The problem with this time of year is there’s a constant battle between entertaining and getting jobs done. You’re trying to catch up with family and friends while presents sit unwrapped in the other room and you still haven’t written all those Christmas cards.
That’s where the one-pot meal comes into its own. These fantastic recipes mean you can throw all the ingredients into a pan, checking on them occasionally, before emerging triumphantly with a hassle-free dish.
Make sure you’ve got the right kit for the job with an Ingenio pan set, which can go from the hob to the oven and to the table to serve easily. And the best thing about one-pot meals? Minimal washing up!
1. Family get together
Lasagne is always a crowd pleaser, but it usually involves processes like making a bechamel sauce. Cut out the faff with this informal veggie version from The Cook Report. It uses cream cheese instead of anything that’s based on a roux, but is just as tasty.
2. Something a little bit special
Risotto can be demonised as being difficult, but there are simple versions out there. This sprout, bacon and chestnut concoction by On The Plate seems made for winter and while it takes a little bit more effort than some one-pot dishes, it’s worth it if you’ve got guests you need to impress.
3. Hungover brunch
The morning after the night before you need something hearty to put you back on your feet and baked eggs is a great go to. Jessipes shows you how to do it with plenty of tangy tomatoes, salty cheese and just-runny eggs.
4. Last-minute visitors
We’ve all been there, extending a last-minute invite to a friend and then being surprised when they say yes. One-pot cheesy chicken pasta is perfect for this, because it’s quick and you’re more than likely to have the ingredients in the fridge or cupboard. Follow Apply to Face’s guide on how to make it.
5. Everyone out at different events
When your kids are at a carol service, your partner’s got work drinks and you’re out with friends for an annual catch-up, everyone will want to eat at different times. Knock up this sausage casserole recipe from The Skint Dad and they can all spoon some into a bowl and heat it in the microwave as they want it.
6. Beat the bloat on Boxing Day
On December 26th you never want to see any turkey ever again and crave a dish that is totally different. Free From Favourites have a warming prawn jambalaya recipe that will transport you to an exotic setting and let you escape the bloat on Boxing Day.
7. The unexpected vegan
A distant relative turns up to your house with the wonderful surprise that they’re now vegan! Tackle the challenge with good humour and this Mexican rice casserole recipe from The Flexitarian that’s so delicious all the non-vegans will want to try it too. Just remember to use vegan cheese for the finishing touch.
8. Post wintry walk fuel
Soup must be the ultimate one-pot recipe and there’s nothing better than a steaming bowl when you get back from a wintry walk. You can make it in advance and heat it up within minutes to keep everyone happy. Try this winter vegetable and chestnut soup from The Kitchen Shed.
9. Little helping hands
Cooking with the kids is a good way to keep them entertained during the holidays and set them up with life skills. You’ll need a simple recipe and something they’ll love to eat themselves, so go for a macaroni cheese from Easy Peasy Foodie.
12. Fuel up before New Year’s Eve
Before heading out to the festivities on New Year’s Eve, make sure that you’re well-fed in order to soak up the booze. This means The Hedge Combers’ recipe for mutton stew with minted dumplings. It will help to stave off the hangover for sure.