Batch cooking: what is it?

Eating a different diet because of a health concern, whatever it may be, can prove challenging. Depending on the condition and the restrictions to be put in place, eating ready-made meals outside the home can become complicated, if not altogether impossible. Farewell restaurants, canteens and prepackaged meals. And while there might be some suitable options out there, preparing meals at home can also be a budgetary decision. Meal preparation constitutes quite a workload in everyday life, even more so if you have an already busy life. The risk in the long run is either to exhaust yourself or to not eat as you should (or both).

Batch cooking can help you find a balance. Whether it represents a back-up solution or the cornerstone of your organization system (see the different programs proposed by Light & Delight, here), batch cooking provides a very welcome relief, if not a vital one. So let’s dive into the subject: what is batch-cooking exactly?

BATCH COOKING: definition

Batch cooking is a food preparation method that involves preparing meals in advance and in large quantities. It is based on a quite simple concept: instead of preparing the same dish say four times at four different points in time (and having each time to shop, take out the equipment, prepare the ingredients, supervise the cooking, tidy up and wash the dishes), you can prepare a large quantity of a given dish, divide it into portions and save all or part of it for later (either in the fridge for the week, or in the freezer for the following weeks).

Batch cooking has become increasingly popular in recent years, and one must admit that in the context of specific dietary constraints, it offers tremendous freedom… The more meals you have to prepare, the more relief you’ll get from batch cooking.


Batch cooking provides a great many benefits, including the following ones:

streamlining and lightening your shopping

Some of your shopping is easy to do, since you only have to buy certain ingredients in large amounts for the recipes you will be preparing in advance. Whatever is left is easier, as you only have to take care of the remaining meals.

NEVER being caught off guard

Batch cooking not only allows you to prepare meals in advance and simply follow a meal plan, but also to easily stock up. You can just set a few meals aside and always have a few portions on hand just in case. This way, you're always prepared, ready for the unexpected.

saving money

Not only because you will be eating home-cooked meals that are cheaper than store-bought ones, but also because batch cooking can significantly reduce food waste: you buy ingredients and cook them right away, without them getting spoiled in the refrigerator because you didn't have the time or motivation to prepare them.

saving quite some time

There is less time spent thinking about the menu, shopping and cooking, less dishes to take out and wash, less tidying up to do in the kitchen, etc. Batch cooking is guaranteed to save you time (and energy). And as far as menus and shopping lists are concerned, take a look at our free tip top tools if you are not familiar with them yet (link in the right column).

lightening your MENTAL LOAD

Batch cooking allows you to reduce the amount of thinking you have to do, to take some tasks off your daily or weekly to-do list. No need to worry about all the meals. Once the system is in place, it will keep running and you will feel relieved.

getting a little freedom

The goal when you set up a proper meal planning system is to regain a little freedom. To be able to do other things like sleep, rest, play sports, go out with your partner or your friends, play with your children, or even work or study. Whatever makes you feel good, whatever you enjoy. Batch cooking is a real plus to achieve this.

BATCH COOKING : a concrete example

To better appreciate how batch cooking could concretely be a game changer for you, let’s look at a concrete example, which you may identify with, either a lot or in part.

  • You work full time and so does your spouse, you have children. Your life is full, it’s like a race. Then suddenly, for medical reasons, one person in the family can no longer eat out and needs special “home cooked” meals. Preparing these meals on top of everything else (work, the kids, house chores, your relationship, etc.) throws your already somewhat delicate balance into turmoil, and you quickly feel caught in a whirlwind that you can’t get out of, since you have to deal with this medical problem.

  • Now imagine that you take a step back. You print out a planner (or at least two) and start filling it with suggestions for dishes you could prepare in advance. The one thing you struggle with the most is lunches away from home. So you plan those lunches over 14 days, or say 10 (Monday through Friday), with 5 recipes.
  • These 5 recipes become your anchor for all weekday lunches. Instead of cooking them every night for the very next day, last minute and in a rush, you’ll either cook them all at once (and then be in the clear for several weeks), or one at a time at somewhat regular intervals.
  • And of course, if you need and want a little variety (which is quite natural), you can later create a second meal plan for one or two weeks, so as to add other recipes and spice things up a little.
  • Your system will then be up and running and your organization will be in place. Your shopping lists will be created and reusable, you will quickly get into the habit of preparing recipes in large quantities and you will savor the pleasure of just having to. Just having to defrost, just having to help yourself. Just being able to relax.
  • Your life will pretty much be back to where it was before, thanks to your well thought-out planning system.

And so now: just go for it!

All you have to do is start, and you will get there. Check out our other articles about batch-cooking, for step by step guidance. And if you haven’t yet consulted the 5 programs proposed by Light & Delight to guide you in setting up your planning system, as well as the page dedicated to our free tip top tools, head this way:

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Welcome to Light & Delight!

I am Louise and I offer you tasty gluten-free, dairy-free and refined sugar-free recipes that will delight kids and grown-ups alike. But also information, advice and tools to help you get organized and handle your dietary challenges as lightly as possible!

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