Blogger Spotlight

Bless This Mess Gets Dinner on the Table with Her Dutch Oven

Browned Italian sausage provides deep flavor, while a duo of canned tomatoes gives this weeknight pasta bake a bright lift.

Published June 2, 2017.

One-Pan Wonders is a fresh, modern collection of 140 recipes that makes the most of your skillet, sheet pan, Dutch oven, casserole, roasting pan, or slow cooker to deliver dinner with a minimum of fuss. Here in the test kitchen, we saw one-pan recipes as the ultimate challenge. With a clear goal in mind, we set out to streamline our favorite dishes (and think up a host of new ones) for an inspiring range of satisfying meals.


A Dutch oven is a kitchen essential, and when coupled with our newest release, One-Pan Wonders, it becomes a kitchen workhorse. With 138 recipes in One-Pan Wonders to choose from—including an entire chapter dedicated to the Dutch oven—blogger Melissa of Bless This Mess chose to make our Baked Ziti with Spinach and Sausage

To make this a true one-pot meal, we stirred in a pile of baby spinach.

“Easy, delicious, family-friendly meals are what I’m all about, and this book is a powerhouse of knowledge,” writes Melissa. “One-Pan Wonders is divided up by the type of pan that you use to cook the meal—sheet pan, Dutch oven, skillet, roasting pan, casserole, and slow cooker. I thought this was a super practical/fun/useful way to divide up the sections of the book.”

For an easy-to-make, meaty sauce, we start by browning sweet Italian sausage and garlic in the Dutch oven before adding canned tomato sauce and canned diced tomatoes to provide some brightness.

“Few things are more delicious than a big bowl of warm, cheesy pasta,” writes Melissa. “Throw in spinach and a little sausage, and you really have my attention.”

No baked ziti is complete without plenty of oozy, gooey cheese!

For added simplification, we cook the pasta directly in our sauce, adding 2 cups of water to ensure there's enough liquid to adequately cook the ziti. Before placing the ziti under the broiler, we stir in grated Parmesan cheese and cubed mozzarella, dollop the surface with ricotta, and finally top it all off with more Parmesan and mozzarella.

“This one-pan baked ziti recipe is one of my all-time favorite simple, family-friendly meals," writes Melissa. "I have been so excited to share it with you. This recipe is great because it truly only takes one pot to make the whole meal. I’m telling you: this is the way to cook.”

Make Fuss-Free Meals Using Just One Pan

One-Pan Wonders

Cooking on busy weeknights is a heavy lift—it’s easy to be deterred by time-consuming prep before and a sink full of dirty dishes after. One-pan meals would be a great solution, if they didn’t result in bland, mushy food. The test kitchen solved these challenged to create One-Pan Wonders, a collection of inspired, family-friendly recipes for even the busiest home cooks.  

For the full review and recipesee the original post on Bless This Mess. And for more on Dutch oven cooking, read these posts: 

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