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What are your favorite one-dish meals?

LulusMom Aug 21, 2012 08:02 AM

I'm in a cooking funk. I've heard that others are too. One thing that always makes getting dinner on the table is knowing that there is only one pot to clean up. So I'm looking for suggestions for one dish meals. I don't need meat in mine, but I do want a carb and a vegetable (others may well not want the carb, but definitely want the protein and vegetable). I don't want to have to make rice on the side; I don't want to have to make a salad. I want it all in one pot or stir fry, and bonus points if there is enough that leftovers can be sent the next day in lunchboxes.

Looking forward to hearing your favorites.

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  1. Crockett67 RE: LulusMom Aug 21, 2012 08:22 AM

    Stir fry is not the same to me without rice.

    Anywho, anything in my slow cooker or pressure cooker comes to mind.
    Hawaiian style Oxtail soup, Corned Beef with vegetables, Osso Bucco, Paella, chili, any soup really.

    1. Musie RE: LulusMom Aug 21, 2012 08:34 AM

      Stir-fry's are great one dish meals. If you buy fresh noodles you can avoid having to pre-cook any rice or noodles to add as carbs. My favourite uses a sauce made from sesame oil, soy sauce and little bit of chicken (or vegetable) stock. All I do is saute my choice of veggies, then add minced garlic and ginger and cook until aromatic. Then I add the sauce. So easy and quick.

      Pasta is always good. Try cooking up some tagliatelle, drain and then toss in basil pesto. Super simple, you could even saute some onions and mushrooms before putting the pasta back in.

      Then you have stews, casseroles and dishes like chili.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Musie
        LulusMom RE: Musie Aug 21, 2012 10:39 AM

        Love the idea of using fresh noodles in a stir fry. That is really hugely helpful.

      2. d
        dkenworthy RE: LulusMom Aug 21, 2012 08:38 AM

        We cook in one pot often, always enough for at least 2 dinners (there are only 2 of us in the house), bonus lunches. My husband, especially, only uses our 5 quart All-Clad casserole pot. He makes a noodley thing with hamburger that is heavy on paprika (poor man's goulash), a Mexican style polenta that is heavy on chopped (not roasted) poblanos and onions and chili powder and cheese. Not pc, but delish.

        Have you tried the Cook's Illustrated 1-pot cookbook? It is sort of an amalgamation of their other recipes. Sometimes they "cheat" and use more than one pan, but some good ideas in there. They have a bunch of pasta recipes where you make a base and add raw pasta and extra watery sauce to cook all together. I suppose my favorite is "lasagne" where you brown sausage and red bells and onion (I have added cooked dried beans, mushrooms, kale, chard, or whatever is in my garden to extend it sometimes). Break up curly edge lasagne (straight edge lasagne noodle tend to glue together) over the top, pour crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce with extra water over the top and cook for about 20 minutes. Dollop ricotta over the top, sprinkle basil or whatever fresh herb you like, let set for 5 minutes, and serve. Easy peasy, no oven to heat up the house, and only one pot to clean!

        2 Replies
        1. re: dkenworthy
          LulusMom RE: dkenworthy Aug 21, 2012 10:40 AM

          Lasagna is a wonderful one pot dish - thanks for the reminder.

          1. re: dkenworthy
            karykat RE: dkenworthy Aug 21, 2012 09:06 PM

            So THAT's why lasagne has curly edges! I never knew that before.

          2. meatn3 RE: LulusMom Aug 21, 2012 08:45 AM

            My favorite quick one pot dish is a recipe clipped from the newspaper in the early '80's. I still love the flavors! This freezes well too. It is not a pretty dish - wide expanse of brown - but it is tasty!

            Turkey Skillet Supper

            2 Tb. oil
            2 med. onions, chopped
            2 med. red, yellow or orange bell peppers, chopped
            minced garlic (I use 2 -3 cloves)
            1 lb. ground turkey
            1/4 lb. mushrooms, coarsely chopped
            1/4 c/ black olives, pitted & sliced
            1/4 c. raisins (I rehydrate with hot water in a glass measuring cup)
            1/4 tea. crushed red pepper
            1 tea. ground cumin
            1/2 tea. paprika
            pepper to taste
            3 large tomatoes, chopped (canned is fine in the winter)
            1/2 c. bulgur (I tend to sub. left over barley just because I love barley!)

            In a large skillet sauté bell pepper & onion in oil. Once onion begins to soften push the veggies to the sides and add the turkey and mushrooms. Cook on med. heat until the turkey is done. Add the middle group of ingredients. (I double the amount in this group.) Stir well and heat for a minute or so. Add tomatoes and bulgur, stir well. Cover. Cook over medium about 10 min. until the bulgur is cooked.

            Serves 3 - 4

            This is a really flexible dish. You can easily incorporate leftover vegetable and legumes. I mix it up and sub lentils for the bulgur sometimes.

            Great topic! Can't wait to see all the suggestions!

            3 Replies
            1. re: meatn3
              LulusMom RE: meatn3 Aug 21, 2012 10:42 AM

              Thanks meatn3 - good to see you here! I like the way this one can be varied. Most of my favorite of these types of meals can be, but sometimes (like right now) my brain is on summer burn out and I just can't seem to think of much.

