Minimalist kitchen essentials and must-haves for simple, efficient cooking.


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Simplify your cooking and baking thanks to these 18 minimalist kitchen essentials! 

Have you ever found yourself struggling to find something in your kitchen when you needed it?

If so, your kitchen cabinets might be overflowing with stuff

When we have too many things in our kitchens, we unintentionally complicate our lives.

Cooking and baking become a chore and we no longer enjoy spending time in our space. 

But there is a simple solution to that: minimalism.

We can minimize what we own in the kitchen and only keep the essentials to make preparing meals as efficient and easy as possible. 

Whether you’re decluttering your kitchen and trying to figure out what to keep, or you’re starting from scratch and wondering what are the must-haves for a minimalist kitchen, read on. 

Here are 18 minimalist kitchen essentials you should own for simple, efficient cooking! 

This blog post contains affiliate links which means that if you buy something through such links, I will get a small commission without any extra cost for you. Please read my Disclosure for more details. 

How to build a minimalist kitchen?

If you’re starting from scratch, try to only buy what you know you will use and need.

Don’t go overboard with how many dishes and cups you buy and be realistic with your lifestyle. 

If you’re not starting from scratch and have a kitchen full of stuff, the best first step to building a minimalist kitchen is to let go of the excess.

When doing so, you might be wondering: What should I keep in my minimalist kitchen? 

I recommend that you get rid of anything you never use or that is impractical.

If you own too many items in a category, consider downsizing it as well.

You’ll find other recommendations later in the article. 

To determine what you truly need, you can also use this list of minimalist kitchen essentials.

However, keep in mind that these are things that I think are essential, but by no means you should feel compelled to buy them if you know they are not for you.

Only you know what you truly need and want.

I just share some ideas and recommendations. 

Read more:

These minimalist kitchen essentials and must-haves will make cooking simple and efficient.

What are minimalist kitchen essentials?

Minimalist kitchen essentials are things you use regularly in your kitchen.

It could be anything that makes cooking and baking easier, more efficient, more enjoyable, or less time-consuming

Each person has different needs and wants, which means that what I think is essential might differ from what my neighbor thinks is essential.

The key to finding what your minimalist kitchen essentials are is to be realistic with what you truly need and use regularly. 

These must-haves are often versatile, multipurpose items.

You can use them in a variety of ways, meaning that these essentials can replace several single-purpose items. 

Also, keeping the essentials means that you probably won’t have every shape and size of a given product.

You will keep one or just a few, depending on the situation. 

If you need to buy some of these items, I recommend that you invest in quality over quantity.

When you choose things that are made to last, cooking becomes more enjoyable and usually more efficient. 

Also, if you can, try to buy items that are sustainably made with eco-friendly materials.

To help you find them, I’ve included product recommendations in each category so you can easily find things that are crafted with the planet in mind

Things that are not minimalist kitchen essentials

There are many things we accumulate in our kitchens that we don’t need or use enough to justify keeping them.

These are things you should consider decluttering if you want a minimalist kitchen. 

Here are some ideas for things that are not minimalist kitchen essentials: 

  • Items from one category that you have way too many of. For instance, if you have 20 mugs in your cabinets but there are only four people in your home, you may have at least 10 too many. 
  • Things you never use. If you don’t use them, there is no point in keeping them in your kitchen. They are only taking up space without serving a purpose. 
  • Broken or damaged items. If something is damaged or broken, do yourself a favor and get rid of it. 
  • Single-purpose things you don’t use often. This could be anything from gadgets such as a garlic press or an apple slicer to specialized appliances like waffle makers. Consider borrowing them in the future if you can’t do without them. 
  • Impractical things. If you own something you don’t like using or is a pain to use, let it go to simplify your life.  
  • Appliances that are too big and that you can’t store in your kitchen cupboards. If something is too big to fit in your cabinets and you need to store it in your garage or a closet, you might be better off without it. 

For more ideas, make sure to read my article about 30 things to declutter for a minimalist kitchen

Minimalist kitchen essentials list for simple, efficient cooking

1. Plates, cups, mugs, and cutlery

These are so easy to accumulate because they always come in handy, right?

But most of us go overboard with how many we keep and our cupboards are overflowing with them. 

