Hint: You'll never need to use a colander again. 

By Katie Holdefehr
November 15, 2018
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Credit: target.com

There’s a reason pasta dinners are a mainstay in many households—they’re so easy to whip up that waiting for the water to boil is typically the hardest part. I thought it couldn’t get much easier than a one-pot pasta dinner, but recently I discovered a brilliant saucepan from Target that makes my frequent (as in, multiple times per week) pasta dinner even simpler. Now I'm convinced that the Made By Design ceramic-coated aluminum saucepan should be in the kitchen of every pasta-eating family.

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What makes this pot truly innovative is that it has a colander built right into the lid—meaning you’ll have one less thing to pull out of the cabinet and wash later. Once your pasta is boiled to al dente perfection, simply place the lid back on, making sure to align the vents in the lid with the pouring spout on the pot. Bring it over to the sink, and you can drain your pasta without pulling out a colander or even removing the pasta from the pot. When you’re adding a sauce that you want to heat up over the stovetop, this genius design lets you skip the extra step of transferring the noodles to a strainer, only to dump them right back into the pot (and if you’re clumsy like me, you likely always lose a few noodles in the process). 

The life-simplifying idea to combine the saucepan and colander into one product, along with all of the innovative products in the Made By Design collection, were inspired by Target's customers and how they actually live. "To create Made By Design, we embarked on the most extensive guest research we’ve ever done, distilling our guests’ everyday pain points into timeless, affordable solutions—without sacrificing style," explains Jill Sando, senior vice president, merchandising, at Target. "Guests are loving the thoughtful design details, like this saucepan’s built-in strainer, pour spout, and silicone-covered handles to keep hands comfortably cool," she says. Because the saucepan is inspired by how people really cook at home, it fits seamlessly into your weeknight pasta-cooking routine. 

This time-saving saucepan sounded almost too good to be true—so I decided to put it to the test. After ordering the 1.5-quart saucepan online and picking it up at the nearest store, I was ready to test out its non-stick ceramic coating with a notoriously messy recipe: cheesy shells. Once the pasta was cooked, I grabbed the lid and went over the sink to strain the shells. No need to grab a pot holder—neither the handle on the lid nor on the pot itself where hot to the touch. Straining was done in less than 15 seconds, and the pot was back on the burner to get the cheesy-butter treatment. And as I ate, rather than let the pot soak in hot soapy water to make cleanup easier, I decided to let it set on the stovetop. Fortunately, the non-stick ceramic coating did the trick, and the melty cheese slid right off with a little hot water and a sponge, no scrubbing required.

With dinner ready in under 10 minutes and cleanup taking one minute total, I can officially say that this two-in-one saucepan-and-colander is a time-saver. If you want to make dinner prep even easier and have another valid excuse to whip up some cheesy noodles (or creamy broccoli pasta with ricotta), you'll want to order this affordable kitchen tool. Choose from the space-saving 1.5-quart pot (it's just $15!) or the larger 3-quart pot if you're feeding a whole family or meal prepping for the week. The larger size will only set you back 20 bucks, so you may want to go ahead and just order both.