Ayesha Curry Shares Her Favorite Time-Saving Kitchen Hacks - Exclusive

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Ayesha Curry clearly loves to be in the kitchen. The author and food media personality has published two cookbooks, hosted her own Food Network show, and has amassed millions of followers online who love when she shares recipes and more on her YouTube channel. But, with a successful career to manage, not to mention three children and a basketball star husband, Curry doesn't always have a lot of time to spend cooking meals. "I like things fast and efficient ... dinners are usually like 45 minutes or less, and it's on the table," she told Mashed in an exclusive interview.

She even wrote a book on the subject. "That was the whole thing with the second cookbook. Everything's under an hour, start to finish, even with prep," said Curry. That book, "The Full Plate" was published in September 2020, compiling some of her most delicious and efficient recipes as the rest of the world continued to slog through pandemic eating. And now, along with the recipes, the foodie expert is letting us in on some of her secrets to getting meals on the table in a snap.

In the exclusive chat, Curry shared a few of her favorite time-saving kitchen hacks, whether you're feeding a family on busy weeknights, getting through quarantine, or anything in between.

When in doubt, make an extra batch, says Curry

Believe it or not, it is actually possible to have super fast and easy meals that still pack in a whole lot of flavor. And you don't have to be a trained chef to pull it off. It just takes a little prep work. And it's one of Ayesha Curry's favorite ways to save time on weeknight dinners. "For me, it's really taking the time to prep and then freezing," she told Mashed. Spend some down time each week putting together meals that you can pull out of the freezer and pop right into the oven when dinnertime rolls around.

And, if you're not sure you can commit to that kind of planning, here's another idea: The next time you're whipping up a recipe you love, Curry recommended to "make triple the batch and then freeze it." You'll definitely be glad you did the next time a craving hits, and you've also have a backup plan ready to go when you need a last-minute dinner option.

Don't overlook your pantry ingredients, either

When it comes to being efficient in the kitchen, it's all about working smarter, not harder, according to Ayesha Curry. Sometimes, that means letting the ingredients do the work for you. That's why she likes to turn to her pantry to help her put together flavorful meals, which means less time standing over the stove all day. Curry also noted you can't go wrong by leaning into the canned foods, jars of sauces, condiments, and more that are probably already in your kitchen right now. "It's one of those things, when all else fails, you've got that jar of sauce. You're good to go. You can do something with it," she said.

In particular, jarred marinara is a time-saving must-have for Curry. "Having pasta sauce on hand at all times is a kitchen hack for me. You can build on a traditional marinara. I mean, the possibilities are endless. I've even used it as a chili starter," she shared.

Curry also pointed out these tricks can help reduce waste as well. "There was that period of time [during the pandemic] when nobody knew what was going on and everybody was stocking up on food ... but then [it] was going to waste because we weren't doing anything with it, and there's no way people could consume what they were bringing into their homes." So whip out those canned goods, throw together some freezer meals, and save your time as well as the planet. It's a true win-win.

You can watch Ayesha Curry on the newest season of "Selena + Chef" streaming now on HBO Max. Curry's cookware line is available at retail stores and PotsandPans.com. And click here to check out the latest issue of her magazine, "Sweet July."