Finding the time to make dinner during your busy schedule is never easy. That’s especially true for many residents of our Austin student apartments who are still learning the skill of cooking. But add a whole bunch of extra clean-up afterward, and the prospect of cooking can become so overwhelming you might just throw in the towel and order takeout for the fourth time this week.
Luckily, cooking dinner doesn’t have to be a major undertaking, as long as you choose an easy, convenient meal that requires minimal prep and cleanup. That’s why today we’re rounding up some of our favorite one-pot dinner ideas that make clean-up way easier.
Hearty Soup or Stew
There are tons of soups and stews that can easily be made in a single pot on the stovetop. A search for “one-pot soups” will turn up a huge variety of options, or you can just start from scratch with your favorite ingredients. You’ll usually begin by frying ingredients like onions, garlic, peppers, carrots and other hardy vegetables in a bit of oil until softened, then adding any protein you may want like ground beef or chicken and cooking until browned. Next, add liquid ingredients like broth or tomato paste/sauce and simmer until reduced to your desired consistency. As you cook, season to taste, and towards the end, add any delicate ingredients that don’t need to cook long, like spinach and kale.
Simple Stir Fry
Stir-fries are super easy, especially if you have a good wok lying around. All you have to do is add your favorite veggies and proteins to the pan in order of how long they take to cook, then toss in your favorite sauce—either store-bought or homemade from simple ingredients like rice vinegar and sesame oil. If you don’t mind adding one more pot to your cooking process, you can serve your stir-fry with a grain like white or brown rice, which can also give you extra leftovers so you don’t have to cook again tomorrow.
Sweet & Spicy Curry
Many curries only require one pot, making for super-simple clean-up. Fry your veggies, brown your meats, then simmer in your favorite store-bought sauce or create your own in the pan using ingredients like curry paste, coconut milk, tomato paste, and spices.
Classic Beef Bolognese
A classic bolognese is such a comforting winter dish! Although it can take a while to simmer this dish to perfection, the process is ultimately fairly easy, and cleanup is even easier. We recommend finding a one-pot bolognese recipe online rather than winging this one, although experienced cooks might be able to improvise just fine.
A cast-iron skillet is the best choice for this one-pan meal. Shakshuka is versatile and delicious at any time of day. Start by frying vegetables in the pan (onions, garlic, potatoes, and red peppers are all great options), then adding whole canned tomatoes, tomato paste, and seasonings and simmer until reduced slightly. Make a few wells in the sauce for as many eggs as you like and crack an egg into each well, then top with cheese. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to low and cook until eggs reach their desired doneness (usually just a few minutes). Let cool slightly, then serve with naan, pita bread, or similar.
That’s it for our top one-pot dinners to cook at home in our Austin student apartments! If you appreciated this post and would like to see more of our tips, recommendations, and features, be sure to bookmark our blog page for easy access to future posts! And make sure you’re following us on Instagram so you stay in the know about special offers and community updates for future residents of our new student apartments in Austin.
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