So you might be wondering: How many dishes should a minimalist have?

I recommend that you keep as many plates, cups, mugs, and cutlery as there are people in your home plus however many people you can invite over at once.

For instance, if you are four in your family and can invite eight other people for dinner, keep a maximum of twelve of each category.  

If you need new tableware, consider checking those out: 

2. Pots and pans

Pots and pans take up a lot of space in our cupboards, but the thing is we don’t need to have so many of them.

I find that we can usually cook most meals with two pots, including a big Dutch oven, and two pans (a big one and a smaller one).

The best brand for non-toxic cookware is Caraway.

The company has a lovely set of four non-stick, ceramic-coated pots and pans that are not only healthy to use but also incredibly good-looking.

It even comes with a pan and lid storage solution so you can keep your cookware neat and organized. 

3. Kettle

If you’re a big tea or coffee drinker, having a kettle is a must-have.

But what I love about kettles is that you can also use them to boil water when cooking.

I use mine at the very least five times a day, if not more! 

To save time, you can get an electric kettle, like this beautiful one from Fellow, which is made from 18/8 stainless steel with a wooden handle and lid pull. 

But if you prefer a stovetop kettle, Caraway has a whistling one designed for fast boiling and made with non-toxic materials.  

4. High-quality knife set

One of the best minimalist kitchen essentials is a high-quality knife set.

It can replace many single-use gadgets and you’ll be able to do so many things with these knives. 

From chopping vegetables to slicing meat to peeling fruits, a high-quality knife set like this one will cover all your needs.

This set includes a multipurpose chef’s knife, a serrated slicing knife, and a paring knife.

All three of these are made from premium German stainless steel and come with safety storage sheaths. 

5. Mixing bowl 

Another multipurpose item you’ll get tons of use from: a mixing bowl.

It’s great for serving big salads but also for mixing different ingredients when baking and cooking.

I always like having two different sizes because I use them all the time. 

This set of two generously sized bowls will be perfect for your next dinner party!

They are made from ceramic and feature a glossy interior for scratch resistance, and a satin exterior finish.

Plus, once you’re done with them, they stack neatly to save space. 

6. French press

Whether you prefer drinking tea or coffee, a French press is a must-have in your kitchen.

You can use it to make both tea and coffee and it will help you reduce waste

This one is crafted from heat-resistant borosilicate glass with a stainless steel frame.

Featuring a stainless steel filter, no plastic component touches the hot water.

So you can enjoy your cuppa without being exposed to harmful toxins! 

Read more: 15 zero-waste swaps for beginners

7. Cutting board 

We all need a good cutting board to chop, slice, and dice food.

But the good news is that a beautiful, wooden one can also double as an elegant serving platter for when you’re hosting.

You can even use it as a trivet to put your dishes on after taking them out of the oven.

You will love this gorgeous walnut cutting board!

It will keep your knives sharp and it has a genius, deep trench that can hold juice to keep mess to a minimum.

And you’ll be able to use it for serving all your spreads and cheeses. 

8. Food storage containers

Food storage containers are other items that tend to pile up in our kitchens.

And the issue with them is that they are a mess if we have too many of them and don’t keep them organized. 

To avoid having cluttered cupboards, only keep however many you usually use at once. 

For instance, if you never use more than five storage containers at once, you don’t need to have ten of them.

Keep what is essential, nothing more.

And if you ever need more and don’t have enough, remember that you can always use a plate with another one on top to store food and keep it fresh

Also, if you want to upgrade and make the switch to plastic-free containers, consider options made of glass or stainless steel.

I love these non-toxic, ceramic-coated glass storage containers!

They even come with organizers to keep your cabinets tidy at all times. 

Read more: The best eco-friendly alternatives to Ziploc bags

9. Cooking utensils 

To make cooking quick and efficient, there is no need to have countless options when it comes to cooking utensils.

If you want to keep things minimal, you might want to keep one or two spoons and spatulas. 

Depending on your needs, you may also need a ladle, a whisk, and tongs. 

Make sure to choose utensils made from either wood or high-quality silicone so that toxic chemicals don’t end up in your food!

Not to mention these won’t scratch your pots and pans. 

