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    Work Smarter, Not Harder With These 30 Things That’ll Make Dinner Fast, But Taste Like It Took A Lot Longer

    ~Thyme~ is of the essence.

    We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Some may have been sent as samples, but all opinions and reviews are our own. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

    1. A large Cuisinart food processor designed with people who like the idea of cooking but detest the thought of prep in mind. Luckily, this workhorse takes allll the work out of dicing and slicing, meaning you'll have your perfectly uniform potato gratin on the table before midnight. 

    gif of reviewer using the food processor to slice strawberries
    reviewer's overhead shot of cheese that was shredded using the food processor

    If you're wondering whether it's worth shelling out money for this bad boy, keep in mind it has a whopping 14-cup capacity, so if you really hate chopping vegetables, this will hold a garden's worth. 

    Promising review: "This food processor is a beast! Forget wasting time chopping and dicing. You can even put cheese in here. I'm glad I got the large. I cook a lot and it really has helped me save time while making dinner. It's expensive, but totally worth it. I'm buying another for my parents!" —Tori Powell

    Get it from Amazon for $229.95+ (available in seven colors). 

    2. Or if you're short on space, a downright magical veggie chopper that'll surely become your new BFF once you realize that by owning it, you'll finally be relieved of your least favorite kitchen task forever. It'll cut down on prep time by a ton, ensure your vegetable pieces are consistent in size (better mouthfeel that way!), and if you're an onion crier like me, well, no more standing over a cutting board with stinging eyes. 

    Reviewer putting a potato on a flip top lid cutter and bringing the lid down to chop it into pieces
    Model pressing down on top to cut an onion

    Promising review: "This thing really comes in handy when you need some veggies diced up fast. I showed it to my wife and after the first use we both loved this thing. We've diced onions, firm Roma tomatoes, peppers, and other veggies. Great for making a quick garden salsa or dicing a large onion for a big batch of chili, or prior to sautéing some veggies. So impressed with it we got one for my mother-in-law and another for a niece who runs a small restaurant. Also nice to have a measuring grid on the side to gauge quantities." —Conrad

    Get it from Amazon for $29.99 — don't forget to apply the coupon to save $5!

    3. An 11-in-1 Instant Pot with a special air fryer lid, because if spending hours waiting on your stew to cook seems a bit ~much,~ this will save a ton of time with its pressure cooking capabilities. Concentrated flavor in a fraction of the time? We love to see it. Plus, what other appliance also lets you air fry donuts for dessert? 

    Silver and black instant pot with control panel next to a cooked chicken
    reviewer photo of a creamy pasta dish made in the instant pot

    It's got air frying, roasting, baking, dehydrating, pressure cooking, slow cooking — *takes breath* — steaming, sautéeing, sterilizing, warming, rice cooking, and yogurt making functions! 

    Promising review: "I love it. I hate cooking but with my trusty Instant Pot I’ve been able to get some really delicious and nutritious meals on the table for my family. Such a time saver. So quick and easy. Can’t cook without it. Have made so much use of it already. Also love the air fryer — have used it several times as well for large quantities of food." —Amazon Customer

    Another promising review: "This has changed my life! The air fryer is SO MUCH more efficient than my old air fryer. I was able to get rid of my rice cooker, crock pot, and air fryer. The Sous Vide mode is a game changer in making perfect medium rare meats. You can throw meat in there frozen and it comes out super tender and never dry. Just BUY IT!!!!" —susie v clewellclancy

    Get it from Amazon for $192.04

    4. A rapid egg cooker for anyone who would rather not spend time standing over a pot of water when they could be getting more prep work done. With this hands-off wizard, your hard and soft-boiled eggs will be perfect every time, and the eggs-tra accessories (sorry) are great for poaching, scrambling, and making omelets!

    reviewer photo of sliced, perfectly hard-boiled eggs
    reviewer photo of ramen with a soft-boiled egg in a pink bowl
    reviewer photo of the teal egg cooker on a kitchen counter

    BuzzFeed Shopping's Emma Lord says: "I've owned one of these babies and have faithfully used it every week for upward of two years, and especially love it while working from home — it simplifies breakfast because I know no matter what assortment of groceries I'm working with, there are precooked eggs to add some protein to it (I like mine medium-boiled 🍳). If my dinner is boring or seems like it needs a little extra "oomph" to it, I'll throw in an egg from this too. Some reviews note that the alarm on it is a little loud, but the new models have significantly decreased the volume and sing a little song instead!"

