Everything for a balanced, healthy and delicious meal in one dish. That is my kind of weeknight meal! Here is some inspiration to help you add some more one-pot wonders to your weekly meal rotation!
5 tips for delicious & Healthy one-dish dinners and a few of our favorites!
1. One-dish dinners can start in a slow cooker, a roasting pan, the Instant Pot (electric pressure cooker) or a stove-top braise. Soups and stews full of vegetables, maybe beans, potatoes or pasta and meat do great in the slow cooker, Instant Pot or for a stove top simmer. Think minestrone, chili or curry stews for inspiration. A sheet pan is best for smaller cuts of meat and vegetables for a high-heat quick roast. A roasting pan is best for larger pieces of meat and vegetables for lower, slower cooking. My favorite method is the stove-top braise, starting with seared meat, vegetables and a flavorful sauce, then stirring rice, quinoa, potatoes or beans in to finish cooking and soak up all of the delicious flavorful juices.
2. Get saucy. Tossing your ingredients with a flavorful sauce, like our Mesa de Vida healthy cooking sauces, allows you to add loads of flavor without tons of chopping or pulling out the cabinet full of spices and herbs. This brings life to simple ingredients without any extra work for you – or dirtying up any more dishes!
3. Layer for success. For oven roasted or baked dishes you’ll want the vegetables to be tender and not overcooked which can sometimes happen when piling everything into the pan. Use chopped cauliflower, carrots, celery, fennel, small cubed potatoes, sweet potatoes or squash, onions and other quicker-cooking, diced vegetables as a base for your smaller cuts of meat such as sliced sausages, boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts, fish or pork loin slices. For larger cuts of meat such as beef or pork roasts, or a whole chicken you’ll want larger pieces of sturdy vegetables, potatoes or squash. Everything will roast at the same time, yet nothing will be over/under cooked. Save quicker cooking ingredients such as broccoli, green beans or Brussels sprouts to add towards the end of the cooking time, or for dishes that call for assembling pre-cooked meats, pasta or other ingredients with a sauce for a faster cook time.
4. Think outside the box. We don’t advise buying processed, boxed rice/pasta complete meals but we have to say, they do provide pretty good inspiration! That Southwest cheesy-burger pasta casserole with the friendly oven mitt on the front? Make it so much better by browning some ground meat, adding a sauce such as Mesa de Vida Smoky Latin inspired healthy cooking sauce, some frozen mixed vegetables, elbow pasta (gluten free or whole grain) then enough broth or water to cover. Lower the heat, cover and simmer until the pasta is cooked and the sauce is absorbed. In the same amount of time as using the heavily processed, unhealthy version you’ve made your own healthy burger dinner! Take inspiration from your other favorite pasta or rice dishes and use simpler, healthy ingredients.
5. Go global. Think about some of the tastiest, most delicious meals around the globe – they’re often one-pot wonders! Arroz con pollo, paella, tagine, curries and more. If your favorite inspiration doesn’t have a lot of vegetables, try adding a few more to bump up the nutrition and round out the meal.
Try some of our favorite one-pot recipes and incorporate them into your weeknight routines. Make sure you have some Mesa de Vida healthy cooking sauce stocked up in your pantry to make inspired, healthy, delicious meals! Our sauces are made with only fruits, vegetables, spices and herbs, so they’re infused with flavor and nutrition. They are perfect for Paleo, gluten free and real food lifestyles so whatever you’re cooking, they help bring life to the table!