One Pot Meals - Conveneince and Health in a Single Pot
One-pot meals have always been there in our traditional meals. Dishes like sambhar sadam, curd rice, pulav and such others are cooked with various ingredients together and can be called as healthy alternatives to a lavish meal spread. We Indians are generally used to cooking elaborate meal spreads but there are times when we feel too lazy to cook wide-spread meals or are short of time to cook multiple items together. One-pot meals are a saviour in such circumstances as they are less time consuming, healthy and satiating, low on budget and also very convenient.
- Time Saving
To cook multiple dishes such as daal, vegetable curry, salad, rice or chappati takes a lot of time and effort. There are times when we have to rush quickly to an important event or are late for office. One-pot meals come in handy during such rush hours as one can easily put all the ingredients together in a pot and cook them at once.
- Perfect for Fussy Eaters
Children are generally fussy eaters and it is very tough to make them have their greens. There are many of us too who dislike eating green vegetables. In such cases, one-pot meals are the best options as they allow you to sneak in green vegetables in good quantities without altering the taste.
- Does not Require Multiple Vessels
If you feel like cooking something really healthy and fulfilling but do not want to wash dozens of dirty vessels later, then one-pot meals are the best options. These items can be literally cooked in just one pot.
- Perfect to Carry
One pot meals are great to carry to work or school, eliminating the need for multiple boxes and large tiffins for keeping dals, vegetables and rice separate. One box with a nutritionally balanced meal and you're good to go.
5 Easy One Pot Meals Recipes - Vegetarian
Here we have collected some easy one-pot meal recipes for vegetarians. These are time-saving, convenient, quick to cook and delicious to eat.
#1 - Mexican Rice
Mexican rice is full of colourful ingredients and it tastes delicious. You can add any locally available vegetables to this easy-peasy rice dish.
Ingredients for Tomato Paste
- 5 Tomatoes
- 1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
- 2 tsp Garlic Paste
- ½ tsp pepper powder
- 14 tsp salt
- 1 tsp tomato ketchup
Ingredients for Rice
- 2 cups Basmati Rice
- ½ cup corn
- 1/3 cup green peas
- ½ chopped carrot
- 2 tbsp Vegetable oil
- 1 roughly chopped garlic cloves
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 tsp red chilli powder
- salt to taste
- ½ tsp cumin powder
- 3 tsp lemon juice
- 2 tomatoes chopped
- coriander leaves for garnishing
- Cook 5 tomatoes roughly chopped in a wok filled with 3 glasses of water. After 12 minutes, switch off the flame and peel the skin off the tomato and grind to a fine paste.
- Soak the basmati rice for half an hour
- Take another wok and add garlic cloves and saute them till golden brown. Now add the ground tomato paste, salt and pepper powder. Cover over a slow flame until mushy. Your tomato paste is ready.
- Heat another wok and saute onions and garlic until golden brown. Now add the soaked basmati rice and tomato paste.
- Next add all the vegetables, spices and water in the pot and cover it. Let is cook over a slow flame for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, your Mexican rice is ready. Garnish with coriander leaves.
#2 - Mixed Veg Khichdi
The most comforting and soothing food, Khichadi is a staple in North India. It is a delightful combination of daal and rice cooked together and relished with ghee. When made together with vegetables, this dish becomes a wholesome and healthy one-pot meal.
- 2 cups of rice
- 1 cup of soaked split yellow moong daal
- 1 cup green peas
- 2 diced potatoes
- 1 finely chopped onion
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1/4th tsp black pepper
- 1 brown cardamom
- 2 green cardamoms
- 3 cloves
- 2-3 bay leaves
- 1 inch cinnamon stick
- 6 green chillies
- 8-10 garlic cloves
- coriander for garnishing
- 2 finely diced tomatoes
- Salt as needed
- Soak the rice for half an hour. Heat the oil in a pressure cooker and add chopped onion, garlic cloves, cumin seeds, cardamom green & brown, cloves, black pepper, cinnamon stick and bay leaf and saute until onions are lightly golden brown in color.
- Next add the potatoes and when mushy, add the tomatoes
- Next add peas and then add the soaked rice and daal
- Now close the lid of the pressure cooker and give 4 whistles on high flame.
- When the lid opens on its own, garnish with coriander.
