A well laid-out and functional kitchen is a minimalist’s dream. While you don’t need to get rid of all your dishes and cooking utensils, it is important that the items in your kitchen are just what you need and nothing more. At their most basic, minimalist kitchens should consist of only what you use on a day-to-day basis: plates, bowls, glasses/mugs, cutlery, and a handful of cooking utensils.
The minimalist kitchen essentials are the items that you need in order to be able to cook a meal, but not necessarily all of the fancy kitchen gadgets.
What is minimalism?
Minimalism is a lifestyle that encourages people to live with less by removing physical and mental clutter from their lives. That includes everything you own, the space around you, your thoughts, and also time spent on tasks. In this respect, minimalist living can be helpful in making decisions about what we need rather than spending money or time on things we don’t.
Today, we’re only focusing on the heart of the home – the kitchen. You don’t need all the fancy kitchen appliances to be able to create delicious meals. The minimalist kitchen essentials you need may seem very basic, but they will leave room for creativity with cooking and are a minimalist’s dream come true.
The only “fancy” gadget I’d recommend any day though, is an air fryer. I can’t say enough about how easy this made preparing meals! From making wings for a Friday night to a quick healthy dinner of salmon and roasted asparagus – air fryers have a special place in my heart.
But let’s get back to the basics.
Every minimalist kitchen needs the following essential items:
For the minimalist, a food processor is perfect for quickly chopping veggies or making salad dressings.
A blender can also be used to make smoothies without taking up too much space on your kitchen countertop. You can also look for an immersion blender that works with small containers (like mason jars) so you don’t have to dirty another larger blender.
Bread, meatloaves, and even brownies all taste better when they’re baked in a loaf pan. You can make these recipes ahead of time to freeze for quick meals later on or you can slice up leftover bread and toast the pieces for homemade croutons.
A dutch oven is perfect for cooking soups, stews, and chili. You can also use it to roast meat or make baked bread in a pinch!
Wooden cutting board
A wood cutting board is not only better for the environment than plastic boards, but they’re easier on your knives and won’t absorb any funky smells over time (unlike other materials).
A colander is perfect for draining pasta and washing fresh vegetables. It also makes a good fruit bowl!
You’ll need this to sauté veggies, make omelets, or even fry bacon. Look for one with high sides so you can use it to make sauces, too.
An instant pot is perfect for cooking dried beans and lentils. It can also be used to create a one-pot meal out of any meat you have in the fridge (chicken breast or shrimp work well) and some veggies.
Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer
A Kitchen Aid stand mixer is essential even if you’re not a baker. You can use it for making bread, pasta dough, or even whipped cream! There are also many attachments like spiralizer, meat grinder, pasta press, shredder, and many more!
A slow cooker is perfect for making soups and stews, but it can also be used to prep large batches of rice or quinoa ahead of time.
A pressure cooker will quickly cook all sorts of meats and veggies using less energy than a slow cooker.
An electric kettle is essential for making delicious tea or even hot cocoa! You can also use it to quickly boil water if you don’t have the time (or patience) to wait on your stovetop.
A handheld immersion blender is perfect for quickly chopping up a soup right in the pot. I’ve also used it to make salad dressings, whipped cream, and smoothies!
An air fryer is essential if you’re looking at minimalist cooking as an easy way to prepare food while still having fun with your recipes. The best part? This is ideal for someone who may not have a lot of time to cook or just like whipping up a quick meal.
A sturdy wooden spoon is essential for stirring sauces and making scrambled eggs. If you’re minimalist cooking a lot of soups, it’s also great for that!
A citrus juicer is perfect for making lemonade, cocktails, and marinades!
A bread maker will allow you to make all sorts of bread using minimal effort on your part.
Mortar and pestle
A mortar and pestle is perfect for grinding spices, seeds, or even grains before cooking them. It’s also great for getting the most out of your lemons by squeezing the juice right into the mortar and pestle for later use.
