The French know how to do food. This is an indisputable fact. Theirs is a decadent cuisine, richly flavored with salt and butter, and oftentimes coated in melted cheese. Ah, French cheese! One feels both comforted and satisfied just thinking about it. And here’s the secret: French food doesn’t need to be complicated. In truth, anyone who owns one big pot or casserole dish can cook up classic French dishes. So, without further ado, here are five one-pot French-inspired dinners that are an easy introduction to classic French cooking.
You’ll need a large stockpot or a Dutch oven to make this hearty soup, and plenty of time; it takes about an hour to cook. But the rich flavor imparted to the broth by the slow-cooked onions is well worth the wait. Plus, the soup is topped with a slice of bread coated in a generous layer of melted Gruyère cheese. You’ll need to grab a baking sheet on which to toast your bread, but other than that, this soup is cooked entirely in one pot.
This essential seafood stew comes from the brilliant mind of Julia Child, the woman responsible for popularizing French cuisine in America. Packed with mussels, clams, a white fish like halibut, and shrimp, it’s an elegant weekend dinner recipe. Although it might sound intimidating, it’s actually quite simple to prepare the tomato broth in a Dutch oven, and it all comes together in less than an hour. You’ll just need a large bowl on hand in which to strain the broth before adding it back to your original pot along with the seafood.
This French casserole, made with pork sausage, chicken breasts, and beans, is another super-satisfying comfort-food dish we’ve come to expect from the French. Like many of the recipes here, this dish isn’t hard to make — it just takes time. You won’t find any canned soups or cream here either — just the familiar vegetables and herbs, from carrots to shallots to garlic, that impart French food with rich, delicious flavors.
Like minimalist dishes with bright, refreshing flavors? Then you’ll love this recipe. The mussels themselves take around 20 minutes to cook in a braiser, and pull in simple but timeless flavors from shallots, parsley, white wine, garlic, and, the key to all good French cooking, butter and cream.
This dish, which translates to chicken in red wine, is a staple in French kitchens. It might not be Auguste Escoffier-approved to prepare it in an Instant Pot, but this is 2019, and hey, we all have busy lives. Typically coq a vin stews for hours on a stovetop, but in the Instant Pot it only takes 45 minutes. All the classic ingredients — garlic, carrots, onions, mushrooms, and red wine — will still shine even if you use this shortcut.