Hey presto! 4 one-pot wonder recipes

Kinderling News & Features

We've already touted the perks of slow-cooker meals, but what if you don't have one (or forget to turn it on)? Sometimes you just need a dinner that's 10 minutes preparation, then it cooks away, doing its thing 'til eating time. And we can't forget the obvious benefit of less washing up!

Cooking guru and One Handed Cook Allie Gaunt shares her favourite time-saving one pot wonders du jour.

Listen to Allie on Kinderling Conversation:

One pot chicken and basil pasta

Allie created this recipe inspired by the classic tomato-based pasta dish that the whole family loves, but with the added benefit of being in one pot!

Serves: 4   
Prep time: 5 minutes  
Cook time: 20 minutes
Ready in: 25 minutes 

Freezable, Egg free, Dairy Free (if excluding parmesan cheese)


  • 2 tbsp olive oil + extra to serve
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 340g dried linguini
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes  
  • ½ cup basil leaves + extra to garnish
  • 1 cup diced lean chicken
  • 4 ¼ cups homemade or reduced salt chicken stock
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese to serve
  • ¼ cup toasted pine nuts to serve (optional) 


  1. In a large saucepan or pot heat 2 tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for around 2 minutes and then add the garlic and cook for an extra minute.
  2. Add the pasta, tomatoes, basil, chicken and stock. Bring to the boil over a high heat. Boil, stirring frequently for around 12 minutes or until the pasta is cooked and the water has evaporated. Remove from the heat.
  3. Season with salt and pepper to taste and sprinkle parmesan cheese, extra basil and pine nuts on top.

Baked chicken and vegetable rice

“This is a really popular recipe on the website,” Allie says. “I think people love it because it just works every time, it’s really delicious and it’s not quite as sticky as a risotto."

Servings: 4
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Ready in: 60 minutes 

Freezable, Egg Free, Dairy Free, Wheat Free, Gluten Free 


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tbsp butter or olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 cups of chopped veggies (eg broccoli, carrot, mushrooms and corn kernels)
  • 1½ cups uncooked white or brown rice
  • 3 cups no-added salt chicken stock
  • herbs and spices (eg parsley, paprika, pepper) 


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  2. On the stove, heat oil in a large casserole dish over a medium heat. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken with spices or a pinch of salt and place in the dish. Cook for a few minutes either side, or until golden brown. Remove the chicken to a plate and set aside.
  3. Melt the butter in the pan. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for a few minutes until clear. Add the vegetables and cook for 3 minutes.
  4. Stir through the rice and stock and bring to the boil. Place the chicken and herbs back in the dish, cover, and transfer to the oven.
  5. Bake for 30–40 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed.

Simple vegetable curry

"This is not spicy. You can always add spice to it if you’d like, but most kids don’t,” says Allie. Just because they don't like the hot spice, doesn't mean they don't like spice flavours. This mild version incorporates all of the above.

Serves: 4
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Ready in: 25 minutes 

Freezable, Egg free, Vegetarian, Gluten Free, Wheat Free   


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 600g potatoes, peeled, diced
  • 1 brown onion, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 x 400g tin diced tomatoes
  • ½ cup vegetable stock
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • ½ cup chopped broccoli florets
  • ½ cup chopped cauliflower florets
  • 1 tbsp coriander, chopped
  • Greek yoghurt, crusty bread or cooked rice to serve 


  1. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the potatoes and cook for 15 minutes or until tender. Remove from the pan.
  2. Add the remaining oil, onion and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes or until soft. Add the ground coriander, cumin and cook for a further 1 minute or until fragrant.
  3. Add the tomato, coconut milk, stock, potato, peas, broccoli and cauliflower. Simmer for 5 – 10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and the sauce has thickened.
  4. To serve, top the curry with a dollop of yoghurt and chopped coriander. Serve with crusty bread or steamed rice. 

Prawn and tomato couscous

“I like this because I don’t often cook prawns for the kids. I suppose that’s because they’re expensive and I don’t know if they’re going to enjoy them, but if you can get them on special it’s definitely worthwhile," Allie says. “I’ll feed it to the kids as is or mix it up tasting plate style and separate the prawns and the cous cous.”

Serves: 4
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Ready in: 20 minutes 

Egg free, Gluten Free, Wheat Free   


  • 200g raw green prawns, peeled, deveined
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • pinch ground chilli (optional)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 ½ cups salt reduced vegetable stock
  • 1 x 400g tin no added salt diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups couscous

Optional toppings

  • ½ lemon to squeeze
  • ¼ cup toasted pinenuts
  • ½ cup feta
  • parsley or coriander to serve


  1. Place the prawns, cumin, chilli (if using), garlic and oil in a bowl and toss to combine.
  2. Heat the oil in large saucepan over medium-high. Add the prawn mixture and fry for a few minutes until the prawns have browned.
  3. Add the stock and tomato and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low, add couscous, cover and leave for 3-5minutes.
  4. Check the couscous and prawns are cooked. Fluff with a fork.
  5. Squeeze over the lemon juice and serve with toasted pinenuts, feta and fresh herbs.