It can be tempting to come home after a long day, collapse in front of Netflix, and have dinner delivered to your door. But if you’re seeing more of your pizza delivery guy than you are the inside of your oven, it might be time to figure out a few delicious and simple meals to break up the monotony (not to mention the expense) of unhealthy takeout.
Every home cook needs a few reliable tools to easily whip up a fantastic and easy meal. One of the best ways to cook dinner quickly and simply is to invest in quality pots, pans, and casserole dishes so that you can make one-pot meals. Though purchasing high-quality cookware is a bit of an expense, it’s well worth the money; these pots will last longer, cook more evenly, and even make pretty serving dishes for nights when you’re cooking for guests.
One of the best things to have on hand for one-pot cooking is a heavy-duty, oven-safe skillet. Cast iron is amazing, but can be difficult to clean. Stainless steel always makes for a sturdy alternative, and a little oil should keep things from sticking. Most professional chefs avoid nonstick cookware, but if you like it, go for it; just make sure you don’t use them in the oven and toss them with the nonstick coating starts to chip, as it can be toxic.
A good Dutch oven is another must-own. You can use it for everything from a stewing to baking. An enameled cast-iron Dutch oven can be pretty pricey, but you won’t believe how much you’ll use it! Plus, they are chip-resistant and come with lifetime warranties.
Even if you detest casseroles, you should own a glass or ceramic casserole dish; they‘re incredibly versatile. Use them for everything from family-style lasagnas to baked desserts.
Once you have a few basic pieces of cookware, the only thing you’ll need to make easy one-pot meals is a few good recipes. Click through our slideshow for some easy ideas that are so delicious your favorite takeout place will start to wonder if you’ve moved!
Chicken and Dumplings
Chicken and dumplings is a classic American comfort food. The key to making this dish from scratch on a week night is planning; the chicken will simmer for almost an hour before it’s done, so use some of that time to make the dumpling dough. Or, make the dumpling dough the weekend before you want to eat this dinner and pop it in the freezer until you’re ready to use it.
Click here for the recipe.
Ham and Swiss Quiche
This is the prefect recipe for those nights when you have something to do at home and can’t sit down to dinner right away. By using a pre-made pie crust and your slow cooker, this savory and filling meal comes together with practically no work. Just line your slow cooker with pie crust, throw the rest of the ingredients inside, and let it cook while you do a load of laundry — it won’t be long before you’re enjoying a homemade dinner.
Click here for the recipe.