It’s hard to beat home cooking. It’s a great way to spend quality family time at mealtimes and make sure everyone eats a tasty, hearty meal where you know what’s exactly in your food. It’s also the perfect opportunity for you to flex your cooking skills!
But as we all know, life can get in the way of making home-cooked meals. A busy schedule and not enough hours in the day can leave you reaching for ready-made foods and takeout to help you save some time. But what if there were easier ways to help make home cooking easier?
With the help of the following time-saving tips, you can speed up your home cooking to help you spend less time in the kitchen and more time enjoying your food with your family.
Buy pre-prepared vegetables (or make your own!)
Peeling, chopping, dicing – these are all steps that take time in the cooking process! Buying fresh ingredients that are pre-prepared like sliced onions and peppers, can save you a lot of time in the kitchen, and help you waste less too. You can even spend time preparing and freezing fruit and vegetables so that you have key ingredients ready to go whenever you need them. I try to go through my crisper drawer regularly and anything that I don’t think I can use before it goes bad, I prepare and freeze for later use. Did you know that you can store frozen fruits for about a year; vegetables, about 18 months?
Choose recipes with fewer ingredients
A common misconception about home cooking is that it requires a lot of ingredients to create delicious meals. But that doesn’t have to be the case. By choosing recipes with fewer ingredients, or one-pot meals that are easy to prepare, you can save yourself a lot of time.
Most recipes on my blog are 10 items or less since I believe cooking should be quick, easy, healthy and delicious! This chicken sausage pasta bake recipe is a great example of tasty meal that’s easy to prepare quickly that the whole family will enjoy. With Thanksgiving around the corner, check out one of my most popular blogs for Thanksgiving Turkey Meatballs which has become a family tradition in our household.
Make sauces to enjoy at a later date
Reaching for jars of sauce from the store can be a convenient option when you’re short of time, but what if you had your own homemade sauces hiding in your kitchen instead? You can make large batches of sauce ready to enjoy at a later date – ideal for making the most of ingredients that may be about to go past their best. Why not make this homemade barbecue sauce, which takes less than 10 minutes and can be used on chicken and other dishes for a quick and tasty meal? There’s a lot of preparation you can do in advance to help make your mid-week cooking more convenient.
Batch-cook for your really busy days
On those days where you’re really busy or you’re too tired to cook, having something ready-made in the freezer can be an easy win! Batch-cooking meals is a great way to make sure you always have something tasty and homemade in the freezer. Try different batch-cook recipes and stock your freezer with some of your family favorites. I always make a double or triple batch of my Butternut Squash Soup or Lentil Soup so I can freeze a few batches to defrost and heat up when I’m pressed for time. My award-winning book, “Busy Mom’s Cheat Sheet”, includes 50 quick and easy recipes as well as more tips on how to lead a healthy happy life!
While the thought of a home-cooked meal night after night seems wonderful, it’s not always something that’s easy to achieve. By finding ways to save time in the kitchen, you can make light work of home cooking to make sure your family eat well every night. Look up some new recipes and get organized with your meals so that you can enjoy quick and easy home cooking any day of the week!