6 Prep-Ahead Secrets for Getting Weeknight Meals on the Table Faster

Readers share their best tips.


Freeze Your Building Blocks

Photo by Marcus Nilsson

“I chop and sauté some vegetable blends (onions, peppers, spinach, cherry tomatoes), then some chicken in small pieces, and freeze in separate small containers. During the week, I use one at a time for different recipes—omelets, pasta, quesadillas. It’s a time-saver.” —Trish Saleeby, St. Louis


Ask for Help

“The hubby takes the little ones to the park for a few hours on Sunday while I wash all the fruit and cut all the veggies for the week. Having cut carrots and already prepped salads makes for easy lunches and dinner sides, not to mention stir-fry or veggie scrambles in a pinch.” —Sheila Hanson, Portland, Oregon


Make Just One Thing

“I steam kale in advance and add it to meals. It stays good for four to five days.” —Zenobia Rivera, Lakewood, Colorado


Get Ahead on the Weekend

“I’m all about cooking meat on the weekend, then dividing it up into recipe-ready portions.” —Jeri Redmon, Stow, Ohio


Defrost by Day

“I freeze dough for rotis and defrost them in the refrigerator while I’m at work. When I get home, I roll out the dough and cook it in a hot cast-iron pan. It literally takes 10 minutes. Anyone can have a traditional meal for a weeknight. Very comforting!” —Zerena Khan, Brooklyn, New York


Use Smart Tools

“Crock-Pot + InstaPot + meal planning = #weeknightsuccess.” —Krystle Brown, San Diego