Is anyone else bored of cooking for themselves? If you’re looking for some inspiration, we want to make your lives as easy as possible with some one pot recipes to save you time in the kitchen.

There’s no need to attempt Michelin-starred cuisine in your kitchen just yet – you know it’ll only end in disaster. Take our advice and chuck a load of ingredients into one pot at the beginning of the day and let it simmer away until you’re ready to eat. Simple, easy, and with minimal washing up, these single-dish recipes will help you survive well into the winter months.

One pot recipes that save you time in the kitchen

Beef bourguignon

Let’s take a step back to the 70s when prawns covered in ketchup and mayonnaise constituted a fancy starter and quiche was an exotic show of cooking skills. The go-to chef at the time was, of course, Delia Smith. While she’s now busy waving her green and yellow scarf at Norwich games, her recipes are still in the kitchen. And her beef bourguignon concoction is one of the best and simplest of the one pot wonders. Perfect for dinner parties, it involves little fuss.

Serves 4-6

What you need: 
– 900g braising steak, cut into 5 cm squares
– 2 x 130g packs diced pancetta
– 110g mushrooms, cut into chunks
– salt and pepper
– 3 tablespoons olive oil
– 1 onion, sliced
– 1 heaped tablespoon plain flour
– 425ml red wine (Delia uses Burgundy)
– 2 cloves garlic, chopped
– 2 sprigs fresh thyme
– 1 bay leaf
– 350g shallots

one pot recipes

Let's take a step back to the 70s, when prawns covered in ketchup and mayonnaise constituted a fancy starter.

What you do:
1. Pre-heat the oven to 140°C (gas mark 1, 275°F). Drizzle 1¼ tablespoons of oil to sizzling point in the casserole or pan you’ve chosen for your dish. A few pieces at a time, sear the beef so it turns a rich, dark brown on all sides and transfer the meat to a plate as it browns using a slotted spoon.

2. Next add the sliced onion to the pan and brown that a little too. Then return the meat to the pan and sprinkle in the flour to soak up all the juices.

3. Now gradually pour in the wine, stirring all the time. Add chopped garlic, herbs and salt and pepper, put the lid on and cook gently in the oven for 2 hours (you can also simmer it on the stove if the oven isn’t an option).

4. Then, using a bit more olive oil, fry the shallots and bacon in a small frying pan to colour them lightly. Add to the casserole, together with the mushrooms, then put the lid on and cook for a further hour. You can also add carrots and peas to the fray for colour. Green beans and mash make great side dishes for this. Or alternatively, get a hunk of bread and butter to dip.

Recipe from Delia Smith.

Coq au vin

Yet another one of those classic one pot recipes comes from another 70s domestic goddess – Mary Berry. This time with chicken. The same principles basically apply. Onion, garlic, meat. Pour a load of wine. Drink it. Then pour more wine and cook with it. A simple equation, but it really works wonders.

Serves 4

What you need: 

– 30 g butter
– 1 tbsp. sunflower oil
– 125 g streaky bacon rashers, cut into strips
– 8 small shallots 
– 250 g button mushrooms
– 30 g plain flour
– 300 ml chicken stock
– 600 ml red wine
– A few twigs of rosemary and thyme
– 1 large garlic clove, crushed
– salt and black pepper 
– 2 tbsp. chopped parsley to garnish
– 6 chicken legs

What you do:
1. Melt the butter with the oil in a large casserole dish. Cook the chicken until brown all over and remove with a slotted spoon.

2. Add the bacon, shallots, and mushrooms and sizzle until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon. Add the flour to the pan and cook for three to five minutes, stirring constantly, until lightly browned.

3. Reduce the wine in a separate pan to 300 milliliters. Gradually pour the stock into the original pan and the wine, stirring until smooth.

4. Whack the chicken, bacon, shallots, and mushrooms into the mixture. Add in the rosemary and thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover, and cook in a preheated oven at 180°C (gas mark 4) for 45 minutes. Sprinkle the chicken with the chopped parsley to serve.

