The Best Ways To Save Time In The Kitchen

cooking at home, make your own meals, meal prepping

If you are someone who loves to cook, then you know how much pleasure can come from sitting down with your loved ones to share a homecooked meal together. Unfortunately, it isn’t something that is easy to find the time for with our increasingly busy lives. As much as you might love to cook, it can be a very time-consuming activity. Meal planning, shopping for groceries, preparation, cooking, and cleaning up afterward all take time, which cuts into your precious hours for other things.

If you want to save some time in the kitchen, but still keep it as a hobby that you can enjoy, here are a few of the best time-saving tips that you can use to get healthy meals prepared quickly, giving you more time with your family, enjoying those delicious meals.

Have A Few Pantry Recipes In Your Mind

Pantry recipes are meals that don’t need too much preparation, that don’t need a proper recipe, and that you can cook using ingredients that you already have on hand. Take a look through your fridge and pantry and see what you usually have in stock, and work out what simple dishes you can make with these. Include a couple of these recipes in your meal plan for the week. Some good examples of pantry recipes could be spaghetti Bolognese, soups, omelets, and basic pasta dishes.

Try to keep your pantry stocked with the essentials, so you can throw together these quick and easy meals whenever you’re pressed for time and haven’t had time to get to the grocery store.

Choose Passive Cooking Techniques

Dishes that you can cook in the slow cooker, rice cooker, instant pot, or air fryer are ideal for busy cooks because the machine does all the work for you. You can just add in your ingredients, set it up and you’re off. You can use the time you’ve saved to prep something else for the meal or for your next meal, or to just relax. You could look up how to make pulled BBQ chicken in a crock pot or other recipes for these appliances and make delicious meals with minimal effort.

Choose Recipes That Set You Up For Success

If you aren’t very skilled with a knife, then you should choose recipes that require minimal chopping or easy to chop ingredients. You could even opt for the pre-chopped vegetables that you can find in your local grocery store. These do cost a little more, but they can be well worth it when you factor in the time that you save not having to chop them yourself.

You can find a lot of different pre-chopped vegetables frozen, including broccoli, green beans, cauliflower, squash, and even avocado, so choose recipes with these ingredients, or swap fresh vegetables in a recipe for the easier frozen version.

Choose Proteins And Veggies That Cook Fast

Denser meats and vegetables take longer to cook. You can substitute ingredients in a recipe for ones that cook faster, such as thinner cuts of meat, or faster cooking vegetables, proteins, or grains.

Don’t Be Afraid To Veer From The Recipe

Recipes are meant to be guidelines. You don’t need to follow everything if you don’t want to. Substitute ingredients that you already have in the kitchen or what you can prepare more quickly. For example, if you are using a recipe for a stir fry that calls for carrots and bell peppers, but you only have cabbage and celery in the fridge at the moment, just use what you have. You don’t have to waste time making a trip to the store, and the finished recipe will taste just as good.

Time is your constraint, not the recipe. Use your time wisely and adjust recipes to make them work for you.

Have A Few Go-To Leftover Recipes

Leftover recipes are meals that you can just throw in anything remaining in the fridge that needs to be eaten. The last meal of the week is ideal for repurposing any leftovers you have sitting around. Soups, stews, and pasta sauces all work well for using up leftover odds and ends.

Plan For A Full Month Ahead

If you have a less busy week, sit and plan out your meals for the rest of the month. You can make this even easy by assigning certain days a theme, such as ‘leftover Sundays’ or ‘taco Tuesdays’. To make this even easier, you can create four meal plans and rotate through them.

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