My brother-in-law and I are the same kind of cooks — it's been described that we will grab every clean mixing bowl or pot in a kitchen and dirty it somehow, in one dinner alone. He says it's the result of working in restaurant kitchens for so long, but I don't really have much of an excuse to work like the Swedish Chef from the Muppets on a weeknight. (It's not a great habit.) My husband, however, is the complete opposite; he will thoughtfully pull out exactly what he needs and clean one bowl and mixing utensil as he goes along so there's very little, if anything, to clean up at the end of the night.

(Mark Weinberg/Courtesy Food52)

I'm trying to channel this kind of cooking zen lately — and if you're a parent, you probably are, too, now that school is back in session. More often than not, I seek recipes that will pass as one-pot instead of few-pots. Here are some of my favorite one-pot wonders, from chicken dinner and stir-fries to sweets, for when you want to bypass the whole "sink filled with pans" thing.

Itsy nibbles

These are for when the after-school crowd hits your house, or when a Friday night party calls for more effort than cheese and crackers.

1. Jacques Pépin's fromage fort

(James Ransom/Courtesy Food52)

2. Jennie Cook's zucchini butter

(James Ransom/Courtesy Food52)

Greens galore

A pot or a pan full of greens and other good things means there's no need to think too hard about what else is on the dinner table.

3. Fresh raw pea, asparagus & fava bean salad with herbs & pecorino

(Bobbi Lin/Courtesy Food52)

4. One pot kale and quinoa pilaf

(James Ransom/Courtesy Food52)

5. Baked tofu with coconut kale

(Alexandra Stafford/Courtesy Food52)

6. Sautéed zucchini with mint, basil, and walnuts

(Eric Moran/Courtesy Food52)

Here chicken, chicken (dinner)

The granddaddy of one-pot meals: the chicken dinner. It never fails us. It won't fail you, no matter what season it is.

7. Chicken thighs with tomato, orzo, olives, and feta

(Bobbi Lin/Courtesy Food52)

8. Chicken with 40 cloves of garlic

(James Ransom/Courtesy Food52)

9. Chicken with caramelized sumac onions, preserved lemon, and Israeli couscous

(James Ransom/Courtesy Food52)

10. Moroccan-spiced chicken and rice with dates and pistachios

(Alexandra Stafford/Courtesy Food52)

11. Chicken with sausage, white wine, and artichokes

(Mark Weinberg/Courtesy Food52)

12. Moroccan chicken tagine with figs and apricots

(Bobbi Lin/Courtesy Food52)

The pork special

From low and slow to a quick, simple roast, pork and sausage play out great in one pot.

13. Andy Ward & Jenny Rosenstrach's pork shoulder ragu

(Linda Xiao/Courtesy Food52)

14. Roasted sausage with broccoli and fennel

(James Ransom/Courtesy Food52)

15. Roasted sausage, chard, and cannellini beans

(James Ransom/Courtesy Food52)

16. Anytime jambalaya

(Bobbi Lin/Courtesy Food52)

Pasta! Pasta! Pasta!

What's that? Stovetop lasagna, lazy alfredo, and cacio e pepe? These are pasta dishes you can make with your eyes closed. (Of course, keep those peepers open while chopping!)

17. Cacio e pepe

(Bobbi Lin/Courtesy Food52)

18. Kathy Brennan and Caroline Campion's skillet lasagna

(James Ransom/Courtesy Food52)

19. Martha Stewart's one-pan pasta

(James Ransom/Courtesy Food52)

20. Pasta with tomatoes, garlic, basil, and brie

(James Ransom/Courtesy Food52)

21. One-pot garlic parmesan pasta (a.k.a. the lazy cook's fettuccine alfredo)

(Mark Weinberg/Courtesy Food52)

Stir-fry staples

High heat, lightning fast: Stir fries are a good way to get everyone involved with chopping and portioning during prep. Just have any little ones stand back while cooking!

22. Spicy pineapple chicken stir fry

(James Ransom/Courtesy Food52)

23. Melissa Clark's crispy salt & pepper pork

(James Ransom/Courtesy Food52)

24. Stir-fried rice noodles with minced pork and black bean

(Bobbi Lin/Courtesy Food52)

25. Fried rice with ginger, bok choy, and peas

(James Ransom/Courtesy Food52)

Lazy sweets

One-bowl sweets do exist, whether it's prepping a dump-and-stir cake or baking one big, melty cookie instead of 2 dozen. And they are magical.

26. One-bowl vanilla cake

(Julia Gartland/Courtesy Food52)

27. Hippie crispy treats

(James Ransom/Courtesy Food52)

28. Mango srikhand

(Joesph De Leo/Courtesy Food52)

29. Date and honey coconut ice cream

(James Ransom/Courtesy Food52)

30. Brown butter ginger chocolate chip skillet cookie

(Mark Weinberg/Courtesy Food52)

31. Paal payasam (3-ingredient rice pudding)

(Mark Weinberg/Courtesy Food52)

This story was originally published on Food52.com: 30 one-pot wonders for more manageable weekdays, school nights, and more.