Recipe from Mary Berry.

Chickpea & chorizo stew

Okay, so we really need to move on to a different era or we will start looking like duck a l’orange. Spice things up a bit with a chorizo sausage and chickpea stew. This one is super quick and easy. There’s no waiting around for a day. Chuck it in the pot, add a buttered loaf, and there you have it.

Serves 2 

What you need:
– 4 cooking chorizo sausages, cut into thick slices
– 1 red onion, sliced
– 2 garlic cloves, sliced
– 1 tsp smoked paprika
– 1 tsp cumin seed
– 3 handfuls of spinach
– 400g can cherry tomato
– juice 1 lemon
– 400g can chickpea, drained
– 1 handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped
– toasted sourdough bread, to serve

What you do:
1. Fry the chorizo, onion and garlic for 5 minutes, until the chorizo is browning on the outside. Drain the excess oil, then stir in the paprika and cumin.

2. Add in the tomatoes, lemon juice, spinach and chickpeas – and season with pepper and salt if needed. Bubble for 5 minutes more to thicken slightly, then sprinkle over the parsley. Serve with toasted sourdough.

Recipe from Jennifer Joyce. 

one pot recipes

This recipe fired around the internet like a catchy TikTok sea shanty and everyone was cooking it.

Spiced chickpea stew with coconut and turmeric

This dish was written up by Alison Roman, the American food writer and cook, in The New York Times in 2019. After that, it fired around the internet like a catchy TikTok sea shanty and everyone was cooking it. And it’s perfect for 2023. The optimistic colours, the warming spice for the winter and the hearty greens boost your vitamins. This one-pot wonder is a breath of fresh air.

Serves 4-6

What you need:
– 60ml olive oil
– 4 garlic cloves, chopped
– 1 large yellow onion, chopped
– 1 thumb-sized piece ginger, finely chopped
– Salt and pepper
– 1½ tsp ground turmeric, plus more for serving
– 1 tsp mild chilli flakes, plus more for serving
– 2 tins chickpeas, drained and rinsed
– 2 tins full-fat coconut milk
– 270ml vegetable or chicken stock
– 1 bunch kale, stems removed, torn into bite-size pieces
– 1 small bunch mint leaves, for serving
– yogurt, for serving
– toasted pita, for serving

What you do:
1. Heat 60ml oil in a large pot over medium. Add garlic, onion and ginger. Season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally until onion starts to brown a little.

2. Add 1½ teaspoons turmeric, one teaspoon mild chilli flakes, and the chickpeas, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, so the chickpeas sizzle and fry a bit in the spices and oil, until they’ve started to break down and get a little browned and crisp. Remove about a handful of chickpeas and set aside for garnish.

3. Using a wooden spoon crush the remaining chickpeas slightly to release their starchy insides and help thicken the stew. Add coconut milk and stock, and season with salt and pepper.

4. Bring to a simmer, scraping up any bits that have formed on the bottom of the pot. Cook for about half an hour, stirring occasionally, until stew has thickened.

5. Add the kale and stir, making sure they’re submerged in the liquid. Cook until they wilt and soften. Season again with salt and pepper.

6. Top with mint, chickpeas, a sprinkle of chilli flakes and a good drizzle of olive oil. Serve with yogurt and toasted pita.

Recipe from Alison Roman. 

Spicy white bean stew with kale

This is another Alison Roman recipe that did the rounds. She uses broccoli rabe as her main ingredient, but it seems nigh on impossible to find in the supermarkets, so you can substitute it with kale instead. The main thing is that it’s a slightly bitter green with a certain toughness.

