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Jkath Design Build + Reinvent / Kitchen Renovation  / 7 Meals When You Don’t Have a Kitchen
Breakfast nook with black windows, and alder wood built in bench.

7 Meals When You Don’t Have a Kitchen

When preparing for a kitchen renovation with new clients we make it a point to have a conversation with them about establishing a temporary kitchen. This can be set up in a spare bedroom, lower level, or garage. Maintaining a sense of normalcy and healthy eating habits is a pain point for homeowners during a kitchen renovation. You can only eat at restaurants or friends’ houses so many times, no matter how welcome you are.

Make a game plan for this time as it can be, at minimum, three months without a usable kitchen. A sense of normalcy and routine is a helpful tip to get through this process.

Successful Cooking During a Renovation:

1. Prepare frozen meals for a slow cooker, Instant Pot, or accessible oven. (Pro tip: in the months leading to your renovation, cook in double batches and freeze the rest)

2. One pot/one sheet pan dinners are going to be your new BFF.

3. Batch cut vegetables and portion out protein to minimize the need for prep space.

4. Keep your appliances minimal and multi-functional: range (if able), slow cooker, refrigerator.

5. Prepare a wide variety of meals so you don’t grow bored with repetitive meals.

Here are recipes we love that are easy to make ahead of time and freeze or cook with minimal tools and prep space.

Instant Pot Pesto Zuppa Toscana

7 Meals When You Don't Have a Kitchen

This is a FAVORITE soup! It’s the ultimate comfort soup and brings heat to warm you up through the colder months. Get the recipe from Half Baked Harvest here.

Easy Crockpot Carnitas

7 Meals When You Don't Have a Kitchen

Tacos are the easiest recipe to spice up and make customizable for all of your picky eaters. This Pinch of Yum recipe delivers a juicy result and bountiful portions. Get the recipe here.

Pinch of Yum created an amazing 16 Healthy Freezer Meals guide + post here.

Best Grilled Chicken Wings

7 Meals When You Don't Have a Kitchen

Who doesn’t love restaurant quality, saucy, and delicious buffalo wings? Throw these on the grill and pair them with a side salad for a weeknight meal outdoors. Get the recipe here via Plays Well With Butter.

5 Ingredient One Pot Pastas

7 Meals When You Don't Have a Kitchen

Five ingredients, one pot, it doesn’t get easier. Delicious, convenient, and minimal effort. Pasta dishes like this are perfect for whatever leftover vegetables and protein you have left over. Get the recipes here via The Kitchn.

Spicy Sockeye Salmon Poke Bowls

7 Meals When You Don't Have a Kitchen

This light, refreshing meal only requires light prep work. Perfect to make ahead an easy lunch or dinner option. Get the recipe here via Jessica Gavin.

Greek Turkey Meatballs

7 Meals When You Don't Have a Kitchen

Full of flavor, make-ahead meatballs, are customizable for the whole family. This recipe is a winner, Greek Turkey Meatball for dinner. Get the recipe here via Two Pears and Their Pod.

Slow Cooker Thai Pineapple Vegetable Curry

7 Meals When You Don't Have a Kitchen

Made to be prepped and frozen, this flavor-packed meal is perfect for throwing in the slow cooker and enjoying for several meals. Get the recipe here via Don’t Waste The Crumbs.

Bonus: Kath Family Favorite Vegetarian Lasagna

This meal can’t be easier to make, put it together, bake it as directed, freeze it weeks before your renovation, and thaw it in the fridge the night before you’re ready to eat. Reheat in your favorite small appliance.

7 Meals When You Don't Have a Kitchen


16 oz jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce (Classico fans here, low added sugars)

12 lasagna noodles (cooked 1/2 way, drained, and rinsed in cold water)

1 lb shredded mozzarella cheese

1/2 c grated parmesan cheese


2 cups of cottage cheese

2 beaten eggs

salt + pepper

1/2 lb raw spinach, chopped

dash of nutmeg

Use a 9×13 pan, spread tomato sauce to coat the bottom of the pan (so your noodles don’t stick!).

Cover with a layer of 1/3 of the noodles

Layer 1/2 of the Filling

Layer 1/3 of the remaining sauce

Cover with 1/2 of the mozzarella cheese

Layer another 1/3 of the noodles

Remaining filling

Followed by another 1/3 of the sauce

Sprinkle the remainder of the mozzarella cheese

Last of the noodles on top – top with the remainder of the sauce.

Top with parmesan cheese.

Bake for 45 minutes at 375 degrees, and uncover the last 10 minutes.


Jkath Team

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Some recent projects from our team we think you might like:

Princeton Colonial, St. Albans Road, Goodrich Modern Tudor

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