My Tried-and-True Kitchen Essentials List

kitchen essentials list

There are few things I love more than spending time in the kitchen—especially if my kids are helping. Whether it’s cooking throughout the holiday season, prepping party snacks, or making cocktails, having an outlet to be creative is simply the best.

While it’s true that I absolutely love cooking and coming up with new recipes, I also love keeping my space organized and clean. In my opinion, being efficient in the kitchen and having all the correct tools to execute your meals as planned is half the battle.

To help make your cooking experience as smooth as possible, I’ve put together this kitchen essentials list that’s filled with tools that are useful, versatile, and even aesthetically pleasing. Add these to your rotation to make your cooking process more simple and streamlined.

Kitchen Essentials List

Cuisinart Hand Blender

My cooking motto? Work smarter not harder. This easy-to-hold hand blender is a must have for your kitchen. Taking up minimal counter or drawer space, this Smart Stick makes a big impact when prepping everything from homemade hummus to spaghetti sauce.

cuisinart hand blender

Cork Pops Wine Bottle Opener

Opening a bottle has never been easier—and if you enjoy a good glass of wine as much as I do, this gadget is a no-brainer. Bonus: It’s under $35 (some wine bottle openers can be super pricey.)

cork pops wine bottle opener

OXO Salad Spinner

Cut drying time in half with this “push of a button” salad spinner. Rather than a traditional crank, the push button makes it so easy (and honestly kind of fun) to use. Tip: It can also be super helpful with drying other fruits and veggies—not just for drying lettuce.

oxo salad spinner

OXO Salad Dressing Mixer

In my opinion, homemade salad dressing is what makes a salad so delicious. This salad dressing mixer is so easy to use, and I’ve never had an issue with it leaking. Another perk? It can be put right into the dishwasher.

oxo salad dressing mixer

Cast Iron Dutch Oven

During the cold and dreary season, I absolutely love making soups and other warm and comforting dishes. This dutch oven is the perfect size for a one-pot meal that will serve up savory meals that your entire family will love. Not to mention the neutral color is perfect for any kitchen style—it looks so cute set out on a stovetop!

cast iron dutch oven

Hestan OvenBond Tri-ply Quarter Sheet Pan

This might look like a normal sheet pan but they are soooo worth the investment. They’re non-toxic and are made with super high quality materials. I swear that you will have these for the rest of your life. If you care about the products that touch your food, I couldn’t recommend these enough.

Hestan OvenBond Tri-ply Quarter Sheet Pan

Ceramic Grease Container

This is a very random gadget but I have found that I reach for it often. I use it to collect grease whenever we make bacon, then I repurpose the grease when I’m making sauces or stir fry recipes (which gives things so much flavor.)

ceramic grease container

Stainless Steel Corn Peeler

From corn on the cob to a creamy corn chowder, a corn peeler is a must in your kitchen drawer. The sharp blade makes this peeler extremely effective, but proceed with caution! It takes a little bit to get the hang of it, but after a bit of practice, the corn comes off in a breeze.

stainless steel corn peeler

Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1

I know that a lot of people love their Crock Pots but I am an Instant Pot girly through and through. I use this at least twice a week—it’s so helpful if you’re in a time crunch but need to get dinner on the table. There are not one, not two, but seven different functions that are included in this model. You can use it as a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, yogurt maker, steamer, sauté pan, and a food warmer.

instant pot duo 7-in-1

Cuisinart Pulp Control Juicer

I don’t use this juicer all the time but my kids love it and it’s nice to have on hand when oranges are really fresh. It’s honestly not that hard to clean and I think that for the price it’s such a good option.

cuisinart pulp control juicer

Chef’n FreshForce Citrus Juicer

This is by far my favorite lemon squeezer (I went through three different ones before finding this one). It just works really well, is heavy duty, and you don’t need to have a separate one for limes—you can use it for both.

citrus squeezer


A mandoline is a such an awesome game changer to have in your kitchen. It makes life so much easier when you need to slice ingredients thin. This is my favorite one!


Wood and Stainless Steel Grater

I don’t know about you, but I can never have too much cheese. This Target find was one of my favorite kitchen purchases as of late. It even has a catcher to collect whatever you’re grating, making clean up a breeze.

wood and metal cheese grater

Baking Dish

Le Creuset creates classic items that will last a lifetime (and probably your kids’ as well!) This square dish is not only stunning, but perfect for baking just about anything. It even doubles as a beautiful serving dish that you will likely pass down for generations.

baking dish

Wine Glass Set

My love for wine is no secret. These have been my go-to wine glasses for years and I’m always recommending them! The best part? They’re beautiful, and affordable. Grab a set and host your own Wine Wednesday at home.

wine glass set

Serving Bowl Set

Every kitchen needs a serving bowl set for entertaining. Whether you have family over for an intimate celebration or are hosting neighbors for a small party, this set is perfect for snacks and will go with any decor. Target always has such great hosting find —these bowls are under $40!

ceramic serving bowl set
Erika's Signature

Hi! I’m Erika and I live in Sonoma County with my high school sweetheart and two kids. Follow along to find home inspiration, delicious recipes, and the inside scoop on all things wine country.

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