Rachael Ray's Top Tip For Cutting Down Time In The Kitchen - Exclusive

Rachael Ray recently teamed up with Home Chef to offer a series of meal kit boxes that include Ray's own recipes and all the pre-portioned ingredients necessary for each one. The kits, Ray told Mashed in an exclusive interview, are designed to make cooking easier and more accessible for home cooks who are maybe a little intimidated by being in the kitchen, don't have a lot of time, or have difficulties scaling back or changing their cooking styles as necessary — like when empty nesters suddenly go from cooking for a handful of people down to one or two. The boxes are versatile and offer something for just about everyone, with an array of recipes that will be available from Home Chef through next spring.

"There's everything from pub-style burgers to what are more elegant, but easy, meals. These are all [made with] very few ingredients, not intimidating at all," said Ray. "There's every type of cuisine. We have steak pizzaiola if your husband is a big meat-and-potatoes guy. My husband loves steak pizzaiola. There are things there that are more personal to our family, but we try to put in something for everyone. There's a little bit of something for whoever it is, whatever their diet is."

However, if you're not ready to commit to a meal kit service just yet — but you still would like to cut down on what you feel is wasted time in the kitchen — Ray has a few suggestions.

'Don't take it so seriously'

Rachael Ray's top tips for cutting down on time wasted in the kitchen are the same as what most chefs would tell you, she told Mashed. "Gather all of your ingredients first; do your mise en place. Put your things in place. Get everything prepped," she said. "Relax yourself. Get a glass of wine, a cup of tea. Turn your music on, turn on the gentle hum of 'Law & Order,' whatever makes you happy. Who cares? You set the environment so you're calm when you cook and that you use your feet less. Don't run around your kitchen."

She added, "Have everything in place so once you start cooking, you're just cooking. It's much simpler. Put yourself in a chill mindset. Always have a garbage bowl. Use a large cutting board. Always have a sharp knife. Don't take it so seriously. It's just food."

And of course, if you're still having problems, you can always check out Ray's new collaboration with Home Chef for pre-prepped ingredients and her recipes designed for a minimum of fuss.

Home Chef's Rachael Ray meals are available to order online at homechef.com/rachael or to pick up at more than 1,300 Kroger Family stores, now through mid-March.