The Art of One-Pan Meal Creation

Photograph by Shannon L. Buck copyright October 2014.

I love one-pan meals! Why? Because you only use one pan, for course! A girl doesn’t always want to dirty more than one pan to make a meal, because she doesn’t want all the extra dishes to wash after.

The trick with one-pan meals is to start with melting a healthy fat in a skillet and then add the food item that takes the longest to cook and work your way to the one that takes the least amount of time to cook.

Every so often, the longest cooking part of a meal may need to be drained after cooking part way through and that is fine. Start adding the other foods after that step.

For example, pasta or rice (if you eat grains, I do not) would be cooked partially first then drained. So would ground beef. White potatoes take longer to cook than sweet potato and squash. Shelled peas don’t take long at all. Its okay to learn through trial and error. I did.

If you need to add liquid, do so after the healthy fat (I prefer coconut oil) is heated. I’d use a good broth or stock for this purpose.

A one-pan meal I particularly like is made like this:

  1. Melt a couple of tablespoons of coconut oil in a skillet.
  2. Add chopped white potato to the pan and cook, stirring every minute or so, until they start to get tender.
  3. Add chopped squash and sweet potato and cook for a few minutes. Keep stirring as above.
  4. Add chopped sausage, still stirring as above, until potatoes are cooked and everything is warmed through.
  5. Add seasonings, stirring one last time. Let cook a minute, and it is done.

See how easy it is. All the flavors from the different foods mingle for a great tasting meal that can be served any time.

If you wanted to add diced carrot with the sweet potato and squash, and shelled peas at the end, you could. The above is just one example of a meal that can be prepared in one skillet. There are many more combinations. What are your favorites?

Tips

Serving Suggestions

Happy cooking!

Shannon

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Categories: Food Articles, One-Pan Meals

Author:Shannon L. Buck

Hi all! My name is Shannon. I'm a single mother of two young adult daughters and a Memay to one precious Little Man. I work as a writer from my home in Orono, Maine, and as a Front Desk Agent at an inn in Bangor. Writing is my life, second only to my daughters and grandson. I enjoy writing nonfiction, as well as fiction in a number of genres.

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