#3 - Sambhar Sadam
This is a lentil and rice spicy one-pot flavorful South-Indian dish. It is made in most South-Indian homes for lunch and even given in tiffins to school-going children.
- 200 grams Raw rice -3/4 cup
- 75 g yellow pigeon peas toor dal
- 3-4 tablespoons tamarind pulp
- 1/4 teaspoons turmeric powder
- 1/2 teaspoons Red chilli powder
- 2 teaspoons Sambhar powder
- 1 tablespoons ghee
- Salt as per taste
- 1 Onion (medium sliced)
- 100 grams carrots cubed
- 100 g pumpkin cubed
- 100 potato cubed
- 3 Tablespoons Grated coconut
- 2 tablespoons Oil
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 2-3 red chilli
- 1/5 teaspoon Hing/Asafoetida
- 2 leaves curry sprig
- Wash rice and dal separately
- In a pressure cooker, cook toor dal, rice with salt, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, sambhar powder, grated coconut, ghee, and vegetables with 4cups of water.
- Cook for 3-4 whistles and allow the pressure to release naturally. Open the pressure cooker and with the Mix tamarind pulp
- Now prepare the seasoning for sambhar rice by heating oil in a small pan. Next, add hing/asafoetida, curry leaves, mustard seeds and dried red chilli broken into few pieces. Cook for a minute on slow heat and add it to sambhar rice.
- Give a gentle mix and serve hot.
#4 - Quinoa with Grilled Zucchini & Chickpea Recipe
This healthy and scrumptious one-pot meal is made from quinoa, chickpeas and zucchini. It is high in protein and also low in carbs.
- 1 cup Quinoa
- 2 cups Water
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 1 Green zucchini , diced
- 1/2 cup Kabuli Chana (White Chickpeas) , soaked overnight
- 1/4 cup Spring Onion (Bulb & Greens) , finely chopped
- 2 Tomatoes , finely chopped
- 2 Green Chillies , finely chopped
- 2 cloves Garlic , crushed
- 1 cup Dill leaves , chopped
- 1 teaspoon Dried oregano
- Salt , to taste
- Olive Oil , for cooking
- Soak chickpeas overnight.
- The next day, preheat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade. Place the soaked chickpeas on a baking tray and drizzle 1 tsp of oil. Next, sprinkle some salt and roast in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Remove from oven once the chickpeas turn crisp and cool them completely.
- Add the quinoa in a sauce pan and add 2 cups of water, salt and a tsp of olive oil. Let it boil and then turn off the flame until the water is absorbed completely.
- Turn off the heat and let the quinoa rest for some time
- Take a pan and add some olive oil. Add chopped spring onions, green chillies, chopped garlic cloves and zucchini. Stir fry and until zucchini is slightly roasted.
- Add chopped tomatoes and saute until tomatoes get tender.
- Add dill leaves and cook quinoa and roasted chickpeas and toss gently until all the ingredients are mixed. Sprinkle some fresh oregano and a juice of one lime. Serve.
#5 - Meatball Pasta
For those who have recently quit non-veg food, this delightful dish, although vegetarian, can curb your cravings for meat.
Ingredients for meatballs
- 8 oz cremini mushroom, finely chopped (225 g)
- 15 oz cannellini bean, 1 can, drained and rinsed(425 g)
- 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 ¼ cups panko breadcrumbs (60 g)
- ½ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped (20 g)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1 teaspoon vegan Worcestershire
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon liquid smoke
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
Ingredients for Gravy
- 3 tablespoons canola oil
- 3 cups vegetable broth(720 mL)
- 14 oz full-fat coconut milk, 1 can (395 mL)
- 1 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire
- Salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour(30 g)
- 4 cups bow tie pasta, or pasta of choice (400 g)
- Combine the mushrooms, beans, onion, bread crumbs, parsley, garlic, dried rosemary, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, nutmeg, liquid smoke, salt, and pepper in a bowl.
- Mix well with a fork, mashing the beans a bit to form a paste.
- Heat the canola oil in a large pot over medium-high heat and roll the “meatball” mixture and into golf ball-sized balls. Place the balls in the pot and cook for 1 minute on each side until browned.
- Add the vegetable broth, coconut milk, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, and flour, and gently stir until evenly combined.
