dump it and forget about it recipes
January 27, 2020 4:58 AM   Subscribe

I am seeking your favourite, single-step, 'dump it all into a pot' recipes along the lines of Marcella Hazan's famous tomato sauce.

I have plenty of recipes that are multi-step. I am looking to really just chop a bunch of stuff, chuck it into a pot, turn on the heat and wander off. Please no preliminary sautee-ing, toasting, roasting or what have you. I don't own an instant pot or crock pot. I prefer warming, complex tastes but I will, and do, eat anything. I have no dietary requirements - please have at it.
posted by unicorn chaser to Food & Drink (20 answers total) 78 users marked this as a favorite
I do collards like this. Wash and chop the collards, a handful's worth of fresh tomato (any variety) and half an onion per bunch of collards. Also chunk up some bacon or any preserved meat thing you've got - hamhock is traditional and of course you don't need to chunk that up, or if you've got something like a smoked sausage that can be awesome in slices. If you don't want to put in meat, put in something like soy sauce or maggi sauce or even marmite. Adjusting for the fattiness of whatever meat product you've got happening add in some additional lipids like any rendered animal fat or coconut oil - not all that much, just a couple tablespoons, but enough to carry flavor. Dump in a good amount of pepper and salt (adjusting salt for the preserved meat product) and as many smashed cloves of garlic you deem acceptable - then put in another clove. Put in enough chicken or vegetable stock to cover everything in the pot and let it go on a simmer covered for like, three hours at least. If you want it spicy you can put in any of your preferred heat things, some thinly sliced red chilies will look very pretty, but if you use hot sauce wait until the cooking's finished to preserve the brightness of any vinegar used in the hot sauce. This is one of those things where the sum is so vastly more than the worth of its parts I can't explain it. I eat my collards on rice with a fried egg when I just want to focus on them and not have it be a side dish.
posted by Mizu at 5:39 AM on January 27, 2020 [4 favorites]

Soy ginger chicken by Martha Stewart using the "in the oven" directions. I simplify step two by adding the cornstarch directly to the pot and adding the scallions/cilantro in step 1.
posted by poodelina at 6:05 AM on January 27, 2020 [2 favorites]

Marcella has a beef pot roast where you literally place the beef in the pot with mustard, olive oil, red wine vinegar, anchovies and unpeeled(!) garlic, turn on the heat and walk away.

The recipe also calls for pancetta, which admittedly you would have to cut up, but I never have it on hand anyway, so I leave it out, and it’s still delicious.
posted by bluebird at 6:07 AM on January 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

If you google “can casserole,” you’ll get a bunch of recipes that are just opening up cans, mixing together, and baking. Whether you’ll want to eat them is a different question. I made one of these from the cookbook “Square Meals” and couldn’t stop laughing. The finished product was ok in a 1950s way.
posted by FencingGal at 6:09 AM on January 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

Pretty much any chili recipe will work. They usually recommend browning the meat first, but that is not mandatory, or you could sautee it briefly while opening cans/chopping veggies.
posted by DoubleLune at 6:16 AM on January 27, 2020 [2 favorites]

Sheet pan meals sound right up your alley. Not so much as in a pot as on a sheet pan & in the oven but the same set & forget principle. You can go simple or pretty fancy. If you want to google the term you'll find 100's.
posted by wwax at 6:36 AM on January 27, 2020 [5 favorites]

Many interesting rice dishes work like this. For instance, try throwing 1 cup of rice, 1/2 cup peanuts, 1 cup green peas, 1 cup other assorted veggies (I like to throw in a stir fry mix or broccoli or spinach --- but no tomatoes or else the peanuts won't cook well), and 1 cup cubed chicken or beef along with salt, spices, and 3 cups of water. Microwave on high for about 20 minutes. Get a large enough bowl so that it doesn't boil over and make a mess for you to clean up.
posted by MiraK at 6:36 AM on January 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

Do you have a rice cooker? One of my favorites is to throw in some rice and lentils along with some cut up potatoes and cauliflower and frozen peas. Serve with yogurt and indian pickle or chutney and you've got easy kichri - super comfort food. (Details: I usually fill the rice-measuring scoop about half and half with rice and lentils, add the usual amount of water for one scoop of rice, and then throw in the veggies. It works fine.)