              1. re: meatn3
                dkenworthy RE: meatn3 Aug 23, 2012 06:49 AM

                I tried this last night, and my husband loved it! I used some fresh ground chicken from a local market rather than turkey, and about 3 cups of mixed Sweet 100's and Sungold from my garden that needed to be used up ASAP. I did add a little (about 1/4 cup water) and needed to cook it for about 20 minutes since it took awhile for the cherry tomatoes to release their juice. Used 1/4 cup currants, not soaked, instead of raisins, and double all the spices. It was very quick to make, no oven to heat up the house, and it was delish, as well as "wholesome" tasting. Next time I think I will double the bulgar, as we both love grains.

                1. re: dkenworthy
                  meatn3 RE: dkenworthy Aug 23, 2012 07:53 AM

                  I'm so glad you both enjoyed it!

                  I'll have to try currants next time! Dried cranberries are a nice change too. Leftovers work well as a filling for stuffed peppers. I use TJ's Masala sauce to cover.

                  I use this as a clean out the fridge dish - leftover hash browns and beets have both been nice additions. I didn't really like celery in this - just doesn't work with the seasonings as far as my mouth is concerned!

              2. blue room RE: LulusMom Aug 21, 2012 10:00 AM

                The first that comes to mind is a chicken in a pot surrounded by vegetables. This can get pretty fancy -- there's an Anne Willan recipe online

                http://www.marthastewart.com/355345/p... which would take me forEVER.

                Maybe the concept of one-pot meals came from a time when a family only *had* one pot and everything went in it because nothing was wasted.

                I like shrimp/corn/potatoes in a pot. Sausage/cabbage/apples in a pan. Breakfast for dinner.

                1. c
                  ChiliDude RE: LulusMom Aug 21, 2012 10:04 AM

                  Look at the 1st 5 letters of my user name. That is not a seasonal dish, it works all year round.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: ChiliDude
                    LulusMom RE: ChiliDude Aug 21, 2012 10:43 AM

                    I haven't made chili in ages, and I love it. Thanks.

                  2. 512window RE: LulusMom Aug 21, 2012 10:05 AM

                    Jambalaya - I make mine with shrimp and andouille sausage, but you can use what you want. It has rice, protein, veggies. I'd still serve it with some veggies on the side, but that could be carrot sticks or cherry tomatoes or whatever you have that's easy.

                    1. blue room RE: LulusMom Aug 21, 2012 10:12 AM

                      Sandwiches -- muffaletta type (crammed full) -- endless variety, serve room temp or grilled golden in (one) frying pan.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: blue room
                        LulusMom RE: blue room Aug 21, 2012 10:42 AM

                        Great minds! I'll be making a pan bagnat next week.

                      2. m
                        mike0989 RE: LulusMom Aug 21, 2012 10:17 AM

                        Joes Specials, there have to be several dozen recipes for this but they are all pretty much the same.
                        1 onion diced
                        4 cloves garlic diced
                        1 lb ground beef
                        1 tsp Italian seasoning (or combination of herbs you like)
                        Red pepper flakes
                        1 bag spinach chopped
                        3 eggs
                        1 cup jack cheese (optional)
                        Pita pockets

                        Sauté the onions and garlic. Add the beef, herbs and pepper flakes and brown. Add the spinach and cook until most liquid is gone. Stir in the eggs and cheese (if using). Serve in pita pockets.

                        1. Berheenia RE: LulusMom Aug 21, 2012 10:21 AM

                          This was my favorite for years - I got it in an old online message board for recipe posts back in the nineties. freezes beautifully too. Be generous with the cheese. Swap out the picante for a can of tomato sauce for less bite.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Berheenia
                            LulusMom RE: Berheenia Aug 21, 2012 10:45 AM

                            Interesting how many sort of tex-mex type things work this way. Luckily, that is one of my favorite types of food.

                          2. Gio RE: LulusMom Aug 21, 2012 10:26 AM

                            Love muffaletta...

                            Chicken parm or eggplant parm. All right, there's a sauce to consider but it becomes a one-pot if you use a jarred sauce that you like... (Don't tell anyone I said that), and if you roast the eggplant slices first in the same pan you'll use instead frying them first. The same with the chicken.

                            Others might be gratins, stuffed squash or pumpkin - Claudia Roden has some great recipes in The New Book of Middle Eastern Food, with or without meat... check the threads.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Gio
                              LulusMom RE: Gio Aug 21, 2012 10:45 AM

                              Promise - our secret. I made an eggplant ricotta bake the other night with Newman's sauce. Totally cheating, I guess, but also really delicious and homey.

                              I tend to find most gratins lacking. This is likely my fault, but the ones I've made have always seemed lackluster. I will check the Roden threads and see which ones have raves - that will up the chances that this time I won't be let down. Thanks for the idea.

                            2. mamachef RE: LulusMom Aug 21, 2012 10:44 AM

                              A big favorite is steamed spaghetti squash, sauteed with kielbasa, apple chunks and onions.
                              Or a good old basic pot roast.

                              1. Ruthie789 RE: LulusMom Aug 21, 2012 10:54 AM

                                A shepard's pie with any variation of vegetables that you want or a cottage pie.

