Easy Entertaining: One-Pot Meals that Feed a Crowd

written by Jessica Chiasson Wood on November 13, 2012 in Guest Post with 5 comments

When you have family and friends in town for the holidays, there’s always a lot going on. Between entertaining everyone during the day and actually prepping your Thanksgiving or Christmas meal, what you’re making for breakfast, lunch and dinner in the days leading up to the actual holiday are probably the last things on your mind.

Ordering takeout for guests is expensive and making something complicated for Thanksgiving brunch is a waste of your time and kitchen tools that you’ll surely be needing later in the day. So when you need to feed a crowd fast, stick to dishes that are simple, easy on your wallet and that won’t leave your kitchen in shambles. The best kind of these dishes? One-pot meals. They’re quick to throw together, cheap to make, but never fail to impress. The following are some of the easiest, most crowd-pleasing meals perfect for feeding your family this holiday season, so try them out when you need a hearty, delicious dinner in a cinch:


Is there anything more comforting than a thick, saucy stew? With melt in your mouth beef or pork, thick chunks of potatoes and tender veggies, stews practically scream “winter.” Best of all, you can make most stews in what should already be your kitchen best friend: the slow cooker. There is literally no easier kitchen tool than the slow cooker—just dump in your ingredients, flip the switch to “on” and watch it do all the work for you while your kitchen starts to smell amazing.


From spicy rice casserole to homey tuna noodle casserole, casseroles are some of the easiest dishes to make in large batches, and are also some of the heartiest. Layer meat, noodles, vegetables and a cream or tomato sauce together for filling, delicious meals that taste like they took much more effort than they actually required. Casseroles are also known for freezing very well, so make a lasagna or breakfast strata before your guests arrive and simply pop it in the oven whenever you need a quick meal.


It doesn’t get much simpler than chili recipes, which is why they are one of the best dishes to whip up in a flash this holiday season. Not only is chili delicious—ground meat and beans just taste better when they’ve been simmering in a spicy tomato sauce—but it’s also incredibly versatile. Use whatever you have on hand; chicken, turkey, beef or even just beans all work great as chili bases. Add some tomato sauce and a few dashes of spice and you’ve got a classic comfort meal your guests will love.

This recipe for Chili con Carne is one of the easiest things you can serve to company this holiday season. Keep it bubbling away on the stove all afternoon so that guests can serve themselves whenever they’d like, and you can concentrate on everything else you have going on!

Chili con Carne

Easy Entertaining: One-Pot Meals that Feed a Crowd
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Tex-Mex
  • 1 pound ground round beef (85% lean)
  • ¾ cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 cans (10 oz each) Ro*Tel® Original Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies, undrained
  • 1 can (14.25 oz each) beans in chili seasoned sauce
  • 1 can (8 oz each) Hunt's® Tomato Sauce
  1. Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat; add ground beef, onion and garlic.
  2. Cook and stir for 5 minutes or until beef is crumbled and no longer pink; drain.
  3. Stir in chili powder.
  4. Add undrained tomatoes, chili beans and tomato sauce; bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 10 minutes.
  6. Top with shredded cheddar, jalapeños and sour cream, if desired.

Author Bio:

This guest post was written by Meredith K. on behalf of ReadySetEat. Be sure to visit www.readyseteat.com for other easy one-pot recipes, along with tips on how to make chili for holiday entertaining.

Have leftover? Enjoy as a snack with toasted tortillas

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