Want to save time in the kitchen and get dinner on the table in a flash? Here’s our staff’s favorite cooking tips for superfast meals. Stay tuned for Part Two, with even more tips on stocking your pantry for quick and easy meals.
1. The first is a no brainer: Have a plan! If you already subscribe to one of our weekly meal plans, you can check that off. On super busy nights, it pays to cut corners. Here are some of our favorite shortcuts that will save time before and during meal prep:
2. Include at least one or two superfast meals a week.
Related Recipe: White Bacon Pizza
3. Do the bulk of your shopping on the weekend. Then carve out time to prep vegetables—chop onions, celery, bell pepper, and squash, trim beans or Brussels sprouts, and seal each separately in zip-top plastic bags.
4. Pair main dishes that require a longer hands-on prep time with simple side dishes—frozen vegetables, microwaveable rice or prepared mashed potatoes.
5. Cook a double batch of grains, beans and meats (such as chicken breasts) at once, and use the leftovers for a quick side dish or a head start on a main dish later in the week.
6. Prep all the ingredients before you start cooking, so you’re not fussing around with food in a hot pan while desperately trying to chop something.
7. Get the family involved in meal prep. It turns a chore into family time, and helps everything come together faster in the long run.
8. Keep your hardworking kitchen utensils close at hand in a decorative jar near the stovetop. No fumbling around looking for spatulas, tongs, potato masher or wooden spoons; they’ll be at the ready when needed.
9. Microwave citrus fruits on HIGH for 15 to 20 seconds. Then roll on the counter using the palm of your hand. This quick step will make juicing faster and easier. What’s more, you’ll get more juice from your fruit.
Related Recipe: Low Calorie Chicken and Feta Pasta
Have you looked at our newest 30 Minute Meals 7-day family plan (serves 6)? We’ve pulled in ideas from all of our plans. You’ll find vegetarian, gluten-free, kid-friendly, slow cooker and all-time comfort food favorites…all ready in 30 minutes!