half an hour, you will have a delicious casserole.

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