The Ultimate List Of Kitchen Tools For Easy Meal Prepping
It might be a small step at first: You decide you want to figure out your macros and then work on creating just one or two beginner meal preps a week. Maybe it's a one pan recipe that calls for a large sheet pan or a muffin or egg cup recipe that calls for a muffin tin that you want to start with. Or, you could be so excited to start a full week's worth of lunches that you also want to dive in and make one skillet and one dish recipes during your Sunday prep!
But, when it comes time to create all of these yummy recipes that you have found and saved on Pinterest you don't have any of the tools you need to make them! Maybe it's time to stop spending all that extra money on take-out and instead invest in new cooking tools that will not only save you money in the longer run but also help you attain your health goals. Because we all know that 80-90% of your health and fitness goal is proper nutrition!
We have picked some of our favorite and most necessary kitchen tools that will help you meal prep like a pro! Oh, and leave you eating like you are a culinary chef!
1. High-Quality Knives
Probably the most important tool you can have is a good set of knives that allow you to chop, dice, slice, and chiffonade like a pro without cutting off a finger! (Don't be playing around with old, dull knives! That is one recipe for disaster!) Having sharp knives will save you lots of time during prep! We recommend looking for a stainless steel set since they last longer!
The Anolon knives are definitely next level... so, if you're still working on your knife skills, try this set for about fifty bucks
2. Measuring Cups & Spoons
When you are creating meal preps based on your macros, it is important to measure your serving sizes! And for most of us who are following recipes during meal prep, measuring out the ingredients will be important too! Measuring cups will be using for things like grains, beans, and nuts/seeds while your measuring spoons will measure spices, seasonings, oils, etc. Have you ever just tossed in 'extra' chili flakes because you felt like it.....can we say TOO HOT!!
3. Food Scale
A macro counters' essential kitchen tool! Even though you can get away with measuring cups and spoons in most cases, for the most accuracy you will want a digital food scale. These are also ideal for measuring out your proteins which do not easily fit into a measuring cup.
4. Kitchen Utensils
This may seem obvious (or to some not necessary), but having items such as a whisk, tongs, spatula, wooden spoon, silicon spoon, ladle, slotted spoon, can opener, etc. will be very important in making your meal preps easier to create! From flipping meat to whisking eggs, to mixing muffin batter -- having a well-rounded set of utensils will have you prepared to make almost any recipe you find! Have you ever tried flipping chicken with a spoon? We don't recommend it.
5. Cutting Boards
Almost every recipe you make will involve some chopping, cutting, dicing, etc. so this tool should be within an arm's length at all times! You can opt for plastic or wood. However, we recommend having one board for your fruits and vegetables and another for cutting meat to alleviate any cross contamination.
6. Mixing Bowls
Mixing bowls aren't just for mixing up the batter for baking recipes like baked oatmeal. They can be used for everything from making meatballs, marinating proteins, making dressings and even storing big bowls of salad greens for a quick grab and go lunch! We like to use stainless steel or durable plastic set that comes with 3-5 pieces. We chose the glass bowls because they are easy to clean, dishwasher safe, and look good on camera when you're making those tasty style food videos.
From draining pasta to rinsing beans, fruits, vegetables this kitchen tool will make it super simple to eat fresh, clean produce! Say goodbye to bad chemicals and hello to crisp rainbow veggies! You can opt for a stainless steel or plastic one.
A grater is a meal preppers dream gadget! It can allow you to add tons of flavor to any recipe with just a few swipes! Think lemon zest, shaved chocolate on top of oats, fresh nutmeg in meatloaf....yum! Or, go with the more traditional use and use it to grate cheese for your skillet recipe, shredded potatoes for your sausage lover's hashbrown casserole or zucchini to make a zoodles meal prep! With this grater, you will have a multitude of sizes available to you at any time!
PRO TIP: Use this grater to make cauliflower or broccoli rice in a hurry!
9. Baking Dishes
Every household, whether you cook or not should have a good set of baking dishes! You don't need a full set, but having a few sizes such as an 8x8, 9x5 loaf pan, a muffin pan, a 9in round cake pan and 13x9 inch on hand will allow you to create almost any recipe -- from baked french toast to stuffed cabbage. We recommend going with a good non-stick set.
