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One Pot Meals

One-pot meals have been my favorite cooking method lately. Put it all in – protein, whole grains or starchy veggies, and non-starchy veggies – and dinner is served!

I try to make one-pot recipes that are full meals in themselves. Occasionally, I decide to make one-pot dishes and add some crackers, apple slices, raw veggie sticks, or another quick addition on the side to complete the meal.

Try these tips when you make one-pot meals. And join us for a hands-on cooking class about one-pot meals on September 28 in Macon Co. Register today at 217-877-6042 or online.

1. Eat your veggies with one-pot meals.

  • You can easily add extra veggies and beans to soup.
  • When you make one-pot spaghetti, add extra onion, bell peppers, and cut tomatoes. Or even unexpected veggies like eggplant or spinach.
  • Beef stew often has potatoes and carrots. Why not add mushrooms, bell peppers, or even zucchini?

2. Cook grains in one pot.

  • You may be familiar with skillet spaghetti where the water, broth, and/or pasta sauce cook the pasta.
  • This works for grains like brown rice, quinoa, and barley too. I like how the starch in grains helps thicken and create a creamy dish.

General directions: add any protein (such as meat, poultry, beans, and/or tofu) to the pot to cook, add grains, veggies, and liquid, and cook until ingredients are tender. You may need to stir occasionally.


3. Use the slow cooker.

  • Slow cooker recipes are a great tool for one-pot meals. Soups, stews, and chilis are popular one-pot meals to make in a slow cooker.
  • For more about slow cookers, check out this blog post from a fellow educator: Winter Meal Life Hack: Slow Cookers.

4. Cook in foil packets.

  • Whether on the grill or in your oven, this is a unique look at a one-pot meal.
  • Fish, seafood, and small cubes of meat work well in foil packets.
  • While pasta and rice may not have enough moisture in a foil packet to cook, starches like potatoes and corn on the cob work well.

The more you practice with one-pot meals and cooking ingredients together, the more comfortable I hope you feel.  Leave a comment and let us know how you do one-pot meals! And enjoy this one-pot recipe soon.

Quick Spinach, Sausage, and White Bean Stew (Makes 8 cups)

12 oz turkey or chicken sausage, sliced into ¼" rounds
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 cups no-salt-added chicken broth
3 garlic cloves, minced (about 1 ½ teaspoons)
2 (14-16 ounce) cans reduced-sodium cannellini beans
4 medium Roma tomatoes, diced (about 1 cup)
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
10 ounce package fresh spinach leaves
<>Salt and pepper to taste

    1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add turkey sausage and cook until lightly browned.
    2. Add onion and saute until softened, about 3 minutes.
    3. Pour in chicken broth and using a wooden spoon, scrape brown bits off bottom of pan. Stir in garlic, beans, and tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.
    4. Add oregano, rosemary, and spinach. Cook just until spinach leaves are wilted.
    5. Season to taste and serve.

    Nutrition Facts (per cup): Calories 220, Total Fat 6g (Saturated 2g), Cholesterol 30mg, Sodium 680mg, Total Carbohydrate 26g, Dietary Fiber 7g, Protein 15g

    Source: Leia Kedem, Moderation Maven, Nutrition & Wellness Educator, 2014

    Today's post was written by Caitlin Huth. Caitlin Huth, MS, RD, is a registered dietitian and Nutrition & Wellness Educator serving DeWitt, Macon, and Piatt Counties. She teaches nutrition- and food-based lessons around heart health, food safety, diabetes, and others. In all classes, she encourages trying new foods, gaining confidence in healthy eating, and getting back into our kitchens.