Some people are just born with a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ when it comes to cooking; everything they touch in the kitchen magically transforms into something delicious. For the unfortunate of us who failed to get that gene, it can get pretty frustrating. Who wouldn't be after seeing your partner casually prepare ‘the perfect mushroom risotto’ (that Marco Pierre White would be jealous of) whereas when you attempt a simple mac-and-cheese dish and quickly run off to get something from the other room, the whole kitchen has gone up in flames? We know the feels, mate.
There are a few things anyone who’s cooking impaired can do to have certain success. Always stay near your dish you’re preparing. Don’t make it too complicated. Keep the fire burning low to minimize the chances of burning anything. And often the best and safest way to create something that tastes any better than your last black roasted mac-and-cheese is to make a one-pot dish. This way, all your attention can just be focussed on that, and there’s no risk of any other dishes boiling over! We’ve listed the best one-pot dishes that are bound to be a definite success and will most certainly impress your housemates or partner. Like Auguste Gusteau from Ratatouille always said, “Anyone can cook!” And see where that got our beloved little blue mouse!
25 Chicken Legs with Peas, Artichokes, Mint, and Fingerling Potatoes
This dish offers a twist to your average chicken and mashed potatoes! Mint and peas are always a golden combination and that’s proven again with this lovely one-pot dish with chicken legs and artichokes. The Dutch Oven is a heavy, large pot that acts like an oven but you can just put in the stove. Although using this special pot would make the chicken legs extra tender and succulent, you can always use another big pot you have handy. This dish serves about 4 people and could be ready in 1 hour and 20 minutes, though you can, of course, just enjoy the cooking and take your time!
24 Creamy Fish and Veggies
Such a yummy dish is created by using just cream and fish! Get your big pot out of the cupboard and start by melting the butter and frying the leek and garlic. Then, you’ll add the flower, which will make the sauce thicker. You could also use cornflour for an extra thick and creamy sauce. Any type of mustard will do, though Dijon is the one that adds a deep rich flavor to it and a bit of a bite, too. Add stock and cream, let it boil on a low temperature, and add the fish. We love the use of frozen veggies to this dish because it prevents you from having to cut every individual piece! Enjoy with breadcrumbs and cheese on top.
23 Harissa Lamb and Lentils
The harissa lamb is a dish inspired by the Middle East with all their good, rich aromas. Harissa is a red hot chill paste that’s super versatile and makes your dish taste flavorsome with one pinch. It's said that it’s the hallmark of Tunisia’s fish and meat dishes. The fun begins when you put the cut lamb leg steaks in a plastic bag with the spice mix and shake it so it coats evenly. Briefly fry the garlic and spring onion, and then, add the meat. Add stock, tomatoes, and zucchini, and then, it’s just a matter of leaving it to simmer on the stove. In 35 minutes, you’ll have an exotic dish to impress your mates.
22 Apricot Chicken and Chickpea Tajine
Another wonderful dish inspired by the kitchen of North Africa... Tajine is a dish that’s basically just named after the earthenware pot it’s cooked in. It has a low pot with a lid that looks like the hat of Santa Claus (who knows what it’s inspired by?). Its design, however, is quite clever. The dome makes sure that, while cooking, all the condensation returns to the bottom, making sure that all those beautiful flavors stay inside the stew. At home, you can just use your largest pot and cook the chicken in a liquid of apricot juice, honey, and stock. Simply amazing.
21 Ginger Garlic Chicken Ramen
We make our way to Asia, where ramen and noodles enjoy worldwide fame. And we can figure out why! Who hasn’t ever craved instant noodles after a night out? Luckily, this dish is slightly more sophisticated but no less hard to create. Ramen originated from Japan and is often served in a flavorous broth with soy sauce and miso. The ginger in this dish is a magical combination with chicken, giving it a tangy, refreshing taste. Chicken, stock, ginger, and garlic all go into the pot at the same time. After the meat’s cooked, add those lovely green vegetables and mushrooms. When it’s all ready, don’t forget the ramen! They’ll just need 2-4 minutes to be cooked and simply go into the broth. Insanely easy!