                                1. herby RE: LulusMom Aug 21, 2012 11:23 AM

                                  I always liked Mollie Katzen's mushroom moussaka - here is an on-line recipe http://greek.food.com/recipe/mushroom...
                                  which is similar but not identical to the original. It does require a pan to make a mushroom sauce and another to make bechamel. But it bakes in one pan, makes 8 servings and is wonderful at room temperature (lunch box). I sometimes will add spinach to the mushroom sauce for that extra bit of nutrition:)

                                  1. Hank Hanover RE: LulusMom Aug 21, 2012 11:59 AM

                                    My standards are:
                                    skillet lasagna - use your normal lasagna with broken up mafaldi noodles (they look like small lasagna noodles)

                                    Rice casserole - a meat and veggie stew with rice on top and a coating on the rice. Same thing would be shepherd's pie if you used mashed potatoes on top.

                                    Cajun Pasta is really good.

                                    Cajun Pasta HH

                                    SERVES 6

                                    3 cups cooked fettuccine or linguini
                                    1/4 lb butter
                                    2 tbls chopped garlic
                                    3 tbls chopped green onions
                                    1/4 cup sliced mushrooms
                                    1/2 cup diced tomato
                                    1 1/2 cups combo of diced andouille sausage, diced shrimp, sautéed crabmeat or sautéed crawfish or sautéed chicken
                                    1/2 ounce dry white wine
                                    1 tablespoon lemon juice
                                    1 cup heavy whipping cream
                                    1/4 cup mixed bell pepper (red & green)
                                    2 tbls chipped cold butter
                                    1 tbls chopped parsley
                                    salt and pepper

                                    In a cast iron pot (3 qt), melt butter over med-high heat.
                                    Add green onions, mushrooms, bell peppers and andouille.

                                    Saute 3-5 minutes, add garlic and tomatoes and continue to sauté for 3 minutes.
                                    Add shrimp, chicken, crab meat or crawfish cooking for 2 additional minutes.

                                    Deglaze pan with white wine and lemon juice and cook until volume of liquid is reduced to half.
                                    Add heavy whipping cream and, stirring constantly, reduce until cream is thick and of a sauce like consistency, approximately 5 minutes.

                                    Add 2- 3 pats at a time, swirling pan constantly over burner.
                                    Continue adding butter until all is incorporated.

                                    Remove from heat, add parsley and season to taste using salt and pepper.
                                    Gently fold in cooked fettuccine and serve.

                                    This is also good served cold as a pasta salad.

                                    Instead of tomatoes, use 1/3 cup tomato, marinara or pasta sauce.
                                    Instead of green onions, use ½ cup of chopped onions.
                                    Put sautéed or blackened shrimp on top at last moment.
                                    For non seafood lovers, just use andouille and chicken.

                                    Hanks Rice Casserole and Variations

                                    1.5 lbs ground chuck
                                    1 medium onion, chopped
                                    2 ribs celery, chopped
                                    2 carrots, chopped
                                    2 tbls tomato paste
                                    8 oz sliced mushrooms
                                    1 tsp dried thyme
                                    2 tbls flour
                                    1 tbl vegetable oil
                                    1.5 cups long grain white rice, cooked
                                    1 can tomato soup
                                    1 tsp paprika
                                    1 tbl minced garlic
                                    1 tsp brown sugar (optional if it is getting to acidic for you)
                                    ½ cup beef broth

                                    Brown the ground beef in a med high skillet. Lower the temperature a little, add some salt and pepper and sweat the onions, celery, carrots and mushrooms (about 5 minutes). Add the garlic, thyme, paprika and tomato paste and stir it to thoroughly incorporate the tomato paste. Taste it now and see if it is too acidic. If it is add the sugar.

                                    Sprinkle the flour over the meat mixture and mix it in for about 2 minutes. Add the beef broth. Stir until it thickens.

                                    Spread the meat mixture over the bottom of a 9 x 13 pyrex baking pan. Spread the rice over the meat. Completely cover the meat. Poke several holes through the rice with the handle of a spoon.
                                    Mix the tomato soup and a half a can of water. Spread this mixture over the rice with a spatula. You may not need all of it. No need to make it soupy. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in 350 degree oven for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and bake another 10 minutes. Serve.

                                    Italian – use 1 lb ground chuck and ½ lb Italian sausage. Use pasta sauce instead of the tomato soup. Use Italian spices instead of or in addition to the thyme.

                                    Mexican – Use 1 lb ground chuck and 1/2 lb chorizo. Use chopped bell pepper instead of the celery and carrots. Add a can of rotelle spiced tomatoes instead of the broth. Add a tbl of chile powder instead of the paprika and more to the tomato soup. You can even add cheese on top.

                                    Cajun – Use 1 lb ground chuck and ½ lb andouille sausage. Use chopped bell pepper instead of the celery and carrots. Add a can of rotelle spiced tomatoes instead of the broth. Add a tbl of chile powder instead of the paprika and more to the tomato soup. Like it spicy? Add a little cayenne.

                                    As always with a casserole, don’t be afraid to change things. That’s what casseroles are for. You could add frozen peas. You could use mashed potatoes instead of rice. You could use noodles and mix it all together. You could use chicken or sliced beef. There are no limits.

