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This summer, we partnered with Jet.com to share recipes to help you hone nearly every skill in the book. (And Jet will have you covered with all the fresh and pantry goods you'll need. Seriously, they have everything. Use the code Food52 at checkout for 20% off your first 2 orders of $35 or more. Maximum discount $30.*) We've covered the gamut—block party staples, 5-ingredient or fewer dishes, gluten-free picnicking, grilling go-to's, and make-ahead salsas. And as we say farewell to summer, we have one final round-up for you: one-pot wonders that will make back-to-school something to look forward to.
My brother-in-law and I are the same kind of cooks—it's been described that we will grab every clean mixing bowl or pot in a kitchen and dirty it somehow, in one dinner alone. He says it's the result of working in restaurant kitchens for so long, but I don't really have much of an excuse to work like the Swedish Chef from the Muppets on a weeknight. (It's not a great habit.) My husband, however, is the complete opposite; he will thoughtfully pull out exactly what he needs and clean one bowl and mixing utensil as he goes along so there's very little, if anything, to clean up at the end of the night.
I'm trying to channel this kind of cooking zen lately—and if you're a parent, you probably are, too, now that it's back-to-school season. More often than not, I seek recipes that will pass as one-pot instead of few-pots. Here are some of my favorite one-pot wonders, from chicken dinner and stir-fries to sweets, for when you want to bypass the whole "sink filled with pans" thing.
These are for when the after-school crowd hits your house, or when a Friday night party calls for more effort than cheese and crackers.
A pot or a pan full of greens and other good things means there's no need to think too hard about what else is on the dinner table.
Here Chicken, Chicken (Dinner)
The granddaddy of one-pot meals: the chicken dinner. It never fails us. It won't fail you, no matter what season it is.
The Pork Special
From low and slow to a quick, simple roast, pork and sausage play out great in one pot.
Pasta! Pasta! Pasta!
What's that? Stovetop lasagna, lazy alfredo, and cacio e pepe? These are pasta dishes you can make with your eyes closed. (Of course, keep those peepers open while chopping!)
High heat, lightning fast: Stir fries are a good way to get everyone involved with chopping and portioning during prep. Just have any little ones stand back while cooking!
One-bowl sweets do exist, whether it's prepping a dump-and-stir cake or baking one big, melty cookie instead of 2 dozen. And they are magical.
Jet.com stocks thousands of grocery items and delivers to your door sans scheduling. They have all your pantry and home needs covered, and offer two-day delivery, free shipping on orders over $35, and are membership fee-free. (All of this? Makes us giddy.) We've used jet.com to get basics like chicken**, grains, and more—so see what's on their (digital) shelves here, and use discount code Food52* at checkout for 20% off your first 2 orders.