    Promising review: "I have always hated having to wait to boil water. I tend to get sidetracked so can't count how many times I would forget I had eggs boiling until I would start hearing popping sounds to then find I left it so long that all the water had evaporated out and the eggs were burnt in the pan...lol. This little contraption is so cute and fast while making perfect boiled eggs. No more boiling water and the little alarm sound is cute." —CandygirlnKC

    Get it from Amazon for $16.99+ (available in eight colors, as well as several bundle options).

    5. A TikTok-favorite savory seasoning that'll keep you from having to measure out a teaspoon of this, a teaspoon of that when you're prepping your proteins and vegetables. Just shake some on and you're golden! This unassuming yet flavor-packed blend of garlic, onion, cayenne, parsley, and citrus has over 8,000 5-star ratings, and reviewers have mentioned loving it on everything from Thanksgiving turkey to mashed potatoes. 

    reviewer photo of the spicy and original seasonings
    reviewer photo of a chicken thigh seasoned with the spice mix on a plate with some sides

    Dan-O's is a small biz that was founded by — yes — Dan O. (Oliver), who came up with a spice blend one day and realized it actually tasted really good! People who tried the seasoning told him he should sell it, and the rest, as they say, is history. 

    Promising review: "Good stuff! Yummy combination, saves you a lot of time putting in a dash of this and a pinch of that!" —Su

    Another promising review: "Life-changing. The best seasoning I’ve ever used. Definitely leveled up my cooking with this! Will order again — but the biggest size this time!" —Josie

    Get a pack containing the original and spicy seasonings from Amazon for $20.96.

    6. A Philips compact pasta maker if you love a fun cooking project...minus the whole "rolling out dough by hand" thing. Just add your fresh ingredients, turn the machine on, and it'll mix, knead, and shape your pasta in as little as 18 minutes! Watching the noodles as they're being extruded is almost as satisfying as eating your homemade carb-y creations.

    GIF of reviewer slicing pasta that's being extruded through the pasta maker
    Reviewer photo of homemade noodles being extruded through the pasta maker and into a bowl

    This handy device does all the work for you, so if you're anything like me (a pasta fiend), it'll quickly become the most beloved thing in your kitchen. It comes with shaping discs for spaghetti, fettuccine, penne, pappardelle, tagliatelle, angel hair, and lasagna — mamma mia! Plus, there's an included recipe book for meal inspiration. 

    Promising review: "This has been so amazing for me, I can easily make “top ramen” within 15 minutes that tastes better and in bigger batches. I was nervous because I saw some complaints of dough issues but I think that has to do with users not weighing and instead relying solely on the measurement markings of the included cups. I initially made the mistake of adding “just a little bit extra” water when I thought my dough was too ‘crumbly’ or dry; but quickly learned — this is absolutely the consistency you want, as the machine then pressed and makes the pasta using this mixture. Two words for you: de-licious. The unit is incredibly slim and fits neatly in the counter or in a cabinet for storage." —Omega

    Get it from Amazon for $182.94.

    7. Or a nonstick microwave pasta cooker to use on nights when you're craving ravioli but the thought of waiting for water to boil seems like cruel and unusual punishment. Pop it in, wait 12–13 minutes, and ta-da! Perfectly al dente noodles, every time. 

    A reviewer photo of uncooked pasta and water in the clear, plastic microwave pasta cooker
    A photo from the same reviewer of cooked pasta and water in the clear, plastic microwave pasta cooker

    It also doubles as a strainer, and you can use the holes in the lid to portion out long pastas.

    Promising review: "I love pasta, but I hate *making* pasta. Too many pots, pans, strainer, cleanup, etc. Forget it. And after a long day at work when I am craving pasta, all I want to do is eat right away. This pasta cooker cooked pasta better than I have ever cooked pasta in my life. I am Italian, so as you can imagine I have eaten (and made myself) a LOT of pasta. This product is a game changer. It was extremely easy to use, cooked quickly, and it came out PERFECTLY. Not over cooked, a little al dente, but not firm. Perfection. Now I have no excuse not to cook pasta for myself (and my husband) practically every day. BUY THIS. It will change your life." —Hope Lanza

    Get it from Amazon for $17.99.

