The cost of food is soaring and supply chain issues are still causing a shortage of inventory across store shelves. The onus is on consumers to shop smart and know all the ways to save. One classic tactic is to cook meals that can last a while and are easy to heat up and enjoy throughout the week.
Ideally, these hearty dishes require minimal effort, as the last thing any of us on a tight budget needs is a great new recipe that takes a whole day to make. After all, time is money. It would also be nice if the meal didn’t call for any complicated setups, and was just served in one big pot.
Upon consulting a number of chefs and recipe developers, GOBankingRates has compiled a detailed list of some of the tastiest, easiest and coziest one-pot meals to make from scratch this winter. Best of all, they can each be made for $10 or less.
Braised Chicken with White Wine
Cost: Approximately $4.89 per serving
- 1 medium carrot
- 1 small fennel bulb
- 10 ounces canned beans
- 4 small chicken breasts
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1/3 cups white wine
- 1/4 tablespoon flour
- Cut all vegetables into roughly equal portions and place in flour or butter on a large plate.
- Combine salt and pepper in a bowl with the olive oil and stir until evenly blended.
- In another bowl, mix the vegetables with garlic until well combined. Add a bit of flour or olive oil (no more than 1/8 cup each) until chicken thighs are evenly coated.
- In a large pan, heat the olive oil and add chicken evenly on the bottom of the pan. While the chicken is cooking, add wine and bring to boil.
- After a few minutes, add all other ingredients to the pot, including the remaining flour or oil and merge into hot liquid on high heat. Make sure to keep stirring everything together until it is a uniform color and has cooked for at least 20 minutes.
Submitted by: Jennifer Schlette, founder of Kitchen Substitute
Why we love it: “This simple, tasty and balanced meal is great for families and can be made relatively easily in one pot,” Schlette said.
Vegan Pumpkin Soup
Cost: Roughly $8.16
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 3 15-oz cans pumpkin puree
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ cup coconut milk full fat
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- ¼ teaspoon ground sage
- Prep the onion and garlic according to the ingredient list.
- Combine the olive oil and onion in a large stock pot over medium heat. Sauté the onion for several minutes until it has softened, stirring frequently.
- Add the garlic and continue to sauté for another minute or until the garlic becomes fragrant.
- Add all remaining ingredients except for the coconut milk. Stir and bring to a boil. Once it has reached a boil, cover and turn to a simmer. Continue to simmer for about 20 minutes.
- Remove from heat, add the coconut milk, and let cool slightly.
- Use your immersion blender (see notes before for using a traditional blender) until you’ve achieved a smooth and creamy consistency, serve, and enjoy!
Submitted by: Kelsey Riley, plant based recipe developer at Planted in the Kitchen
Why we love it: “I love this recipe because it’s made using ingredients that I usually have stored in my pantry,” Riley said. “It’s perfect for when I need to make a healthy and delicious meal in a pinch.”
Spiced Lentil Soup
Cost: Around $7.16 (not including spices)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
- 3⁄4 cup tomatoes, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
- 1-inch knob ginger, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 2 1/2 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
- 3/4 cup dry red lentils, rinsed well and drained
- 1 cup fresh spinach, roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
- 2 Tablespoons cilantro, chopped (optional for garnish)
- Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and celery. Cook until the onion is translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger, and cook for another minute, stirring constantly.
- Add the cumin, turmeric, coriander and garam masala. Stir for 30 seconds, or until fragrant.
- Add the tomatoes, lentils and broth. Lower heat to a simmer and partially cover the pan. Cook for 25-30 minutes, or until the lentils are soft.
- Stir in the spinach and lemon juice. Add salt, pepper and red chili flakes to taste.
- Top with cilantro to serve.
Submitted by: Joanna Wen, wellness expert and founder of Spices & Greens
Why we love it: “This savory spiced lentil soup is perfect for warming you up on the inside during the winter,” Wen said. “Not only is it chock full of protein, healthy carbs and fiber to keep you feeling satiated, the flavorful spices and herbs also boost your metabolism and help you burn fat.”
Chickpea Coconut Curry
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 3 medium carrots, peeled & diced
- 1 medium sweet onion, peeled & diced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 2 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 tablespoon ginger root, peeled & grated
- 3 cans chickpeas, drained
- 1 tablespoon agave sweetener or honey
- 28 oz. diced tomatoes
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1 cup canned coconut milk
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup cashews
- ½ lime juice
- Place a large pot on medium high heat and add vegetable oil. Sauté diced carrots on medium high until beginning to soften, around 4 minutes. Add diced onion, minced garlic, and spices and sauté 3 more minutes.
