Time-Saving Cooking Hacks For When You’re Up Against It

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When you’ve got a busy week ahead, an Everyday Favourite can help save your table. They’re 10 of the nation’s best-loved dinners, tried and tested by parents and loved by kids.

They’re on the menu every week, ready to be sent to your door.

While they’ll help take the pressure off pleasing a family, though when time really isn’t on your side, you need a cheat sheet to speed dinner up even further.

Here are some hacks our recipe developer Hannah uses as easy wins in the kitchen.

Skip peeling!

Veg like potatoes or carrots don’t necessarily need peeling. Sure, it may change how they look on a plate, but for roasting, frying and mashing, there’s no real benefit outside of aesthetics to peeling fiddly veg. Hooray!

Grate your g’s

Chopping garlic is a faff, no matter how easy people on the telly make it look. It makes fingers smell and if you’re not careful with a sharp knife, it can be lethal in a hurry! Get grating for the same results in half the time – and try it with ginger too.

Choose speedy veg

Need to get more greens on the plate but don’t even have time to preheat an oven? Choose quick-to-prep goodies like kale, spring greens and sugar snap peas, which can be flash cooked and can taste even better with a bit of bite.

Pour a kettle over spinach to wilt it quickly

Run a hot tap or a boiled kettle over spinach to get it wilted quickly. A perfect source of nutrients, ready to serve immediately.

Opt for the pot

We’ve all tried to whip up a dinner that involves multiple utensils and various cooking techniques. But when time’s not on your side, you don’t want to risk missing a trick and ending up with a sad supper.

Keep fuss to a minimum and disappointment at bay with one pot meals and tray bakes. Minimum washing up, fewer pans to keep an eye on and if you’re lucky, more leftovers for tomorrow.

Win out the tin

What’s filling, precooked and cheap? Tinned pulses and beans. Crack a can open and (if you’re really strapped for time) stick a fork in. Just kidding – no child will thank you for that!

Cancel time spent prepping lentil stews and bean chillis by stocking your cupboards with tins that add up to make meals.

Chopped tomatoes, chickpeas and various legumes can be pulled out to bump up or even create an entire one-pot dinner – from pasta sauces, curries and soups – all kinds of goodness can be found canned.

With a pinch of the right herb or spice, you’ll be surprised at how quickly you can land at a delicious dinner.

Boiling, not boiled

Did you know that by putting veg like sugar snaps or mange tout in a bowl and covering them with boiling water can get them crunchy? It’ll give you one less pan on the hob, meaning no overcooked veg. A hack to be proud of!