20 Spinach-Artichoke Deep Dish Pizza
Did you know there are different ways to make a pizza? This spinach and artichoke one-pot dish is a clever way to have pizza for anyone who doesn’t own an oven. The trick is to sprinkle the skillet with cornmeal and then carefully press your store-bought pizza dough into it. You prepare your toppings and cheesy ricotta filling before that, and then add it to the skillet with the dough for a scrumptious easy pizza. This dish combines lovely Italian flavors with the artichoke and ricotta, but you can transform the recipe into anything you like best. In just 40 minutes, you can be on the couch with your favorite show and have your pizza!
19 Vegetable Gnocchi
Gnocchi, with potato as its main ingredient, is an ingenious pasta from Italy. Like any other type of pasta, gnocchi conquered the world and became one of those famous dishes from Italy that everyone loves. Of course, you can buy it yourself, but if you’re feeling adventurous, you can give it a go yourself! Boil some potatoes and mash them, then add flour, and you'll have your dough to make any type of gnocchi you like. This recipe uses the traditional ingredients of Italy, like tomatoes, parmesan, and basil. In as little as 17 minutes, this dish could be served to your family as either a fancy entree or as a crispy light summer dish.
18 Meatball Parmigiana
The ultimate comfort food: meatball parmigiana. Oozing melted cheese, hearty tomato sauce and yummy chicken meatballs are the only things you need in this world after a snowy day. The meatballs are made from scratch, but if you’re feeling lazy, just pick pre-made ones up from your supermarket. Cook the meatballs first, and transfer them to a plate before adding the tomato sauce so they won’t get dry or overcooked. Add onion, garlic, and all those heartwarming ingredients from the sunny Mediterranean. After the sauce has thickened, add the meatballs and the mozzarella, and enjoy your parm!
17 One-Pot Lasagna
Talking about heartwarming dishes, this one-pot lasagna is one hearty, loving dish you won’t be able to refuse. By using farfalle pasta instead of lasagna sheets, this dish becomes so easy, you can set your teeth into this dish in 30 minutes. Farfalle pasta, aka ‘the bow-tie pasta’ or ‘butterfly pasta’ literally means butterfly in Italian and comes in all shapes and sizes. The larger variant is called farfalloni, and the smaller version, farfalline. Doesn’t that sound cute? After you’ve fried the meat and cooked the tomato sauce for a bit, add the farfalle and the cheese. Don’t bother plating it once it’s ready, ‘cause this one-pot lasagna is so 'farfallicious,' you’ll eat it straight from the pan!
16 Minestrone Soup
It’s clear that pasta is easy to use in any dish, and that includes soups, too! Grab whatever you have in your cupboard, and throw it in there to make a hearty and nutritious minestrone soup. Minestrone is a translation from Italy where it literally means that which is served. Basically, it's just anything that you happen to have around! You can make it thicker by boiling down the vegetables and adding all types of pasta to it or keep it lighter by making a thin broth with crispy veggies. As long as it contains a type of grain and has tomato in the soup, you’re all good.
15 Potato and Chorizo Breakfast Hash
Feeling adventurous in the morning and keen to surprise your girlfriend? Then this is the perfect one-pot dish for you! It's easy, indulgent, and perfect to start your day with. Briefly fry the garlic and onion, then add the chorizo and potatoes and cook for 5 minutes. Just as casual as Jamie Oliver, you crack up two eggs and place them anywhere in the dish. Transfer the pan to the oven, and he does the rest for you! If you like your eggs cheesy, don’t shy away from sprinkling some mozzarella or shredded cheese on top. Garnish with something green, like parsley, and we know for certain that your girlfriend is gonna love you forever after that!