- Add ginger pulp, tomatoes with juice, vegetable broth, chickpeas, coconut milk, kosher salt, and agave.
- Simmer on medium low heat for 20 minutes stirring occasionally to prevent the bottom from burning.
- Stir in cilantro, lime and cashews at the very end.
Submitted by: Carolyn Truett, food blogger and recipe developer at Caramel and Cashews.
Why we love it: “Packed with plant-based protein and vegetables, this nourishing one-pot meal is a breeze to make,” Truett said. “Spices, garlic, ginger, and tomatoes add plenty of flavor to the broth which tastes amazing over budget-friendly white rice. This dish makes incredible leftovers; as the flavors sit, they only get better.”
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion (minced)
- 1 green bell pepper (seeded and diced)
- 8 cloves garlic (minced)
- 2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon paprika (optional)
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 2 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce (or soy sauce)
- 2 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 (15 ounce) cans tomato sauce
- 2 (15 ounce) cans of diced tomatoes
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 cups low-sodium beef broth (or 2 cups water)
- 2 cups elbow macaroni (uncooked)
- 2 cups cheddar cheese (shredded)
- Heat olive oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté for 5-6 minutes, or until starting to soften and turn translucent. Add the bell pepper and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring often. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
- Reduce heat to medium and add the salt, pepper, and paprika to the mirepoix. Mix well.
- Add the ground beef to the pot. Use a wooden spatula to break apart the ground meat into small crumbles. Stir frequently and continue to cook until meat is browned.
- Add the Italian seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, and tomato paste. Mix well to combine. Stir in the tomato sauce and diced tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Add the bay leaves, cover, and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, occasionally stirring to prevent burning.
- Stir in the broth and elbow macaroni, cover, and simmer for approximately 15 minutes, or until noodles are cooked to al dente. Stir every couple of minutes to prevent the noodles from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
- Remove from heat and stir in the shredded cheese. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley, if desired.
Submitted by: Jessica Randhawa, head chef, recipe creator, photographer and writer behind The Forked Spoon.
Why we love it: “American Goulash is an easy, one-pot meal made with ground beef, tomatoes, and macaroni noodles that is sure to please for a yummy weeknight dinner,” Randhawa said.
Vegan Gambian Peanut Stew
Cost: Roughly $9.37
- 1 ½ tablespoons Coconut Oil
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 6 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
- 1-2 jalapeño peppers, diced**
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves
- 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
- Black pepper to taste
- 4 cups (945 mL) low-sodium vegetable broth (or water)
- 1 small handful of fresh thyme sprigs**
- 1 pound (454g) sweet potatoes, peeled and finely diced***
- ½ cup (128g) peanut butter
- 1 (15-ounce/425g) can of cannellini beans (or other white beans such as navy beans)
- 1 (28-ounce/800g) can crushed tomatoes
- 5 cups (90-100g) chopped organic kale
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice (or lime juice)
- ½ cup cilantro, chopped
- Heat a large, deep nonstick pan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the coconut oil, and once it’s shimmering, add the onions with a pinch of kosher salt. Cook until the onions are just starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, and jalapeño peppers. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent burning.
- Add in the tomato paste, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cloves, 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, and a generous amount of freshly cracked black pepper. Stir frequently and vigorously for 2 minutes, incorporating the tomato paste and spices into the onions. Add a few splashes of water to prevent the spices from drying out or burning.
- Pour in the vegetable broth or water, stirring with a spatula to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Add the thyme sprigs, sweet potatoes, peanut butter, white beans, and crushed tomatoes. Stir well to combine.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low or medium-low to maintain a rapid simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the sweet potato is soft and tender, stirring occasionally.
- Optional step: The stew should be quite thick by now, but if you want it to be even thicker and creamier, run an immersion blender through half of the stew (don’t blend it all – you want to retain some texture).
- Add the chopped kale and simmer for 3-5 minutes, or until wilted. If desired, use a fork to smash the sweet potatoes to further thicken the stew.
- Stir in the lemon or lime juice and cilantro. Season to taste, adding more salt as needed. Serve plain, or on top your favorite grain.
Submitted by: Nisha Vora, founder and recipe developer at Rainbow Plant Life.
Why we love it: “This plant-based spin on various West African peanut stews will keep you satiated for hours, and it’s packed with aromatics and spices so it’ll satisfy your taste buds and comfort food cravings,” said Vora. “It’s also gluten-free and soy-free.”
Easy Ramen Noodle Soup With Vegetables
- 2 cartons of chicken broth, about 64 oz.