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: Hank Hanover
                                      LulusMom RE: Hank Hanover Aug 21, 2012 01:54 PM

                                      Love the variation ideas! I am not a red meat eater, but hey, that is what ground turkey and turkey sausage are for, right? Thanks.

                                      1. re: LulusMom
                                        Hank Hanover RE: LulusMom Aug 21, 2012 03:39 PM

                                        When I record a recipe, I try to add possible variations to the recipe then I actually have 3 or 4 recipes.

                                        I'm sorry that you don't eat red meat, but consider the invitation to join me at the top of the food, chain always open. :-)

                                        1. re: Hank Hanover
                                          LulusMom RE: Hank Hanover Aug 21, 2012 03:50 PM

                                          Once in a blue moon I join you, about 4 times a year I'll make a steak or something like that. I'll keep in mind the invitation.

                                    2. lexuschef RE: LulusMom Aug 21, 2012 12:27 PM

                                      Mac and cheese

                                      1. LindaWhit RE: LulusMom Aug 21, 2012 12:44 PM

                                        Check out "A Man And His Pan" cookbook: http://www.amazon.com/A-Man-And-His-P... Click on the Look Inside! link and check the recipes listed in the Index. I've made several, but like his Skillet Chicken Curry with Apples, Raisins and Cashews.

                                        For vegetarian, this African Vegetable Stew is a great dish: http://basic-recipes.com/veget/sweet/...

                                        5 Replies
                                        1. re: LindaWhit
                                          LulusMom RE: LindaWhit Aug 21, 2012 01:56 PM

                                          This book sounds very useful for times like these. Thanks for the tip (thanks to everyone - these responses are wonderful and inspiring).

                                          1. re: LindaWhit
                                            Hank Hanover RE: LindaWhit Aug 25, 2012 12:31 PM

                                            I ordered that book the other day based on your recommendation.

                                            1. re: Hank Hanover
                                              LindaWhit RE: Hank Hanover Aug 25, 2012 07:13 PM

                                              I hope you like it! It tends to be one I pull out in the winter.

                                              1. re: LindaWhit
                                                Hank Hanover RE: LindaWhit Aug 25, 2012 08:43 PM

                                                I have a small collection of entry level cookbooks because I occasionally teach people how to cook and am always running into people that are trying to learn. I like to be able to either recommend or lend a book or two to them.

                                                1. re: Hank Hanover
                                                  LindaWhit RE: Hank Hanover Aug 26, 2012 05:02 AM

                                                  Then I think this is a good one. Especially for those who don't want to "dirty too many dishes." Which is usually something I don't have a problem doing. :-)

                                          2. meatn3 RE: LulusMom Aug 21, 2012 02:08 PM

                                            Don't forget about omelets and crêpes! Aside from quick you can easily customize for each family member.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: meatn3
                                              LulusMom RE: meatn3 Aug 21, 2012 03:24 PM

                                              and frittatas - so easy, and you can just put a baguette on the side and say "there you go."

                                            2. m
                                              mscoffee1 RE: LulusMom Aug 21, 2012 02:49 PM

                                              Minestrone (Hazan's) (of course it has to cook several hours, but I make it the day before and sometimes put the pot in the frig). There are many soups I make that are one pot (stock from freezer or canned) and sometimes I freeze it.

                                              Curried Cream of Chicken Soup - oh how I love this soup and have taken to many people. This is an adaption which I sometimes use with leftover roast chicken or turkey. I use a hot madras curry powder, I love a kick.

                                              Roast Chicken (Molly Steven's and presalt it is the one I am using now), but before I just seasoned and roasted high). Lots of onions, potatoes, - eggplant, carrots and sometime chunks of bread roasted with it. I have even made the pan drippings into a salad dressing. When you have it presalted in the frig you take it out and preheat the oven and go. Even the vegetables can be cut up ahead. Cutting up the chicken and roasting in pieces also works.

                                              Don't we all get the funk. I make ahead so I do not really cook every night. Tonight, however, it is turkey al la king over noodles with my leftover roast turkey breast or maybe hot turkey sandwiches or marinate turkey chunks in vinaigrette and make a salad.

                                              6 Replies
                                              1. re: mscoffee1
                                                LulusMom RE: mscoffee1 Aug 21, 2012 03:26 PM

                                                I've been heartened to hear about other people getting into cooking funks, I have to say. I should know from past experience that it will pass, but somehow this one seems to be lasting longer than ones in the past.

                                                thanks for the great ideas.

                                                1. re: LulusMom
                                                  Hank Hanover RE: LulusMom Aug 21, 2012 03:42 PM

                                                  I remember my mom saying "What do you want for dinner? I don't mind cooking it. I just don't feel like figuring out what to cook, tonight."

                                                  That was some 45 years ago or so.

                                                  1. re: Hank Hanover
                                                    LulusMom RE: Hank Hanover Aug 21, 2012 03:49 PM

                                                    Ha! My dear family is very accommodating, and will eat almost anything I put in front of them. Thank goodness. My first husband wouldn't let me cook dinner because, as he said, "what if I don't like what you make?"

