So you’re looking for a simple, filling, versatile, cheap & healthy meal that requires very little effort are ya? You’ve come to the right place my friend. Allow me to introduce you to the all-star of our series of Cheap, Healthy Meals: One Pot Wonder Burger & Potatoes.
But first, a little back story.
The Cooking Conundrum: One Pot Wonder to the Rescue
If you’ve read some of my other posts, you’ll know that I hate cooking. You’ll also know that I’m human. This means I have to eat. I am not a rich human, therefore, I need to eat and cannot afford a chef to cook for me. Errrgh.
It may come as no surprise that many an evening I have found myself in this cooking conundrum; hungry and not rich. So what’s a hungry girl to do?
Why, she makes….
What is One Pot Wonder?
What is this glorious thing you ask? It’s a cheap, healthy meal & it’s whatever you want it to be. It can be all veggies, a mix of meat and veggies, pasta & veggies, or pasta & meat.
That’s the beauty of One Pot Wonder. You can make it with whatever you like, and whatever you have on hand.
In this post, I’ll show you a simple Burger & Potato version. The quantity of each ingredient is based on two things: what you have on hand, and how big your pot is.
Cooking times vary depending upon how you cut your veggies, and whether or not you are using fresh or frozen, so keep an eye on it & write down your times the first time you make it.
What You’ll Need
A Dutch Oven. We’re big fans of this one: Lodge Dutch Oven. It heats evenly & holds moisture in. Also, everything just tastes better in cast iron.
If you don’t have a dutch oven, you can still make One Pot Wonder in any pot with an ovenproof lid.
Frugal Hippie Tip: Never wash your cast iron with soap. Your great, great grandma will roll over in her grave. Also, it will taste like soap the next time you cook with it. Instead, simply wipe out your dutch oven, put it on the stove top or back in the oven until dry, & lightly oil it while it’s still hot. For really stuck on food, use a metal scrubbie & some coarse salt. Dry & oil.
- Burger (beef, turkey, or chicken)
- Potatoes (cut into 1/4″ chunks-we’re big fans of red potatoes)
- Carrots (sliced thinly)
- Green Beans (fresh or frozen)
- Spices (we use salt & Italian seasoning)
- Water (enough to fill your pot 3/4 full)
- 1 cup of beef or chicken stock, fresh or frozen (optional-can sub with 1 cube of bullion in a pinch)
Buying Your Ingredients for Cheap, Healthy Meals
Part of the beauty of One Pot Wonder is that since you can use whatever ingredients happen to be on sale, it can be remarkably inexpensive. But, if you have a particular version in mind, you can still make it on the cheap.
Buy your ingredients on sale or in bulk and freeze. You’ll have an inexpensive & immediate source of whatever your favorite ingredients are.
- Talk to your local butcher about bulk meat prices. Many butchers run monthly specials for larger quantities of meat.
- Buy from your local farmer. You can often work a deal with them for larger amounts. You also get the opportunity to shamelessly ogle farmboys on tractors.
- Look for manager’s specials at your grocery store and stock up!
- Talk to the employees in the meat department at your favorite store. Find out which day stock gets refreshed and you’ll often get great deals the day before.
- Talk to your local farmer. Buy in bulk & in season, blanch, & freeze.
- Stop by your local farmer’s market and ask about bulk prices.
- When buying fresh veggies, always buy in season-it’s cheaper. Stock up & freeze.
- Watch for sales at your grocery store & stock up. Potatoes can last for months in a cool, dark, dry place-like your unheated basement. Unless you’re lucky enough to have a root cellar, in which case, I’m on my way over!
- Again, talk to your local farmer. We buy 15 pounds of red potatoes from a farm down the street for the same price we pay for 3 pounds at the grocery store. Can’t beat that!
Cooking Your One Pot Wonder
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
Add a little bit of oil in the bottom of the pot and fry up your burger & spices on your stove top.
Add in potatoes & carrots as they take the longest to cook. If you’re using frozen green beans, add them as well.
Fill pot about 3/4 with water.
Put your dutch oven in the oven.
If you’re using softer, fresh veggies like green beans or zucchini, once the potatoes & carrots are about half way done, which will likely be between 30-45 minutes (still a bit hard to cut with a wooden spoon but starting to look a bit more opaque), add in the soft veggies.
Place it back in the oven & let it bake for approximately 20-30 minutes more.
Once the veggies are cooked to your desired softness, you’re done.
One Pot Wonder: Burger, Potatoes & Veggie Version
An easy, inexpensive recipe for a filling & healthy meal.
- 1 lb Beef or Turkey Burger
- 5 Potatoes (medium sized, diced in about 1/4" chunks) Amounts vary based on potato size-between all of your ingredients, you'll want your pot about 3/4 full.
- 2 Carrots Sliced thin.
- 2 cups Green beans Fresh or frozen.
- Water To fill pot about 3/4 full.
- Spices Your choice. We add Italian seasoning & salt.
- 1 cup Beef or chicken stock for extra flavor. Fresh or frozen. You can sub a cube of bullion if you don't have stock. Optional, but awesome!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Fry up burger.
Dice & slice veggies.
Add all ingredients to dutch oven & place lid on top.
Add enough water to fill pot 3/4 full.
Place in oven and bake for approximately 45 minutes to an hour, or until potatoes & carrots are tender.
The beauty of One Pot Wonder is you can use any meat & any veggies you want. We’ve used various mixes of corn, green beans, peas, carrots, zucchini, peppers & onions.
For extra flavor, add a bit of beef or chicken stock.
Besides being the grand poobah of simple, cheap, healthy meals, another beautiful thing about One Pot Wonder, is that you can freeze your leftovers!
Simply portion it up into ziplock freezer bags, reusable silicone bags, or vacuum pack them.
From beginning to end, you gotta love the ease & versatility of One Pot Wonder!
Did you try this recipe? How’d it go? What variations did you do? Let us know below.