If you’re looking for minimalist kitchen utensils, Our Place has great options made of silicone or wooden spoons and spatulas you can get in a set of two. 

Read more: How to make your home healthier?

10. Baking dish 

Another must-have on this list of minimalist kitchen essentials is a baking dish.

These come in a variety of shapes and sizes so they’re a pain to organize and keep neat in cabinets.

So it’s crucial to only have what we need

I have one big dish and one smaller one, which gives me tons of options in terms of what I can bake and cook in the oven. 

One of the most versatile ones I have found is this baking dish.

It features a non-toxic, naturally slick ceramic coating, making it healthy to bake in and incredibly easy to clean afterward!

11. Colander

A colander is a great tool we can use to drain pasta and rice, strain all kinds of liquids, or wash produce.

However, I don’t think we need more than one in our kitchens. 

Make sure to pick a high-quality one and you’ll be able to use it daily for years and years.

This stainless steel one has a generous size, allowing you to drain large pots of pasta and rinse many fruits and vegetables at once. 

12. Multipurpose hand blender

One of the best minimalist kitchen appliances is a multipurpose hand blender you can use for a variety of tasks in the kitchen.

I use mine all the time and it barely takes up any room in my cupboards. 

This all-in-1 immersion blender will give you the flexibility to blend, chop, mix, and puree.

Thanks to it, you’ll be able to make smoothies, crush ice, mash potatoes, and prepare all kinds of delicious meals and desserts without needing to own countless appliances in your kitchen. 

13. Vegetable peeler

While a vegetable peeler might not be the most essential item to have in our kitchens, it helps save a considerable amount of time if you regularly cook fresh produce like carrots or potatoes. 

A multipurpose peeler, like this stainless steel one, will make peeling any fruits and vegetables easy and quick.

With its two kinds of blades, you will also be able to create vegetable ribbons or noodles. 

14. Measuring cups and spoons

If you love baking, measuring cups and spoons, like these stainless steel ones, are minimalist kitchen essentials you won’t regret owning.

You can even use the cups instead of a measuring jug, which always takes up more space in cabinets. 

But be intentional with how many measuring cups and spoons you keep.

Having one set is more than enough! 

15. Cheese grater

A cheese grater is a multipurpose kitchen tool you can use to grate cheese, but also for zesting citrus, mincing garlic, or grating other things such as carrots, beetroot, or even chocolate. 

This beautiful wooden-handled, stainless steel grater can even slice vegetables and shred cheese.

It has four different grating patterns to meet all your needs. 

16. Oven mitts 

If you use the oven regularly, oven mitts are essential to keep your hands safe when taking your dishes out.

There are many oven mitts you can choose from, but I particularly recommend these

They come in a set of two and are available in three beautiful colors.

They are made from a soft organic cotton material and feature a double-layer, stain-resistant stitching for safe handling of hot dishes. 

17. Kitchen scissors 

Kitchen scissors are some of my favorite minimalist kitchen essentials!

You can do everything with them from cutting open food packaging to cutting food to trimming flowers. 

Our Place has great, high-quality kitchen shears, which you can get in four different colors.

These 5-in-1 scissors feature a micro-serrated blade, a stem clipper that doubles as a bone stabilizer, two herb strippers, and a box opener.

They also come apart easily for effortless cleaning.  

18. Kitchen towels 

We cannot end this list without mentioning good-quality kitchen towels.

We use them every day, not to mention they go through a lot, from cleaning messes to frequent laundering. 

So it’s important to pick quality kitchen towels like those sold by Coyuchi.

These feature a high-performance waffle texture, which makes drying surfaces easy and efficient. 

They are loomed from GOTS-certified organic cotton and made in a factory that recycles 98% of its wastewater.

They even have practical side loops so that you can hang them on hooks in your kitchen. 

Final thoughts on minimalist kitchen essentials 

I hope you’ve found this article helpful and that it helped you determine what you should keep (or not) in your kitchen. 

Remember, these are only recommendations, so only take what you want from this list and leave the rest. 

What are your favorite minimalist kitchen essentials?

Are there things on this list that you don’t think are necessary?

Please drop a comment below! 

Don’t forget to share this blog post with your friends to help them simplify their cooking by only keeping the essentials. 

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