Dinner shortcuts that will save you time


Short on time? Here’s how to make your favourite recipes faster, without losing the flavour.

Home cooking is a complicated thing. Some days, you can spend a whole evening lost in flavour combinations and delicious aromas. But other times, you just need to get that food out onto the table – and fast.

How do we keep cooking times to a minimum, and still produce dishes that are full of nutrients, packed with flavour and made with love? We’ve compiled our favourite food hacks to make those quick family meals even quicker – without losing the magic of home cooked food.

Keep these food hacks in mind next time you have a busy week. You might just find yourself with time to enjoy it…

One pot meals

Are you ever so busy that you wish you could throw all your ingredients into one pot and let it happen? Well sometimes you can. From a spicy Lamb Rogan Josh to a creamy forest mushroom and truffle oil risotto, these slow-cooked ‘dump and go’ meals take no time at all to prepare, after which the appliance does the hard work for you.

Love your leftovers

One person’s waste is another person’s dinner. Turn your leftover meat into a delicious quiche, use up extra sauces the next day, or keep portions for lunch – you’ll save time when it comes to starting your next meal. If you’re cooking from scratch, double your recipe. Especially if you’re making rice or pasta, this allows for you to keep half of the cooked filler in your fridge for later in the week.

Find time with freezable recipes

There are so many delicious dishes that freeze well, and can save you the trouble of cooking altogether next time you’ve had a big day. From pies to soups and pasta dishes, we’ve compiled 10 of the best recipes to make in bulk and freeze for those busy evenings. Simply pop them in a pot or oven to reheat.

Make your pastes and sauces in advance  

Often, getting the right flavour can take a long time. If you’ve got a selection of curry pastes, salad dressings, passata and condiments ready to go, the complicated part of your meal prep is accounted for. All you have to do is add in the fresh ingredients and serve it up in style.

Keep your pantry stocked

There is nothing more time-consuming than having to rush out for missing ingredients halfway through your dinner preparations. A well-stocked pantry is time’s best friend, and helps keep you inspired and ready for whatever culinary opportunities come your way. Find out what the NEFF pantry has in their essentials list in our pantry staples article.

Prep, prep and more prep

Pre-chopped vegetables, pre-cut meat and a well-organised meal plan will help streamline your week. By prepping your fresh ingredients a day or two in advance, you don’t have to spend hours every night over a chopping board – especially when you could be spending that time perfecting the flavours and accompanying elements of your dish.

Keep your recipes simple

Just because it’s simple doesn’t mean it’s not delicious. If you’re short on time, stick to what you know and do a good job of an easy dish, instead of trying to experiment with a new type of cuisine in less than an hour. Here are some quick and easy mid-week meals to inspire you.

Choose your appliances carefully

When it comes to the kitchen, it’s important to choose your appliances wisely. NEFF’s steam ovens introduce you to a whole new way of cooking which can help you make meals faster. In fact one of our recipes will allow you to make risotto in under an hour without needing to continuously stir and add water or stock. Click here for the NEFF recipe.

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