                                                2. re: mscoffee1
                                                  gingershelley RE: mscoffee1 Aug 27, 2012 10:01 AM

                                                  A turkey breast is a fine thing to have for 'funk'-fighting. Lot's of options there. I roast a couple chicken breasts for this same purpose (small household makes this enough white meat for needed purposes.
                                                  Most common re-use is for cobb salad, a favorite one-dish meal. Easy if I have taken the time to make a supply of oven-baked bacon and frozen it. Much easier than cleaning up the stove splatter to fry some.

                                                  1. re: mscoffee1
                                                    Tehama RE: mscoffee1 Sep 11, 2012 05:07 AM

                                                    Thanks so much for the suggestion of the Curried Chicken Soup. I made it yesterday and... wow.... 2TBL goes a long, very long, way. The flavor is grand, but that recipe should come with a warning or disclaimer. I finally cut the overpowering curry down with more water and a can of coconut milk. I'll make the recipe again, but with much less curry. Fine soup!

                                                    1. re: Tehama
                                                      mscoffee1 RE: Tehama Sep 11, 2012 06:40 PM

                                                      Glad you liked the soup, but sorry the curry was TOO strong. OOPS. I don't use a recipe any more so I cannot be sure of the ratios and maybe the kind of curry powder is important. I hate when there is too much curry powder. I will warn people if I recommend it again. Thanks and again glad you could save it. (hate when I can't save something).

                                                  2. LulusMom RE: LulusMom Aug 21, 2012 03:30 PM

                                                    Tonight's meal was incredibly easy (lots of little "cheats") and delicious. It came from WS's Eat Well book. It was a black bean, avocado and shrimp salad with lime and jalapeno and some minced onion (along with cumin and oregano). Open 2 cans of beans, thaw 1 lb of frozen cooked shrimp, cut the avocado, jalapeno, and cilantro, and mix with the spices, lime juice and a little olive oil. Really tasty, healthy, and easy. And all in one bowl!

                                                    1. a
                                                      AlkieGourmand RE: LulusMom Aug 21, 2012 07:43 PM

                                                      I suggest Giuliano Hazan's Book 30 Minute Pastas. The name of the book is accurate. To be sure, you are usually going to need two pots, but how hard is it to clean a pasta pot? Not very. There are lots of ideas for pasta with vegetables, including some unusual ones: pasta with cantaloupe, pasta with shredded carrots, etc.

                                                      5 Replies
                                                      1. re: AlkieGourmand
                                                        LulusMom RE: AlkieGourmand Aug 22, 2012 12:41 PM

                                                        An Italian friend of mine tried the cantaloupe pasta and raved about it. I think I still have the link somewhere.

                                                        1. re: LulusMom
                                                          gingershelley RE: LulusMom Aug 27, 2012 10:04 AM

                                                          Would like to hear more about the cantaloupe pasta, if you have that link.

                                                          I make a curried chicken salad sometimes on a really hot day with grapes, almonds and cantaloupe in it, but haven't had any other entree uses for it. That would be interesting!

                                                          1. re: gingershelley
                                                            prima RE: gingershelley Aug 27, 2012 10:06 AM

                                                            Can also serve the curried chicken salad in half an avocado, as a main. Guess it could also be served in a wedge of melon.

                                                            I like the curried chicken salad made with West Indian curry powder and pineapple and/or pineapple. Granny Smith apple is also a good addition.

                                                            1. re: prima
                                                              kubasd RE: prima Aug 27, 2012 12:36 PM

                                                              One of my favorite lunches at the bar/restaurant I used to work at was their curried vegan "chicken" salad in either an avocado or tomato half over mixed greens (and various veggies) with their balsamic vinaigrette.

                                                              1. re: prima
                                                                prima RE: prima Aug 27, 2012 05:56 PM

                                                                Edit: I meant to type pineapple and/or mango.

                                                        2. t
                                                          tastesgoodwhatisit RE: LulusMom Aug 21, 2012 08:01 PM

                                                          For one pot pasta meals, you can cook the pasta, and toss in chopped fresh, canned or thawed vegetables at the end to cook them. Add a crushed garlic clove for flavour, if you want. Drain, and toss with one or more of grated or crumbled cheese, fresh herbs, fresh or canned tomatoes, pre-made pesto sauce, butter, olive oil, sliced olive, capers, etc. If you want meat in it, you can add canned tuna, leftover shredded meat, or add finely diced sausages just before draining. You can poach chicken in the water, remove the chicken and then add pasta, as well.

                                                          For example - poach a whole chicken breast in a pot big enough for the pasta. Remove when done. Add the pasta. While the pasta cooks, slice some black olives, crumble some feta cheese, chop some fresh spinach, a green onion and basil, and juice half a lemon. Slice the cooked chicken.

                                                          Drain the pasta. Toss back in the pot on low heat with the spinach, basil, green onions, a can of diced tomatoes including juice and , the olives. Cook until the spinach is wilted. Add the lemon juice, feta cheese, some olive oil and salt and pepper. Serve hot or at room temperature.

                                                          Risotto is the only rice based meal that springs to mind that doesn't involve cooking the rice separately, but that's pretty starchy as a meal.

                                                          A hearty soup with bread on the side can make a nice one-pot meal.