10. Non-Stick Skillet
Skillets are one of the most versatile stove top tools. With a bit of oil (or fat) you can cook almost everything in a skillet! From stir fry's to sauteed apples for overnight oats. It can all be done in a non-stick skillet!
Top 5 Meal Prep Kitchen Tools
- High-Quality Knives
- Measuring Cups & Spoons
- Sheet Pans
- Saute Pans and Sauce Pans With Lid
- Slow Cooker
- Meal Prep Containers
11. Cast Iron Skillet
Hands down this has to be our favorite tool! It can go from your stove stop straight into your oven to make creating one dish recipes a snap! And, less to clean up! They can be a bit of an investment, but if you take good care they will last forever! You can find cheaper ones at places like HomeGoods and TJ Maxx.
12. Saute Pans and Sauce Pans With Lid
From making your favorite grains to making sauces, braising meats and creating delicious soups, stews and chili's these are a few kitchen tools you most definitely want to have on hand! With a set of 3 saucepans and 1-2 good 3 or 5 quart saute pans you can make almost anything for a week's worth of healthy (non-salad) lunches!
13. Sheet Pans
If you read our article on sheet pan recipes that will change your life then you know what we are talking about! Imagine tossing all of the ingredients you need for 5 meals onto one pan and baking them in less than 30 minutes! Thank you sheet pans! You can also make things like homemade granola, sweet potato french fries and spaghetti squash on a sheet pan! We recommend getting 2-3 so you can make all your meals in less than 30 minutes (almost!).
14. Roasting Pan
Not only can you use roasting pans to create one kick ass Sunday dinner for your family (that leaves you with plenty of leftovers for lunches during the week #winning!) but you can also create incredible meal prep recipes such as casseroles, lasagna, steamed fish, one pan recipes, and even large batches of granola! It's great for almost anything that you would want to make a big batch of..a meal preppers favorite way to cook! If you plan on cooking meat make sure to purchase one with a rack.
15. Cooling Rack
We love muffins and even cookies for quick breakfast and a sweet treat, but nobody wants to eat them over baked. A cooling rack will ensure your baked goods end up evenly cooked, cooled and moist or crisp as the recipe calls for! They can also be used on top of a baking sheet in the oven to cook things such as bacon or meats where the fat will drip below and you can save a few calories!
Hail spiralized veggies! They are the hottest trend in making low carb pasta (have you heard of zoodles?) and making meal prep fun to eat! From zucchini to sweet potatoes to apples and beyond you can take the fun factor up 1000% with a spiralizer! Our favorite is the KitchenAid attachment, but you could also go with a cheaper model for less than $30.00. (Ps - if you still don't want to spend the money you can use your veggie peeler to make pasta ribbons!)
17. Food Processor
Sometimes we are just not in the mood to chop veggies - insert the food processor! You can do everything with this gadget from making your own homemade flour for baking recipes to creating dips, hummus, pesto, chopping chicken, shredded cheese......the list goes on and on! You can get away with a small one for a minimal amount of money.
Let's just start with 31 reasons why you need a crockpot in your life! And if those don't convince you then let us tell you what this versatile tool can make; soups, chilis, granola, meats, brownies, oatmeal, lasagna, meatloaf....you name it. A crockpot can make it happen! The best part...you toss in the ingredients, set it and forget about it! Instead of standing in the kitchen for hours you can leave this one be while you it the gym and get your fitness on!
19. High-Speed Blender
Whether you are making smoothies, soups, sauces, homemade nut butter or protein bars; high-speed blenders can do it all -- in just a matter of seconds! How does that sounds for an all-in-one, super fats meal prep tool?
20. Meal Prep Containers
You need a way to carry that food you've made all week, right? Well, the last, but probably most important tool would be a good set of containers! If you are unsure where to start you can check out our Ultimate Guide To Meal Prep Containers to figure out which would be best for you! No matter which you go with just make sure they are durable and something you can see yourself using over and over again -- i.e, sometimes the cheap ones have to be tossed after only a few uses.