Your holiday to-do list is looming, and you’re prepping for The Big Meal. So much, in fact, that you’ve forgotten there are at least eight meals leading up to it.
We’ve been there. And here are the recipes we used to keep our wits about us. Every recipe below features easy-to-find ingredients, gets tossed into one pot for easy cleanup, and requires minimal prep. And each one is delicious enough to deserve a permanent spot in your recipe rotation.
Beef and Shallot Stew
If you’re short on time, but love the idea of a slow-cooked, meaty stew, this recipe is for you. Not only is it forgiving, the hardest thing about it is peeling the shallots and browning the beef; both of which take nearly no time or effort to do. You can amp up the flavor by adding mushrooms and garlic, and some of us switched the thyme for rosemary with amazing results. Let it cook low and slow in the oven while you tackle other things.
Bacon-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin
Cast iron cooks, get ready! You’ll love the delicious mix of salty, savory and sweet this recipe has to offer as it goes from full sear to oven-baked juiciness. Because bacon-wrapped anything is worth a try. (HINT: We’re totally on board with spreading a thick layer of apricot jam or chutney onto the pork halfway through the roasting process). And if you can’t find fennel, try bok choy.
Slow Cooker Pizza Casserole
While you do have to boil noodles in a separate pot, we promise everything else about this recipe is nothing but opening cans and stirring it all together. This family-friendly recipe is the ultimate comfort food, whether you are entertaining the neighborhood or just hoping for some next-day leftovers. Feel free to dress it up like your favorite pizza (black olives, anyone?).
One Pot Pasta With Spinach and Tomatoes
Chop onions. That’s pretty much the only prep you need to do for this ridiculously easy yet inhumanely delicious meal that will not only have people asking for thirds, but also have folks fighting to clean the one pot that made it all happen. The original recipe is vegetarian, but you could add chicken thighs or ground beef for a heartier finish. Large chunks of fresh mozzarella are also a welcome addition.
Half-Hour Chicken Gumbo
Rotisserie chicken and thirty minutes are pretty much all you need to get this fantastic meal from stovetop to bowls down. With plenty of vegetables and meat, this recipe brings the glory of Louisiana to the table and has a little something for everyone.
Now the question is: Which one will you make first?