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Meals So Tasty Your Family Will Have No Idea They Took No Time To Prepare

By Chris Jordan

And let’s not tell them either!

I like saying jambalaya. Jahm-bah-LIE-yah. It sounds like something that takes a lot of effort and time in the kitchen. But the truth is that it is one of the simplest meals I make. Shhhhh, let’s keep that our little secret, okay?

My kids love this meal. They have no idea that there are vegetables hiding in it.


You know what’s even better? The fact that all the magic happens in one pan. YES, one pan! Don’t you love that? Doesn’t that make you want to cook jambalaya? Don’t you want your family to think you made it just for them?

You will need:

1 lb sausage sliced, I use mild Italian sausage
1 large onion, chopped
2 small red bell peppers, chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
1 1/3 cups long-grain white rice
2 2/3 cups chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon cayenne (adjust this according to your own taste)
1/4 tsp Cajun seasoning (adjust or omit according to your own taste)
4 scallions

Step One: Brown sliced sausage over medium high heat.

Step Two: Remove sausage from pan. Put onion, bell pepper and celery into the already hot pan. Stir until vegetables are cooked thoroughly and onions are soft.

Step Three: Add sausage back to pan. Stir in rice, broth and spices. Bring to a quick boil.

Step Four: Cover pan. Reduce heat to very low and allow to cook for twenty minutes or so until all the liquid is absorbed. The same way that you would cook plain rice.

Step Five: Once cooked add the thinly sliced scallions and fluff well with a fork.

Enjoy your one pan wonder.

I asked our other AlphaMom bloggers, what is your favorite easy to prepare meal that your family loves.

Brenda has a Polynesian Chicken Curry crockpot recipe that is going to be going into my meal rotation very soon. I love my crockpot. I love being able to toss everything in there, go about my day, and have a homecooked meal for my family in the evening.

Skip to My Lou's Shrimp BoilCindy’s Shrimp Boil with Keilbasa sounds perfect for when you have a casual get together. It sounds like a lot more effort than it really is. I like being able to wave my hand when people compliment the food and say, “Oh, really, it was nothing.” And mean it!

This one– Cindy’s Mexican Skillet Rice— is going to be cooked in my kitchen tonight. I am in love with one pan meals. I am also in love with rice and always looking for new ways to prepare it. I have found the way to make my children more adventurous eaters is to incorporate something they are already familiar with into the new meal. This is my way of saying that we eat a lot of rice.

Real Simple's Sausage & Apple Kebabs

You know what else children like? Food on a stick. These Sausage and Apple Kebabs are a real crowd pleaser and a favorite of Isabel and her family.


Real Simple's Roasted Chicken Dinner

Another one pan meal that Isabel and her family loves– this one also cooked in the oven– is Roasted Chicken with Carrots, Olives and Lemon. Perfect for busy nights when you don’t have time to do a lot of prep work. And with kids, and school, and after school activities, this pretty much describes every night, doesn’t it?

This post was inspired by the Hillshire Farm commercial below which made us realize we need to all be sharing our easy-to-prepare recipes. So tell me, what is your family’s favorite? Spill it.

HillshireFarm_SoGood_logoThis post is the final in a series of four in a sponsored campaign for Hillshire Farm. Please click through to Hillshire Farm to learn more about their promotions and thank you for your support. We love and appreciate our sponsors.

Chris Jordan
About the Author

Chris Jordan

Chris Jordan began blogging at Notes From the Trenches in 2004 where she writes about her life raising her children in Austin, Texas.

Oh, s...

Chris Jordan began blogging at Notes From the Trenches in 2004 where she writes about her life raising her children in Austin, Texas.

Oh, she has seven of them. Yes, children.
Yes, they are all hers.
No she’s not Catholic or Mormon. Though she wouldn’t mind having a sister-wife because holy hell the laundry never stops.
Yes, she finally figured out what causes it. That’s why her youngest is almost 6.
Yes, she has a television.

She enjoys referring to herself in the third person.

If you would like to submit a question for Chris to answer publicly, please do so to adviceforparentsoftweens[at]gmail[dot]com.

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  • Kat

    The jambalaya recipe sounds so east AND tasty! Will definitely have to give it a try.

  • Therese

    These are great ideas and I can’t wait to try them. I have to laugh at the “one-pot” jambalya recipe though. That’s one of the reasons I love it (in addition to it tasting good). My sweet husband decided to have dinner ready the other night when I got home. He made jambalya and somehow every pot and pan we owned was dirty. I told him over the phone that he could cook it all in one pot and he said that was too confusing…