Four one-pot wonders to save on the washing up

Using a few ingredients to create wholesome dinners is easy and the results are delicious

At least once a week I will turn to a one-pot wonder dish to calm the storm of the evening mealtime stress. With all the extracurricular activities that are back in the weekly routine now after lockdown, being able to grab a pot or a wok, fling in a few simple ingredients and create a wholesome dinner in minutes is a no fuss, no-brainer.

Having at least four of these recipes up your sleeve is like knowing the secrets of the magic circle. As a busy parent myself, throwing simple ingredients into a pot, casting my spell, and standing back to let the magic happen, is a real mid-week triumph.

Letting one pot do all the work for you – simmering away on the stove as the warmth and smells ignite the senses calming all stresses of the day – that’s my kind of magic.

Here we have four delicious one-pot wonder recipes to add to your cooking repertoire.

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One-pot chicken casserole

– Crush 2 cloves of garlic, dice 3 chicken breasts and peel and chop 1 white onion, 2 celery sticks and 2 medium carrots. Slice in half 200g of baby potatoes.

– Put your pot over a medium heat with a glug of rapeseed oil and soften your onion and garlic, cooking for 5 minutes.

– Add the carrot, celery, and potato, give them a good mix and cook for another 2 minutes.

– Toss in the diced chicken breast and fry for 2 minutes to seal them.

– Sprinkle over a good, heaped tablespoon of flour and mix in well until it has soaked up all the lovely juices in the pan.

– Chop a bunch of fresh parsley, thyme, and rosemary and mix them in.

– Slowly pour in a pint of chicken stock (quarter by quarter), mixing well.

– Add in 2 bay leaves and a teaspoon of Dijon mustard.

– Cover with a lid and simmer for 30 minutes, then serve piping hot.

Honey and garlic chicken noodle wok

– Heat 1 tbsp of sesame oil in a wok over a high heat.

– Add 2 crushed garlic cloves, 1 diced centimetre cubed of ginger, 1 diced medium white onion, 1 sliced red pepper and 100g of baby corn and mangetout.

– Stir fry for 1 minute, allowing the vegetables to remain slightly al dente (crunchy).

– Add the 3 diced chicken breasts and fry for another 6 minutes.

– Drizzle in 1 tbsp each of soy sauce, honey, and sweet chilli sauce.

– Add 4 nests of straight to wok noodles and using a pair of tongs, toss the ingredients to combine them all together.

– Serve with a sprinkling of sesame seeds.

Crispy pancetta and chestnut mushroom risotto

– Pour a glug of rapeseed oil into a large pot over a medium heat. Fry 1 crushed garlic clove along with 200g of sliced chestnut mushrooms and 200g of diced pancetta until the mushrooms are reduced in size and the pancetta is nice and crispy.

– Melt in a good knob of real butter and add 200g of risotto rice, toasting it for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

– Pour in a glug of white wine and cook for about 5 minutes, allowing the wine to fully absorb into the rice.

– Add 1 litre of hot chicken stock, one ladle at a time, letting each ladle absorb into the rice before adding the next. This will take about 20 minutes,eaving the rice cooked slightly al dente.

– Sprinkle in 150g of Parmesan cheese, allowing it to melt into the rice, giving a beautifully creamy texture.

– Serve with a drizzle of truffle oil and a little fresh thyme.

One-pot tagliatelle bolognese

– Put a large pot over a medium heat and pour in a drizzle of rapeseed oil. Soften 1 diced white onion and 1 crushed clove of garlic.

– Add 500g of minced beef allowing it to brown while breaking it up with a fork.

– Add 1 diced red pepper and cook for another minute.

– Spoon in 150g of tomato paste along with a pinch of sugar.

– Pour in 200g of passata and 1 pint of chicken stock.

– Stir thoroughly before throwing in 4 dried tagliatelle nests.

– Cover with a lid and simmer for 5 minutes.

– After 5 minutes, tease out the tagliatelle with a pair of tongs and then leave the dish to simmer with the lid on for a further 30 minutes.

– Serve with a good shaving of Parmesan cheese and some freshly torn basil leaves to garnish.