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Smarter Family: Yummy (and Healthy!) One-Pot Recipes

Posted by on Jan. 7, 2014 at 12:00 AM
  • 36 Replies
2 moms liked this

I have a New Year's Resolution that is repeated every year...okay, really, I have two resolutions that are always on the list of "Do in (Insert Year)." The first: cook more new dishes, or actually, just cook more than heating up frozen stuff. And the second: floss more.

Back to the first one...the thing about cooking. I'm not good at it. Like really not good at it. As I attempt to get better in the kitchen, I figure I should get a few recipes that are not only easy to do, but healthy for us too, blasted with veggies (the hardest food group to get into those bellies). My latest idea: find recipes that don't need a whole lot of juggling the timing of many bubbling pots and pans. Dealing with only one pot? Much tougher for me to screw up. Here are a few that fit the two requirements: the meals sneak in good-for-us veggies and only need one pot!   

Bean and Sausage Stew from

What you need:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 12-ounce package fully cooked chicken sausage links, sliced

2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1 19-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed

1 14.5-ounce can low-sodium chicken broth

1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes

1 bunch kale leaves, torn into 2-inch pieces

1 loaf country bread (optional) 

What you do:

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook, stirring once, until browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 2 minutes more. Add the beans, broth, and tomatoes and their liquid and bring to a boil. Add the kale and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Serve with the bread, if using. 

Lemon Chicken and Rice With Kale from

What you need:

2 pounds chicken drumsticks

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 large shallots, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon saffron threads or turmeric

2 teaspoons zest and 1 tablespoon fresh juice from 1 lemon

1 bunch curly kale, leaves cut into 1-inch ribbons, thick stems removed (about 4 cups)

3 cups homemade or store-bought low sodium chicken stock

1 1/2 cups basmati or long-grain white rice

What you do:

Season the chicken on all sides with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until lightly smoking. Add the chicken and cook until well browned on first side, about 6 minutes, then turn and cook until browned on the second side, about 5 minutes longer. Remove with tongs and set aside. Turn the heat down to medium and add the shallots, stirring so they don't burn, until just softened, about 30 seconds. Add the cumin, lemon zest, and saffron, and stir until fragrant, another 30 seconds. Stir in the kale, then add the broth and rice and stir together. Lay the chicken carefully on top and adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer, then cover and cook until the chicken and rice are done, 15 to 20 minutes. Sprinkle with the lemon juice and serve.


Crock Pot Quinoa and Veggies from
(To make this heartier and to give a punch of protein, mix in a can or two of low-sodium black beans.)

What you need:

1 1/2 cups Quinoa

3 cups chicken or vegetable stock

1 small onion, chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium sweet red pepper, chopped

1 small carrot, chopped

1 cup fresh green beans chopped

 2 garlic cloves, minced

 1 teaspoon fresh cilantro or basil

 1/4 teaspoon pepper

What you do:

Rinse the quinoa. Dump it into the crock pot. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to coat. Stir in broth, veggies, pepper and garlic (keep the cilantro out and add right before serving). Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours, or on high for 2-4. The quinoa is done when you can fluff it with a fork and it is tender, and liquid is absorbed into quinoa. Top with cilantro and serve.

Tex-Mex Casserole from
(Okay, I lied - this calls for two pots...but with the spinach and the sweet peppers, you get about 70% of your daily Vitamin C! Couldn't pass it up.)

What your need:

Nonstick cooking spray

12 ounces chicken breast strips for stir-frying

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon chili powder

2 teaspoons canola oil

1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced

1 medium red or green sweet pepper, seeded and chopped

1 10-oz package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

1 1/2 cups purchased salsa

4 corn tortillas, coarsely torn

3 ounces reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (3/4 cup)

1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, chopped (optional)

1/2 of an avocado, pitted, peeled, and chopped (optional)

Fresh cilantro leaves (optional)

What you do:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat an unheated large nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Preheat skillet over medium-high heat. In a medium bowl, toss together chicken, garlic, and chili powder. Add to hot skillet. Cook for 4 to 6 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink, stirring frequently. Remove chicken from skillet; set aside. Pour oil into hot skillet. Add onion and sweet pepper. Cook over medium heat about 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in spinach. Coat a 2-quart square baking dish with cooking spray. Spread about 1/2 cup of the salsa into the bottom of the baking dish. Top with half of the tortilla pieces, half of the chicken mixture, and half of the vegetable mixture. Pour half of the remaining salsa over the vegetables and top with half of the cheese. Repeat layers once, except do not top with the remaining cheese. Bake, covered, for 30 to 35 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving. If desired, garnish with cherry tomatoes, chopped avocado, and/or fresh cilantro.

Share your best one-pot dishes - I need some to try!


by on Jan. 7, 2014 at 12:00 AM
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by on Jan. 7, 2014 at 12:17 AM

Sounds yummy :)

by on Jan. 7, 2014 at 1:12 AM

Those all sound great! I love making things in my crockpot and we only eat fresh veggies (no canned food here at all). I'll have to try the lemon chicken and rice with kale. We love kale!

by Platinum Member on Jan. 7, 2014 at 5:33 AM
Yummy!!! i like wild rice veggies and sausage casseroles!
by on Jan. 7, 2014 at 9:18 AM

Yum!  I love one pot dishes.

by on Jan. 7, 2014 at 9:20 AM

I am all about one pot dishes... Soups are really good for that, as are things like pad Thai, jambalaya...

by Ruby Member on Jan. 7, 2014 at 9:26 AM

 don't have any recipes to share, haven't used my crock-pot in ages.  the quinoa recipe sounds really good.  kids may like the lemon chicken one too.

by on Jan. 7, 2014 at 9:28 AM

Sounds great. I don't use the crock pot much since hubby doesn't like it. I will cook chili in the crock pot tho. It is pretty good.

by on Jan. 7, 2014 at 9:53 AM
by on Jan. 7, 2014 at 9:54 AM

some of these sound really good ! I love cooking with my crockpot and ive found many good ideas from pinterest !!

by on Jan. 7, 2014 at 11:25 AM

I love one pot dishes!

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