Don't know what to cook the first week back-to-school? I have your solution! It's the one pot meal. One pot meals make cooking and clean up easy! I'm sharing all my favorite tips for one pot meals from the prep to the clean up, and some recipe ideas too. Keep reading and pin this post!
What's the one thing you need to make one pot meals happen? The right size pot.
It's got to be big enough, bold enough, heavy duty, and easy to clean all at the same time.
You know that I'm a kitchen consultant with Pampered Chef -- a company started by Doris Christopher in 1980 to help moms like you and me create more mealtimes around the table with high quality tools that last. I wouldn't write about it if I didn't believe in this company and the products!
With that, I want to spotlight two options that will do the job of making a one pot meal a cinch.
Best Pots for One Pot Meals in My House
- All Purpose Pot (holds 7.5 quarts and comes with a lifetime guarantee, super easy to clean and holds everything! And oven safe!) with a free downloadable recipe booklet.
- Rock Crok Dutch Oven holds one gallon, and goes in the microwave, on the stove top, in the oven, under the broiler, and on the grill!
Meal Prep Tips for One Pot Meals
- Do all your chopping and dicing on the weekend. That might be mushrooms, celery, onion, or any other vegetables.
- Pull out your meat from the freezer on Sundays and put it into a thawing dish (a large 9x13 pan) on the bottom shelf in the refrigerator (no more bloody juices running all over the shelves - food safety is important!).
- If you know you will be using cooked ground beef crumbles or diced and cooked chicken breast in your weekly menu, then cook that up on Sunday or Monday night while making dinner. Package it and have it in the refrigerator ready to go!
One Pot Meal Ideas for Busy Families
(Test Kitchen Approved & Free Downloadable Recipe Book)
Here's a few ideas (keep reading for a FREE downloadable recipe booklet!)
- Turkey Chili and Cornbread
- All-in-One Spaghetti and Meatballs
- Quick Chicken and Broccoli Rice
- Creamy One Pot Pasta
- Hearty Meat Sauce for French Bread (top with cheese!!)
- Barbecued Country Style Pork Ribs
That's just a few in the booklet -- other ideas:
- Teriyaki Stir Fry
- Taco Rice Bowl with Toppings
- Tator Tot Casserole (start on the stove top in the All Purpose Pot and end in the oven, no need to dirty another pan!)
- Chicken Noodle Soup
- Want more? I do private cooking classes!
Side dishes for one pot meals:
- A simple salad featuring both dark green leafy vegetables and fruit, like apples, pears, mandarin oranges, strawberries or dried cranberries. Top with nuts and your favorite dressing.
- Heat and serve steamed vegetables.
- Slices of whole grain bread or dinner rolls.
- Milk (remember, you need three servings of milk a day!)
Tips for One Pot Meal Clean Up
- Have the right pan. Don't expect a metal pan to be quick clean up - it needs to be non-stick or dishwasher safe (as my two recommendations are above).
- Upon emptying the pan at mealtime, toss in 2-3 cups of water while it is still on the burner. Let the water do the work -- then simply scrape and wash quickly in the sink. (I do this when we are camping too!)
- Employ the kids and get all those dishes off the table, into the dishwasher or washed in the sink. Put the dishes away and go to bed with a clean kitchen -- you won't regret the feeling in the morning!