A coffee maker is essential if you’re someone who enjoys drinking a cup of joe in the morning. You also save some money by making your coffee at home.
A roasting pan is perfect for cooking meats and veggies in the oven. Look for one with a lid so you can also use it to bake casseroles!
A rice cooker will save you time and energy by cooking your rice perfectly, every single time.
A peeler comes in useful when prepping fruits and vegetables for minimalist cooking recipes. It’s also good for making vegetable noodles out of carrots and zucchini.
These are essential for safely picking up hot pans out of the oven.
A meat thermometer will tell you when your meats and veggies are cooked to perfection!
You’ll need measuring cups or spoons in order to measure liquids, like water, oil, or vinegar. It’s important that you use the correct measurements in cooking recipes, so make sure to get an accurate set.
You’ll need at least one set of mixing bowls to mix up your ingredients before cooking them. Look for stainless steel or ceramic ones so that you don’t have to worry about chipping or breaking the bowl when it’s time to wash it!
A casserole dish is perfect for baking dishes, like lasagna or well, casseroles! You can also use it to roast veggies and meat in the oven!
A stockpot is essential for minimalist cooking if you like making soups, stews, and stocks from scratch. It’s a good idea to have one with a lid so you don’t lose any of that precious liquid when you’re simmering it!
A cast-iron pan is perfect for minimalist cooking if you like to make stir-fries and other skillet meals. It’s a good idea to use your wooden spoon when using this pan so that it lasts as long as possible!
A box grater is perfect if you like to shred your own cheese. It also comes in handy when prepping veggies and fruits!
A whisk will make it easy to mix up the ingredients of a recipe, without making a mess everywhere. You’ll need one for stirring eggs into pancake batter or mixing your salad dressing.
Good quality chef’s knife
A good quality chef’s knife makes for easier chopping and dicing.
Cake pans come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, but they’re essential if you like making cakes or desserts.
Plastic storage containers
Plastic storage containers are perfect for storing your leftovers and also to keep your cooking ingredients fresh!
Ice Cream maker
Making your own ice cream is fun!
Making your own waffles is great for a weekend brunch!
A pizza stone will help you make the crispiest crust when baking pizzas in the oven. You can also use it to cook flatbreads and other creative recipes.
Glass mixing bowls
Glass mixing bowls are useful for baking and are perfect if you plan on microwaving your food.
A garlic press is great for mincing fresh garlic very easily.
A pepper mill makes it easy to grind fresh peppercorns into any minimalist cooking recipe!
It’s important that you measure your ingredients accurately when following cooking recipes, which is why a kitchen scale comes in handy. Plus, you can use it to weigh other items, like fruits!
This is an absolute must-have in your kitchen to open canned veggies, fruits, and other foods!
A minimalist cooking essential if you like to make grilled meats or veggies. It’s a good idea to get one that has ridges so the food doesn’t just stick to it when cooking.
Woks are great for making stir-fries in minimalist cooking recipes.
A paring knife is perfect for slicing fruits and small veggies.
Many knife sets some with the most commonly used knives that you’ll need in the kitchen. For the minimalist life, look for a knife set that some with a knife block that does not take up too much counter space.
This is one of those small appliances you probably never thought you needed but if you love smooth, delicious full-bodied coffee, this is a must-have!
A good quality hand mixer makes baking and cooking a breeze!
Many of the items on this list are either small or compact and can be stored in kitchen cabinets or on your countertop. They do not take up much space which makes them perfect for a minimalist lifestyle!
If you’re into kitchen gadgets, aim for those with multipurpose use so that you can cut down on the clutter.
Minimalist cooking does not have to be hard and there are many ways that you can simplify the process! If you’re a beginner, these minimalist kitchen essentials will make it easier for you as they help take out some of the guesswork in finding what tools to use when making certain foods or desserts.
Now that you have the minimalist kitchen essentials, go get cooking and enjoy all of your newfound free time!