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Is there a one-dish meal that you can't live without?

I make an amazing soup (my spouse adores it above all else) with kale or sometimes swiss chard, cabbage, zucchini, carrots, green beans, turnips, chicken, and sometimes white beans. It is sooo nourishing and yet delicious. I call the dish "3-hour standing soup", because prep time is at least that long. On the lookout for other one-dish wonders. Do you have one?

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  1. i dont think i could live without my favorite one dish wonder....chicken and dumplins!

    1 Reply
    1. Vegetarian chili. I serve cornbread on the side, so not technically one dish, but still delicious. I usually make a ton because it freezes and reheats well. The chili has lots of vegetables and beans, and it's filling and satisfying.

        1. My recipe for warm lentils with roasted butternut squash, fennel and kielbasa. Made it this past weekend for the first time in ages and was reminded all over again how much I adore it!

          6 Replies
          1. re: biondanonima


            Would you share the recipe, please?

            1. re: TatyanaG

              Sure! Here you go:

              1 smallish butternut squash (about 1.5 lbs)
              2-3 medium red onions
              1 large or 2 small bulbs fennel
              5-6 cloves garlic, chopped
              2 sprigs fresh rosemary
              20 stems thyme
              a handful of fennel fronds (if your fennel bulb has them)
              10 sage leaves
              2 cups pardina lentils (if you can't find them use regular brown lentils)
              1 bay leaf
              2 lbs kielbasa
              1/2 c. olive oil, divided
              1/4 c. vinegar (mix of sherry, red wine, cider, etc.)
              2 T. balsamic vinegar
              salt and pepper

              Cut the squash, onions and fennel (trimmed) into 1/2-1 inch cubes and toss with a generous amount of olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread out on two rimmed baking sheets and roast at 400 degrees, stirring once or twice, until deeply caramelized in places, about 40 mins, adding the chopped garlic about halfway through. When the vegetables are about 10 mins from being done, I transfer all of them to one tray and use the emptied tray for the sausage.

              Meanwhile, bring the lentils to a boil in plenty of salted water with the bay leaf and cook until tender, about 20-25 mins (regular brown lentils will take a bit longer than pardina lentils, but they tend to be mushier. Lentils du puy are a lot firmer and will take quite a bit longer. Whatever lentil you choose, just cook it to your taste - I prefer them a bit mushy for this but it does make the dish look a little less attractive.). Drain and keep warm.

              Slice the sausage thinly on the bias and place on the emptied rimmed baking sheet and roast on the bottom rack of your oven (gets the bottom brown faster) along with the veg for the last 10 mins-ish of cooking. Once the sausage is rendering and the bottom side is brown, turn the oven to broil and broil the top side of the sausage slices to your taste (I like it almost burnt, the crispy edges are amazing!).

              In a large bowl, combine the lentils, vegetables, sausages (including any rendered fat) and chopped herbs. Toss with the vinegars, oil, salt and pepper to taste (the vinegar blend I use really varies, but the dish does benefit from some sweetness, so balsamic is a must. However, the last time I made it my butternut squash was almost candy-sweet, so I used less balsamic than usual to compensate). Be generous with the dressing, as the lentils tend to soak it up quickly. Obviously, you can vary the herbs and vegetables to your taste, but I really love the combo as written. Wonderful with a glass of porter and a thick slice of fresh bread.

              1. re: biondanonima

                what a terrific recipe; i'm going to try this, maybe w/ my beluga lentils (that have been waiting patiently for a year or so!) thanks so much for posting this.

                1. re: biondanonima

                  Wow, thanks so much! Can't wait to try it!

                  1. re: biondanonima

                    This sounds like heaven., Will try in the next week or so and report back. As a novice with the recipe and I'm cooking for one these days, does it freeze well?

                    1. re: melcarr

                      You know, up until now I've never tried freezing it because there are rarely leftovers! However, I made it last weekend and we didn't quite finish it, so I have a serving in the freezer which will probably get eaten in the next couple of weeks - I'll be sure to report back when I try it. However, I can't see why it wouldn't reheat well, since all of its components freeze nicely.

              2. Mizithra Veggie Pasta with Sheftalia

                1. - frittate
                  - chana masala
                  - paella
                  - chicken cacciatore
                  - seafood soup or stew (e.g. cioppino or bouillabaisse)
                  - baked shrimp with feta
                  - curry - red, yellow or green, usually coconut milk-based

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                    i wish there was a "like" button, because I loke so many of the ideas suggested here...

                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                      Hi GHG! Care to share your shrimp and feta dish?

                    2. Beef stew. I think it's Emeril's. I make it in the crockpot. It has allspice in it, along with his essence ingredients which I have put together myself in a jar. It has little boiling onions in it which really makes the dish. Hmm.

