Food & nutrition

Speed up supper

When you’re short on time, cooking a healthy dinner from scratch can seem like too much effort. But don’t stress – these tips will help you whip up a delicious meal in minutes

First, prep

Before you start cooking, spend a few minutes getting everything ready – measure out all your ingredients, chop your veg, and preheat the oven if needed. Doing this first will save you time once you start cooking.

Batch cook

Have a spare Sunday or a free hour or two during the week? Use it to cook up quick soups, hearty stews and chillies, or even a traybake or casserole. There are plenty of meals that can be pre-portioned and frozen or chilled, so you’ll always have something healthy and nutritious to hand when you simply don’t have the time (or energy) to cook.

Old favourites

Busy days probably aren’t the best for trying out new recipes. Instead, stick to making speedy dishes you know and love. A recipe that you’re familiar with – like your go-to pasta dish – will come together much faster than one you’re cooking for the first time.

Take shortcuts

When you’re pressed for time, appliances such as your microwave can seriously speed up cooking. For example, in an oven, a jacket potato takes more than an hour to cook. But in a microwave, it can take just 10 minutes. Think about how you can make the most of your kitchen kit to shortcut your meals.

Plan ahead

If you know the evening will be busy, throw a meal into the slow cooker in the morning. Then, by the time you’re ready to eat dinner, you’ll have a hot meal ready for you! Thick soups and stews that are full of beans and pulses are filling and can withstand several hours’ cooking on the low setting.