    8. A compact 8-in-1 spiralizer that'll instantly transform all of those farmers market vegetables into tasty zoodles, no handiwork required. Plus, you can also use it as a juicer, grater, shredder, and more — rather than buying a bunch of little individual tools (that end up requiring way more drawer space than you'd think), you've got 'em all right here!

    BuzzFeed editor holding the transparent cup with eight black lids
    A model using the device to make zoodles, grate cheese, and squeeze an orange
    Emma Lord / BuzzFeed, Amazon

    Just swap out the inserts to go from one function to another!

    BuzzFeed Shopping's Emma Lord says: "I recently purchased this because it was my cheapest option for making zoodles, and also because my apartment is the size of a shoebox and there was no room for anything bigger. I LOVE how easy it is to swap out the caps to do other things, too — I've started grating my own cheeses and feel very fancy. But mostly I just love that it's very safe to use (it comes with a finger guard!), super easy to figure out, very compact, and even has measurements on the inside of the cup if you're ever portioning things out for a recipe."

    Promising review: "I used this to make zucchini and wow!! It was so easy and fast to use. I was able to whip up two swirls in just minutes. Easy to clean — put in dishwasher, came out clean and ready to go for my next creation. Totally recommend buying this!" —Susan Blackwell

    Get it from Amazon for $19.98 (also available in 4- and 6-in-1 styles) — don't forget to apply the coupon to save 20%!

    9. A patience-saving pair of herb scissors, because your delicious cooking deserves to be elevated with fresh herbs, but, real talk: Who wants to painstakingly mince all of those teeny-tiny leaves by hand? Fresh herbs can make all the difference between decent meals and stellar ones, and these scissors have five blades, so chop chop!

    It also comes with a comb to clean the leaves out from between the blades!

    Promising review: "I like to grow herbs and use them in salads, soups, and many other recipes. I received these herb scissors as a birthday gift, and can't believe how fast and easy it is to cut up cilantro, basil, parsley, lovage, etc. My husband tried them today too for the first time while making guacamole, and found that slicing the cilantro went very quickly. The storage case-cleaner is very efficiently designed, too. I ordered four of these sets to give as gifts." —Lucille P. Nawara

    Get it from Amazon for $15.89 (available in black or green). 

    10. And a nifty herb leaf remover that separates the leaves from the stem in one fell swoop. No more picking each leaf off individually, and no more unpleasant stems sneaking their way into your roasted vegetables! Ina would be proud you didn't take the dried parsley route.

    GIF showing someone using the herb leaf remover to take leaves off a sprig of parsley
    Mud Pottery Studios / Etsy

    Mud Pottery Studios is a small business based in Mendocino, California, that makes small clay trinkets and accessories for the kitchen and home. 

    Promising review: "This works great for stripping leaves from herb stems. So much faster than plucking the individual leaves." —Deborah Ueyama

    Another promising review: "This is a great addition to my kitchen. Well-made and good looking. I've been using it for cilantro and am very happy with it." —rohshambo

    Get it from Mud Pottery Studios on Etsy for $19.50 (available in two colors). 

    11. A Dash Safe Slice Mandoline, which your precious little fingies will be relieved to know does not require them to be anywhere near the blade! Plus, it comes with over 30 slicing options — from one to eight millimeters-thick! — meaning you'll be able to get uniform, paper-thin cuts in no time. 

    gif of reviewer using the mandoline to slice matchstick vegetables
    reviewer photo of thinly-sliced lemons in the bowl of the mandoline

    You can also use it for julienne- and matchstick-dicing! Just feed your ingredients through the tube, push the lever, and your slices will come out on the other side. 

    Promising review: "This tool is AMAZING! Like with anything, it has nooks and crannies to clean, BUT they provide a brush to clean it with. The product itself is easy to use and saved me SO much time! I just prepared a recipe that required a lot of 'chopping,' and I think this thing saved me 30 minutes! I wish I had bought it sooner!" —Craig J

    Get it from Amazon for $36.99+ (available in six colors). 

    12. compact blender that'll make quick work out of whizzing up smooth salad dressings and silky sauces from scratch so you're not standing over a bowl, whisking furiously when you'd rather just be eating already. Oh, and can we talk about how GORGEOUS it is?!

    gif of someone turning on the blender to make a smoothie
    the gray blender filled with an orange smoothie and a hand holding a smaller blending vessel with an attached carry handle
    Amazon

    P.S. The blending bowl also doubles as a portable thermos and comes with a screw-on drinking lid and carry cap.

