With temperatures on the decline, one-pot meals and their unique flavors are coming back into season. These simple, versatile dishes are perfect for almost any occasion, and can be prepared in a matter of minutes.

A one pot meal is a combination of fresh vegetables and seasonings, and can include a lean protein for more substance. As the name suggests, every ingredient is combined into one pot for easy preparation.

Here’s how you can get started:

Maximize Flavor 

  • Build the layer of flavors in your one-pot meal by browning your poultry or meat first, then remove the meat. Use the same pot to cook items like onion, carrot, celery and garlic, then add back the meat and continue with the recipe.
  • Browning poultry and meats in a skillet before adding them to the slow cooker will enhance the flavor and texture of your dish.
  • When making soups or stews, add ground herbs at the beginning of cooking to blend all the flavors.
  • Last minute add-ins like fresh herbs, citrus juice, zest or spicy peppers will perk up the flavor of your soups without having to add salt. Try fresh cilantro, lime juice, or chopped canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce.
  • Use canned broth or stock as a recipe base, soup starter or sauté liquid to add flavor. Choose lower sodium, reduced fat varieties.
  • Winter squashes will brighten up your meals while adding a creamy and slightly sweet flavor. Plus, they are loaded with vitamin A which support a healthy immune system to help fight colds and flu.

Save Time With Pre-Cut Veggies

  • Keep canned veggies like tomatoes, beans or corn in your pantry to reduce waste while adding flavor and color. Look for no salt added or reduced sodium canned veggies.
  • Frozen veggies can be used in any recipe that calls for fresh or canned. Peas, broccoli, or stir-fry vegetables are great to keep on hand for adding to soups or stews. Buy frozen vegetables without added sodium or fat.
  • Look in the Meijer produce department for fresh pre-cut onions, celery, bell peppers, butternut squash or carrots.

Fall Favorite Squash Recipes

Spinach & Butternut Squash Soup

Serves 8


  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup diced onion*
  • ½ cup diced carrots
  • ½ cup diced celery*
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cups Earthbound Farm® Organic frozen Butternut Squash
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 7 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 (14.5 oz.) cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 (15 oz.) can True Goodness™ by Meijer™ Garbanzo Beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup prewashed, no rinsing quinoa
  • 1 tsp. dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups Earthbound Farm® Organic Baby Spinach


  1. Heat oil in a pot. Add onion, carrot, and celery and cook until onions are translucent, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic, butternut squash, and bay leaves. Cook until butternut squash is tender, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the vegetable broth, tomatoes, garbanzo beans, quinoa, rosemary, and salt. Cook for 25 minutes or until quinoa is soft. Stir in the spinach.

Source: Chef Maribel Alchin, MBA, RD, LDN, Health & Wellness Regional Advisor

*Time-saving tip: Pick up pre-cut onion and celery in Meijer Produce department.

Nutrition Information (per serving): 231 calories, 6g fat, 0mg cholesterol, 707mg sodium, 38g carbohydrate, 8g fiber, 8g protein

Serve with True Goodness™ by Meijer™ Organic Lowfat Milk, and Apple Slices spread with True Goodness™ by Meijer™ Organic Creamy Peanut Butter.

Turkey Pumpkin Chili

Serves 8


  • 20 oz. lean ground turkey, 93% lean, 7% fat
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup diced white onion*
  • 1 cup diced sweet bell pepper blend*
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can Meijer diced tomatoes with green chilies, undrained
  • 1 (15 oz.) can Meijer 100% Pure Pumpkin
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 2 tsp. chipotle chile powder, if desired
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • 1 (15.25 oz.) can True Goodness™ by Meijer™ Organic Whole Kernel Corn, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15 oz.) can True Goodness™ by Meijer™ Organic Low Sodium Black Beans, rinsed and drained


  1. In a pot, add turkey and cook until browned. Remove turkey from pot; set aside.  Heat oil in pot.  Add onion, bell pepper blend, jalapeños, and garlic and cook until onion is translucent and tender, about 4 to 5 minutes.  Add turkey, tomatoes, pumpkin, chili powder, chipotle chile powder (if desired), cumin, salt and pepper to onion mixture; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium low and add beans and corn.  Cover and cook, stirring occasionally for 25 to 30 minutes more.

Source: Chef Maribel Alchin, MBA, RD, LDN, Health & Wellness Regional Advisor

Time-saving tip: *Pick up pre-cut onion and bell pepper in Meijer produce department.

Nutrition Information (per serving): 245 calories, 8g fat, 52mg cholesterol, 498mg sodium, 24g carbohydrate, 6g fiber, 19g protein

Serve with True Goodness™ by Meijer™ Blue Corn Tortilla Chips.

Toppings: Reduced fat shredded cheese, diced avocado, chopped cilantro

Maribel is a Registered Dietitian and has a Master’s in Business Administration, a Personal Chef Certificate from Kendall College, and speaks fluent Spanish. Maribel combines her culinary and nutrition expertise to provide healthy cooking demonstrations and classes to local businesses and at community events. She also creates weekly dinner menus for Meijer shoppers based on sale items. Maribel specializes in Mexican heart-healthy cooking and loves showing consumers shortcuts to making ethnically diverse and flavorful meals.

Read More