How to Cook Strategically in a Small Kitchen

The kitchen is one of my favorite places in the home. I cook up a storm when I’m in there, and I enjoy sharing my creations with my family gathered around the dinner table. Having lived in my fair share of tiny apartments, I know how tricky it can be to cook in them. From little bitty prep areas to minuscule cooking surfaces, putting a meal together in a small apartment kitchen takes some forethought.

Over the years, I’ve developed a few tricks that make cooking in limited space a cinch. These are my strategic tips to cooking in a small kitchen:

Bake Ahead

The small kitchen dilemma is particularly challenging when hosting a dinner party at your apartment. If your menu involves any sort of baked goods like dinner rolls or cornbread, it’s best to bake those ahead of time. This means you might be baking the night before or morning of. Baking ahead will save you prep time and space within the tiny kitchen.  

Make Ahead

In addition to pre-baking yummy treats, I also love to prepare make-ahead recipes. These are the kinds of dishes best enjoyed after marinating. For example, broccoli salad, black bean and corn salad, and coleslaw are 10 times better when they’ve had a chance to set.

*Note: This is currently my favorite black bean and corn salad recipe. It makes a great salsa, side dish, and quesadilla filling.

Prep Everything Beforehand

Prep first before you start cooking. Veggies, meats, fruits, and herbs should be chopped ahead of time.  

Clean While Cooking

Once you have all of your ingredients prepared, wash everything you can. Dirty pans and cutting boards take up a lot of precious counter and sink space, so clean while you can between recipe steps.

One-Pot Wonders

My last piece of “small kitchen wisdom” is to cook one-pot meals. When I first started cooking, I thought every meal needed to be a multi-dish feast. Boy was I wrong. There’s a lot to be said for one-pot dishes, because they’re packed with delicious flavor and ingredients.

What are your strategies to cooking in a small kitchen? Share them with us below in the comment section!

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