Winter One-Pot Wonders
Dinner, solved: After the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, nothing beats a simple soup, stew or other all-in-one meal that calls for just one pot to prepare. Cleanup is a breeze, too.
Soups and Stews, Braises and Roasts, Stir-Fries and Skillet Suppers...
These are just the most obvious options when it comes to preparing a whole meal in just one pot or pan (or some other vessel, like a wok or a casserole dish). EatSmarter! is your go-to resource for hundreds of one-pot dinners that are guaranteed to keep you warm and satisfied throughout on even the chilliest of winter nights. Here are some classic recipes to get you started; see the Gallery below for even more ideas. They're all easy enough to make any day of the week.
EatSmarter! 15 Classic One-Pot Dishes
Contrary to its name, boiled beef is actually not boiled but rather simmered until the meat is meltingly tender along with copious winter vegetables. This version is served with an easy creamy horseradish sauce. One-Pot Beef Stew is a variation on this theme.
Don't overlook the oven when it comes to preparing one-pot (or, in this case, one-pan) meals. Roasting chicken (or pork) with vegetables is a great way to go. This recipe gets a Spanish accent from pimenton (smoked paprika).
Beef may be more traditional for making chili (as in chili con carne), but ground turkey is a popular alternative that is just as flavorful and a bit on the lighter side. Chickpeas are added to this version in lieu of white beans, which would also work.
One of the more famous one-pot meals courtesy of New Orleans, gumbo is endlessly adaptable. This version combines shrimp and chicken drumsticks along with the usual okra and rice. Or try this recipe for jambalaya, a close relative to gumbo.
North African stews are named for the traditional vessel they are cooked in, but you can use a Dutch oven or heavy pot all the same. This tagine features lamb, bell peppers and mushrooms and the inimitable taste of ras el hanout, the regional specialty. Prefer chicken? Click here for a recipe.
For meat-free meals, there are a host of bean-based soups and stews to choose from, including this one that's given heft with chickpeas and Middle Eastern flavors from star anise, cumin, and cilantro. For an Italian-style minestrone, click here.
Cooking fish in a parchment-paper parcel ensures moist results every time, without having to use a lot of fat. The fish will be infused with the flavor of the aromatics and vegetables it cooks along with. Rolled flounder fillets are paired with button mushrooms in these packets, brightened with fresh lime. You can also prepare chicken this way.
What's great about a frittata, besides the wonderful taste of eggs and cheese (usually) and vegetables is its endless adaptability, since you can fold in just about any type of vegetable. Plus, frittatas are equally good warm from the oven, at room temperature or even cold the next day. This one is topped with a sunny side up egg and you could go one (or two or three) further and add an egg for each serving. Click here for a Spanish-style version.
The Irish know a thing or two about the gray days of winter, and also how to prepare stick-to-your ribs food to chase the chill away. Take the iconic Irish stew, chock full of lamb that's falling-off-the-bone tender and potatoes (of course!) in a thick, rich broth. It gets better with time, so consider making it a day ahead. For an easy family-friendly option, click here.
This vegetarian Indian-style curry puts broccoli, bell pepper, and tofu to delicious use in a coconut sauce that's fragrant with cumin, turmeric, and fresh ginger. Mango is an unexpected addition that brightens the whole dish.
Essentially a savory bread pudding, strata is crowd pleasing comfort food that's equally good for brunch or a casual dinner. In this version, sausage and Swiss chard is layered with bread and cheese and baked until all golden and melting on top.
Chicken legs and wings become ultra-moist and tender after long, slow cooking (as do lamb and pork shanks; click here for a recipe). Here, chicken is brushed with honey and then braised with onions, pumpkin, saffron and a splash of wine.
You don't have to use a wok to make authentic stir-fries, but it's a relatively inexpensive investment that will earn its keep in making quick and easy dinners. Use this recipe as a starting point for whipping up stir-fries with shrimp, beef or tofu and other vegetables, including broccoli, green beans, snap peas, spinach, bok choy, eggplant--you name it. Also worth a try: Pork and Leek Stir-Fry.
#14/Shakshuka (Middle Eastern Egg Skillet)
In Isreal, you'll find as many variations on shakshuka, which is served for breakfast, lunch or dinner, as there are home cooks. What unites them all is the eggs that are poached on top of a spicy tomato-based sauce. This Italian-inspired one includes artichoke hearts, pancetta, and oregano; click here for a more traditional version.
#15/Asian Noodle Soup
While udon and soba noodles require cooking before adding to soups, cellophane or "glass" noodles just need to be soaked to become tender, making them just right for true one-pot soups and other dishes. Shrimp, green beans, and shiitake mushrooms are used in the version here, seasoned with lemongrass, fish sauce, and oyster sauce. For a refreshing Asian-style noodle salad, click here.
Bonus! Pork and Apple Skillet Pie
Here's a spin on chicken pot pie, with the winning combination of pork and apples in the filling. What's more, the pie goes from stove top to the oven to the table in the same cast-iron skillet, for a true one-pan supper.