Serves 4

What you need: 
– 1 large bunch (or 2 small bunches) broccoli rabe or kale, thick stems separated from the leaves
– 3 tbsp. olive oil, plus more for drizzling
– 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
– 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
– salt and pepper
– 2 tbsp harissa (or tomato paste and pinch of chilli flakes)
– chilli flakes
– 3 cans large white beans, such as cannellini or butter, drained and rinsed
– 1 litre of vegetable or chicken broth
– 1 lemon, halved, for squeezing
– 55g feta, crumbled, to serve
– 1 small bunch of parsley, to serve

What to do: 

1. Tear broccoli rabe or kale leaves into bite-size pieces and set aside. Chop the stems into about half cm pieces; set aside.

2. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add garlic and onion, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned and sizzled at the edges.

3. Add harissa, and stir to coat in the oil for about 2 minutes. Then add the beans, and season with salt and pepper. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, crush a few beans to thicken.

4. Add the broth and reserved stems, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 15 to 20 minutes until you’ve reached your desired consistency.

5. Add broccoli rabe or kale leaves and lemon juice, and stir to wilt the greens. Season with salt, pepper and more chilli flakes if you want it spicier. Serve with crumbled feta and a sprinkle of parsley.

Recipe from Alison Roman. 

Sausage, rocket, pecorino and lentil pot

Nigel Slater always comes up with the most comforting food, doesn’t he? And it’s always so easy to put together. And this dish is no exception. Long live Nige.

Serves 2

What you need: 
– 2 tbsp olive oil
– 6 herby sausages
– 2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
– salt and pepper
– 1 litre of vegetable or chicken stock
– 400g small brown or green lentils
– 50g rocket
– 75g pecorino

What you do:
1. Warm the olive oil in a casserole dish, then add the sausages and brown them evenly on all sides. Add the cloves of garlic and cook for a minute or two until they turn pale gold.

2. Pour in the stock and bring to a boil. Tip in the lentils and let the stock return to the boil, then lower the heat and leave to simmer. Leave the pan partially covered with a lid, for about 35-40 minutes until the lentils are tender but just short of soft. Check the lentils every 5 minutes, as all lentils range in size and cooking time. Add salt and pepper for seasoning at the end so as not to toughen the lentils.

3. Blitz the rocket leaves and pecorino together in a food processor until you have coarse, green and white crumbs. Serve the lentils and sausages and top with the crumbs.

Recipe from Nigel Slater. 

Red orzo risotto with goat’s cheese

This one pot wonder is from the British writer Lindsey Bareham and it’s a great alternative to the normal stop-start faff of a traditional risotto. Orzo saves a lot of time and effort in the kitchen, but it’s still super tasty and delightfully silky to eat. It’ll only take about 10 minutes to cook.

Serves 3-4

– 250g orzo pasta
– salt
– 2 tbsp olive oil
– 1 red onion, sliced
– 1 large garlic clove, crushed with pinch of salt
– 150g roasted or chargrilled Romano or piquillo – peppers
– a pinch of saffron
– 200g vine tomatoes
– 70g pitted dry black olives
– 10g flat-leaf parsley
– 100g soft goat’s cheese

one pot recipes

Orzo is a great alternative to the normal stop-start faff of traditional risotto grains.

What to do:
1. Boil the orzo in salted water fro about 10 minutes in a spacious frying pan, stirring once to prevent sticking, until just tender. Drain, but reserve a mugful of the cooking water. Tip the orzo into a warmed bowl, drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and 2 tablespoons of the cooking water, then cover with a stretch of clingfilm.

2. Heat the other tablespoon of olive oil in the pan and add in the onion. Cook, stirring often, for 6 or 7 minutes. Stir the crushed garlic into the onion, add 2 tablespoons of the orzo cooking water, cover, reduce the heat and cook for 10 minutes.

3. Add the saffron and mix it in, then peel the roasted Romano peppers, if using. Slice them or the piquillos into ribbons and chop a few times, and add to the pan. Quarter the tomatoes and blitz them into passata. Pour into the pan. Simmer for a few minutes until juicy but not too wet. Mix in the drained orzo and turn off the heat. Halve the olives round their middles and chop the parsley leaves. Stir both into the pasta. Serve with a few teaspoons of goat’s cheese.

Recipe from Lindsey Bareham. 

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