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Request For One-Pot Weekend Wonders

Hey, looking for ideas for a healthy and balanced one-pot dish to last the week. I've been very busy the last couple of weeks, so I've been cooking on weekends and stretching it out through the weekdays. Seasonal veggies and inexpensive proteins a plus, but not a must. All flavors and cuisines welcome!

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    1. Though I don't do it so much in this weather, I often make bean or lentil soups to during the week along with a salad. Usually I separate the beans and put some in a soup, reserving others to marinate for quickly throwing on a salad, or cooking into a quick sauce.
      Quiches or frittatas also work well, and can incorporate chard or other nice seasonal veggies. Lasagna can also be quick to throw together and accommodates lots of veggies. I sometimes even make a couple extra pans and freeze them for really busy times (though not if they have white sauce-- that never seems to work so well in the freezer)

      I also generally cook a full rice-cooker batch of rice, and freeze individual portions to nuke throughout the week, so I don't have to worry about washing rice in the morning and setting the timer on the cooker on a weekday morning...

      A couple recipes that come to mind from recent Epicurious hits at our house are the vegetarian cassoulet, and the curry with cashews.


      1. I make a version of spagetti pie that is awesome later but can't find a recipe for it. I just toss spagetti (cooked) with 2 eggs (whiped up), some parm cheese, ricotta cheese, garlic and sometimes an herby sausage (cooked and cut small). Put this in a deep dish pie plate, top with your favorite marinara or spag. sauce and more parm cheese, - bake 350ish for about 30 min.

        You can really change it up like chix & brocolli wiht garlic & cherry tomatoes, I've done shrimp (but wasn't impressed). I'd love to do a lobster one. I think the original recipe was for spaghetti squash pie but I read it wrong and used spaghetti and loved it.

        5 Replies
        1. re: lexpatti

          I make something similar. I just leave out the sausage and I use shredded mozzarella instead of ricotta and I toss in any leftover vegetables I might have. Broccoli, spinich or peas work especially well. (Just a personal pref) I also top it with parm bread crumb before tossing it into the oven.. It's cheesy and delicious!

          1. re: Tay

            very kewl, I'll have to try it (without the peas though). :-) I've only used spaghetti as the pasta, have you tried others. Spaghetti slices like a pie really good, so I haven't ventured to try others. Bet risotto would be great too.

            1. re: lexpatti

              I've tried it with varoius kinds of short pasta EG: Orzo, little shells (No way am I attempting to spell 'Orrichiette!' Lol!) They all worked well, although long pasta like spaghetti and linguine seem to 'coat' more completely and hold together better once cut. I usually use elbow shaped or another short tubular type when I make macaroni 'n cheese pie

              1. re: Tay

                crazy me, I meant Orzo (risotto wouldn't work) :-) mmm lobster mac n cheese pie!!!!

                1. re: lexpatti

                  Believe it or not, lobster would not be as good as it sounds. It would toughen up in the baking process. A flaky fish would work better.
                  I guess there's a reason our Moms made those cheesy tuna noodle casseroles.... :-]

        2. I turned a chicken recipe into a greekish fish chowder:
          in a soup pot, saute a couple of onions and a couple cloves of garlic with oregano. add water and chunks of potato and some salt, and when the potatoes are close to tender add canned or fresh tomatoes. Next, zucchini slices. Or you could try spinach or chard. Then add chunks of fish, crumbled feta cheese, and kalamata olives. Check salt, add pepper. I don't have quantities, it's soup, doesn't matter. Just go easy on salt until you've added the feta and olives, since they vary in saltiness.

          6 Replies
          1. re: wearybashful

            "Then add chunks of fish"

            What did you use?

            1. re: Tay

              I am making stuffed zucchini. Stuffed with ground meat and rice cooked in a tomato sauce and onion mixture. Can be frozen in portions and microwaved.

              1. re: classylady

                a classic Lebanese or Syrian dish. They do freeze well

              2. re: Tay

                Tay, the Whole Foods near me sells pieces left over from filleting large fish as "chowder fish.' It used to be in the fish case for $5; then they stopped offering it because they used it themselves and sold the soup. Now it's back in packages in the pre-packaged meat refrigerator case for $8 a pound, still a good buy, especially for the large firm fish like halibut and salmon. (There used to be salmon, at least. RIP.) It just can't be a very delicate fish like the small soles. You could use shellfish too, though oysters would be too strong I think.