Or if you have a tummy ache and need something really bland but nutritious, just throw a frozen boneless chicken breast on top of the rice in the rice cooker, and it will be tender and bland when the rice is done.
posted by moonmilk at 6:38 AM on January 27, 2020 [4 favorites]

(I'm sure my rice cooker dishes would work in a saucepan on the stove, but the rice cooker is nice because you don't have to think about it. It'll shut itself off when dinner's ready. Mine cost $20 and i've been using it for 15 years.)
posted by moonmilk at 6:41 AM on January 27, 2020

Chicken Marbella, with the caveat that it's a two-step dump: dump most of the ingredients, let marinate, then add two more and cook. (The NYT version has you also simmer and reduce the pan juices.)
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 6:42 AM on January 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

Braised Chard and Cilantro, from one of Deborarh Madison's cookbooks, goes something like this:
dice an onion,
smash a garlic clove,
chop up two bunches of chard, stems and all
chop up a head of cilantro, stems and all
add to a pot with a large glug of olive oil, a half cup (or so) of water
salt and pepper and paprika
put it all in a heavy pot and turn it on low
come back in an hour or two

It's really really good and you can put it on, and eat it with, anything from toast to rice to beans to roast chicken.
posted by niicholas at 7:02 AM on January 27, 2020 [7 favorites]

One-pan farro with tomatoes is this, and it's delicious. Feels a little bit healthier than similar one pan recipes with pasta, but not sure if it actually is or not.

This jambalaya calls for preliminary sauteeing but I bet you could just dump and cook. You would want to keep an eye on it and add more liquid if it gets too dry before the rice is fully cooked, and definitely hold the shrimp to the end.

This curry would be dump-and-cook if you use precooked tofu (my grocery store has both baked and fried tofu - the fried would definitely stand up to some extra simmering) and don't mind if the broccoli gets mushy (or leave it out).
posted by misskaz at 7:07 AM on January 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

I made chicken adobo with this recipe the other day and skipped the final browning step, and it was delicious.
posted by restless_nomad at 7:39 AM on January 27, 2020

(Oh, and it'll work just fine simmering on the stove, although if you really like this style of cooking I endorse getting a cheap crockpot.)
posted by restless_nomad at 7:41 AM on January 27, 2020

This is a recipe I've posted here before, it's sweet & sour red cabbage that is more suited as a side dish I guess, but it's super easy.

Btw, your criteria doesn't mention if you're looking for no stirring, but virtually all stovetop recipes require it, so...
  • Shred a red cabbage, throw in a stick of butter into a large pot and cook until melted. (If you happen to have duck fat then use this).
  • Toss the shredded cabbage in and stir to coat with the butter.
  • Add a jar of red currant jelly and then half cup of white or cider vinegar.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir everything around again.
Turn heat to medium low and cover. Set a timer and stir every 10 minutes or so. The cabbage will quickly begin to generate it's own juices. Overall it will take about an 45 minutes, but it really depends on what your preference for mushiness is.
posted by jeremias at 7:44 AM on January 27, 2020 [2 favorites]

I got some great answers to a very similar question a while ago—I was asking about crockpots but I think some of the recipes could be easily adapted for the stovetop!
posted by stellaluna at 8:47 AM on January 27, 2020

Google dump dinner recipe for tons of these!
posted by rabbitrabbit at 9:33 AM on January 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

There is such a thing as "dump cake." Plenty of recipes online.
posted by SemiSalt at 11:50 AM on January 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

I often make the cherry-pineapple dump cake for potlucks. But I use a yellow cake mix.
posted by NotLost at 8:10 PM on January 27, 2020

While you can make this more complicated by sauteeing onions and garlic, my family basically made sauerkraut and kielbasa like this:

-drain and rinse a bag (jar, can) of sauerkraut
-slice an onion (half moons in the direction that doesn't give you little worm-like segments; optional)
-maybe smash a clove of garlic or two
-dump into a pot with eh, some water. Maybe 1/4 or 1/2 cup?
-bring to a boil
-turn down to a simmer. simmer 30-60 minutes or until sauerkraut is at desired tenderness.
-slice a ring of kielbasa on the diagonal
-add to pot and heat through
-serve with deli rye bread and butter

My grandmother would also sometimes grate in a carrot or an apple and throw that in in the beginning. Carrot for color, apple for sweetness. My dad sometimes dumps in some beer instead of water, which can be a nice flavor change. This is my comfort food.
posted by carrioncomfort at 6:25 AM on January 28, 2020 [1 favorite]

« Older Despotic Leadership Game Plan   |   What does Apple do with stolen devices? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.