This easy technique for oven-braised one-pan meals is probably the recipe I’m most excited to share with you! I can honestly say that I make some variation on this meal at least once a week, but more often than not, twice a week. I can’t even begin to tell you how amazing these meals are. The meat is slow roasted, succulent, and so flavorful, the vegetables become a part of the glorious mixture of flavors, and the sauce is, well, the word that jumps into my mind is magic. If you love, or are looking to become good at, no-recipe-recipes that make the best of what you have on hand, then this recipe is perfect for you!
Mesa de Vida healthy global gourmet cooking and seasoning sauces help you cook globally inspired, restaurant-quality, delicious meals at home every day. Our concentrated, versatile, 100% real food flavor bases have endless uses, and having them really is like having a sous chef in your pantry! You don’t have to have a cabinet full of spices, spend time chopping a mile-long list of aromatic vegetables, or even have to be a very good cook to be able to cook a fabulous, healthy, incredible meal any night of the week!
This is my go-to recipe when I have meat, vegetables, and don’t have an immediate plan for what to make with them. I can bring an incredible meal to the table that hardly took any work to prepare, with a global gourmet twist to keep dinner exciting. I can come home from work, spend about 10 minutes assembling the ingredients, pop it into the oven, then go spend some time with the family, tidying up, or working out while dinner cooks unattended.
This recipe is also my go-to recipe on Sunday afternoons, when I want to serve a big family dinner, and make enough for leftovers to enjoy through the week, either for lunch, or to morph into another recipe (like this Butternut Squash and Cauliflower Topped Shepherd’s Pie recipe). The house fills with the aroma of home cooking…the thought of it just makes me feel cozy, and looking forward to spending relaxed time around the table with my family!
This meal works great for our family that has blended dietary needs, too. Since I eat a mostly grain-free, Paleo/Whole30 type of diet (grains, legumes, and sugar don’t react with my system very well), I can enjoy this easy one-pan oven meal as a stew. But, my family loves to eat theirs over mashed potatoes, rice, couscous, beans, or tossed with pasta. Everyone is happy, everyone can sit down to the same meal, which means I don’t have to cook a separate meal for everyone. That’s a winning recipe in my book!
Why oven-braising over a slow cooker? I adore my slow cooker, and this recipe actually works fantastic if you just pop everything into your slow cooker on low all day. But, there is something about oven-braising that brings out the best in simple ingredients. The flavors intensify, and the ingredients hold up a little bit better than the moist environment of a slow cooker.
Tip: If you’re looking to make more meatless recipes, this is a fabulous recipe to make with just vegetables and beans, too.
The basic recipe is below, but here are some tips for success every time. It really is easy, and very hard to mess up. The key is getting the right amount of liquid, and the right amount of time for the type of meat you choose.
- Want to make this in less than 30 minutes? Choose meat that is off the bone (chicken thighs, chicken breasts, pork tenderloin, turkey loin roast). Choose softer vegetables that don’t require as long to cook (diced green beans, celery, finely diced carrots, canned beans, zucchini, frozen corn, mushrooms, etc.). Dice everything into 1″ pieces so they cook through at the same time. Add only 1/4 cup of water to the pan. Set the oven to 400 degrees.
- Have a little longer, about an hour, for this to cook? Choose meats that take a little bit longer to cook and get better with a longer, slower braise. Chuck roast or pork roast cut into 2″ pieces, pork country-style ribs, or meat on the bone such as chicken legs and thighs. Choose vegetables such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, root vegetables, and squash. Cut everything into about 2″ cubes. Add 1/2 cup of water to the pan. Set the oven to 400 degrees.
- If it’s the weekend, or I’ll be working from home, I’ll make this recipe using a large roast, and let it braise for up to 2 hours. Cuts such as flank steak, brisket, or a whole chicken. For this option choose larger pieces of vegetables such as potatoes, sweet potatoes and other root vegetables, and cut them into large 3″ pieces. Add 1 cup of water to the pan. Set the oven to 350 degrees.
- Switch up the cooking sauce, meat, and vegetables to create endless variations on this one-pan meal that will likely become a family favorite in your home, too.
- Try our North African cooking and seasoning sauce with beef or lamb, and squash for a Moroccan inspired tagine version; Make a Smoky Latin Pork & Root Vegetable Stew with pork loin, carrots, rutabaga, parsnips, and sweet potatoes with our Latin cooking and seasoning sauce; I love to make a Creole version with chicken thighs, frozen okra and our Creole cooking and seasoning sauce, too; In the video below I use our Caribbean sauce, beef, zucchini, eggplant and mushrooms for one of my personal favorite combinations.
I can’t wait to hear what your favorite combination of ingredients turns out to be!
*Want more healthy, easy dinner recipes that transform your simple ingredients into amazing meals with global inspiration? See more of our Not So Basic Basic series here.