Chefs' Favorite Cookware For One-Pot Fall Meals

We love one-pot recipes for the convenience — and these chef-approved items are the perfect vessels for these fall-friendly meals.
Our Place's "Perfect Pot" is a chef's favorite for one-pot fall and winter meals.
Our Place's "Perfect Pot" is a chef's favorite for one-pot fall and winter meals.

Pumpkin baked goods, warm sweaters and minimum-effort dinners that give you leftovers for days: Some things are fall staples. If you wait all year to make hearty, brothy foods in colder weather, you probably have folders full of one-pot recipes. Whether you’re making a stew, some chicken or a spicy rice dish, the one-pot meal is an all-time favorite for all types of home chefs, from those who earnestly enjoy cooking to those who would burn water.

But what’s the best pan to cook these beloved meals in? We asked our favorite chefs to find out. From Dutch ovens to coated cast iron to a set of sauté pans, these are chefs’ favorite holy grail universal vessels to make all sorts of easy daily dinners in. Ahead, find the cookware that will help you step up your own one-pot dinner game.

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A basic Dutch oven
"Our favorite one-pot cookware is a Dutch oven. The versatility of [this pan] makes it a must-have in every kitchen to us. Whether you need to bake bread, pan sear or deep fry something or cook a giant pot of soup or pasta to feed a few families you are having over, [it's] truly the one-pot cookware kitchen essential tool. [It's] also ovenproof, which is perfect for meals that you need to start on the stove ... but then finish in the oven, maybe to melt, broil, or just cook for a longer period of time under a specific temperature. Dutch ovens are also great for the kitchen novice, because of their ability to keep a more even temperature than with other pots and pans. You truly can't go wrong with [one of these] for your kitchen." — Andrew and Larisha, from the vegan cooking blog Make It Dairy Free

Andrew and Larisha didn't recommend a specific Dutch oven, but this 4.3-quart option from Amazon Basics has over 30,000 positive reviews and comes in 12 colors and 3 sizes.
Staub 4-quart enamel cast iron round cocotte
"I love the Staub enamel cast iron. It’s the perfect size and practically lives on my stove top. I use it to make quick one pot dinners like chicken soup, my favorite autumn butternut squash soup or Mexican zucchini with corn. Love it!" — Alma Fernanda, a Le Cordon Bleu chef and gastronomic cultural attaché at the Mexican embassy in Washington, D.C.
Le Creuset signature 7.25-quart Dutch oven
"I use the [7.25-quart] Le Creuset signature dutch oven for literally every one-pot meal I cook. I recently used it to cook the perfect fall meal: Julia Child's famous cassoulet. It's a recipe that calls for what feels like 10 million ingredients (including a never-ending list of meat) so I needed something big and durable. ... From stovetop to oven, it can certainly take the heat and the heft of the dish! Plus, it looks stylish so it goes from oven to table seamlessly, which means no extra serving dishes to wash — that’s a big plus for me as I usually dirty up every dish and pan available when cooking. Given the brand, it's a big investment, but it's built to last and you'll almost certainly keep it for decades. If you're on a budget, Le Creuset usually discontinues certain colors each year and you can grab those ones on sale. From dinners for one (I’ll be eating said cassoulet for the rest of the year) to big family meals, you'll want this pot as part of your cookware lineup." — Jamie Tracey, host of the YouTube channel "Anti-Chef"
Our Place Perfect Pot and Mini Perfect Pot
"My favorite pot to make a 'one-pot' meal is from Our Place: the ... multipurpose 'Perfect Pot'. This beauty is not only fully functional, it's also stylish and will upgrade your kitchen interior game instantly. ... The size allows me to cook a large amount of broth at one time filled with several ingredients like mirepoix, kumbu, scallions, fresh herbs, and more. I use it often for slow cooking; however, you can also use it for several other cooking methods like deep frying, baking, braising, and roasting. ... Once you've completed your cooking, the ... pot also shows off in the dining room by becoming the main attraction of your ... table. The ... pot truly lives up to its name and comes in handy for your next family-style dinner and large gatherings." — Rāsheeda Purdie, a chef instructor with CUNY Hostos Community College and host of ラーメン Byrā ramen pop-ups across New York City.