14 Lemon Chicken and Pea Gemelli
This recipe combines the wonderful, classic combination of peas and lemon and chicken in a decadent pasta dish. Gemelli is a type of pasta that’s derived from the Italian word twins. However, the pasta itself isn't made out of two strings of pasta but instead of one big s-shaped pasta curl. It doesn’t matter; this dish is amazing with any type of pasta! After you’ve fried the chicken for a few minutes to seal them, you pour in the stock and the pasta and simmer it for 10 minutes or so. After that, add cream cheese to melt, the parmesan, and some veggies, and you've made yourself a great lemon chicken Gemelli.
13 Coconut Chickpea Curry
If you’re not a big fan of meat or would just rather have a healthy dish for tonight, consider this vegan and gluten-free coconut chickpea curry! Using the rich spices of India, like garam masala, cumin seeds, and ginger, you can all do this in your Dutch oven or big skillet. First, you combine the spices, then briefly fry the onion, then sauté the chickpeas and tomatoes. The coconut cream adds a creaminess to the dish that’s similar to regular cream while keeping it dairy free. Adding fresh ginger to the dish will definitely add another dimension to the dish.
12 Chow Mein
Chow Mein is a dish from China, where they stir-fry the noodles with soy sauce and vegetables. Of course, you can add chicken or pork if you like! It’s such a popular dish and for clear reasons. Luckily for us, it’s also an easy dish to make. You begin by browning the chicken then proceed to adding your veggies until they’re softened. Often, cabbage, which will suck up all the beautiful flavors, is used in this dish. The cleverness of this dish is in the broth that you bring a boil first and then just add the dried noodles; they’ll just need 5 minutes. Sprinkle in some soy sauce and some ginger, and you’re all set!
11 Vegan Spinach Hal
Here's another easy vegan one-pot dish: the spinach Hal. "Hal" is the term used in India for dried, split lentils, peas, and beans. They’re very important in the cuisine of India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh and are often eaten with flatbreads or rice—a great source of protein! This recipe uses dried yellow split peas and dried chickpeas that are soaked in water for a couple of hours. You could use lentils and chickpeas from a tin to save a few hours, though it might be worth using the real stuff for a better flavor. The turmeric gives the whole dish a bright, sparkly yellow look that you simply can’t resist!
10 Enchilada Casserole
Here's a refreshing twist on the traditional dish: the enchilada casserole! Instead of wrapping the rice and beans in a corn tortilla, the recipe uses cheese on top of the casserole as a finishing touch. For those who've ever wondered where the name came from: ’Enchilada’ is the past participle of enchilar in Spanish, which roughly means ‘to add chilli pepper to.’ Although enchiladas can be served in a casserole to melt the cheese properly, this dish is gluten-free friendly. Just cook the rice, and combine all spices in a large pan, then add the cheese, and voila!
9 Creamy Mustard Pork with Crispy Sage Potatoes
Sage and mustard make the perfect pair, and this dish proves that! The sage is in the family of the mint plant and adds a wonderful hearty yet slightly sweet flavor to your dish. Instead of cooking it together in a stew, it can also be deep-fried. This dish opted for the crispy way and fries it together with the potato in a thin layer of olive oil, after which it’s transferred to a plate. The pork is cooked after that, and then, the thyme, cream, whole-grain Dijon mustard, and spinach. The cream will thicken as the water evaporates. After that, add the potatoes, and garnish with crispy sage leaves.
8 Chicken Stroganoff
Classic beef stroganoff came from the kitchens of Russia, where the diced beef is sautéed and cooked in a sauce with sour cream and served with rice. The dish is named after the influential Stroganoffs that used to be a successful family of merchants, industrialists, landowners, and statesmen. What an honor to have a dish named after you! This recipe chose to go for healthier ways and uses chicken and stock and utilizes a light sour-cream instead. Nevertheless, it still manages to capture the true flavors of the traditional stroganoff by using onions, garlic, paprika, mushrooms, and pasta to complete the dish.
