What do you call a dish that is a grain, a meat, and a veg all mixed together?

What do you call a dish that is a grain, a meat, and then one or more vegetables mixed together?

I am aware there are many specific dishes that meet this description (jambalaya, arroz con pollo, paella), but I am hoping there is an umbrella term, like “a casserole” or “a skillet.”

The reason I am asking is that my family makes some version of this dish often, and we don’t know what to call it. We take something like rice, quinoa, bulger, or couscous mix it with something like bell peppers, onions, carrots, celery, squash, then mix it up with some sort of cut up meat like chicken or pork. Sometimes we add some sort of beans or nuts. If there is not a term for this mix and match type of dish, I would like to coin one.

Add some seaweed and kojujang and you’ll have bibimbap, at least a version of it.

Hotdish, maybe?

Is there a gravy or not?

If it’s not a liquid, such as soup/stew, then I’d probably call it a casserole.

Maybe sauté?

The term I’m hearing nowadays is “bowl,” usually with the type of grain specified. For example, “rice bowl” or “quinoa bowl.” One fast food franchise in particular is flogging these on TV, but I can’t say which one off the top of my head.

Dishes like paella are often referred to as “mélanges” of rice, seafood, etc.

I eat like this very often – although rarely with meat as the protein – most often egg or tofu or tempeh. It’s a ‘bowl’. Grain bowl, noodle bowl. Not a casserole, which is baked, or a stew or soup, which are wetter and cooked together on the stove. It is often assembled in the bowl: bottom layer of whatever carb, then the sauteed veggies, then the protein on top.

Keep in mind that whatever answer y’all come up with, you need to be able to use it to refer to well-made traditional jambalaya and paella. If you wouldn’t call these meals a bibimbap, it’s not the right term.

Nor is hot dish. There are cooks who would throw hands if you called their jambalaya a hotdish.

Casserole? I doubt it: casseroles are defined by their long oven times, and most jambalaya recipes are stovetop. The OP isn’t asking about defining a dish based on its cooking method, but on its ingredients, and that’s not how casseroles work.

Saute? Definitely not, because plenty of things can be a saute without having grain or meat or veg.

Bowl? Again: lots of things can be bowls without having those three types of ingredients.


I’ve heard the term “one pot meal” (or variations on that).

I call it dinner. Many of my dinners fit the description, but I never thought it needed a term.

Chipotle? They do rice and salad bowls which is just the burrito fillings in a bowl of rice or lettuce. They don’t have quinoa, at least not yet.

Every bowl I’ve had has had its ingredients separated–either one part of the bowl or layered. From what I understand of the OP, all the ingredients are mixed together. I suppose “bowl” can be generic enough to cover this – I’ve just never encountered one where all the ingredients are mixed together.

ChatGPT wants to call it a “grain bowl” or “power bowl,” though. Looking through pictures of those, it doesn’t really fit the “all mixed together” part of the definition. When prodded, it also suggests “one-pot meal” as mentioned before.

I can’t think of any general term for that category of dishes, other than what has already been suggested.

Definitely a good point.

I’ve done a wee bit of Googling, and am not coming up with a broad term. The closest I’m getting is “one-pot meal” or “one-pot rice dish”, but the first isn’t specific enough (mac and cheese is also a one-pot meal) and the second is too specific (couscous isn’t rice). I think it’s time for the OP to coin a term!

I don’t know about “mac and cheese” being a one-pot meal - I’d call it a side dish, which in my view means it’s not a one-pot meal just like the fact that I might cook some type of frozen potatoes on a sheet pan doesn’t make them a sheet-pan meal. Even though someone might “make a meal” of the mac and cheese or potatoes.

I would also query this, but on the grounds that I use one pot to cook macaroni and another to make the cheese sauce, and I am now gripped by the disquieting sensation that I have been doing it wrong all these years. Can you… can you really cook the macaroni in the sauce? This changes everything.


Sometimes “Lunch”

I eat that sort of thing a lot but never felt compelled to give it a name.

More the reverse, in some of the recipes I’ve seen - you cook the macaroni and then add the cheese etc. to the pot so you’re sort of making the sauce around the macaroni. .

This is easily the most exciting thing I’ll learn this week, and quite possibly all year.