Priyanka Naik, a low-waste vegan chef, author of "The Modern Tiffin" and The Washington Post’s Ecokitchen columnist, recommends the Our Place Mini Perfect Pot. "It's the perfect size to make comforting dishes like polenta, oatmeal, soups, sambar, daal, rice. And I LOVE the mini size, because it's perfect to make minimal amounts for 2-4 people! And it stores easily in NYC apartments. I recently used it to make a spiced mixed berry low-waste compote that I use on top of pancakes, oatmeal, toast and store in an air-tight jar in the fridge!"

While Our Place’s mini pot is currently out of stock, you can sign up for the waitlist here, or try out a similarly-sized and highly-rated option from Caraway below that also offers a ceramic non-stick coating.
Le Creuset 4.5-quart marble round Dutch oven
"We've tried so many dutch ovens, and the Le Creuset Dutch oven takes the cake! The inside is enameled, which helps for easy clean up — no one wants a sticky mess! We use it on the stovetop for our one pot meals, soups, as well as using it to braise meats in the oven. The enameled [pot] is versatile in its ability to cook low and slow or a quick 20-minute one pot pasta, win-win. We think it's one of the pieces of cookware that is a must-have in every kitchen. It can really last forever!" — Alia and Radwa from the Egyptian American food blog and YouTube channel "Food Dolls"

For a Dutch oven that will elevate your whole kitchen and a piece you'll love to have on your table, Alia and Radwa love this Bloomingdale's exclusive marble-printed Le Creuset Dutch oven.
CSK 10-inch and 12-inch nonstick frying cookware set
"My go-to one-pan cookware is the CSK Whitford granite-coated nonstick cookware set. I like this cookware set because of its durability and nonstick ability, and it can be used on induction, gas, electric, and ceramic cooktops. I [also] love the look of the cookware set [and] ... the large diameter of the pan enables me to cook enough for the entire family." — Spinelli, former restaurant owner and host of the YouTube channel "All Wings Everything"
Hearth & Hand with Magnolia Crock-Pot 3-quart slow cooker
Like anything Chip and Joanna Gaines touch, this crockpot is unbelievably chic while still super inviting and useable. While it wasn't recommended by any of the chefs we interviewed, its 4.5-star rating and 154 reviews speak for its popularity. It's three quarts, so it doesn't demand a huge storage space, and has three speeds to help you make soups, stews, noodles and of course, mulled wine. Best of all, it boasts an incredible price point.

Promising review: "Works great, takes up very little space and it's cute. I made impossible meatballs on Thanksgiving, a vegan roast with carrots and potatoes that following Saturday and today (monday) I made homemade vegetable soup. I can't get enough of this thing" — Shannon85
Drew Barrymore Beautiful 2-quart heart-shaped cast iron Dutch oven
As the name says, everything in Drew Barrymore's "Beautiful" kitchen collection for Walmart is really, really good looking. That's the case for this adorable little heart-shaped cast iron Dutch oven, another reviewer-favorite option that we're including based on excellent ratings. It can go on the stove or in the oven and makes even the plainest, most boring dinner look cute. It's the perfect thing to dress up a small weeknight soup for two, or to use on a special occasion.

Promising review: "I saw this and immediately ordered it! It was so cute and I figured I could use it for desserts and side dishes. Little did I know that I would be using it pretty much every day! As I'm preparing dinner, I put whatever hot course/courses that are finished in the pot, while I finish up the sauce or the salad. This little 2-quart beauty holds more than you would think and all my food stays hot! And it's size makes it so easy to store. Love, love, love this!" — Joan

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