7 Sausage Stew
If you’re short on time—the kids need to have dinner soon, your wife is getting ready for tennis practice, and you have to finish your report before 8 o’clock—then this is a dish designed for you. With hardly any effort, you can have this tasty stew ready in 45 minutes. Cook the sausages, then add all the ingredients to the pan collectively, and wait until the sausages are cooked through and the sauce has thickened. There’s no way that your kids are going to refuse a dish with barbecue sauce and chipolata sausages. Use some bread to spoon out the last of that delicious sauce afterward!
6 Taco Pull Apart
The taco pull apart dish is simply ideal for a night in with friends! Firstly, who doesn’t like melted cheese? Secondly, who doesn’t like tacos and guac? And lastly, who'd refuse a scrumptious dish where they can get their hands dirty? We know no one could. Get your favorite taco filling ready, wrap it in jumbo tortillas, and place them upside in a greased skillet. Shower with shredded cheese and sour cream, and mince and place in the oven for the cheese to melt. In the meantime, make your preferred salsa. Top it all up with guacamole, chili, and coriander; then, indulge.
5 Chicken Ravioli
For the ultimate creamy pasta dish, refer to this recipe. Super easy yet insanely delicious, this dish starts with frying onion and then adding two jars of carbonara pasta sauce. Add stock, and combine well, and then, add your favorite ravioli. This type of dumpling has been around since the 14th century, where it was first mentioned by a merchant of Prato. Seasoned with sweet and strong spices, the first ravioli were made of green herbs with beaten egg and fresh cheese. Not much has changed! It can be a lot of fun to make this at home if you find yourself to have some spare time.
4 Sticky Salmon
This is a summery dish using lemon, orange, mint, and asparagus. You start by briefly searing the salmon and then proceed to add it to the ‘sticky’ sauce made from fennel seeds, stock, orange juice, and maple syrup. It’ll create this beautiful glossy layer on your salmon and add a richness to the dish, too. Meanwhile, start cooking your dish. The best way to achieve well-cooked rice is to use 1 3/4 cup of water for every cup of rice. Or you can just use your rice cooker! This sticky salmon is the perfect, healthy dish that’s light and fresh for those hot summer days.
3 Creamy Pumpkin Lasagna Soup
Do you find it hard to decide on your dinner tonight? This one-pot dish has it all! It’s creamy, it’s lasagna, and it’s soup! The pancetta in this dish adds a distinct richness to it, which you cook first and then add the garlic and the leek. Our beloved sage goes in there, too, adding heartiness and sweetness. After you’ve transferred it to a separate bowl, you start to build your lasagna by using 5 fresh pasta sheets. You could use dried ones, but that’ll mean that the lasagna needs to cook longer for it to soften. In between the layers go the pumpkin soup, the pancetta mixture, and a bit of cream. 30 minutes in the oven, and you’ve made a stunning lasagna soup.
2 Fish Pie
This quick fish pie can be achieved in 30 minutes and uses crisp white fish fillets, frozen veggies, and store-bought filo pastries. Start with the leek and garlic, add some flour to thicken the stew, and then add stock and white wine. After the fish has been cooked through, you start to work with the filo sheets. They can be quite thin and tricky to handle for the untrained hand, but take it slow, and spray every sheet with an abundance of oil so it sticks well to the dish. Sprinkle some tasty parmesan on top, and then, it’s just a matter of 15 minutes waiting on the oven to work its magic.
1 Trout with Ham and Cider
This dish might look a bit daunting, as it involves cooking a whole fish. But we swear you’ll be surprised by how easy you can master this recipe because, by just throwing in a whole fish, you avoid all that tricky stuff of cutting and slicing it. The only thing you have to do is cut a small hole in the belly to add the Julienne ham and the parsley leaves. It's best to use flat-leaf parsley for cooking and the bushy parsley for decoration. Fry both fish for 5 minutes in heated butter, and then pour a glass of cider in there for a lovely, crispy freshness. Such a beautiful dish!