- Bring the liquid to a boil, then add the pasta. Stir constantly until the pasta is cooked and the liquid has reduced to a sauce that coats the noodles and meatballs, 7-8 minutes.
- Garnish with parsley and serve hot.
2 Easy One Pot Meals Recipes - Non-Vegetarian
Just like the vegetarian recipes, we also have some non-vegetarian ones made from eggs or meat.
#6 - Chicken and Spinach Casserole
This chicken and spinach casserole will remind you of the wholesome one-pots meals you had as a kid. They are delicious and also very soothing.
- Chicken breasts boneless 4
- Spinach blanched and chopped 2 bunches
- Salt to taste
- Black pepper powder 1 teaspoon
- Mixed herbs 1 teaspoon
- Mustard sauce 1 teaspoon
- Vinegar 1 teaspoon
- Onion chopped 1 small
- Garlic chopped 3-4 cloves
- Corn niblets 1/2 cup
- Rice soaked 1/4 cup
- Olive oil 3 tablespoons
- Milk 1 cup
- Bread crumbs 1/2 cup
- Preheat oven to 180°C.
- Add the salt, half teaspoon black pepper powder, half teaspoon mixed dried herbs and mustard sauce over the boneless chicken pieces. Drizzle the vinegar and spread the masalas evenly all over the chicken pieces. Set aside to marinate for some time.
- Assemble the spinach in an ovenproof dish. Sprinkle salt, onion and garlic.
- Assemble the soaked rice over the spinach and top it up with the corn niblets. Drizzle two tablespoons olive oil, remaining black pepper powder and remaining mixed dried herbs. Pour the milk over the layers.
- Put the chicken pieces on the top. Sprinkle the bread crumbs and the remaining olive oil. Cover with aluminium foil and cook in the preheated oven for about forty five minutes.
- Let it stand in the oven for fifteen minutes before serving. Serve hot.
#7 - Teriyaki Chicken and Rice
This one pot meal requires very little chopping and is very easy to make.
- 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast
- 1 Tbsp cooking oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
- 1.5 cups uncooked jasmine rice
- 2.5 cups water
- 12 oz. frozen stir fry vegetables
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 2 green onions, sliced
- Chop the chicken breast into very small pieces, about 1/2 to 3/4-inch in size.
- Add the cooking oil, garlic, and ginger to a large, deep pan. Cook over medium heat for about 1 minute, then add the chicken pieces and continue to sauté just until the outside of the chicken is no longer pink.
- Add the uncooked rice to the skillet and continue to sauté for 1-2 minutes more. Finally, add the water and give everything a brief stir.
- Place a lid on the skillet and allow let cook for 10 minutes
- While the skillet is simmering over low, prepare the teriyaki sauce. In a small bowl, stir together the soy sauce, brown sugar, and toasted sesame oil.
- After the rice has simmered for 10 minutes, lift the lid briefly to sprinkle the frozen vegetables on top, then replace the lid immediately. Let the skillet continue to heat over low for an additional five minute.
- After steaming the rice and vegetables together for 5 minutes, turn the heat off and let the skillet rest with the lid in place for an additional five minutes.
- Give the teriyaki sauce another brief stir, lift the lid on the skillet, and drizzle the sauce over the vegetables.
- Stir gently and serve hot!
Spend a Few Extra Minutes on Your Own Health
No matter how well you manage your time, there are days when you do get late. Food is often the first thing we tend to give a miss when we are short of time. Noodles are often the first choice of food that comes to our mind when we are running late. But these processed foods are high in sodium and preservatives. One pot meals no longer need to be instant noodles. These delicious recipes mentioned-above hardly take 15 to 20 minutes and can be put together rather easily without creating much fuss. These recipes will also give you ideas to create your own one pot healthy meals. Happy cooking!
Finish Fresh and Flavorful
It takes such little time to prepare a one-pot meal, and once it is in the oven, all you have to do is wait." You can even have your nanny throw it in the oven so it's ready by the time you walk in the door after a long day at work! With a one-pot meal, the danger can be that all the ingredients take on the same flavour profile. To combat this, you can finish with chopped avocado, fresh herbs, or crisp vegetable toppings like sliced radishes or scallions. A dollop of pesto or aioli added at the end adds moments of different texture and flavour in the finished dish, too.