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When the weekend comes around, the last thing you want to do is spend hours toiling in the kitchen for, let's be honest, a dinner your family will gobble up in 15 minutes or less. Plus factor in the cleanup times of all those dirty pots and pans when you could be sitting down for family game night or a movie? It makes even the most ambitious cook consider doing takeout - again.

However, putting together a quick meal for Sunday night doesn't mean you have to sacrifice flavor or quality. Try our favorite trick in the book - one-pot meals - that guarantee the ease of a slow cooker with the hearty flavor of a home-cooked meal. Another plus? You only have one pot to wash! 

Have you ever heard of the culinary trick of reserving the liquid after boiling spaghetti and using it in your dish for a fuller flavor? The one-pot meal does that for you already, adding rich tastes that you might not get from cooking all the ingredients separately, instead letting the flavors marry to create a dish that won't have any leftovers.

Check out these tips for other ways to make sure your creation is jam-packed full of flavor!


Meaty Meal: One of the quickest ways to add flavor to your dish is with the addition of proteins that can put a delicious twist on any classic. What better choice than Italian sausage from Johnsonville, which adds nuanced Italian spices to enhance any pasta or rice dish? 

One Pan Italian is a hearty take on your classic spaghetti dinner with savory bits of Italian sausage, plus you can also choose from Johnsonville's sweet, mild or spicy Italian sausage depending on your mood! 

16978-making-the-case-for-the-one-pot-dinner-2Stock Up: Another way to pump up a pasta dish is by using vegetable broth or chicken stock to cook your noodles instead of just water. You won't have to drain any liquid, and the broth will add some major flavor to your noodles as well as any vegetables or meats. 

Spice Rack: This might seem like an afterthought, but fresh spices and herbs are especially important for one-pot dinners, especially if you are trying to go for cooked-for-hours flavor in just 30 minutes. Fresh basil is always a good bet for Italian and fresh rosemary adds a delicious, fresh twist on any poultry dish. One of our culinary golden rules is to use bay leaves to add depth to pretty much any dish. We also recommend checking out already made herb-infused oils as a way to quickly add tons of flavor, or you can easily make it yourself at home and keep it in your pantry. 

The Finale: One of the best parts (Ok, the best part for any busy mom)? After everyone is sitting stuffed and satisfied after the delicious one-pot meal of your choice, you'll be thrilled knowing there is just one pot to wash. At this point, someone else can take on the task because you've done dinner justice. 

Also, when in doubt of how your cooking is going or what to make, remember Miss Child's famous words. 


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