If washing dishes isn't your idea of a good time, one-dish meals are for you. They save time with both meal prep and cleanup... and don't think casseroles are your only one-dish option! You can easily switch most of your favorite dinners to one-dish meals, but how? Follow these 5 steps to get started:
1. Think outside the box with how you cook your grains. Pasta, rice, and other grains are the basis for many great one-dish meals. The key is cutting out the draining and moving from pot to pot. Rather than boiling it on it's own, cook your pasta or grain with the rest of the ingredients. Here are a couple one-dish pasta meals to start:
2. Time it right. Start with the ingredients that need cooked the longest (like onion, garlic, and grains). Then add less hearty ingredients (like mushrooms and peas), and end with delicate foods (like spinach or other greens). Need an example or two? See below
3. Take the easy way out. Canned and frozen vegetables and beans can be your best friend if you're in a bind, and require very little cooking... perfect for one-dish meals. Exhibits A and B:
4. Leftovers are king. Got some extra chicken from dinner last night? How about leftover rice? Since already made ingredients like this cut out a whole step in the cooking process, they're perfect for making one-dish meals. The dishes below would work well for adding in leftover grain or meat.
5. Test new flavors. Cutting out time consuming steps, like grilling or smoking ingredients before adding them to recipes, can also cut out flavor. Use herbs and spices to kick it back up. Smoked paprika, garlic (or garlic powder), and fresh parsley are great for this.