How to spend less time in the kitchen during the holidays

You don’t have to spend hours in the kitchen. Picture: Freepik

You don’t have to spend hours in the kitchen. Picture: Freepik

Published Dec 4, 2023


The holidays are coming up and after a long busy year, you deserve to put your feet up and relax.

However, someone still has to do the cooking and the last thing you want to do is spend hours in the kitchen.

If you are the person who’s always doing the cooking and wants to spend as little time in the kitchen as possible, here are some tips on how to cut down on cooking time and have more time to relax.

Plan ahead

One of the most effective ways to save time in the kitchen is by planning your meals in advance.

Set aside some time each week to decide on your menu, create a shopping list, and prepare ingredients ahead of time.

This way, you can minimise last-minute decision-making and reduce the need for frequent trips to the shops.

Embrace one-pot and sheet-pan meals

Opt for one-pot recipes or sheet-pan meals that require minimal clean-up.

These dishes allow you to cook everything in one dish, saving you precious time on washing multiple pots and pans.

Additionally, they often involve simple cooking techniques, making them perfect for beginners.

Embrace one-pot meals. Picture: Pexels Cottonbro Studio

Utilise time-saving appliances

Invest in time-saving appliances such as air fryers, slow cookers or pressure cookers.

These kitchen tools are designed to speed up the cooking process and require minimal supervision.

With their help, you can prepare flavourful dishes without spending excessive time in the kitchen.

Opt for simple recipes

While it's tempting to tackle complex recipes, starting with simpler dishes is more time-efficient and less overwhelming.

As you gain confidence and experience, gradually take on more challenging recipes.

This approach will allow you to build a strong foundation in the kitchen while enjoying delicious meals along the way.

Prepare ingredients in advance

Prepping ingredients ahead of time can significantly reduce the amount of work required during meal preparation.

Wash, chop, and store vegetables, fruits, and herbs in airtight containers, so they are ready to use when needed.

Prep ingredients in advance. Picture: Pexels Rfstudio

Take advantage of leftovers

Transforming leftovers into new dishes can save you precious time and prevent food waste. Use leftover roasted chicken to make a quick stir-fry or re-purpose cooked vegetables into a flavourful soup or frittata.

Be creative and experiment with different combinations to breathe new life into your leftovers.

Clean as you go

Avoid accumulating a pile of dirty dishes and utensils by cleaning as you go.

Keep a sink full of warm soapy water and wash dishes, pots, and utensils immediately after using them.

This mindset will save you time and prevent overwhelming clean-up at the end of your meal preparation.