a formula for a one pot rice meal
plus THREE BONUS ONE POT/PAN RECIPES for paid subscribers!
I love a one pot meal not only for its ease + coziness, but especially because cleanup is so streamlined. The one I make most often is some sort-of meat-vegetable-rice situation and I never make it exactly the same way because it’s always made with a mix of whatever I’ve got on hand. And it’s always great. So instead of sharing a recipe with you today, I thought it’d be more helpful to share a formula that you can riff on. I think of this as an ode to the dishes just about every culture has that stretches some rice into a warm, nourishing meal (pelau, jambalaya, arroz con pollo, mujadara, and on and on).
For a bit more detail…
Heat a little oil in a pot. Just enough to cover the bottom of the pot. The heavier your pot, the better (a Dutch oven is great). This oil can be whatever type you like.
If you want to use meat, add it to the pot — to make roughly four generous servings, you’re going to need about a pound of meat or less (like 1/4 - 1/2 pound) of something more intense like pancetta or bacon. For the meat, this could be a few diced, boneless/skinless chicken thighs, any type of sausage freed from its casing and crumbled into pieces, a pound of ground meat (any type), or a few slices of bacon cut into small pieces…whatever. Cook the meat until it’s mostly browned, or at least cooked through. You can also skip the meat and make this all vegetables or vegetables + beans or vegetables + shrimp or fish (more on those variations in a moment).
Then add a bunch of chopped vegetables — just a big diced onion will do, or a mix of things like carrots, celery, fennel, peppers, peeled squash, whatever. You can also use fermented vegetables like a bunch of sauerkraut or kimchi! Or frozen vegetables like a bag of spinach or kale. Let the vegetables get a bit soft. No need to remove the meat from the pot when you do this.
Season the vegetables. This could just be salt. But it could also be all sorts of ground spices like cumin, coriander, smoked paprika, adobo, gochugaru (or any hot pepper for that matter)…whatever!
Add rice! I usually do 1 cup of long grain white rice for one pot. You can also do brown rice or any grain — just adjust the cooking time as needed. For example, brown rice will need closer to an hour of cooking time. Quinoa would just need about 10 - 15 minutes of cooking time.
Add liquid. This could be water. This could any type of stock. This could be a little coconut milk and water. This could be crushed tomatoes and stock. You get the idea. I usually do two parts liquid to one part rice. So for 1 cup of long grain rice, I do 2 cups of liquid. This ratio for white rice leaves you with a pot of food that isn’t dried out. You can do a little less (more like 1.5 parts liquid to 1 part rice) if you want your rice to be fluffier. If you do another grain, keep the liquid ration in mind — brown rice, for example, will definitely need two parts liquid to one part rice. You can also add drained canned beans at this point or beans or lentils you cooked yourself.
Stir everything well, bring the mixture to a boil, and once it boils, turn it to low, cover it, and let it simmer until the rice is cooked, which will be about 20 to 25 minutes for white rice (again, less or more for other grains).
Let the pot of food sit off of the heat, covered, for at least 10 minutes before serving. If you want to add peeled shrimp or small pieces of skinless/boneless fish, just open the pot quickly, put the seafood on top, cover it and let it sit with the cover on until the seafood gets completely cooked through with the residual heat, about 10 - 15 minutes.
Serve as is or feel free to top your portion with fun toppings…cheese, sour cream, fresh herbs, sliced scallions, crunchy fried onions, hot sauce, tahini dressing…whatever you want!
Here are a few ideas in a chart if that helps get your wheels spinning:
And everything in one place:
A few more notes…
This is a great thing to make a couple hours ahead and just let it sit covered on the stove (heat off) or make further ahead and just reheat in the microwave or in a pot over low heat.
If you have enough stuff in the pot, you won’t need anything else, but you can always round out the meal with a simple salad or some warm garlic bread.
The possibilities with this one pot rice formula are truly endless. Let me know what combinations you love and of course let me know if you have any questions!!
If you’d like to cook WITH ME!, I am offering two classes this weekend. On Saturday at 2p EST, I’ll be doing a ‘Cooking + Eating Together without Judgment’ class and on Sunday at 2p EST, I’ll be doing a ‘For the Week Ahead’ class. More on both of those below!!!
SATURDAY January 14: Cooking + Eating Together without Judgment »»»» all info / sign-up right here!!! [Creamy Tomato Penne + Chocolate Cupcakes / SLIDING SCALE]
Sunday January 15: For the Week Ahead »»»» all info / sign-up right here!
This past Sunday I taught a cooking class that included three one pan/pot meals. It was a true thrill to spend an hour and a half cooking together and leave with so much food that made us all feel set up for success for the week ahead. Inspired by this sense of preparedness, I am sharing the three recipes from class with paid subscribers today.
Eggplant Parm Heroes
Turkey + Green Chile Chili
Italian Sausage, Farro, Tomato + Kale Stew
Want the recipes? Become a paid subscriber!
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Thanks so much for being here! I’ll be back next week with something helpful.