One-pot cooking is far from a new idea. Combining a mix of vegetables, starch, and protein in one vessel has been an efficient way to feed people since humans have been cooking.
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In the 1950s, the popularity of recipes for one-pot meals surged when more women started to work outside the home and convenience became important. It continued into the 1990s, when one-pot cookbooks were marketed to families with two working parents. Suddenly, a fundamental cooking method that had been used throughout history by people from all different cultures got a rebrand for middle-class Americans who wanted to get dinner on the table fast. Today, social media has continued to highlight the efficiency (and photographability) of one-pot meals.
Cook's Country's Editor in Chief Toni Tipton-Martin gives a more detailed story in the video below.