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What Plant-Based Kitchen Tools Do I Really Need?


Worried that if you transition to a whole food plant-based diet you’ll have to rush out and buy all new kitchen tools? Don't go out and spend all your money on complex devices just yet. While fancy kitchen gadgets can be fun…they’re not always necessary for plant-based cooking. You can absolutely make healthy and delicious meals at home using some simple tools (many of which you probably already have).

The plant-based kitchen tool basics:

  • A large non-stick frying pan or cast iron skillet.
  • A stock pot for soups.
  • At least 1 regular sized pot for cooking up those hearty grains.
  • A good sharp knife for chopping.
  • Wooden spoons.
  • A colander.
  • A spatula.
  • Tongs for tossing salads and stir-frying vegetables.
  • Mixing bowls, including a big whopping salad bowl.
  • 2-3 cutting boards. One smaller and one larger — you’re going to be doing some chopping!
  • Measuring spoons and cups, both liquid and dry on the latter.
  • Peeler for vegetables.
  • Baking sheet for roasting veggies.
  • High-speed blender for smoothies, cashew cream, soups, etc. The Ninja and Vitamix both work great. The Ninja is typically a lot less expensive.
  • Parchment paper. Now that you’re oil-free, this is a great way to prevent anything from sticking to pans when you roast or bake.
  • Some glass food storage so you can store pre-chopped veggies and leftovers. (Mason jars work great for smaller items and oil-free salad dressings and sauces.)


The nice-to-have plant-based kitchen tools (that you can get by without, especially in the beginning)

  • Tofu press. This is a cool tool but you can just put tofu on a plate wrapped in paper towels (or a clean kitchen towel to be more eco-friendly) and cover it with a cast iron skillet for 30-60 mins to get the water out.
  • Instant Pot or Crockpot. The instant pot is essentially a pressure cooker on crack that can make meals very quickly -- like 20 minutes. It's got lots of functions, servings as a slow cooker, a pressure cooker, a rice cooker, steamer, browning pan, and warming pot. It has a whole cult following, especially in the whole food plant-based community. A crockpot, if you're not ready to drop over $100 on the Instant Pot, is a great lower cost option for those who can stand to wait a few hours for a slow-cooked meal. Pop your ingredients in the crockpot to slow cook in the morning and you'll have dinner ready at night. 
  • Immersion blender. These are great for making creamy soups but if you have a high speed blender you can just pour some of the soup in the blender, too.
  • Grill pan or basket.
  • Food processor. Have LOTS of veggies to chop, daily? Investing in a food processor can save you time in the prep department. You will, however, have to wash it afterwards so better for big jobs if you're not interested in washing the processor every time you whip something up. 


Have other favorite plant-based kitchen tools? Let us know about them in the comments.

Prefer to have someone else to do the plant-based cooking for you? Get plant-based meals delivered to your door, already cooked. Browse hearty and delicious ready-made meals here


By Ali Brown

Ali is a nutrition and lifestyle writer and editor, with a Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies.

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