                                                          3 Replies
                                                          1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit
                                                            Will Owen RE: tastesgoodwhatisit Aug 26, 2012 02:26 PM

                                                            Arroz con Pollo cooks rice and chicken all at the same time, and you can easily load that dish with enough vegetables to satisfy any dietitian. It's also delicious. Paella or cous-cous can be one-pan meals as well, but an awful lot more work than most multi-dish meals I do.

                                                            I always cook rice separately for gumbo, but it seems to me I've seen recipes that cook the rice in it. I don't see why that wouldn't work - just leave it in there until it's edible. It's been very well demonstrated lately that grains and potatoes will eventually cook at any reasonable heat level, given enough time, so my mom's hamburger/onion/tomato/kidney bean/macaroni skillet dinner - which I still adore - would not even need the mac cooked separately, given adequate liquid. I think some ingredients might be better added after it's cooked, though, to keep them from overcooking.

                                                            1. re: Will Owen
                                                              LulusMom RE: Will Owen Aug 26, 2012 04:57 PM

                                                              I probably haven't made arroz con pollo since Lulu was born. Great suggestion.

                                                              1. re: Will Owen
                                                                tardigrade RE: Will Owen Sep 12, 2012 08:55 PM

                                                                Seconding the arroz con pollo - add enough peppers/onions/tomatoes and you have your veggies.

                                                            2. u
                                                              Ulyyf RE: LulusMom Aug 21, 2012 08:09 PM

                                                              Eggs with stuff in them. It's probably supposed to be an omelette, but whatever, I just saute an onion, add some vegetables I have around, then crack a few eggs on top and stir. Put the lid on it, it's done in 10 minutes. If you're really invested in having a carb with this meal, and don't want to buy bread, you can make extra rice next time you cook rice and stir some of that in as well.

                                                              If I'm not in the mood for eggs-with-stuff, I make sauce-with-eggs. Cook up a tomato-based sauce using whatever seasonings I have at hand, add other vegetables as desired, crack a few eggs in and cover. They're poached in a few minutes.

                                                              Not feeling it? Okay, how about rice-with-eggs? Saute an onion and garlic, maybe some ginger in a pot. Add your raw rice and water, cover, cook as usual. When it's just about done, toss in some grated carrot and finely chopped greens. When it IS done, with the heat still on, crack an egg or two and stir it all in.

                                                              Sensing a theme? We get a dozen eggs every week from our CSA. You wouldn't think they'd accumulate so quickly!

                                                              1. a
                                                                aimeekm RE: LulusMom Aug 21, 2012 08:45 PM

                                                                Chicken and dumplings, meat, starch & veg all in one pot. Super easy dumplings are are refrigerated tubes of biscuits, or I really like the little Bisquick packets like 3 Cheese Garlic (I add extra cheese).

                                                                1. s
                                                                  sweethooch RE: LulusMom Aug 21, 2012 10:27 PM

                                                                  Sausage, beans, and greens. Saute onion in a big skillet or pot, add sliced sausage of any sort and brown a bit. Add chopped red peppers and/or leeks and/or carrot and/or mushrooms. Add some better-than-bouillon or a splash of sherry or some broth for additional flavor and some chopped garlic. Add a can or two of beans (white, black, black-eyed peas, garbanzos -- anything, really), tomatoes if you want. Add lots of spinach or chard or kale or other favorite green and cook until done. Herbs at the end if you want/have them, or additional spices (ground coriander, red pepper flakes). Skip the sausage if you want vegetarian, or change it to bacon if you want. Or use diced chicken (add it later in the process if already cooked) or ground turkey.

                                                                  Other favorite is quinoa with stuff in it -- saute onions, add diced chicken and brown it a bit, add some garlic and veggies (zucchini and mushrooms are a good combo), spices to your taste. Add quinoa and broth per amounts on box (or per google), and cook until done.

                                                                  1. The Dairy Queen RE: LulusMom Aug 22, 2012 11:29 AM

                                                                    I just ran across this old "one dish" thread that might inspire: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/794346


                                                                    1. The Dairy Queen RE: LulusMom Aug 22, 2012 05:18 PM

                                                                      I guess I never realized that all of my one-pot meals (aside from pasta) seem to be very fall and wintery because they require baking...

                                                                      This Quinoa hotdish is one of my favs... http://www.twincities.com/ci_11528141

                                                                      This tofu casserole from Gourmet Today: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                                                      Spanish hash casserole from Casas' Cocina de Mama: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5608...

                                                                      Pumpkin stuffed with everything good (Around My French Table): http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                                                      But, on the topic of stuffed vegetables, to be extra summery, stuffed tomatoes, stuffed potatoes, stuffed zucchini, stuffed bell peppers, stuffed eggplant...

                                                                      Thai laab...

                                                                      Quiche and other eggy things...

                                                                      Pizza on the grill or pizza stone...


                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                        Berheenia RE: The Dairy Queen Aug 23, 2012 06:52 AM

                                                                        Gonna make that Spanish Hash casserole next week when we are back from our mini vacation.

                                                                      2. Caitlin McGrath RE: LulusMom Aug 25, 2012 09:39 AM

                                                                        I like this chicken and orzo dish; it doesn't have a lot of vegetables as written, but it's easy to add more - up the aromatics (a must), saute some sliced peppers at the beginning, use more peas, stir in some baby spinach to wilt at the end, etc. You can add capers instead of/in addition to the olives, toss in fresh herbs if you have them, and so on. It's a blueprint.


