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Farmers Almanac
The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

Delicious One-Dish Dinners

Delicious One-Dish Dinners

On a cold wintry day, nothing warms and comforts you like a piping hot meal. But after a grueling day at the office, it’s likely you have neither the time nor energy to prepare an elaborate four-course meal. In this case, a hearty one dish dinner may be just what the taste buds should order.

Whether you prefer cooking in a skillet, roast pan, or crockpot, one dish dinners make life simpler in a number of ways. Combine a protein, starch, and some veggies to form a soup, stew, or casserole, and you have a nutritious, well-balanced meal. Dishes such as these are a perfect way to recycle yesterday’s leftovers into a flavorful, budget-friendly meal for today. In addition, many one dish dinners can be prepared in advance and stored in the refrigerator or freezer for times when you need a quick meal. And possibly the biggest plus of a one dish dinner is the smaller pile of dirty dishes waiting for you after the meal is over.

So whether it’s Sunday lunch with the family, a potluck event at work, or a thoughtful token for an elderly neighbor, a one dish meal is ideal. Try these mouthwatering one dish wonders!

Cornbread Taco Casserole
1 pound ground beef
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
15-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
8-ounce can taco sauce
1 cup frozen corn
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 jalapeno pepper, minced (optional)
11-ounce can refrigerated corn breadstick dough
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large oven-safe cast iron skillet, brown ground beef with onion, and garlic; drain well. Add tomatoes, beans, taco sauce, corn, chili powder, cumin, and jalapeno pepper. Heat to boiling. Top with corn breadstick dough rounds (do not unroll), pressing down gently. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and oregano. Bake 35-45 minutes until top is golden brown. Makes 6 servings.

*Note: Corn breadstick dough by Pillsbury has been discontinued. You can make your own using 1 cup cornmeal, 1 cup baking mix, 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, 2 eggs, and 1.5 cups buttermilk. Mix and dollop over meat mixture; spread into thin layer. Top with Parmesan cheese and oregano, and bake as above.


Crockpot Pasta Fagioli
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
5 garlic cloves, chopped
28-ounce can tomatoes, chopped
3 cups chicken broth
Chopped parsley
Salt and pepper
2/3 cup elbow macaroni, cooked
1 can white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
Grated Parmesan cheese

Sauté onion and garlic in olive oil until tender. In crockpot, combine tomatoes, broth, and sautéed onion and garlic. Add parsley, salt, and pepper to taste. Cover and cook on low setting for approximately 3 hours. Add cooked macaroni and beans, and heat on low an additional 30 minutes until hot. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese.


Greek Shrimp and Rice
7-ounce package rice pilaf mix
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried mint leaves
12-ounce can shrimp, drained, reserving broth
1 1/2 cups water
14-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
2-ounce can chopped kalamata olives
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

In large skillet over medium heat, sauté rice, onions, and garlic in olive oil until rice is light golden brown. Add oregano, mint, reserved shrimp broth, water, and rice pilaf seasoning packet. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer 10-15 minutes until rice is tender. Stir in shrimp, tomatoes, and olives. Simmer an additional 8-10 minutes until thoroughly heated. Sprinkle with cheese and serve. Makes 4 servings.


Chicken Vegetable Stew with Dumplings
2 (2 1/2 – 3 pound) broiler-fryer chickens, cut up
4 cups water
1 1/2 cups chopped celery
1 1/2 cups chopped carrots
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 tablespoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup cold water
1/2 cup flour
1 10-ounce package frozen peas
1 10-ounce can mushrooms, undrained

Place chicken pieces in Dutch oven. Add 4 cups water, celery, carrots, onions, salt, thyme, and pepper. Bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 35-45 minutes or until chicken is nearly tender. Skim off fat. Blend 1 cup water and flour together and then stir into chicken mixture. Stir in frozen peas and mushrooms. Cook, stirring gently until thickened and bubbly. Drop herb dumplings dough (see recipe below) by tablespoon onto stew. Cover and simmer 15 minutes without lifting lid. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Herb Dumplings
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme or sage (crushed)
3/4 cup sour cream
3/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons oil

In medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt, and thyme or sage. In another bowl, mix sour cream, milk, and oil. Add sour cream mixture to dry ingredients, and stir until dry ingredients are moistened. Makes 8 dumplings.


1 Ken { 02.28.11 at 7:48 am }

can you bake those herb dumplings and eat them seperately?

2 FoodMagick { 01.20.11 at 1:42 pm }

Make these recipes healthier:
1. Use only water or veggie stock in place of any meat stock.
2. Use either starch or animal proteins in a meal, not both! Substitute bacon or sausage for any meat (or go veggie and use beans, eggplant, or mushrooms instead of meat), or keep meat and use protein flour in place of wheat flour. To keep meat in pasta/noodle recipes, use carb-free noodles or rice, or make your own noodles with protein flour. If keeping starches, any tomatoes in recipe must be raw.

Try simple substitutions like these consistently–every meal, every day–for one week and see how much better you feel.

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