- 1 handful mushrooms, about 5 mushrooms, sliced
- 1 small onion, sliced
- 5 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
- 2 sprigs green onion, sliced
- 2 medium carrots, shredded
- ½ head cabbage, shredded
- 1 can corn kernels, drained
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 package instant noodles about 8.4 oz/240g, use more noodles if desired
- ½ lb beef chuck, thinly sliced against the grain
- 1 bunch cilantro (optional), chopped
- Add the chicken broth, mushrooms, and all the vegetables (onion, garlic, green onion, carrots, cabbage, and corn) into a big soup pot.
- Bring the soup to a boil.
- Once the soup has boiled, add the salt and lower the heat to medium. Allow the soup to simmer until the carrots have softened.
- Add the thinly sliced beef. Once the meat looks cooked through, turn the heat off and add the instant noodles.
- Allow the noodles to soak in the boiling soup for three minutes. They should be softened and ready to eat.
- Divide the soup into 4 portions. Garnish with chopped cilantro and your favorite sauces to serve.
Submitted by: Anna Rider, food writer and recipe developer at Garlic Delight.
Why we love it: “This is an easy and cozy recipe that you can double or triple to serve a bigger family or dinner guests,” Rider said. “This is a premium ramen soup because it contains a rich broth packed with umami thanks to the beef and mushrooms. It’s a family-friendly meal that kids will love because noodles are usually a hit.”
One-Pot Sausage With Broccoli and Kale Pasta
Cost: $10 at most
- 2 sausages, skin removed
- 2 cloves of garlic
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 box of pasta
- Parmesan cheese
- Remove skin from sausages and add them to the pot with two tablespoons of olive oil. Ensure the pot is over medium heat since you want to render as much fat from sausages as possible. Cook it for about 8-10 minutes.
- Pull out the sausages and set them aside.
- Chop up broccoli into bite-sized pieces. Remove kale leaves from the stems and slice them up. Chop up garlic and add everything to the pot. The fat from the sausages will add an extra depth of flavor to the vegetables.
- Add some olive oil if needed. Season vegetables with salt and pepper to taste.
- Once vegetables are ready – set them aside.
- To the same pot, add enough water for pasta to cook. Remember to add a teaspoon of salt. Bring water to a boil and add one box of pasta. Stir it occasionally.
- Once pasta is cooked al dente, pour the water out, leaving about half of a cup at the bottom.
- Add grated parmesan to the pot and give it a good stir.
- Once the cheese is melted add sausages and vegetables and mix it all up.
Submitted by: Renaldas Kaveckas, chef and founder at Avant-Garde Kitchen.
Why we love it: “It only takes around 20 minutes to make, and the best part is that it has plenty of healthy vegetables and proteins with some carbs to balance everything out,” Kaveckas said.
One-Pot Creamy Mushroom Linguine Pasta (Vegan & Oil-Free)
Cost: About $9.24
- 16 oz. linguine pasta
- 8 oz. white or baby bella mushrooms
- 1/2 yellow onion
- 4 garlic cloves
- 16 oz. mushroom broth
- 4 Green onion stalks
- 1 can of unsweetened coconut cream
- Pinches of black pepper
- Pinches of pink Himalayan salt
- Rinse and prep all of your veggies
- Chop the garlic, yellow onion and green onion into small pieces.
- Keep the white and green part of the green onion stalks separate.
- Warm a splash of the mushroom broth in a large pot over medium heat.
- Add the garlic, yellow onion and white parts of the green onion and sauté for 2 minutes. add in the mushrooms and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add a pinch of the black pepper and salt in between.
- Add the mushroom broth and coconut cream to the pot and stir. (Shake the can of coconut cream well before opening it) Cover and bring to a boil over high heat.
- Uncover, reduce the heat to medium, and add in the pasta.
- Simmer for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to break up the noodles. Turn the heat off once the noodles are tender. Continue to simmer the pasta on medium heat if you wish to reduce more liquid.
- Add to your favorite serving bowls and top with green onion and any additional toppings, if using.
- Serve warm; leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days, but the noodles will get soggy and absorb most of the broth (so it’s best to enjoy fresh!)
*Note: To make this recipe gluten-free, just sub out the linguine pasta for your favorite gluten-free noodles!
Submitted by: Yelina Perez, a vegan wellness coach
Why we love it: “This recipe is special because it’s quick, easy, yummy and so comforting,” Perez said. “It’s easily shareable with loved ones whether you’re vegan or not because who doesn’t love a bowl of creamy pasta?”
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