                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                          LulusMom RE: Caitlin McGrath Aug 25, 2012 09:53 AM

                                                                          That sounds really good and pretty easy, and like something everyone in the house would enjoy (especially with the fall coming on). Thanks.

                                                                        2. jadec RE: LulusMom Aug 25, 2012 11:20 AM

                                                                          Congee with fish and romaine - can be varied with meat, fishballs or fish cakes and other vegetables.
                                                                          Asian noodle soups - I use jarred or packaged pastes for curry laksa, prawn noodle, tom yum noodles , assam laksa. Fresh noodles, vegetables and shrimp, meat and egg combos with the appropriate paste make for a good variation.
                                                                          For stir fries if I don't want to cook rice, I make couscous or bulgar. Not a one-dish meal but no cook other than covering with boiling water from the electric kettle.

                                                                          1. q
                                                                            Querencia RE: LulusMom Aug 25, 2012 03:52 PM

                                                                            In this hot season a big huge chef salad is a one-dish meal and there's no cooking at all unless you want one of the ingredients to be hard-boiled egg.

                                                                            1. r
                                                                              relizabeth RE: LulusMom Aug 25, 2012 04:03 PM

                                                                              My husband/ dishwasher lives in another state for much of the year. I rely on things like this as dish washing is not what I do for fun.

                                                                              pierogies w sauerkraut and apples:
                                                                              - fry slices of apples in oil in large frying pan over medium heat. add frozen pierogies and sauerkraut and sauerkraut liquid. Cover and cook til pierogies are ready.

                                                                              chickpeas, potatoes, chard, prunes
                                                                              - cook chickpeas from dried beans, when nearly cooked, add waxy potatoes, and a few chipped prunes and tomato paste. Add shredded chard when potatoes are nearly cooked. Garnish with great olive oil and bread crumbs (but toasting them requires another pan).

                                                                              kimchi, tofu, korean rice cakes
                                                                              - I'm really lazy, I put the above 3 in the pot, cover, cook. garnish with scallions, and sesame oil.

                                                                              1. CafeteriaFraiche RE: LulusMom Aug 26, 2012 12:11 PM

                                                                                I do an island curry(or roti) about once a week. It's infinitely tweak-able because you can put nearly any protein or veggie in it. Keeping with your set of rules, I'm sure adding quick rice towards the end of the simmering process would work just fine. This junk saves well to boot...better the next day even!

                                                                                This should give you the idea(just buy the curry powder though):

                                                                                Sub the chicken for any veggies or protein for just as great results.

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: CafeteriaFraiche
                                                                                  LulusMom RE: CafeteriaFraiche Aug 26, 2012 01:54 PM

                                                                                  Fantastic idea - different enough that no one feels like "not this again" and sounds very forgiving. thanks!

                                                                                2. PotatoHouse RE: LulusMom Aug 26, 2012 05:12 PM

                                                                                  Pho, Saimen, Ramen (NOT the packaged stuff).

                                                                                  1. TorontoJo RE: LulusMom Aug 27, 2012 06:46 AM

                                                                                    Here's another take on chicken and rice that is one pot, easy and delicious -- Lidia's Beggar Chicken and Rice:


                                                                                    And here's a thread where we discuss some of the tweaks we made:


                                                                                    Bottom line is that it's a very forgiving (and huge) recipe -- add whatever veggies you want, use pre-cooked chicken if you want to save time.

                                                                                    1. The Dairy Queen RE: LulusMom Aug 27, 2012 06:51 AM

                                                                                      There are links to several awesome-looking tomato-pie recipes posted near the bottom of the September "Home Cooking Dish of the Month" nominations thread...


                                                                                      1. prima RE: LulusMom Aug 27, 2012 09:07 AM

                                                                                        West Indian chicken curry with potatoes added to the chicken curry
                                                                                        Greek-inspired mac & cheese with feta, dill, arugula
                                                                                        Cauliflower, mac & cheese
                                                                                        chicken with orzo, kalamata olives, feta & tomato
                                                                                        chevre & spinach/arugula strata
                                                                                        savoury bread pudding
                                                                                        caldo verde- I add white beans to turn it into a meal
                                                                                        Italian sausage and white bean stew
                                                                                        tamale pie
                                                                                        chicken enchiladas
                                                                                        stuffed peppers/tomatoes/eggplant/zucchini
                                                                                        cabbage rolls/lazy cabbage roll casserole
                                                                                        kakavia/bouillabaise/cotriade/seafood stew with new potatoes (add the seafood once the potatoes are par-cooked)

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. re: prima
                                                                                          gingershelley RE: prima Aug 27, 2012 10:11 AM

                                                                                          Great list Prima! A couple of ideas here I had forgotten about, that will have to think of as the weather cools down. Thanks!

                                                                                        2. Berheenia RE: LulusMom Aug 27, 2012 09:14 AM

                                                                                          I just baked and served a veggie, cheese, egg, bread strata in one hour - that was so easy
                                                                                          BUT had to be assembled the night before.
                                                                                          Google strata or try this thread http://www.housebeautiful.com/kitchen...

