Save time in the kitchen with these easy tips and tricks to speed up meal preparation and cooking time.
I have a confession. I don’t like to cook. My motto these days? “Life is too short to be stuck in the kitchen!”
But I do like to eat, and since I am striving to eat a healthy diet of unprocessed or minimally processed foods, I find it necessary to cook.
For that reason, I’ve been working on finding ways to speed up the cooking process.
Here are a few ways I’ve found to get meals on the table quickly without spending a lot of time in the kitchen.
Quick Tips to Save Time in the Kitchen
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Declutter the Kitchen
I know it sounds crazy to list this first, but it’s incredible how much time you can save by decluttering your kitchen. Anything you don’t use is taking up space, and too much clutter in your kitchen makes it difficult to find what you need. Get rid of the stuff you don’t need first and meal preparation will be easier.
Once you clear the clutter, organize what’s left. Store your cooking tools closest to where you will use them. Make sure the items you use most often are with easy reach. Check out this post #1 Secret to an Organized Kitchen for more information.
Invest in Time-Saving Appliances & Useful Gadgets
For years I spent extra time cutting vegetables with a knife and grating cheese by hand. When I finally bought a food processor, I was amazed by how much time it saves. While I don’t have a lot of kitchen gadgets, there are a few that are real time savers.
Here is my list of must-have appliances. You will notice I have narrowed it down to just five items.
- Food Processor – I truly don’t know how I ever lived without this handy gadget. I use it every day for chopping vegetables, grating cheese, making breadcrumbs, salsa…the list is endless. And its dishwasher safe so it’s easy to clean.
- Instant Pot – I purchased my Instant pot this year and am so glad I did. Boiled eggs are always perfect, and the eggshells practically fall off the eggs. I cook all my vegetables and rice in it. Once you get the hang of it, it’s easy to use. I like that you throw everything in the pot, turn it on, and forget about it until it’s ready to eat. It’s perfect for a lazy cook like me.
- Air Fryer – This is another purchase I made this year. I like that I can get that fried taste without the fat. I “fry” all my bacon in the Air Fryer and it never makes a mess. It’s great for chicken tenders, salmon patties, burgers, and french fries. My favorite thing to make though is grilled cheese! It turns out perfect every time.
- Ice Cream Maker – Ice cream is my favorite dessert. Since I’m on an all-natural, sugar-free diet, I make my ice cream. This is why it’s on my must-have list!
Create a Meal Plan
Your meal plan doesn’t have to be elaborate or take a lot of time to make. Keep it simple. Write down everything you usually eat in a week or month. You’ll probably notice you eat the same 15 meals (or less) for dinner each month. The same goes for breakfast and lunch. This list becomes your meal plan.
Use Fewer Ingredients
Choose recipes that have fewer ingredients. Doing this will speed up meal prep time and save you money on your grocery bill.
Make Double – Freeze Half
If there are only two of you in the house, it’s easy to cook a meal and freeze half of it for later. If it’s a meal you eat often or you have more mouths to feed, double the recipe and freeze half. You have an extra dish ready to thaw and reheat another time.
Keep Items in Stock and Ready to Eat
Freeze cooked taco meat and store in individual containers to make a taco or burrito in no time. Boiled eggs will stay fresh for a week and can be used for egg salad sandwiches or a quick protein snack.
Prepare for Your Next Day’s Meal
If you know what tomorrow’s meal is going to be you can do some prep work while cooking today’s dinner. If you are chopping onions and know you will need more for tomorrow, chop them all at the same time. Browning ground beef for tacos, why not brown more for tomorrow night’s spaghetti?
Put Leftovers to Good Use
Take advantage of leftovers for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Add meats and veggies to omelets. Use cooked meats in a salad or sandwich. It’s simple to create an entirely new dish in no time with leftovers. It not only saves you time but also money.
So, try these easy tips today to spend less time in the kitchen.
Do you have any tips to save time in the kitchen? I’d love to hear them in the comments below.