10 "Cheater" Ways to Get Dinner on the Table in Under 30 Minutes
2. Target Your Recipe to Your Time Frame
This may seem obvious, but it bears mentioning: Want an easy way to make sure you can cook dinner in under 20 minutes? Find a 20-minute recipe. By tailoring your meal to your time frame, you can make the most of a limited schedule. It's important to note the difference between active time and total time in a recipe. In the EatingWell Test Kitchen, "active time" means the period when you're actually working (or need to be near the stove) while "total time" is, well, the total time. If you want to guarantee that a recipe will fit into the 20 free minutes you have to cook, than make sure you've got one whose total time, not active time, is 20 minutes or less.