One Pot and Wonderful: 6 Dinner Recipes with Minimal Cleanup

There probably aren’t too many people who actually enjoy doing dishes — and if they exist, you probably aren’t part of the club. So why spend ages cleaning up after dinner, especially when you can use recipes for dishes that only call for one pot or pan? We have six substantial recipes for your one-pot dinners that will put a divine dish on the table and minimize the amount of time you have to spend in the kitchen after everyone is done eating.

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1. Low Country Boil

Easy, summery, flavorful, and Southern, Paula Deen’s Food Network recipe for Low Country Boil needs to be included in your summer cooking plans. Also known as Frogmore Stew, Coastal Living says the one-pot meal was born when Richard Gay, a National Guardsman, had to feed 100 soldiers. It was named after his home town of Frogmore, South Carolina. This recipe makes six servings.

Ingredients:

  • Crab boil, 2 teaspoons per quart of water
  • 12 red new potatoes
  • 6 (4-inch) smoked sausage link sausages
  • 6 ears corn
  • 3 pounds fresh shrimp, unpeeled

Directions: Fill a large pot with enough water to cover all of the ingredients. Add the crab boil and bring to a boil. Adjust the crab boil to suit your taste. When the water boils, add the potatoes and sausage. Cook on medium heat for 20 minutes. Add corn and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Add shrimp and cook for no more than 3 minutes. Drain and serve with warm bread.

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2. Arroz con Pollo

Brightly colored and boldly flavored, Martha Stewart‘s arroz con pollo, or rice with chicken, is satisfying to eat and easy to make. Valencia rice is recommended for the dish because it is ideal for slow cooking, as seen in this recipe. This dish serves six.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • Pinch of saffron
  • 6 chicken thighs (6 ounces each)
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic (2 to 3 cloves)
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 4½ cups homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock, plus more if needed
  • 3 cups short-grain rice
  • 1 cup pimiento-stuffed green olives

Directions: Combine wine and saffron; let stand until ready to use. Season chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large braiser or heavy-bottomed, straight-sided saute pan over medium-high heat. Cook chicken, skin side down, until browned, 4-5 minutes. Flip and cook until golden brown, 2 minutes; transfer to a plate.

Reduce heat to medium and cook onion and garlic, stirring often, until tender, 10-15 minutes. Add tomato and cook, stirring often, for 15 minutes. Stir in wine-saffron mixture, 1 tablespoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, and the bay leaves. Cook until wine is almost completely evaporated, 10-15 minutes. Add chicken, stock, rice, and olives; bring to a simmer.

Reduce heat to low. Cook, covered, stirring halfway through, until rice is tender, about 45 minutes. (If rice is not done, add more stock, cup at a time.) Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Discard bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper.

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3. Beer-Braised Bratwursts with Onion

On game day, mix things up by serving these beer-braised brats from Chow. It makes 12 above-average brats — exactly what you need to elevate game-day gatherings, Tuesday night dinner, or your next picnic.

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons black or brown mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (½ stick)
  • 12 uncooked bratwursts
  • 3 medium white or yellow onions, sliced into ¼-inch-thick rings
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1½ cups (12 ounces) brown ale, such as Newcastle
  • 12 hoagie rolls, toasted
  • Sweet hot mustard, for serving

Directions: Place the mustard seeds and caraway seeds in a small resealable plastic bag and crush them with a meat mallet or rolling pin. Melt the butter in a Dutch oven or a large, wide, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat until foaming. Add Six of the bratwursts and cook, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes total. Remove to a plate and repeat with the remaining six bratwursts.

Reduce the heat to low, add the crushed seed mixture, onions, and brown sugar, and season generously with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions have softened and are beginning to brown, about 40 minutes. Add the reserved bratwursts and any accumulated juices, nestling the brats in the onions. Pour in the beer and braise the bratwursts, turning once, until they are completely cooked through, about 30 minutes. Place a bratwurst in each bun and serve with the onions and mustard on the side.

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4. One-Pot Rice and Pork 

When you’re pressed for time and really don’t want to do the dishes afterwards, use this recipe from Food.com. It will put pork, rice, and corn on four plates around the dinner table in about 30 minutes.

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 4 pork loin chops with bone
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup water
  • 1½ cups long-grain rice
  • 1 cup corn kernel

Directions: In a bowl, mix together half of the parsley, garlic, cumin, salt, pepper, and cayenne, and rub it over the chops. In a Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Brown the chops, turning once, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Drain off the fat from the pan. Add stock and water and bring to a boil, stirring. Add rice and corn. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in remaining parsley. Nestle the pork chops and any accumulated juices in the rice. Cook until the rice is tender, the liquid is absorbed, and just a hint of pink remains inside the chops, 10 minutes.

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5. Peanut Broccoli Stir-Fry

Tempted to try tofu? Consider using this Southern Living stir-fry as your jumping off point. Oregon Live explains that tofu is a “blank canvass” when it comes to flavors, and will take on the tastes of the ingredients you use when cooking it. The medley of ingredients here offer plenty of options and a fulfilling meal. You could potentially substitute chicken for the tofu as well, if desired. This recipe serves six.

Ingredients:

  • 1 (16-ounce) package firm tofu
  • 2 cups uncooked brown rice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce
  • 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon lite soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • ¾ teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon peanut or vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
  • 2 cups fresh broccoli florets
  • 1 cup carrot sticks
  • 2 tablespoons chopped peanuts
  • Garnish: lime wedges

Directions: Place tofu between two flat plates. Weight the top with a heavy can. (Sides of tofu should be bulging slightly but not cracking.) Let stand 45 minutes; discard liquid. Cut tofu into ½-inch cubes. Prepare rice according to package directions, adding ½ teaspoon salt.

Meanwhile, combine vegetable broth and next seven ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring well. Add tofu, and toss to coat. Let stand 10 minutes. Remove tofu from marinade, reserving marinade.

Heat oils in a nonstick skillet or wok over high heat for 1 minute. Add tofu and stir-fry 4-5 minutes or until browned. Remove tofu. Add broccoli and carrot sticks; stir-fry 2 minutes. Add reserved marinade and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring constantly for 2 minutes or until thickened; stir in cooked tofu. Serve over hot cooked rice. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts. Garnish, if desired.

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6. Penne Pasta Skillet

This isn’t a pasta recipe that claims to be a one-pot wonder, but only because it calls for cooked noodles. Kraft’s penne pasta skillet really does only need one skillet; omit the beef for a vegetarian dinner. Other small-shaped pasta will work in place of the penne.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 jar (24 ounces) spaghetti sauce
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 cups penne pasta, uncooked
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions: Brown meat in large skillet on medium-high heat; drain. Add spaghetti sauce and water; mix well. Stir in pasta. Bring to boil; cover. Simmer on medium heat 16-18 minutes or until pasta is tender; stir. Top with cheese; cover. Cook 1 minute or until cheese is melted.

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