A master list of my most-used, tried and trued kitchen essentials for healthy cooking. From pots and pans to knives and storage options, this post is a comprehensive list of products I use on a weekly if not daily basis!
I get asked all the time which kitchen tools I can’t live without, so I figured it would be most helpful for you have it in one place. Eventually it will live on my About page, but I’ll keep you posted about that.
While a lot of these items are under $20, some are more pricey investment pieces. I’m a fan of purchasing products that will stand the test of time, which always ends up saving money in the long run!
Food processor: This 14-cup beauty is the best for no-bake bites, veggie burgers, bean balls, and beyond. I like the shredding attachment, too. If you want a smaller one that’s still substantial, this 11-cup one would be perfect.
Electric Water Kettle: We use this daily for tea. At under $35, it’s crazy affordable, easy to use, and looks great on the counter! Simply press the button and you have boiling water in minutes.
Hand mixer: This is less than $20 and my go-to appliance for mixing cookies and frosting and such since I don’t have a stand mixer.
Coffee Maker: We’ve had this 12-cup Cuisinart coffee maker for years and it’s never steered us wrong. Nothing complicated, but it works great every time and I love that it keeps the coffee relatively warm after brewing. We use this Coffee Grinder to grind the beans.
Air Fryer: We got this for our wedding so we haven’t used it a ton, but we love it so far! We’ve made some successful crispy broccoli and sweet potatoes.
Most of my pots and pans are Le Creuset. They’re expensive and are definitely an investment (we registered for them for our wedding!) but they last a lifetime and are beautiful cookware pieces. All Clad D5 is another really high-quality stainless steel cookware brand, but it is not not non-stick!
Learning how to take care of pots and pans is key. No dishwashing! Below are our favorites enamel, cast iron (nature’s non-stick!), ceramic, and stainless steel options.
Pancake Griddle: We love this nonstick 11-inch ceramic griddle which we exclusively use for pancakes. The key is to follow the directions by not using any oil/spray on the pan, not heating it on above medium heat and letting it cool before gently cleaning. Cooks perfect pancakes every time!
Cast Iron Skillet (10.25 inch): I use this as our everyday fry pan for frying eggs, baking quiche, cornbread, etc. It comes pre-seasoned and you don’t have to do anything to maintain it. The only thing I don’t do it in is scramble eggs as I’ve found those stick more and I don’t want to scrub it too much. I do use cooking spray when cooking with it. This Lodge Cast Iron Skillet is a more affordable option at $29.95, but it does need to be seasoned from time to time.
Cast Iron Braiser (3.25 qt): This is another pan we use really often, mostly for dinner to cook taco meat, stir fries, curry, etc. It’s a great wide, shallow pan and the enamel surface cooks food beautifully.
Cast Iron Round Dutch Oven (5.5 qt): My go-to pot for soups, chili, and more. I also have the 3.5qt one in this amazing dusty rose color which I use to bake bread, make overnight oatmeal, etc. Another favorite is this All Clad soup pot.
Large Salad Spinner: We use this nightly to wash and dry our salad greens.
Cookie Scoop: Essential for easy, faster, and less messy cookie portioning. I use the scoop and then roll the dough into balls so they’re smooth. I also use this for things like bean balls.
Muffin Scoop: I use this for scooping pancake batter and muffins quite often! Very handy.
Garlic Press: There’s nothing like not having to peel and chop garlic. We use this so often.
Citrus Juicer: An essential for juicing fresh lemons and limes.
Peeler: Peel and julienne vegetables all in one. The best stainless steel peeler!
Silicone Spatula: So you don’t have to use your finger to lick the bowl clean.
Salad Dressing Shaker Bottle: This is what we use to store leftover salad dressing in the fridge.
Tofu Press: I use this nifty gadget every single time I make a recipe for tofu. Nothing squeeze out water like this press! It helps with that chewy texture versus mushy tofu.
Grill brush: Everyone needs a good grill brush, and this is the one we swear by.
Cooling Racks: We use these daily for cooling food. I love how they sit high up versus low to the counter.
Loaf Pan: Another Emile Henry classic for all your banana bread needs.
Silicone Baking Mats: We almost always have one of these lining our sheet pans for easy cleanup of everything from cookies to roasted veggies. They’re so affordable and they last for ages.
Global Knives: Cooking with high quality knives is the biggest game-changer when it comes to cooking. The 8-inch chef’s knife is the one I use the most, but this set is an awesome value. This vegetable knife is next on my list!
Knife Sharper: A must for keeping your knives sharp for safe and effective cooking. I sharpen mine every couple months.
21oz Glasses: I use these as my water glass during the work day and at dinnertime because it’s so amazingly large. They come in a set of four with lids so you can store dressings and such in them as well.
17oz Everyday Glasses: These are our everyday glasses. We love how they look, that they’re stackable + super durable.
Organic Shaped Porcelain Dinnerware Set: We registered for these for our wedding and we adore them. They don’t chip and they look beautiful. We have twelve each of the dinner plates, salad plates, dinner bowls (great for pasta/curry), small bowls, rice bowls (we use these a ton, for way more than rice). We also have their serving bowls.
Flatware: We registered for these but haven’t gotten them yet. My friend has them and they’re beautiful!
Pantry Storage Containers: Total game changer for organizing my pantry. I used a mix of this set and the pantry set since our shelves aren’t very tall and I have a lot of smaller ingredients. I love that they’re air tight and so easy to see through.
Meal Storage Containers: Ideal for storing leftovers.
Glass Storage Container: A storage solution for just about everything with lids that snap on.
Reusable Storage Bags: A greener alternative to storing all your favorite goodies.
Lazy Susans: Getting a few of these was life changing for my pantry. I store our nut butters the 10-inch one, canned goods on another, and then I have a 12-inch one where I keep our most-used oils, vinegars, and large spices in the other cabinet. It makes finding things SO much easier.
Small Storage Bins: I use these to store energy bars and chocolate so they’re not randomly strewn all over the cabinet.
Tupperware Lid Holder: It may sound silly, but if your lids were a chaotic mess, welcome to the answer to your prayers! I have the medium one since we don’t have much space but I wish I got the large one!
Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments!