One-Dish Meals: Cook and Clean-up in a Snap!

Prepare healthy, home-cooked meals using just one pot or pan.  Clean-up will be quick and easy and you might even have leftovers for lunch the next day!   Kitchen tools like crock pots and electric skillets are not very costly and are perfect for making a variety of healthy meals all in one dish.  Here are some tips for cooking one-pot dishes:

Crock Pot or Slow Cooker:  
  • Roast a chicken with diced vegetables like carrots, celery, squash, onion and fresh or dried herbs.  Use leftover chicken for sandwiches, salads, and make soup stock with the chicken bones.
  • Cook up a pot of chili with canned tomatoes, canned beans, canned corn, and lean ground turkey or beef.  Add spices like chili powder, cumin, and garlic powder.  Serve with a green salad and whole grain cornbread.
  • Stir up some vegetable soup using canned tomatoes, frozen or canned mixed vegetables, canned beans, chopped onion, garlic, and water or vegetable stock.  Add fresh or dried herbs like basil, parsley, or Italian seasoning.  
Electric Skillet:
  • Make breakfast foods like whole wheat pancakes or breakfast fajitas with sauteed vegetables like peppers, tomatoes, red onions, and scrambled eggs wrapped in whole-grain tortillas.
  • Cook beef macaroni and cheese whole grain pasta, canned tomatoes, low-fat cheese, lean ground beef, and Italian seasoning.  Serve with steamed vegetables or a salad to complete your meals.  Try our recipe!

Beefy Macaroni and Cheese
Serves 4 
Serving Size: 1 cup

3/4 pound lean ground beef
1 & 1/2 cups water
1 cup uncooked macaroni
1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 Tablespoons Italian seasoning
1/2 cup grated low-fat cheddar cheese

  1. Brown beef in a large electric skillet, drain off fat.
  2. Add water, macaroni, tomatoes, and Italian seasoning.  Stir.
  3. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer covered for 15 to 20 minutes or until macaroni is tender.
  4. Remove from heat and add 1/2 cup grated cheese.
  5. Refrigerate leftovers.
Visit our recipe section for more one-pot dish meal ideas!

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© Eat Smart, Be Fit Maryland!Maira Gall