Cooking School

How to be more efficient in the kitchen

By: Leah Kuhne

AlbyDeTweede/Getty Images Author: Canadian Living Credits: AlbyDeTweede/Getty Images

Cooking School

How to be more efficient in the kitchen

By: Leah Kuhne
This article is featured on:
Making regular home-cooked meals is a daunting task—it takes time and effort to put a meal on the table 365 days a year! These tips will help you cook smarter and efficiently.

1. Prep on the weekend for the week ahead

Invest a little time on the weekend to make hectic weeknights more organized. You can plan out each weeknight meal, wash and prep veggies and cut and marinate meat. Prepping for just 30 minutes on the weekend will help tremendously!

2. Make the prep work easier
Shave off a few minutes of prep time by buying precut or frozen veggies, or use the food processor to shred cheese or vegetables.

3. Multitask
When tonight’s dinner is cooking, and while you’re waiting for the pasta to boil or the mushrooms to sauté, prep the vegetables or cut and marinate the meat for tomorrow’s dinner.

4. Share the load
Divvy up the dinner tasks and get the kids involved. They’ll learn important life skills and they’ll be more likely to try the food they help cook.

5. Cook once, eat twice
When time permits, cook a larger meal, making more than you need. Then, turn the leftovers into a fantastic and quick weeknight meal. Roast chicken is perfect for this!

6. Slow cook
If you can’t cook quick, cook slow! Slow cooker recipes only take a few minutes to prepare, and dinner is ready when you get home. Talk about minimal time investment for a delicious meal!

These slow cooker scalloped potatoes are a great time-saver, perfect for any large gathering.

slow cooker scalloped potatoes
Photography by Steve Krug

7. Organize your kitchen
Organize your kitchen on the weekend so you can cook more efficiently. Place items that you use most frequently closest to the stove (think wooden spoons and dried spices). Having the tools you need close at hand will help you save time.

8. Stock your pantry
Having a well-stocked pantry will make cooking any meal easier. When you’re short on time and fresh ingredients, a little creativity and a stocked pantry are mealtime saviours!

9. Grocery delivery
If you live in an area that offers online grocery shopping and delivery, take advantage! Grocery shopping can take a good chunk of time. If not, write the list and ask someone else to do the shopping.

10. Keep it simple
Every meal doesn’t need to be a gourmet, three-course extravaganza. Shift your expectations on what a homemade meal should be and make it more about spending time with loved ones. A delicious soup and sandwich is a perfectly fine dinner. Save the roast beef for special occasions!

Check out more simple and easy weeknight recipes here!

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Cooking School

How to be more efficient in the kitchen