Category Archives: one pot meals

Slow-Cooker Bolognese

I love my Bolognese recipes which are also on this site. Sometimes I just want to use my slow-cooker so that my meal is ready when I am home at the end of the day. This is what I did and I have to say it came out very tasty. I made all 4 lbs. of ground beef ( you can sub turkey or chicken if you would like) and I had about 4 meals out of this. Perfection! I froze in individual containers for 3 meals after the night we originally ate it. It’s perfect for the cold winter nights ahead of us. File this under cozy comfort foods.

IMG_7170

This is what I did.

Ingredients:

4 Tbsp. Olive Oil

4 lbs. ground beef–I prefer the meat with a little fat so if you’re using turkey make sure it’s not 100% fat free because it will be rather dry and tasteless

6 cloves garlic, chopped

4 celery stalks, chopped

2 whole carrots, chopped

2 onions, chopped

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

1 6 oz. can tomato paste

1 cup dry red wine

2 cups whole milk

2 28 oz. cans crushed tomatoes

1 Tbsp. dried oregano

1 Tbsp. dried basil

2 teaspoons dried thyme

2 teaspoons red pepper flakes

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

*if you’d like instead of all these dried spices you can use dried italian seasonings which come in a spice jar but I would still add the nutmeg and  red pepper flakes

Grated Parmesan for serving

*Chopped Fresh Basil and Chopped Fresh Parsley for serving if you’d like

Directions:

Heat 2 Tablespoons of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the mirepoix ( carrots, celery and onions) season with salt and pepper and cook until softened and onions are transparent ) app. 10-15 minutes — I stirred in the garlic at the end and then added the tomato paste , stir around and cook for another few minutes. Pour in the red wine. Cook until most of the red wine is evaporated, app. 5 more minutes on a low flame. Pour this into the slow cooker.

Pour the remaining 2 Tbsp. of Olive Oil into the same skillet, add the beef and season with salt and pepper, cook breaking up the beef until it is nicely browned about 15 minutes. Drain off any excess fat. Stir in the milk and continue cooking until it is mostly absorbed by the meat, app. another 5 minutes. Add this to the slow cooker along with the tomatoes and all the dried spices. Add some more salt–taste for salt I was pretty generous with the salt.

Give the pot a good stir , cover and cook on low for 6 hours.

I didn’t have any fat to skim on top because I drained the fat earlier and used 15% fat ground beef. The totally lean beef is a little to dry for my liking but use what ever meat you like. Check the consistency if it is too thick add a little bit of water. If it is too thin, cook for another 30 minutes or so with the cover off.

I have to say mine came out perfectly after 6 hours in the slow cooker. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper if you desire. Also a little note about slow-cooker, once the initial cooking process is over my slow cooker goes to warm and will stay on warm for another few hours or so . This is perfect because it will not cook anymore just stay warm. This is what I did.

Serve over pasta with lots of grated Parmesan Cheese and top with fresh basil and fresh parsley if you’d like.

By all means freeze the extra in air-tight containers for another few meals!

Enjoy!

 

 

Sheet Pan Chicken –Meditteranean Style-String Beans and Potatoes

I love one pan and one pot dinners! Just amazing! This is an easy no-fuss meal cooked in the oven on one sheet with a marinade that has a distinct Mediterranean flavor from the lemon juice, olive oil and oregano.  Use chicken thighs or legs , I prefer dark meat for this but if you insist on using white meat –go ahead. Some green beans and potatoes make this a one pan staple. Delicious and Nutritious. Did I mention super easy to clean up?  You’ll need a rimmed baking sheet for this recipe.

Enjoy! this is for 2 +people but you can double for 4. It will probably feed 2+ but depends on your people. This is what I did for the 2 of us. We ate the whole thing! no leftovers! If you are making for a larger crowd (4 or more) either use a very large baking sheet or 2 baking sheets .

Ingredients:

1/2 lb. baby red potatoes I quartered them but if they are very small you can cut in 1/2

1/2 lb. green beans , trimmed

2 Tbsp. olive oil plus for marinade

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper, I salt chicken liberally and potatoes because they tend to be bland –see notes below on salt and pepperimg_3437

*2 Tbsp. Chopped Fresh Parsley – totally optional along with some slices of fresh lemon for beautiful presentation

 

Marinade for the Chicken- Marinate for about an hour

app. 1 package of chicken thighs– bone in , skin on . When I say 1 package it is usually a little under 2 lbs ( 6 smallish thighs)  which is more than enough for 2 people. Usually about 6 chicken thighs in a package depending on the size of thighs.

1/4 cup olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

Juice of 1 lemon- I used juicer because I wanted to make sure I got every drop

1 Tbsp. Red Wine Vinegar

1 Tbsp. dried oregano

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper , to taste–I used 1/2 tsp. kosher salt and about 10 grinds on the pepper mill for the marinade

In a large Ziploc Bag, combine chicken, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, red wine vinegar and oregano; season with app. 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds (10-12) of freshly ground black pepper, to taste. Marinate for at least an hour, turning the bag occasionally. Remove the chicken from the marinade by draining it, discard the excess marinade.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly spray a large size baking sheet with cooking spray.

