Wonderpots or One-Pot Meals

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Dec 6, 2009
Mid-Atlantic, USA
In searching for meals that could be frozen or made ahead, I stumbled on "Wonderpots." These are basically one-pot meals where the grains, protein, and veggies/everything else are tossed in and it cooks until done with very little extra care needed on behalf of the cook. I love that all of these only use one pot. Period.

In the past week, I've made three different Wonderpots. The first was an excellent blend of greens, artichokes, mushrooms, and pasta,and had a really nice sauce. The second was a mix of sausage, mushrooms and pasta with a tomato sauce. Also delicious.

Last night, I made a One-Pot Enchilada pasta dish. Always one for making changes, I doubled the amount of pasta, used penne pasta instead of rotini, used very lean ground beef, and doubled the amount of broth. Like the others, it was really good! In fact, it was so good, we only had two bags of leftovers to freeze instead of three. My only hit on this recipe was that someone said it was "Homemade Hamburger Helper, except better." I believe that hamburger NEVER needs help.

With my work schedule, I'm definitely going to keep looking for more recipes like these. I've found a promising recipe that has rice rather than pasta that I hope to try in the next few weeks.

Honestly, add a salad and a small bit of bread and it's a pretty good meal.

I'd love to hear of other one-pot meal ideas.



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It's sooo easy! I found tons of ideas on Pinterest. Also, I recently made a 1 pot rice dish that is baked. Not nearly as fast, but clean-up was a snap.
Thanks, CSW. I love soups and stews. The colors in the picture of the recipe to which you linked are beautiful!

Most of the "wonderpots" I've found are neither soupy nor stewy. With winter almost hear, both are most welcome though!!!
Kathleen--not all were soups or stews. The French country cooking also involves a lot of one-pot meals (sauerkraut-sausage-juniper berries) in the oven was one of the dishes my roommate from Rouen, France used to make quite often. My FAVORITE German one-pot meal is: Grünkohl mit Pinkel.

The difficulty is definitely finding a recipe to make Pinkel. There are several on the 'Net. I just haven't gotten around to making Pinkel yet in my sausage-making adventures. This dish was often served in a shallow bowl on top of a slice of dark farmer's bread. I can check my German cookbooks for one pot meals. I know we made a chicken one with potatoes, carrots, and peas. We also made another one with fish, rice, carrots, leeks, and green beans.
CSW, I'd love more one-pot recipes! The link you gave only had soups/stews for me, but had soups I had not considered before. I love ideas.

PF, my finger-clicker doesn't work. Hmmm. :ROFLMAO:
CSW, I'd love more one-pot recipes! The link you gave only had soups/stews for me, but had soups I had not considered before. I love ideas.

PF, my finger-clicker doesn't work. Hmmm. :ROFLMAO:
I'm dogsitting for a friend, but when I get home, I'll pull out my German cookbooks and find links for the recipes (in English). And I'll dig through my recipe notebook from when I lived in Germany. I was in the North, so the recipes are influenced by what was readily available. What I remember most is that the quantity of meat to feed a family of six was a lot less than what I was used to as a teenager from MN. We did a lot of one pots with sausage, potatoes, veggies (carrots, onion, leeks--the first time I met a leek was in Germany--I had no clue what they were and woke up one morning with a note asking me to do something for the midday meal and making sure to use up the leeks...). Although my host family was well off, we only had a small fridge, so meat was often brought home from the butcher daily or the fishmonger stopped by. I can't promise all are 30 minutes or less, but might be "crock pot" options. And, I'll dig out Sylvie's sauerkraut one pot. It was very good and that reminds me, I haven't made it for awhile.
Palek paneer comes to mind with a side of Naan bread. I thought I posted my recipe for that last spring...I add chickpeas and tomatoes to make it more filling than just spinach and paneer. I also don't puree the spinach (it works just as well with Swiss Chard or Kale) and I toast/brown the paneer first (I have also made it with tofu that I smoked, but that takes more planning). I use yogurt instead of milk or cream, and of course toast the cumin, etc. It is done in one pan and takes about 30-35 minutes. I have also topped it with a poached egg...Remember, I cook without recipes most of the time, but I do have my take on palek paneer written down because I test drove it and recommended changes. And, sent it to my friend who is married to a man from India for her feedback. That I might be able to find or recover--lost my emails from August 18th back, but I bet my friend still has it or it is on my other computer in My XXXX recipes folder.
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CSW, If you don't find the English versions, no worries! German is one of the very few languages where I can muddle through the recipe. I also love paleek paneer, though have never made it. If I can make the Naan, toast /brown paneer, etc all in the one pan where I make it, cool!

PF, I don't believe that I can replace the batteries in this model. :)
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Back to one-pot meals. The German recipes I have all start with a base recipe and then you get to add whatever you want. For example, the base recipe starts with a meat, onion, carrot, red cabbage, green cabbage, kohlrabi, water. You simmer that for about 2 hours. Then you can add potatoes, peas, beans, whatever.

Here's a list of the ones we used to make. I particularly liked the paprika cream soup. I also liked the potato soup with ham chunks added. The premise is you make a hearty soup and then you can add sausage, leftover meat, whatever. I also liked making the leek-and-tomato soup, once I knew what a leek was!


Bohnenesuppe mit Mettwurst

Huehnersuppe mit Reis

Linsensuppe mit Schweinerippchen


Erbsensuppe mit Schweinenacken

Erbsensuppe mit Poekelfleish

Erbsensuppen mit Schinkenlkoesschen


Serbisches Reisfleish

Möhren und Bohnen Eintopf

Porree-Topf mit Tomaten

Provencalischer Eintopf



Bunter Reistopf

Vegetarischer Eintopf

Wirsing mit Bauernmettwurst

Paprika Sahnesuppe

CSW, I'd love more one-pot recipes! The link you gave only had soups/stews for me, but had soups I had not considered before. I love ideas.

PF, my finger-clicker doesn't work. Hmmm. :ROFLMAO:
Ok, How about this very traditional dish from the north of England. You can use lamb but it's particularly good made with mutton if you can get it.

How to cook the perfect Lancashire hotpot | Life and style | The Guardian

It can be left in the oven all day or it's a classic for hay box cooking.

The word "hotpot" is very common in the UK for this type of dish - it's thought to come from "hotch-potch" a general word for a collection or this and that all thrown together which is what a hotpot is really.
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CWS, thank you for the list of German dishes. I have a favorite relative (she's 48 years old) who lived in Germany and the Netherlands for a few years and has fond memories. She doesn't especially like to cook, so I'm wondering if you could recommend one or more of these dishes that's relatively uncomplicated and the ingredients are easily obtained -- she lives in Atlanta now. Thanks.
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