Busy families have neither the time nor energy to prepare an elaborate dinner, then do the dishes. And now more than ever, “easy” is the order of the day. Having a few one-dish dinner options may be just what’s in order.
Whether you prefer cooking in a cast-iron skillet, roast pan, or crockpot, one-dish dinners make life simpler in a number of ways. Combine a protein, starch, and some veggies to form a soup, stew, or casserole, and you have a nutritious, well-balanced meal.
Dishes such as these are a perfect way to recycle yesterday’s leftovers into a flavorful, budget-friendly meal for today. In addition, many one-dish dinners can be prepared in advance and stored in the refrigerator or freezer for times when you need a quick meal. And possibly the biggest plus of a one-dish dinner is the smaller pile of dirty dishes waiting for you after the meal is over.
Try these mouthwatering one dish wonders!
Delicious One-Dish Dinners
Cornbread Taco Pie
1 pound ground beef
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
15-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained (optional)
8-ounce can taco sauce
1 cup corn (frozen or canned)
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 jalapeno pepper, minced (optional)
11-ounce can refrigerated corn breadstick dough
1 cup Jack Cheese, shredded
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large oven-safe cast-iron skillet, brown ground beef with onion, and garlic; drain well.
Add tomatoes, beans (if using), taco sauce, corn, chili powder, cumin, and jalapeno pepper. Heat to boiling. Top with corn breadstick dough rounds (do not unroll), pressing down gently. Sprinkle with cheese and oregano. Bake 35-45 minutes until top is golden brown. When it’s out of the oven, top with sour cream, green onions, cilantro, or whatever toppings you like, and serve. Makes 6 servings.
*Note: Corn breadstick dough by Pillsbury has been discontinued in some areas. You can make your own cornbread mixture using 1 cup cornmeal, 1 cup baking mix (such as Bisquick), 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, 2 eggs, and 1.5 cups buttermilk. Mix and dollop over meat mixture; spread into thin layer. Bake for 10 minutes, then add the cheese and oregano and bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
Crockpot Pasta Fagioli
(Two ways to pronounce this: Pasta Fazool or Pasta Fa-jole)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
5 garlic cloves, chopped
28-ounce can tomatoes, chopped
3 cups chicken broth
Salt and pepper
2/3 cup elbow macaroni, cooked
1 can red or white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
Grated Parmesan cheese
Sauté onion and garlic in olive oil until tender. In crockpot, combine tomatoes, broth, and sautéed onion and garlic.
Add parsley, salt, and pepper to taste. Cover and cook on low setting for approximately 3 hours. Add cooked macaroni and beans, and heat on low an additional 30 minutes until hot. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese.
Greek Shrimp and Rice
7-ounce package rice pilaf mix
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried mint leaves
12-ounce can shrimp, drained, reserving broth
1 1/2 cups water
14-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
2-ounce can chopped kalamata olives
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté rice, onions, and garlic in olive oil until rice is light golden brown. Add oregano, mint, reserved shrimp broth, water, and rice pilaf seasoning packet. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low.
Cover and simmer 10-15 minutes until rice is tender. Stir in shrimp, tomatoes, and olives. Simmer an additional 8-10 minutes until thoroughly heated. Sprinkle with cheese and serve. Makes 4 servings.
Chicken Vegetable Stew with Dumplings
2 (2 1/2 – 3 pound) broiler-fryer chickens, cut up
4 cups water
1 1/2 cups chopped celery
1 1/2 cups chopped carrots
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 tablespoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup cold water
1/2 cup flour
1 10-ounce package frozen peas
1 10-ounce can mushrooms, undrained
Place chicken pieces in a Dutch oven. Add 4 cups water, celery, carrots, onions, salt, thyme, and pepper. Bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 35-45 minutes or until chicken is nearly tender. Skim off fat.
Blend 1 cup water and flour together and then stir into chicken mixture. Stir in frozen peas and mushrooms. Cook, stirring gently until thickened and bubbly. Drop herb dumplings dough (see recipe below) by tablespoon onto stew. Cover and simmer 15 minutes without lifting lid. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme or sage (crushed)
3/4 cup sour cream
3/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons oil
In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt, and thyme or sage. In another bowl, mix sour cream, milk, and oil.
Add sour cream mixture to dry ingredients, and stir until dry ingredients are moistened. Makes 8 dumplings.