What Are Your Best Tips & Tricks for Speedier Dinner Prep?

(Image credit: Faith Durand)

Q: There are meals that we cook ahead of time and reheat when we get home and need to feed our famished familes. But some dishes and meals need to be cooked just before eating and I’m looking for tips to make these faster.

I sometimes chop onions or peppers for the next day’s dinner, but can you do the same for sweet potatoes? Regular potatoes? Is there a way to prep them so they don’t go brown in 24 hours? Are there meat-in-marinade combinations that should be avoided if you plan to cook about 24 hours later? What about cracking open a bunch of eggs to be ready for an omelet for breakfast the next day?

I’d be interested to read what others do to make last-minute dinner prep go faster.

Sent by Ella

Editor: Ella, I’ll offer a few ideas here from my own kitchen, and then we’ll see what the readers say!

• Making caramelized onions is time-consuming, so I’ll make a big batch and refrigerate or freeze for use later in cooking a chicken dish or to top pizza.

• Speaking of pizza, pizza dough can sit in the fridge for several days — pull it out for a quick weeknight meal or for breakfast pizza.

• My mom didn’t like buying the sweetened yogurt at the store, so she would buy plain whole-milk yogurt and then dress it up herself with vanilla and honey (warmed up a little so it would stir in smoothly). Then she would leave it in the fridge for quick breakfasts, served with chunky granola.

Readers, your turn. What are your favorite tips, tricks, and hacks for speeding up meal prep?

(Image: Faith Durand)