Must-Have Kitchen Essentials – Healthy Cooking Tools

Do you have all of the healthy cooking tools you need to prepare a nutritious meal? 

Whether you are fitting a new kitchen (tossing out the old and bringing in some new), moving into your first apartment, or trying build a wedding registry, this list of healthy cooking tools will get you started! In additional to these healthy cooking tools, be sure to check out my list of recommended appliance, meal prep essentials, dinnerware and food storage containers!


Must-Have Healthy Cooking Tools

1. Dutch Oven – A large heavy pot with a lid is great for batch cooking soups and stews. It’s also great for boiling potatoes, pasta, corn on the cob and even a big batch of hard-boiled eggs!

2. Medium Saucepan with Lid – You’re also going to need a medium-sized (2.5-quart) saucepan for sauces and grains (oatmeal, rice, etc.). Durable, nonstick and dishwasher-safe are non-negotiable characteristics in cookware that keep me coming back to this Calphalon Contemporary line.

3. Small Saucepan with Lid – This 1.5-quart size comes in handy for little projects – like reheating a single serving of frozen soup or steaming a small batch of veggies for dinner.

healthy cooking tools

4. 12-inch Frying Pan with Lid – Great for stir-fries and one-skillet dishes, this large frying pan offers plenty of room so you’ll never have to over crowd your food again!

5. 10-inch Frying Pan with Lid – This is by far THE MOST used pan in my kitchen. I make everything in it. It’s the perfect size for cooking two chicken breasts or steaks, sautéing onions and garlic, cooking a frittata – the list goes on and on.

6. 8-inch Frying Pan – No lid needed for this little guy. This little pan is the perfect size for toasting nuts or frying an egg.

7. Spring-Form Pan – Ok, while not an absolute necessity, this is nice to have for no-bake superfood freezer cakes, layered fruit tortes or the occasional healthy cheesecake.

8. Loaf Pan – A standard loaf pan goes a long way. Whether you are baking this Healthy Morning Loaf with Lemon Glaze for breakfast, a Carrot Zucchini Bread with Candied Ginger for a healthy snack, or one of these 10 Life-Changing Seed Breads, you’re gonna need it.

9. Baking Sheets – Personally I would rename these “veggie roasting sheets” because that’s really all I use mine for…but I guess you can also bake cookies on them. 🙂 Line them with foil or parchment paper for quick and easy clean up.

10. 3-Piece Silicone Spatulas Set – Whether your mixing up some brownies, attempting to get every last drop of a smoothie out of your blender, or using it as a jar scraper to get the last of the peanut butter, you’re going to need more than one.

11. Silicone Turner – Flipper, turner, spatula – whatever you call this thing, you need it to flip burgers, turn pancakes, and so much more. Make sure you get a heat-resistant one (like silicone) so it doesn’t melt.

12. Basting Spoon – Call it a basting spoon or serving spoon – doesn’t matter. This comes in handy when collecting sauce at the bottom of a pan (when the liquid is too shallow for a ladle) and for serving up your delicious dish. Metal spoons will scratch the non-stick coating of your pan, so be sure to get one made with nylon or silicone that will protect your pan, but also won’t melt.

13. Strainer – A strainer (or colander) is used for washing fresh fruits and veggies, draining pasta, rinsing freshly hard-boiled eggs, etc.

14. Kitchen Tongs – If I had to pick one kitchen tool I couldn’t live without, it would be kitchen tongs. I use these EVERY DAY – literally. These things do it all – toss a salad, flip a chicken breast, mix a pasta dish, fish boiling potatoes out of a pot of boiling water, grab that non-food item out of your garbage disposal…

15. Silicone Baking Mats – Lining your baking sheets with foil or parchment is an easy clean-up solution, but these my friend are reusable! Your cookies will never stick again and you can roast veggies easily with less oil (or none at all!). Make sure to get the right size for your pans.

16.Large and Small Casserole Dishes – Yes, you really do need one of each. I personally recommend a 3-quart rectangular one and a 2-quart square one. The larger one is great for one-pan dinners and lasagna, while the smaller one is perfect for no-bake bars.

17. Whisks – Two sizes – a large one for whisking together baking mixes or eggs and a small one for quick salad dressings. That’s all.

18. Ladle – You don’t need a fancy one, just something that won’t melt for serving up soups, stews and chilis.

19. Muffin Tin – A muffin tin is great for muffins, cupcakes, cornbread, single serving egg bakes, etc.

20. Silicone Basting Brush – Look for a brush with silicone bristles that won’t shed onto your food. This tool is great for basting ribs with barbecue sauce or brushing baked goods with an egg wash or oil/butter.

21. Pizza Cutter Wheel – This makes cutting homemade pizzas and flatbreads a breeze. I personally love this handheld one with a plastic blade guard (to protect your hand when you’re fishing around for it in your kitchen drawers).

22. Oven Mitts – You can’t grab a hot pan from the oven without oven mitts. Get two – one for each hand.

23. Pie Pan – Whether you prefer pumpkin pie or a chocolate torte, you will need this around the holidays at the very least.

24. Wooden Spoon – I personally like a wooden spoon with a cornered edge to help me get every last bit out of the bowl or pan. Wooden spoons will dry out if you put them in the dishwasher. So either hand wash them or plan to replace them when they starts to dry out and crack (which can cause bacterial build up).

25. Cooling Rack – A cooling rack is great for letting air circulate around food (like these homemade seed crackers and spiced mixed nuts) as it cools. These stackable ones help save space on a crowded countertop.


More Must-Have Healthy Cooking Tools


  1. Oh my gosh your pictures are GORGEOUS! And I totally love that mug! Haha. Such a perfect saying 🙂

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