Glorious One-Pot Meals


Food with few dishes

Elizabeth Yarnell has developed an easy, tasty, and fast method of one-pot cooking she calls “infusion cooking.” More or less, it’s the opposite of slow-cooker cooking. The ingredients are layered in a two-quart cast-iron Dutch oven, which is covered and placed in a 450F oven for 45 minutes. I’ve found that I can assemble one of Yarnell’s meals in the time it takes the oven to heat. That makes two servings: one for a couple or, in my case, one for lunch and dinner. Although the recipes in Glorious One-Pot Meals ($16) need a bit of spicing up, after making a couple, you get the idea and improvisation is easy.

-- Michael Ham 04/9/19


To give you an idea, here's a recipe I came up with, layer by layer, starting with the bottom and moving up:

1/4 large onion, chopped coarsely
1/2 c uncooked converted rice (this makes 2 servings: for some reason in the book Yarnell consistently cooks a full cup---4 servings---of rice: too much for me)
2 Tbsp vinegar over the rice (sherry, rice, balsamic, Chinese black, whatever)
8 oz protein (I've successfully used lamb, chicken breast, tempeh, and a variety of fish---I cut the protein into bite-size pieces)
salt, pepper, crushed red pepper (just a little to provide some body), perhaps some herbs---with fish I usually squeeze half a lime over them and add some capers to this layer
4 mushrooms, sliced
1/2 bell pepper (green, red, or yellow), cut into squares
1 yellow crookneck squash, coarsely chopped
1/2 bulb fennel, cored and sliced

Fill the remaining space with your choice of: green beans, broccoli, red chard, spinach, or any other leafy greens.

2 Tbsp Bragg's vinaigrette
2 Tbsp sherry
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce (I use homemade)
1 tsp Dijon mustard

Whisk together in a small bowl, then pour over the top.

Cover and cook for 45 minutes in 450F oven. Serves two.

You will discover through experience the amount of liquid you'll need with different vegetables. With bok choy, for example, no additional liquid is needed. For the starch layer, I've also used: baby potatoes, quinoa, egg noodles, pasta, and the like. This method is terrific and generally will up your vegetable consumption without raising calories.

(This is a Cool Tools Favorite from 2011 — editors)