                                                                                          1. w
                                                                                            wandajune6 RE: LulusMom Aug 27, 2012 11:29 AM

                                                                                            I work late and hate making a big production around dinner during the week. I'm not a purist with food and make substitutions and shortcuts like crazy. We try to be healthy but that doesn't always happen either. My 1 pot meals tend to be pretty simple:

                                                                                            1. Boil pasta, drain, pour back in pot. Add handfuls of fresh (or defrosted) spinach, shopped kalamata olives, canned white beans, and canned tuna (a good Italian variety in oil). Leftover sauteed onions are great in it too.

                                                                                            2. Soups. I usually make mine in a crockpot due to time constraints but have a variety in my repetoire:
                                                                                            -cabbage: chunked cabbage, carrots, celery, and onion. 1 box of soup mix (again, lazy), and chicken or beef stock to cover. It's best if you sautee the veg first but isn't bad tossed into a crockpot either. Regardless, 1 dish.

                                                                                            -fake minestrone: same approach with dicing/sautee-ing: carrot, celery, onion, canned tomato, a bit of tomato paste, beef stock, canned beans, a handful or 2 of pasta at the end.

                                                                                            -chicken and wild rice: same veg method, as many sauteed mushrooms as I can find and/or dried mushrooms, leftover shredded chicken, wild rice, long grain rice thrown in at the end. A can of cream of mushroom soup if I my boyfriend wants it creamier.

                                                                                            -Whatever veggie's in the house + stock + immersion blender. Boil veg until soft, blend. Add cream if desired. Or cheese....

                                                                                            3. When in doubt, homemade mac n' cheese. I boil the pasta in my put then leave it in the strainer. Make a simple white sauce and add all of the bits of leftover cheese from the fridge (lesson learned: string cheese doesn't melt well) and a bit of nutmeg or dry mustard. Toss the pasta back in and cook it until it absorbs a bit of of sauce. Baking it off with a topping is nice but seems like a lot of work some nights....

                                                                                            4. Laziest of lazy nights: noodles + sauce. Pasta with jarred sauce. Rice noodles with bottled pad thai sauce, mixed with shredded cabbage, bean sprouts, and chopped peanuts. Pasta with defrosted sauteed mushrooms (I always buy them when marked down and sautee for a later date), parmesan, and a spoonful of truffle butter or olive oil. Ramen noodles with an egg...

                                                                                            Again, I get crazy lazy at the end of the day...

                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: wandajune6
                                                                                              lilmomma RE: wandajune6 Aug 27, 2012 12:23 PM

                                                                                              great ideas wandajune6! In your cabbage soup, what type of boxed soup mix? Lipton's onion soup mix?

                                                                                              1. re: lilmomma
                                                                                                wandajune6 RE: lilmomma Sep 13, 2012 11:20 AM

                                                                                                Sorry for the delay in response! I usually just use a package of Knorr veggie soup mix or onion soup mix. But that's just because that's how my dad taught me!

                                                                                            2. l
                                                                                              laliz RE: LulusMom Aug 27, 2012 04:33 PM

                                                                                              Italian Giambotta (I use 1/4 inch chunks of pepperoni ~~ some like it vegetarian) lots of recipes online

                                                                                              1. whs RE: LulusMom Aug 27, 2012 04:39 PM

                                                                                                There's an interesting recipe in this month's Bon Appetit for an eggplant, tomato, saffron rice baked dish that I'm looking forward to making.

                                                                                                1. f
                                                                                                  FriedClamFanatic RE: LulusMom Aug 27, 2012 05:15 PM

                                                                                                  My one pots consist of "garbage soup" (whatever is hanging around)....or the famous "rice dish"....whatever is hiding there in the fridge gets pulled out. If something needs sauteeing, that gets done first in the rice pot and then put aside on a plate. The rice is then started, often in broth. For the last 10 mins or so everything gets placed on top of the rice to heat. Stir at the end.serve..maybe topped with a spicy sauce (nuked) and toasted Pita Bread on the side. Works and sometimes delightful. Squash, that smidgeon of peas, onions, even potatoes sometimes go into it. Meats can or cannot be added, but I usually limit it to one type and maybe a bit of bacon, sausage, or interesting cold cut (diced) added to the main meat.

                                                                                                  1. t
                                                                                                    tardigrade RE: LulusMom Sep 12, 2012 09:10 PM

                                                                                                    An old standby chez Tardigrade is sausage and peppers, liberally adapted from a dish served in some Italian restaurant in the Hudson valley c. 1970: Italian sausages cooked with peppers, tomatoes and onions, seasoned with oregano (and basil if it's on hand), and served with a loaf of good sourdough bread - or rice or noodles or whatever starch is handy. You can make a big batch and freeze it, or eat it all week if you like. It's a little soupy, so lunchboxes may be a problem.

                                                                                                    Have you considered investing in a fuzzy-logic rice cooker? They can cook all sorts of grains (and some people claim they do legumes and soups as well), and modern ones are just put-the-stuff-in-turn-on-and-forget-about-it so you don't have to watch another pot while the rest of the meal cooks. Mine's non-stick, and cleans up in seconds (and if you make a big batch, the leftovers can be mixed with whatever's in the big pot to be reheated later). Many evenings we start a batch of rice while we're deciding what else to make.

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