Easy Meal Ideas During a Kitchen Remodel

Jun 29, 2021

Easy Meal Ideas During a Kitchen Remodel

Jun 29, 2021

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This post contains affiliate links. This means I may earn a small commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Read my disclosure here.

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If you’re in need of easy meal ideas during a kitchen remodel, I’ve got some resources for you today. Ordering out and eating salad every day can get old, so here’s inspiration to cook at home in a makeshift kitchen. I’ve got tons of tips – you can do this!

Also, I am not a food blogger – I’m a DIY home improvement blogger. Here’s how we saved $20K on our DIY kitchen renovation and how it turned out!

How We Saved $20K on Our DIY Kitchen Remodel

easy meals during a kitchen remodel

Overview of Meal Ideas During a Kitchen Remodel

How to Cook Without a Kitchen

Let’s say you’re going full-on, gutted kitchen for a remodel and need to figure out family meals for 6-8 weeks. Here are tips to help you stay sane. Even though we kept our kitchen functional throughout our latest renovation, we still needed to work around missing appliances or a sink without a faucet, etc. You’ll need to get creative.

How We Planned Our DIY Kitchen Remodel

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Free Guide to DIY

Negotiating Advice

If you’re hiring a contractor to replace your kitchen, here are a few tips to keep it functional for as long as possible. Know that the contractor wants the job to be as easy as possible, and they will rip out everything and then likely wait a few weeks for new cabinets to be delivered. They don’t live in your house or have to deal with a missing kitchen.

You can make life a little easier by negotiating up front to keep a few things in working order.

  • Bargain to keep your kitchen sink in place for as long as possible, or just temporarily reconnected until work needs to happen in that location.
  • Ask for a couple of cabinets to be left in the space (they can unscrew everything), so you can set up a temporary countertop with a piece of plywood, for your cooking station.
  • Be sure to communicate these expectations upfront, or you’ll get pushback if the work is in process.

More of Our DIY Kitchen Ideas:

2022 Cabinet Hardware Trends
The Best Paint for Kitchen Cabinets
2 Cheap + Easy Laminate Countertop Updates

meal ideas during a kitchen remodel
kitchen in progress…

Set up a Temporary Kitchen

Can you relocate your key kitchen appliances to a temporary kitchen location nearby or in another room? As I just mentioned above, if you can create a temp counter on a few old cabinets, this is an easy short-term solution.

You could also set up a folding table in the kitchen if the cabinets are ripped out. It will make life easier than running to the garage every time you need to plug in the toaster.

Here’s what you need in this temp kitchen…

Choose Multipurpose Appliances

Choose a few key appliances to see you through the renovation. Any of these are good picks:

  • microwave
  • toaster oven
  • Instant Pot
  • slow cooker
  • air fryer
  • blender/food processor
  • grill

You can probably recreate most meals with just a microwave and toaster oven, or at the very least, cook enough variety to get through 2 months without a stovetop. If you only have a microwave and can shop at Trader Joe’s, you might survive on just their amazing frozen meals! Also, I know a few families who have leaned hard on the grill to get through a kitchen reno, although that’s easier to do in summer.

Read More: 2 Cheap & Easy Laminate Countertop Updates

meal ideas during a kitchen remodel
temporary countertop and microwave saved the day during our remodel

Read More About Our DIY Home Updates

Favorite Behr White Paint Colors
Closet Door Ideas to Update Any Room
The Best Flooring for Every Room in Your Home
Trends in Cabinet Hardware

Instant Pot to the Rescue

Are you on the Instant Pot train yet? If not, a kitchen renovation is a perfect excuse to try one. If you regularly cook rice, quinoa, lentils, beans, soup, stews, chili, hard-boiled eggs, and/or sauté chicken, fish, or other meat, the Instant Pot can cook all of those foods. I’m practically a one-woman ad for this appliance. It slices! It dices!

I used this version for years. I just ordered this upgraded cooker during Amazon Prime Days, but any model works for most of the meals you’ll make.

Join the Facebook Instant Pot community group for recipes, ideas, and troubleshooting. Nom Nom Paleo also has great tips and recipes for IP meals.

instant pot
Instant Pot 6 Qt
Free Guide to DIY

Hot Meal Ideas During a Kitchen Remodel

OK, now that you’ve got a temporary kitchen plan, you’ll need to figure out what to cook! Here are some easy recipes to keep up with hot meals during a kitchen renovation.


meal ideas during a kitchen remodel
sweet potato, kale, and chicken soup

Cold Meal Ideas During a Kitchen Remodel

If you like cool dishes in the heat of summer, here are some great ideas. Many of these can be made gluten-free and straight from the garden.


meal ideas during a kitchen remodel
watermelon, mint, and feta salad

More Renovation Tips Coming Your Way!

Stay tuned next week for a post on how to plan a home renovation without losing your sanity. I’ve been drafting ideas to help you plan the smartest, most efficient remodel for your next project. Have a great week!

More Kitchen Posts from List in Progress

list in progress kitchen projects

1 – Kitchen Trends in 2021 to Consider
2 – Yes, A DIY Kitchen Remodel is Possible – Part One
3 – 2021 Cabinet Hardware Trends and Where to Shop
4 – Choosing a Kitchen Backsplash Tile Layouts

Hi! I’m Erin, a Colorado-based home improvement blogger and lover of all things DIY. I aim to inspire creative folks to tackle home improvement with confidence and style. READ MORE
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