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What are your favorite one-dish meals?

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. 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. 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

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

      2. 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

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

          1. re: dkenworthy

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

          2. 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

              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

                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

                  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. 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.