    I got this blender over the summer, and wow, as someone who had firmly decided I was an "I don't need a blender" person, I quickly changed my mind after the first use. For starters, it's not as large as those super industrial-strength blenders, and it's so aesthetically-pleasing that I have it out on my counter at all times. Plus, it couldn't be easier to use — just fill the bowl with your ingredients, pulse, and in a matter of ~moments~ you'll have a perfectly uniform blend of whatever you're trying to blitz. I first tried it out on a smoothie made with frozen bananas and peaches (see it in action on TikTok here!), and it pulverized the icy fruit like a champ. Best of all? It's a total breeze to clean, which, if I'm being honest, was probably the biggest factor in my having waited so long to add a blender to my kitchen arsenal. I can't recommend it enough, 15/10, no notes. 

    Get it from Amazon for $195 (available in three colors).

    13. And a KitchenAid immersion blender, aka Fairy Godmother: Soup Edition, since it'll transform your chunky butternut squash concoction into an ethereally velvety puree. Plus, it'll help speed things up while keeping you from burning yourself, since you won't be transferring ladles of piping hot soup to a standing blender.

    the blue immersion blender
    reviewer photo of the light blue immersion blender inside of a pot of soup
    Britt Ross / BuzzFeed, www.amazon.com

    I own the blue immersion blender, and as someone who's just 5 feet tall and has practically zero upper body strength, I find that it's been a total game changer. Now, whenever I want a smooth sauce or silky soup, all I have to do is stick this bad boy into the pot, press a button, and presto! No more having to muster up all my strength to lift a heavy pot, and then pour hot liquid from it into a blender (I mean, disaster waiting to happen and such a poor use of time). Oh, and it's SO easy to clean, plus the pretty blue hue makes me happy every time I use it!

    Promising review: "Best immersion blender I've used! This thing is so powerful! Smoothly blended my roasted butternut squash, onion, and celery to make a bisque. I love the pan guard so I can blend right in the pot and it doesn’t scratch. It was very easy to use and clean. Highly recommend." —Annabelle

    Get it from Amazon for $59.99+ (available in 10 colors and three styles). 

    14. An Oxo corn peeler, because eating corn is a whole lot more enjoyable when you're not constantly pulling the threads out of your teeth. That said, getting the kernels off of that big lump with knobs can be tricky and time-consuming! With this, you can swiftly slide the kernels off as if you were peeling an apple rather than precariously balancing the ear on your counter and using a knife 😬.

    gif of reviewer using the peeler to remove kernels from an ear of corn
    reviewer photo of an ear of corn that's had half of its kernels stripped away using the peeler

    Promising review: "I didn't have high expectations for this corn cob peeler, but saw the good reviews so thought I would give it a chance. I am amazed. I can peel an ear of corn in seconds. As a child, I remember how my mom would peel off the corn and freeze it for year round corn. She would work her fingers to the bone. How great this would be for people who can or freeze corn. I noticed the blade is razor sharp, so I am being very careful with cleaning and storage. Highly recommended!" —Flossygirl

    Get it from Amazon for $9.95 (also available as a set with corn holders). 

    15. A bottle of Lillie's of Charleston mustard barbecue sauce to save you the trouble of making a topping for your ribs from scratch. It would take so much time developing the same level of flavor in a homemade sauce, but no one has to know you didn't spend hours stirring a pot over a hot stove.

    ribs on a grill that are covered in the bbq sauce
    bottle of barbecue sauce
    Amazon

    Lillie's of Charleston is a Black- and family-owned small biz based in South Carolina that, lucky for us, bottles and sells their award-winning sauces and spice mixes that were inspired by Sunday dinners at Aunt Lillie's house. 

    Promising review: "I grew up in Charleston, South Carolina, and this is by far the most authentic South Carolina Mustard BBQ I’ve been able to find. I highly recommend. A true taste of home delivered to my door in Phoenix!" —Jenna Bowen

    Get it from Amazon for $10.98 (available in hot or mild). 

    16. And a jar of Fly By Jing Sichuan Chili Crisp, which is juuust the right amount of spicy without being overpowering. On nights when cooking an elaborate meal is simply out of the question, this magical condiment will elevate even the most simple bowl of instant noodles with flavorful complexity in seconds. 

    model eating noodles with the jar of chili crisp on the table
    A soup dumpling topped with the chili crisp on a spoon
    Fly By Jing, Fly By Jing

    Fly By Jing is an Asian woman-owned small business that makes sauces, seasonings, and dumplings featuring flavors from Sichuan.

