Dinner Speedrunning: 3 One-Pot Wonders for Stress-Free Dining

Dinner Speedrunning: 3 One-Pot Wonders for Stress-Free Dining

It’s been a long day and while the idea of ​​going out to dinner or getting a delivery is tempting, you’ll want to save that for another time when you’re totally exhausted. But who wants to work hard preparing a meal in the kitchen only to clean up the mess later? Well, there’s a fancy solution: one-pot meals for a delicious dinner with minimal effort.

Leftover chicken and vegetable pasta

This is the best way to cook leftovers in my eyes. If you don’t have that much leftover chicken, I like to toss the veggies I have on hand on the plate. The key here is to get that creamy consistency by using lots of onions or leeks, or both if you like! The measurements that I have given here are approximate, since anything goes with this one-pot wonder. I list carrots and celery, but omitting them entirely or adding more is fine, too. Work with what you want, add what you like, and feel free to experiment!

Toss in some leftover chicken and veggies for a quick dinner fix.  (Photo from Shutterstock)

Toss in some leftover chicken and veggies for a quick dinner fix. (Photo from Shutterstock)

Ingredients

  • 3-4 onions and / or 2-3 leek stalks
  • 200 grams of peas
  • 3-4 carrots
  • 2-3 stalks of celery
  • 500 grams of pasta
  • Salt, black pepper, cumin
  • Leftover chicken (no matter how much you have)
  • Chicken broth or water
  • Vegetable oil

Instructions

Chop the onions and clean the leeks well before finely chopping them as well. Add a pinch of vegetable oil to your pot and slowly sauté the onions until soft. Also add the leeks and continue sautéing until they have cooked. Now add the vegetables you want, all of them. Cutting them into similar sizes will make them easier to cook. Sauté everything briefly and add the chicken broth or water along with the pasta. However, you don’t want to have too much liquid in here. In fact, pasta will need a little water or broth to cook, but you don’t want to have too much to turn into soup (or if that’s your intention, do it!). Season to your liking. Reduce heat to low and occasionally check and stir to prevent anything from sticking to the bottom. If you coordinate everything well, you will be ready in a maximum of 40 minutes.

At the end, shortly before the pasta is fully cooked, separate the chicken pieces into smaller pieces and mix them in the pot. If you don’t have leftover chicken, you can of course skip that step entirely.

Zucchini zoodles with salmon may seem more elaborate than plain spaghetti, but they are just as quick to prepare.  (Photo from Shutterstock)

Zucchini zoodles with salmon may seem more elaborate than plain spaghetti, but they are just as quick to prepare. (Photo from Shutterstock)

Pot of salmon with zoodles

If you want to be completely carb-free and consume other vitamins as well, this is definitely for you. The only time-consuming part is making the zoodles, but even that is relatively quick if you have one of those fancy little gizmos that double as a pencil sharpener.

Ingredients

  • 500 grams of zucchini
  • 200 grams of salmon fillet
  • Half a packet of dill
  • 300 milliliters of heavy cream
  • 2 lemons
  • Salt

Instructions

First, you will need to grate a lemon, but be careful not to grate the white part near the pulp, as it is bitter. Next, prepare your zoodles (or if you bought them already cut, you don’t need to). Next, add the juice of the lemons to the pot with the heavy cream before boiling. Add the zoodles, half of the lemon zest, salmon, and most of the dill to the pot. Cook until all the ingredients have had enough time on the fire and the salmon is cooked, season with a little salt. Since we use lemon, we don’t need as much salt given the practical rule of thumb: the more acidic the lemon, the less salt a dish requires. Serve with a sprinkle of the remaining dill and lemon zest.

This dish can also be cooked in the oven if you feel inclined to do it that way, 180 degrees Celsius (355 degrees Fahrenheit) until the salmon is cooked should be enough.

Spaghetti Bolognese is a quick and relatively clutter-free dinner dish.  (Photo from Shutterstock)

Spaghetti Bolognese is a quick and relatively clutter-free dinner dish. (Photo from Shutterstock)

A true classic: spaghetti Bolognese

This is my childhood for the T. But I really don’t want to mess up my kitchen over one plate! So here’s a quick and easy way to make this classic pasta dish.

Ingredients

  • 1-2 onions
  • 1-2 carrots
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • 500 grams of minced beef
  • 800 milliliters of tomato sauce
  • Salt, pepper, thyme
  • 500 grams of spaghetti
  • Vegetable oil

Instructions

Finely chop the onion, garlic and carrot. In the pot of your choice, sauté with a drizzle of oil until the onions are soft. Add the meat now and sauté until evenly cooked, which means nothing looks raw, and add the tomato sauce. Season the mixture and add maybe a little more salt than usual because the pasta will absorb quite a bit (but not the excess salt, maybe just a pinch more than usual). Bring the mixture to a boil and if the tomato sauce is already starting to thicken, don’t be afraid to add water or a broth of your choice. Add the spaghetti and lower the heat to cook the pasta slowly. From time to time, stir it well so that nothing burns.

While Bolognese sauce is traditionally made with spaghetti, don’t feel restricted! I like to use whatever pasta I have on hand and the gravy goes with just about everything. As for the tomato sauce, you can simply use a can of crushed tomatoes if you don’t have jars of the homemade stuff on hand. Using tomato paste and lots of broth is another solution, but the taste is not exactly the same. Keep in mind that if you choose to use more pasta, you will need less salt.

Serve with grated cheese and champagne.

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