There can be only one

pan (that is) in this series.

One skillet meals that lean towards just putting the ingredients in as you head to the shower.
I’ll start off with one of my favorites. American Chop Suey or American Goulash (depends on where you grew up on what you call it).

I prefer to pan fry all of the ingredients, building up the flavor with each added ingredient. Starting with the burger first, to get a nice oil going. Remove each ingredient & set aside, combining at the end; but I don’t always have the time to do this.

Now any time you are going to let pasta or rice cook with other things, you’ll need to leave room for liquid & expansion; so you may want to use your Dutch oven instead of your skillet, unless you have a big skillet (My ‘dishes’ tend to grow when I make them).


Ground beef 1 pound (sub anything that you’d like) turkey, pork, chicken, veal, sausage, lamb or none.
1/2 -1 sweet bell pepper
1 medium to large onion (go as large as you like) can be yellow, sweet or red if you’d like
1 can (28 oz) tomatoes diced, chopped whatever plus 1 optional 15 oz can
pasta 8-16 (dry) ounces

optional additions:



Seasoning is by taste really, what do you like? I usually sprinkle or shake it to cover the top of the product-the size of the pan, & do it one or two times.

1/4 C Italian seasonings
5 TBSP Garlic
3 TBSP salt (If you can’t have salt, don’t use salt) to taste. If you make your own garlic salt, use that it’ll taste better anyhow.
3 TBSP black pepper to taste

Stir everything together with your fork or spoon. Turn on the heat (medium) set the timer for 20 minutes; go take your shower, grab a drink & so on. Stir everything again, & either add a can of sauce, or half a can of water to help the pasta swell up. Set timer for 10 minutes.

This will produce a pasta that is al dente’ (one of my favorite Italians next to Alfa Romeo & Sophia Lauren). Stir, Plate & Eat.

If you like cheese on top, sprinkle (or pour it on, like my little brother) some Parmesan on it. You can grate some cheddar over the top if you’d like.

You can also bake this, in about the same time. I, would use an oven safe pan or dish that can hold the extra water or sauce needed. Set the oven to 350 & head to the shower. The timer on my oven (cook time), will shut off the oven after the time.
You don’t have to stand by, as the oven reaches the temp. No, really, you don’t. Add 10-15 minutes to total cook time (depends on how fast your oven gets to temp).

Do turn it on, people tend to forget this step after a long day.

That’s it, everything is ready. Dish it out, split it up, or if it’s a party of one, grab a spoon & dive in.

Traditionally, I like to leave the pan on the burner, with out the sauce, finishing this off, then dump the sauce in, combining all of those flavors. Most of the hamburger juice will cook off, if it doesn’t drain the burger before cooking any other ingredients.

Also, I like to salt & pepper certain ingredients as they each cook. This being pretty much everything on this list. Onions, ground beef, bell peppers & the optional mushrooms. Just how it is.

More options for the work weary.

  • You can cut & chop your stuff ahead of time.
  • Buy pre-cut stuff
  • Put everything but the pasta in the slow cooker

If you use any of these great, wonderful “I don’t want to be bothered prepping” option, set the cooker to low, stir in your seasonings. When you come home, Stir the pot (one of things I truly am good at doing), turn it up to high & add the pasta. When you come back, after a shower, walking the dog, 20 odd minutes, your pasta should be ready as well.

Want it a little different? Of course you do! Use chopped kielbasa, or add two or four diced jalapenos & a 1/8 C of cumin, for a more “Tex-Mex” flair to it.
“Lamburger” (ground lamb) is good, IF you like the taste. Add about 4 TBSP turmeric if you’d like, with an equal amount of curry.

It doesn’t have to be ground, you can dice, chop, mince or chunk your meat as well. Change things up & use ground burger & chopped kielbasa.

Do be careful on the calorie & sodium counts, this could exceed most daily allowances.

“Sorry” for the play on the Highlander (movie) phrase, hard to resist, one of my fav movies.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s