Thursday, November 8, 2012

One Pan Dinners

I have been trying to simplify my life.  (I kind of laugh as I write this, because I feel like there is no possible way to simplify my life enough, and also because as soon as I simplify one area, I usually end up complicating another area!)

One area of my life that has been complicated, time consuming and sometimes stressful is dinner. Chris takes leftovers to work for lunch most days, so I cook something different every night. I also like to have a store of leftovers to offer for lunch and possibly dinner on the weekends.  This store lightens my load a bit on the weekends and frees up some family time.  :-)

That being said, I have been trying to simplify my dinner routine, at least a few nights a week, by prepping something that is all in one pan or pot (or crock pot).  I can throw it all into the pan and walk away, letting it cook.

Tonight, I seared two chicken breasts, added two cups of rice, two cups of milk, two cups of water (I would have used chicken broth if I had any), five cut up carrots and a bag of frozen corn (we did eight dozen this year!). I salted it, peppered it, garlic powdered it, and walked away.  (Well, I turned on the stove first!)  The prep time to do all this (including cutting the chicken breasts off the whole chicken) took about fifteen minutes. Dinner will take about an hour to cook.  While I would normally spend about an hour and fifteen minutes in the kitchen, now I am only spending 15.  I can use the extra hour before dinner to clean up, finish up school for the day, play a game with my kids, fold laundry, empty the dishwasher, bathe the kids, type a blog post,... the possibilities are endless! (I don't think I could get ALL that done in one hour, but a few of those items will be attainable!)  :-P

Some other recipes I can think of that are one pan:
Vegetable Soup, or any soup really
Beans and Rice
Hog Maw Cabbage Rolls

Can you think of any good dishes like these? I am always looking for new ones!


  1. Can I just say that I'm always impressed in how well your kids eat! I love seeing what they have for lunch ;-) I made taco soup the other night that is a one pan dump and go kind of meal.

    Saute onions, brown meat w/ taco seasoning, add kidney, pinto and black beans, corn and crushed (or diced) tomatoes and a little water and let simmer for 20+ mins.

  2. Thanks, Renae!

    I make a soup that is almost exactly like that! We like to crush up tortilla chips and put them in it. :-) (also, I like to put sour cream in mine) and everyone likes a little frank's hot sauce!