    Ever since my sister introduced me to this life-changing condiment, I've slathered it on pretty much everything I could think of — from roasted vegetables and noodles to seafood and popcorn. It's got a kick, yes, and while I'm a big fan of spicy food, the thing I love most about this chili crisp is that it also has great flavor that doesn't get overpowered by the heat, which happens with so many other spicy sauces. That deep savory flavor comes from ingredients like fermented black bean, shallots, mushroom powder, ginger, and seaweed, so it's no wonder it's become my go-to pantry staple when I want to zhuzh up my dinner in a matter of seconds. PS: Some people even swear by it as an ice cream topping!

    Get a pack of two from Amazon for $34.95 or a single jar from Fly By Jing for $15 (also available as a monthly subscription for 15% off).

    17. handheld grater to replace that bulky box grater when it comes to zesting citrus and achieving the finest flakes of parm to sprinkle over your pasta (hellooo flavor). Box graters are "grate" when you're shredding potatoes and carrots, but a handheld grater gives you much more control when you're trying to avoid citrus pith (the bitter white stuff) and gets the job done a lot more quickly. 

    GIF of reviewer using the handheld grater to shave parmesan cheese over a plate of pasta
    reviewer holding the handheld grater

    Promising review: "This is a very handy tool. Zested an orange in no time, whereas before this purchase I dreaded zesting, since it took so long. I just thought that’s the way it was but it doesn’t have to be with this tool." —Karen

    Another promising review: "I feel so professional. Easiest time I ever had grating lemon zest. Why didn't I get one years ago!!!! I thought I didn't need it. Now don't want to be without it. Parmesan cheese grated so effortlessly. Can't wait to do fresh ginger and nutmeg. Sturdy, and I love the cover it comes with. Very pleased with my purchase." —Cherie Marshall

    Get it from Amazon for $11.98

    18. An Oxo fat separator, because skimming the fat off of your stock with a spoon whenever you're making gravy gets preeetty tedious. With this absolute lifesaver, just pour your juices in and let it do the separating for you — then, when everyone comments on the smoothness and clarity of your stock, go ahead and take all the credit. 

    The fat separator filled with gravy, with the fat on top
    Reviewer photo of jarred turkey broth looking nice and consistent after they used the fat separator

    Promising review: "I can't believe I spent so many years using a spoon trying to get the fat out of gravy and sauces. This separator took mere seconds to do the work!" —Marlo Casabar

    Get it from Amazon for $11.95+ (available in two sizes). 

    19. An essential chef's knife that'll amaze you when you see how effortlessly it can slice through a tomato — which, let's face it, would've taken 15 minutes and an entire box of bandages with your old, dull knife. Sure, it'll improve efficiency, but it'll also make cooking safer, since you won't have to exert as much force to get crisp, clean cuts. Plus, evenly chopped food just tastes better than haphazardly-jagged pieces. 

    GIF of reviewer slicing a piece of paper with the knife to demonstrate how sharp it is
    reviewer photo of the knife on a wooden cutting board

    Promising review: "I have a number of knives, and while this is by no means my most expensive or fancy knife, it has become the one I reach for the most, especially for veggies. It's nice and solid and has a good weight for chopping. I like that the length of the blade isn't as curved as a classic chef knife but not totally straight like a cleaver. It just feels good to use for fast chopping and mincing — since it is more wide and square it slides along the knuckles well, and since it's a bit heavier it feels like it doesn't take much effort to get quick, clean cuts. Nice to find a knife I like so much for this price." —Scooter

    Another promising review: "I bought this for my husband; he is a professional chef. He absolutely loves this knife. The quality is great, and the price is reasonable for a chef knife. We originally purchased a different one that was more expensive and after a week of using it started getting rust spots. He has been using this one now for two months and loves it. No rust spots." —Tara L.

    Get it from Amazon for $38.70+ (available in four sizes). 

    20. A stainless-steel dumpling and empanada press for achieving expertly clean crimps without any intricate handiwork or super-involved folding on your part. Spray it with oil, place your dough over top, add filling, fold, and press for the perfect, pro-looking seal. Now your cheese will actually stay inside your pierogi!