Place potatoes and green beans in a single layer onto the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Top with chicken in a single layer. Salt is an important component here–I sprinkled a light amount over chicken and potatoes and string beans –probably another 1/2 teaspoon and a few grinds of the pepper mill

Place into the oven and roast until the chicken is completely cooked through, should register 165 degrees with a meat thermometer after about 1/2 hour . After I check for readiness I place under the broiler for a few minutes, till skin is golden brown and a little charred ( but not too charred) watch chicken for signs of burning.

Serve immediately, you can garnish with lemon slices and parsley for a beautiful presentation!

Enjoy

 

 

 

 

Sheet Pan Chicken –Meditteranean Style-String Beans and Potatoes

I love one pan and one pot dinners! Just amazing! This is an easy no-fuss meal cooked in the oven on one sheet with a marinade that has a distinct Meditteranean flavor from the lemon juice, olive oil and oregano.  Use chicken thighs or legs , I prefer dark meat for this but if you insist on using white meat –go ahead. Some green beans and potatoes make this a one pan staple. Delicious and Nutritious. Did I mention super easy to clean up? It was the Golden Globes so I wanted to eat and watch without a big mess to clean up. You’ll need a rimmed baking sheet for this recipe.

Enjoy! this is for 2 +people but you can double for 4. It will probably feed 2+ but depends on your people. This is what I did for the 2 of us. We ate the whole thing! no leftovers! If you are making for a larger crowd (4 or more) either use a very large baking sheet or 2 baking sheets .

Ingredients:

1/2 lb. baby red potatoes- I quartered them but if they are very small you can cut in 1/2

1/2 lb. green beans , trimmed

2 Tbsp. olive oil plus for marinade

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper, I salt chicken liberally and potatoes because they tend to be bland –see notes below on salt and pepperimg_3437

*2 Tbsp. Chopped Fresh Parsley – totally optional along with some slices of fresh lemon for beautiful presentation

 

Marinade for the Chicken- Marinate for about an hour

app. 1 package of chicken thighs– bone in , skin on . When I say 1 package it is usually a little under 2 lbs ( 6 smallish thighs)  which is more than enough for 2 people. Usually about 6 chicken thighs in a package depending on the size of thighs.

1/4 cup olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

Juice of 1 lemon- I used juicer because I wanted to make sure I got every drop

1 Tbsp. Red Wine Vinegar

1 Tbsp. dried oregano

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper , to taste–I used 1/2 tsp. kosher salt and about 10 grinds on the pepper mill for the marinade

In a large Ziploc Bag, combine chicken, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, red wine vinegar and oregano; season with app. 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds (10-12) of freshly ground black pepper, to taste. Marinate for at least an hour, turning the bag occasionally. Remove the chicken from the marinade by draining it, discard the excess marinade.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly spray a large size baking sheet with cooking spray.

Place potatoes and green beans in a single layer onto the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Top with chicken in a single layer. Salt is an important component here–I sprinkled a light amount over chicken and potatoes and string beans –probably another 1/2 teaspoon and a few grinds of the pepper mill

Place into the oven and roast until the chicken is completely cooked through, should register 165 degrees with a meat thermometer after about 1/2 hour . After I check for readiness I place under the broiler for a few minutes, till skin is golden brown and a little charred ( but not too charred) watch chicken for signs of burning.

Serve immediately, you can garnish with lemon slices and parsley for a beautiful presentation!

Enjoy

 

 

 

 

 

Easy Skillet Lasagna

This was truly one of the most epic meals! The whole meal in under an hour, and yes that’s lasagna folks. While I love a real lasagna I didn’t have the time to put the whole thing together and deal with it. Once you have the ingredients the prep time is minimal and you aren’t using store bought sauce , this is with sauce you make and I can’t say enough about the way it tasted! This can be done a few different ways and I invite you to play around with the ingredients and spices to your own liking. All I can say is Wow!  Delicious! Joel was very happy with our Sunday night dinner, I should have taken a picture of the big smile he had on his face when he saw this on his plate.  All in one pot is truly a great way to cook, no fuss, no muss and no having to deal with cooking lasagna noodles!!!!!! Yeah!

This can easily be made with ricotta cheese and spinach or any veggies you like. I would even try it with cut up eggplant!

*You’ll need a large oven proof skillet with lid

Ingredients:

1 to 1/2 Tablespoon Olive Oil–I used 1 1/2 you can start with 1 and add more to onions if you need it

1/2 lb. ground beef ( I used 80/20)

3 Italian sausage links, casings removed ( I used Hot Italian Sausage) use what you like , you can use turkey or chicken sausage as well

1 onion, diced

1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes

1 8oz.can tomato sauce

*Italian seasonings , if you have Italian seasonings in a jar that’s great if not use a little dried oregano and dried basil. Italian Seasonings is available in the spice department of all food stores.

*1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

App. 1/4 tsp. Kosher Salt and more to taste

2-3 garlic cloves, minced

app. 10 lasagna noodles, broken into 1/4’s, if it breaks up differently don’t worry it’s a very loose recipe! 8 ounces Farfalle Pasta also works if you don’t feel like using the lasagna noodles. Un-cooked Noodles!!!!!