                      1. Nabe and Oden in all its wonderful variations.
                        Shabu Shabu, Sukiyaki and Yakiniku if they count as "one pot."

                        1 Reply
                        1. beef stew,chicken and dumplings, paella, pilaf,

                          1. also +1 on the beef stew, mine is an oven beef stew recipe, and lasagna, and chicken and dumplings, and chili and home made pot pies. Also, Jambalaya. And quiche or frittata. Many soups. Spanish rice. Szkely goulash. Can you tell that I love one dish meals??

                            1. Turkey pot pie filled with roasted turkey, roasted butternut squash, almond prune apple bread stuffing, mushrooms, gravy.



                              duck sausage and sweet potato hash

                              1 Reply
                              1. one roasting dish, hot oven, olive oil and garlic. a layer of small potatoes (maybe quartered) later a layer of brussel sprouts (salt and pepper and a good shake) later a cheap shoulder cut lamb chop with rosemary

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: hill food

                                  What do you mean "later" a cheap shoulder cut lamb chop? And what temp is a hot oven to you?

                                2. Please share your amazing "3-hour standing soup" recipe. I like gumbo or cioppino for one-pot meals.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Cynsa

                                    Hi Cynsa - Unfortunately, there is no recipe! I do it differently each time.

                                  2. Ratatouille
                                    Roast Chicken & veg
                                    Mexican Chicken Strata
                                    Big plate of roasted veggies... my "when no one's around" dinner

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Emme

                                      Emme, funny! I will also do a large plate of sauteed veg if I am dining by myself! Usually just lots of one kind of veg- eggplant, bok choy and brussels are my favorites.

                                      Barszcz- Polish version of borscht with pork and lots of veg

                                    2. very plain meal/dish. one pot.

                                      it consists of hamburger meat, elbow macaroni, tomato sauce, salt and pepper, onion and celery and mild cheddar cheese.

                                      nothing else, it's that plain and that simple, nothing fancy and nothing brilliant, just a perfect blend of mildly flavored comforting deliciousness.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: iL Divo

                                        Yes, and you can change it with your mood. You can use hamburger half Italian, chorizo, or andouille and the appropriate spices depending on where you want to go.

                                        Your very own version of hamburger helper.

                                        1. re: Hank Hanover

                                          HH, my mom made it, my grandmother made it [which was weird because she usually made pheasant or goose or duck or lamb type things]. my best junior high girlfriends mother made this dish often and it was always the same wherever I ate it. I am not a simple cook that uses simple ingredients but prefer to use things that most cooks don't. that's a reason I love this recipe, I have to corral my arms to not add more because I know it's perfect the way it is, simple and easy, so good.

                                      2. My "go to" 1 dish meals are as follows:
                                        Swiss Steak
                                        Skillet Lasagne
                                        Rice Casserole
                                        Pot Roast
                                        Shepherd's (cottage really) pie

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: Hank Hanover


                                          have you posted your cottage pie recipe anywhere?
                                          do you use lamb or ground beef?
                                          love cottage shepherds pie, again for me or us, it's comfort.

                                          1. re: iL Divo

                                            I use ground beef because it is cheaper than ground lamb. I only put cottage pie in parenthenthesis to appease the purists, who get all riled up if you call it shepherd's pie and it doesn't have lamb in it. The only thing anybody needs to call it is good.

                                            I will have to think about it to write a recipe on it. I pretty much use whatever I have in the fridge and use those same guidlines for where I want to go as I described above. Sometimes, I add some kind of sausage and different spices.

                                            I did think it was interesting to learn that if you want to go Mexican with it, you have to ramp up the spices because the mashed potatoes on top have a very taming effect on the heat. I assume because of the combination of the starch, milk or cream and butter.

                                        2. Roast chicken with the usual roasted vegetables.
                                          Red posole.
                                          Red lentil soup.

                                          1. My think is braised chicken. You put a chicken, celery, onion, carrots, lemons and whatever herbs you have around in a dutch oven. Add a little white wine or stock or whatever to the bottom, drizzle with olive oil, and bake for 3 hours.
                                            Serve with mashed potatoes, or don't.

                                            I know some people don't like the texture (it gets very soft), but I grew up with it so hey.

                                            1. The already mentioned jambalaya, paella, borscht, mac & cheese, red curries-in-a-hurry using jarred red curry paste and canned coconut milk, aloo gobi, cioppino and frittata make up most of my repetoire.

                                              I also like moqueca, giouvetsi, West Indian chicken curry with potato, goulash, paprikash and Greek-style rice pilafi with calamari.