A master list of my most-used, tried and true kitchen essentials for healthy cooking. From pots and pans to knives and storage options, this is a comprehensive list of products I use all the time.
I get asked all the time which kitchen tools I can't live without; so I figured it would be most helpful for you all to have them listed all in one place!
While several of these items are gadgets under $30, 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!
Be sure to check out How to Organize Your Kitchen Like a Pro, too!
NutriBullet: I have a larger high speed blender but we use our NutriBullet Pro daily for smoothies, cashew creams, sauces, and beyond. It's definitely one of my most used appliances.
Food Processor: This large 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. It's nothing fancy, 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.
Pots and Pans
Most of our pots and pans are Le Creuset. They're expensive and therefore more of a long-term investment (we registered for them for our wedding) but they last a lifetime and are beautiful cookware pieces. All Clad D5 is another trusted, high-quality stainless steel cookware brand, but it is not non-stick.
Learning how to care for the pots and pans is key. No dishwashing! Below are my favorite 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, not heating it 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 use it for is scrambled eggs as I've found those stick more and I don't want to scrub it too much. I always use cooking spray or oil. This Lodge Cast Iron Skillet is a more affordable option at $29.95, but it does need to be seasoned from time to time.
Non-Stick Fry Pans: We've had this 10 inch and 12 inch nonstick set forever and they've really held up. Great for scrambled eggs or anything where you can't deal with sticking. I haven't had good luck with longevity when it comes to the "healthier" alternatives and this has always worked for us.
Cast Iron Braiser (3.25 qt): This is another pan we use really often, mostly for dinner to cook taco meat, stir fry, curry, etc. It's a great wide, shallow pan and the enamel surface cooks wetter food beautifully. Do not try to pan fry potatoes in this pan...they will stick!
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 the 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.
Mixing Bowl: This set is my favorite! They're the perfect sizes.
Measuring Cups: Stainless steel so the handles won't break on ya.
Peeler: Peel and julienne vegetables all in one. The best stainless steel peeler!
Garlic Press: There's nothing like not having to peel and chop garlic. We use this so often.
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.
Fine Mesh Strainer: We use this for everything from draining beans and pasta to rinsing quinoa.
Tofu Press: I use this nifty gadget every single time I make a recipe for tofu. Nothing squeezes out water like this press! It helps with that chewy texture versus mushy tofu.
Citrus Juicer: An essential for juicing fresh lemons and limes.
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.
Grill Brush: Everyone needs a good grill brush, and this is the one we swear by.
Silicone Baking Mats: We pretty much 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.
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.
Global Knives: Using 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 our of this set we have. I also have the vegetable knife and love it.
Knife Sharpener: A must for keeping your knives sharp for safe and effective cooking. I sharpen mine every couple months.
21 oz 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.
17 oz Everyday Glasses: These are our everyday glasses. We love how they look and that they're stackable plus 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 meal storage set below 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 Containers: 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 on 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.
Medium Storage Bins: I use these in our pantry to hold bags of granola, lentils, quinoa, rice, dried fruit, etc. It’s the perfect size for those kinds of pouches.
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!