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Easy 1-Dish Dinner Recipes

These 3 quick and simple meals are great for weeknights or weekend company

AARP Food Expert Pam Anderson: Three Easy One-Dish Dinner Recipes: Chicken Stew

You won't believe how easy these dishes are — including cleanup. — Threemanycooks.com

En español |One-dish dinners are meals I love and rely on, and this week I'm sharing three very different recipes.

You won't believe how easy these dishes are — including cleanup. With the exception of Mediterranean Shrimp Stew (in which the shrimp are added the last few minutes to prevent overcooking), you simply dump everything into the roasting pan — meat, vegetables, potatoes, herbs, spices, oil — and pop it in the oven. Seriously.

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These dishes are also complete meals. Both Roast Italian Sausages with Potatoes and Cabbage, and Mediterranean Shrimp Stew contain meat or seafood, vegetables and potatoes. Ratatouille Chicken Stew — chock-full of summer vegetables — needs only a little hunk of chewy bread for sopping.

Ratatouille Chicken Stew

Serves 6 to 8

Of these recipes, this one is especially perfect for the time of year when summer vegetables — eggplant, peppers, zucchini and tomatoes — are so abundant.

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into large chunks

1 medium eggplant, trimmed and cut into one-inch dice

1 large sweet onion, peeled and cut into one-inch dice

1 yellow bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and cut into one-inch dice

2 medium zucchini, trimmed and cut into one-inch dice

2 cups (1 pint) cherry tomatoes

8 peeled garlic cloves, sliced

1/4 cup olive oil

1 tablespoons herbes de Provence or Italian seasoning

Salt and ground black pepper

Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Place chicken, eggplant, onion, pepper, zucchini, tomatoes and garlic in a large roasting pan. Add olive oil, herbs and a sprinkling of salt and pepper; gently toss to coat. Roast until chicken and vegetables are fully stewed, about 45 minutes. Remove from oven. Stir lightly to mix and serve!

AARP Food Expert Pam Anderson: Three Easy One-Dish Dinner Recipes: Sausage and Cabbage

If you have bay leaves in the cupboard, toss in a few along with caraway seeds. This cabbage dish is perfect for cooler weather. — Threemanycooks.com

Roast Italian Sausages with Potatoes and Cabbage

Serves 6 to 8

If you have bay leaves in the cupboard, toss in a few along with the caraway seeds. This easy one-dish dinner is perfect when the weather starts to chill.

2 1/2 pounds sweet Italian sausage links

1 large onion, cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks

1 small cabbage, halved and cut into 8 wedges

12 small potatoes (I like fingerlings), about 1 1/4 pounds, halved

4 garlic cloves, sliced

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 teaspoons caraway seeds

Salt and pepper

Chicken broth as desired

Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Place sausages, onion, cabbage wedges, potatoes and garlic in a large roasting pan. Add oil, vinegar, caraway seeds and a sprinkling of salt and pepper; gently toss to coat. Cook until light golden brown and fully cooked, about 45 minutes. Remove pan from oven and set over two burners on medium low heat. Add enough chicken broth to desired juiciness. Heat through and serve.

AARP Food Expert Pam Anderson: Three Easy One-Dish Dinner Recipes: Shrimp

Mediterranean shrimp stew uses the fennel bulb as a vegetable and its fronds for the garnish. — Threemanycooks.com

Mediterranean Shrimp Stew

Serves 6 to 8

This easy one-dish stew uses the fennel bulb as one of the stew's vegetables and its fronds for the garnish. Don't leave out the grated orange zest, which is key to this stew's flavor.

3 pints cherry tomatoes

1 medium-large onion, cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks

1 large fennel bulb, halved, cored and sliced thin, fronds reserved for garnish

12 small potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds), halved

4 garlic cloves, sliced

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 cup white wine

1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated zest and 1/2 cup juice from 1 large orange

1 1/2 teaspoons fennel seeds

Salt and pepper

2 pounds peeled shrimp (preferably Gulf)

Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Place tomatoes, onions, fennel, potatoes and garlic in a large roasting pan; add olive oil, wine, orange zest and juice, fennel seeds, a sprinkling of salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Roast until contents of pan are fully stewed, 30 to 35 minutes. Add shrimp; continue to cook until shrimp are just cooked through and pink, about 10 minutes longer. Garnish with fennel fronds and serve.

Also of interest: 3 hearty main-course salad recipes.

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