Kitchen Essentials

This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Food Processor

Ideal for making dough, slicing vegetables, shredding cheese, mincing herbs, homemade Lara-like bars.

Cooking Pans

A good set of stainless pots and pans can be used for everyday cooking from scrambled eggs to making spaghetti sauce.

Stainless Knife Set

A sharp knife makes cutting effortless and easy. I prefer a knife set which offers a variety of knives for preparing recipes.

Cutting Boards

I keep at least two wood cutting boards on my counter at all times. One board is specifically for meat and the other produce.

Cast Iron Skillet

Dustin gave me a cast iron skillet for Christmas a couple of years ago. I'm not quite sure how I ever lived without one!

Dutch Oven

A dutch oven is one of the most practical pieces of equipment for the real food kitchen. I use my dutch oven for everything from making soup to beans and even bread.

Stand Mixer

I didn't purchase my first KitchenAid Stand Mixer until many years after we made the switch to real food. Today, it's one of the most used items in my kitchen.


My crock-pot is the perfect real food helper, working even while I sleep. I use my crock-pot (or slow cooker) for making soups, broth, beans, no-fuss meals, and even applesauce.


A griddle is my weekend breakfast go-to kitchen tool. A griddle makes pancakes, bacon, and eggs easy to make in large batches for hungry bellies and even extra for the freezer.

BlendTec Blender

I went through a lot of blenders during our first few years of eating real food. I decided to give the BlendTec a try and I'm so glad I did! This blender does it all.

Belgian Waffle Iron

There's nothing like warm waffles! On Sundays, I make a large batch of waffles for breakfast and extra for a grab-n-go breakfast later in the week.

Immersion Blender

This tool is used daily in my kitchen for making homemade lattes. Pumpkin Spice Latte anyone? I also use this blender for soups, applesauce, beans.

Mixing Bowls

A real food cook can never have enough mixing bowls! I prefer a set of nesting bowls which includes a range of sizes from small to large.

Measuring Cups

An essential for every home-cook. Skip the plastic and go with a nice metal or glass set that will last years without numbers rubbing off.

Measuring Spoons

My measuring spoons are always in use or in the sink waiting to be washed. I suggest a nice set of metal or glass. Plastic spoons never last long.

Wooden Spoon

I may just be a wooden spoon hoarder, but for good reason. My wooden spoons help me create the tastiest of meals, from muffins to stir-fries and everything in between.

Spoon Spatula

That's right! A spoon spatula. The spatula's great-cousin. This tool is perfect for scraping bowls and mixing delicate ingredients. I prefer a small and large spoon spatula.

Spatula's Galore

I'm a firm believer that one can never have enough spatulas (or wooden spoons). I prefer metal spatulas, but also keep at least one plastic spatula for use in my dutch oven.

Large Whisk

A large whisk is perfect for mixing wet ingredients, beating eggs, or melting chocolate for homemade donuts (oh yes!). No need for multiple sizes, a large whisk can handle any job in the kitchen.

Pizza Cutter

My kids love Friday night when homemade pizza is lovingly made and served, but what's a homemade pizza without a cutter? This tool can also be used for much more, including trimming dough for yummy homemade pop tarts.

Potato Masher

A potato masher does the obvious...mashes potatoes. This tool does so much more than mash taters for grandma's secret recipe. I use my masher to help make applesauce, refried beans, and more.


I highly recommend buying blocks of cheese versus packaged shredded cheese. Shredding cheese at home saves a lot of money. A cheese grater can also be used for shredding veggies.

Soup Ladle

Trust me! This tool works much better than your favorite coffee mug for scooping hot meals. A ladle can be used for everything from beans to soups. I prefer a small and large ladle.

Rolling Pin

I received my rolling pin as a wedding gift and had no idea how to use it. A few years later we made the real food switch. I've been using my rolling pin ever since for all kinds of homemade goodies.

Cooling Rack

If you bake, a cooling rack is a must! I prefer a small circular and a large rectangular rack. A cooling rack allows baked goods to properly cool without burning the bottom of your favorite cookies or muffins due to heat sitting under the pan.

Mason Jars

Can a real foodie ever have enough mason jars? Never! Mason jars hold dry goods in my pantry, leftovers in the fridge, berries, and even on-the-go salads for lunches. I prefer mason jars in various sizes: half pint, pint, quart, and half a gallon (for local raw honey).

Freezer Mason Jars

When it comes to freezing liquids, such as: broth, jams, and soups, I use freezer mason jars. Freezer mason jars won't shatter in the freezer like regular mason jars due to their thickness. Cool liquids before freezing.

Muffin Cups

Homemade muffins are a staple in our house. They are easy to freeze and pull out on busy mornings or afternoons. These are my favorite muffins cups as they are free of dyes and bleaching agents which can leach into muffins with some liners.

Bread Pans

Confession: I don't always make our own yeast bread. I've found a wonderful local bakery where I often purchase sandwich bread. But my bread pans are always in use, making quick breads like banana bread or a favorite warm bread for a fall soup night.


I used to hate leftovers, but I've learned to embrace and love them! From leftovers to chopped veggies to fresh berries, my Tupperware is always in use. My favorite set of Tupperware is this set which is glass and contains lids that snap on the base.


A colander is used for washing food from pasta to fresh veggies to delicate berries. I have three colanders for various kitchen tasks. A small and medium colander for washing veggies and berries, and a large colander for greens and pasta.

Baking Pan

My baking pans are well-loved and show it! I use three main baking pans. A small pan for roasting small batches of veggies or whole garlic (for hummus or dips). A medium pan for more roasting. And a large pan for casseroles and lasagna.

Ice Cream Maker

An ice cream maker isn't an essential, but if you're transitioning to real food, you'll find commercial ice cream isn't exactly real. Ice cream is very easy to make and delicious! Maybe it is an essential?

Silicone Baking Mats

Silicone baking mats can be used for more than just baking. I use these non-stick mats for rolling dough (leaving my counter-top clean and dough-free). These mats can also be placed on a baking sheet or tray to prevent sticking issues.

Glass Storage Jars

Glass storage jars are perfect for keeping dry goods organized in the pantry. I use glass storage jars for storing oats, flours, rice, beans, and sugars. The contents are easy to identify which means food is actually used!

Baking Stone

A couple of years ago, I decided to replace my old metal cookie sheets with a quality baking stone, one of the best decisions I've made for baking/cooking. A baking stone cooks everything from kale chips to homemade pizza!