8 oz. mozzarella balls ( fresh) I used the small ones this time. Use whatever cheese you like but these worked out beautifully.  You can always use shredded mozzarella, or just cut a large ball of mozzarella into small pieces ( as much or as little as you’d like) if using shredded mozzarella, you’ll need about 1 cup

2 cups water

Freshly grated Parmesan Cheese for serving

*you can also use 1 cup Ricotta Cheese for a very cheesy version, I would use this if I was making it with spinach and going veggie.

Directions:

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook till translucent, add garlic towards the end of onion process. Add ground beef to the onions, stirring occasionally till browned. I removed with slotted spoon and set aside in a bowl. I then cooked up the sausage making sure to crumble the sausage as it cooked.  I then removed sausage to bowl with meat , onions, and garlic and drained all excess fat from pan.

Pre-heat oven to Broil

Return meat to pan, add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, spices, add 1/4 tsp. kosher salt to taste, if you need more add it. Add in the meat mixture and stir, bring to a simmer and add in broken lasagna pieces and 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat and simmer until pasta is cooked through, about 13- 15 minutes for al dente. I stirred it gently a few times just to make certain that the noodles cooked through and didn’t stick together.

Remove from the heat . I placed my Mozzarella on top and placed in oven under broiler for about 5 mins. Check on it because you don’t want it to blacken. All ovens are different, in mine it needed about 6 minutes to just start browning without burning, but you don’t want to burn this up so set timer and keep an eye on it!

Remove from the oven and let it sit out for a few minutes. Plate it up and let everyone add their own parmesan cheese! Enjoy! you will.

IMG_1101

Plated up and ready to eat

IMG_1097

Finished Product

 

IMG_1096

adding mozzarella before placing under broiler

 

IMG_1093

placing un-cooked noodles into sauce

 

 

This would serve 4. It’s tough to double because you would need a super large pan.

This makes for an amazing leftover!

 

 

 

 

Chicken and Rigatoni in One Pot–One Pot Pasta

photo 2 photo 3 photo 4 (2) photo 5 (2) photo photo 2 (2) photo 1I must say that the first time I saw this recipe for one-pot pasta I was hesitant. I read up on it and found out that the actual recipe for this one-pot pasta hailed from Puglia. So for all of those “haters” out there I am just saying that I did do my homework here and found out that yes they do this in Italy and original recipe was from there. OK that’s enough of that. It doesn’t really matter where it’s from now does it? I have made 2 versions of this type of pasta and all I can say is yum. I will also add that you need to be a little bit more attentive during the cooking but the result was fabulous. We loved the creaminess and the pasta came out perfectly al dente.  You just don’t want to overcook it, taste for doneness and sit down and eat. It was delicious the next day cold out of fridge as well. Give this one a try you won’t be sorry. Joel was very happy with the clean-up detail as well because it was one pot! Whole thing took under an hour from start to finish. One pan, people!!! dry noodles, sauce ingredients, water, wine a few good things and you’ve got a delicious impressive dinner.

*I used my large Le Creuset pot. A large skillet would work fine here as well.

Ingredients:

2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

5 cloves of garlic, chopped

app. 1 – 1 1/2 lbs. of chicken breast, cut into small chunks. Just buy a regular package of chicken breasts and cut them up as I did ( see photos)

2 large roasted red peppers, sliced into thin slices ( straight out of the jar) see photos

6 cherry peppers, chopped and de-seeded , you can use hot if you like it spicy or just mild cherry peppers which is what I used (straight out of the jar) see photos

1 cup water, you will probably add about 1/2 cup more but you should start out with a cup

1 lb. rigatoni, I like the way the rigatoni works of course penne or another type of macaroni will work just fine

1 cup white wine, use what you have open as long as it’s not a sweet wine

1 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes

1 cup Parmesan Cheese grated, more for serving

1/2 stick unsalted butter

1/4 cup heavy cream

2 teaspoons fresh basil torn, you’ll want to add a little more at the end of cooking as well.

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt or sea salt

Crushed red pepper flakes, optional. If you like the heat add a little bit during cooking and you can always add more at end. 1/4 teaspoon to start is good.

Directions:

In a large skillet type of pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add in the garlic and chicken . Saute the chicken until it is just browned on the outside but not cooked through.

Stir in the roasted red peppers and cherry peppers, and sauté for another minute or so. Add in the crushed tomatoes and wine. Add in the water and the raw pasta and bring to a low boil. If you need more water you’ll know at this point , add a bit more water (a little at a time) Continue to cook, stirring very often, until the pasta has cooked to al dente , it will take anywhere from 15- 20 minutes. Taste pasta and judge how much longer it needs.

When pasta is done to your liking, reduce heat to low and add in the butter, basil and salt. When the butter is completely melted into the past, add in the cream and the cheese. Let simmer on low for another ten minutes or so, stirring occasionally. Top with additional cheese, basil and red pepper flakes if you like.

Serve warm.