                1. re: wearybashful

                  Ahhh... Interesting. I was thinking something like cod or halibut...
                  Our local Shoprite often has halibut for $4-$5 lb. I'm going to give it a try.
                  Thank you for the information :-}

            2. I just did a short rib braise; brown the ribs, remove, sweat onion/garlic/celery/shallot/carrot, deglaze with red wine, add ribs, water, seasonings, braise 3 hours, and you got one hell of a dish.
              You can substitute blade roast and you can add more vegetables during the last hour to make more of a stew. The flavor also improves after some quality time in the fridge!

              1. I just did a short-rib braise the other day; brown the ribs, remove. Sweat onion/garlic/celery/carrot/shallot, deglaze with red wine, add ribs, water, seasoniongs, and braise for 3 hours. You got a pot of wonderful.
                You can substitute blade roast. You can add more vegetables during the last hour to make more of a stew.
                Flavor also improves with quality time in the fridge!

                1 Reply
                1. re: porker

                  I just got some short ribs and I am thinking about treating them like veal shanks to make osso buco using this very classic recipe from Mario Batali. His site also gives a great recipe for braised short ribs.

                  The rissoto milanese is another one pot dish (ok, so now there's two pots going...). But any good risotto could be a light dinner by itself.


                2. If you can stand to have your oven on, I like to get a huge cut of pork, like a shoulder or a roast, and braise it with some basic flavors, like wine, bay leaf, broth, garlic and onions. I can then feed my husband and me several times, and each time is different. I'll serve some hunks of the meat with a sauce made of the braising liquid, fortified with more wine, maybe some apple butter, etc. I will shred some of the meat and mix it with homemade barbeque sauce, which you can serve in sandwiches or as a BBQ platter. Or, I'll mix it with an enchilada sauce and either make enchiladas or burritos, with a pineapple/black bean salsa (since pork loves to be with sweet stuff so much). It's so, flexible. I'll also freeze the meat once it has been mixed in the sauce. I can seriously feed the two of us for four or five meals this way, and each time, it is different.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: katecm

                    I'd like to be put on your: "Invite-over-for-dinner" List. I'll provide a smashing desssert :-}

                    1. re: katecm

                      I slow cooked a shoulder Sunday while I relaxed in the A/C wonderland in the living room and have not needed to change any flavors after days of shredded pork. The rum and spice rub and tangy sauce sing summery to my palate. Matched with the Thai curry slaw I made, I have been looking forward to the leftovers every day.

                      But to stay truly one pot, I'm a big fan of gumbo in the summer. An easy chicken and sausage or shrimp and sausage with plenty of okra on a mound of rice can last for days. African peanut stew is a riff on a similar theme, just with more vegetables.

                    2. Pad kee mao has been making frequent appearances in my repertoire, lately:


                      There's a lot of flexibility with the veggies, so just use what's seasonal (like summer squash, red peppers and tomatoes).

                      I also like to make a pan of polenta triangles, which can be topped with nigh near anything. I vary up the toppings enough to keep things interesting (chevre, grilled eggplant and sliced tomatoes one day, roasted beets, arugula, and pine nuts the next). You can make a variety of toppings, separately, and then assemble in different ways when you are ready to eat.

                      1. I lived in Japan a few years back and was in the same situation. I would make a big pot of chicken soup with chopped chicken, onions, carrots and potatoes and keep the pot in the refrigerator or bag it in the freezer. (Potatoes don't freeze well, but at the time, I just ate them.)

                        Anyway, in Japan they have a lot of curry and stew bases that you just add to the chicken soup. I know they have curry bases here too. "House" is a brand I see a lot.

                        My other favorite was a creamy stew base. It came powdered or in chunks. I would just add that to the soup and bring it to a boil and eat it over rice. The basic meal (chicken soup) was the same but it tasted different every day. Saved a ton of time too.

                        I would eat it with rice to make it go farther. And rice is (was) cheap. Rice cookers are great. I can cook a cup of rice in about 10 minutes. Hot, fresh rice with chicken curry. Can't beat it.

                        1. I love cholent...it's essentially a beef stew made with barley, potatoes, beans and beef short ribs. My grandma made the best (I know...we all say that), but I've found another good recipe:

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Chew on That

                            Looks very hearty. I'm going to try it when the weather turns cooler. Thanks!