Inside: If you want to keep your kitchen clutter-free, these are the minimalist kitchen essentials that you need.

Some people love cooking and others well, don’t. One thing that can make cooking altogether uninspiring is clutter.

If your kitchen is cluttered and you can’t find the necessary tools you need, cooking quickly becomes a frustrating experience.

To maintain a clutter-free home create an efficient kitchen with these minimalist kitchen essentials. Keep only items you are sure you use and love.

It will save you so much time in the kitchen and make it a more pleasurable space to work in. Here is a very minimalist kitchen essentials list, along with things you don’t really need to get either! 

Minimalist Kitchen Essentials List

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Here are just the basic kitchen essentials you will want to have around. Use this equipment list as a checklist as you go through your kitchen.

Keep in mind that some of these kitchen items will depend on what you and your family need and use regularly. Here are the minimalist kitchen essentials you want to be sure you have on hand.

Every Day Tools 

These essentials for cooking are things you use daily and will absolutely need to have. Make sure to have at least the following: 

  • Knives (instead of a set, have the 2-3 sizes you use most; we like Henckels
  • Cutting board (one does the job just fine) 
  • Scissors 
  • Can opener 
  • Reusable water bottle (one for each member of the family; we like Thermoflask
  • Oven mitts and pot holders (two of each) 
  • Towels (try to get by with just two and alternate between laundry washes) 

Minimalist Appliances 

There are, of course, a few appliances you will want to have in your kitchen. You’ll obviously want an oven, stove, and refrigerator.

Depending on how necessary you think it is, a dishwasher would be ideal as well. Many minimalists choose to forgo a dishwasher and wash the dishes by hand, but others wouldn’t want to be without it.

A microwave is another preference. Almost everything you need to be heated up can be done in the oven or stove. Granted, a microwave does heat things faster; it is not an absolute necessity unless you feel it is. 

For your minimalist kitchen essentials, selectively choose whatever small appliances you use most. Whether that is a slow cooker, Instant Pot, rice cooker, or any other device you like to use regularly. If you’re trying to keep it minimal, just choose one! 

minimalist kitchen essentials

Kitchen Essentials Cookware 

  • Colander (find one that attaches to your pan to save even more room) 
  • Spatula 
  • Wooden spoon 
  • Measuring cup (short on space? get a glass one with all the measurements on it) 
  • Whisk (not a necessity for all kitchens; I rarely use one)
  • Cooking sheet (can get by with just one) 
  • Glass baking dish  
  • Tongs (for some this is a necessity; for others it is not)

Minimalist Kitchen Dishes 

  • Plates and bowls (we love Corelle; they save space and we haven’t broken any in ten years!)
  • Silverware
  • Mugs
  • Wine glasses (optional) 

A note here about quantities. Some minimalists like keeping only enough of each type of item for the number of people in their home who will use them. This prevents the sink from ever being overloaded with dishes.

That doesn’t work for everyone though, so if that sounds like extra work to you then have as many place settings as will fit in your dishwasher. That allows you to use the dishwasher efficiently and have extras around for guests when needed.

Different things work for different homes, so choose whichever option works best for how your household runs.

Things You’ll Want to Have

Here are some items you will want to have but don’t need in excess. These items are still kitchen essentials but need more explaining than a simple list. 

Storage containers are very nice to have, but you don’t need very many. You can also use your bowls, plates, and other dishes as storage containers when you need them. We prefer glass ones and got rid of most of the plastic ones we had.

Mixing and prepping bowls are helpful for cooking, baking, and eating popcorn. Choose an appropriately sized set for how you use them.

Pots and pans are definitely needed, but you don’t need them in every single size available. Consider your family size and the size of pot and pan needed. Opting to not buy a set and choosing select single pieces instead will save you on storage and money.

Glasses and cups are nice to have but may not be as necessary for every home. You can use your reusable water bottles and mason jars can double as drinking cups. It’s about preference and how minimal you want to be with your kitchen essentials.

If you have small children, you will want a few kid’s items as well. A few smaller utensils, plates, and bowls will be enough. You don’t need anything fancy for children and might even be able to get by with just the smaller utensils you already own! 

Kitchen Items You Don’t Really Need 

Here are a few items you don’t need at all. These things are usually never used in the kitchen or rarely. Don’t waste your space or money getting the following: 

  • Bread knife: A regular knife works too if you need to slice a loaf of bread.
  • Bread maker: This is one of the most under used appliances. If you aren’t using it, it’s simply taking up a whole lot of space.
  • Mixer: If you rarely bake, you may not need one. However, those who bake often or who use it to shred meat regularly would want to keep it around. Some opt for a hand mixer instead.
  • Instant Pot, slow cooker, and rice cooker: Whatever you cook in here can be cooked in the oven or stove. Keep only what you use most often and stop storing large appliances that are just collecting dust.
  • Soup spoon: how often do you use it, and can you really not get soup out with another spoon? 
  • Bread baking pan: You don’t need a fancy pan for baking bread. Just use a regular glass baking pan! 
  • Wok: If you don’t use it often, they are large to store. Often a big pan can do the same job.
  • Dutch oven: Do you use it often? If yes, keep it. If not, pass it along to someone who will make use of it.
  • Any other fancy gadget you may own: salad spinner, avocado slicer, panini press, etc. If you’re not using it, it’s time to clear up some space.
  • Blender: Some use it often and love it; for others it just takes up storage space. If you’re doing smoothies often, we’ve loved our Vitamix and the warranty that came with it.
  • Coffee maker: For some homes, this is a non negotiable, but others have found they like making coffee with an Aeropress or pour over instead.
  • Toaster oven: Toaster ovens are very bulky. If you make toast often, a simple 2 slice toaster takes up a lot less space.
minimalist kitchen essentials

FAQS for a Minimalist Kitchen

Here are some common questions when looking at having a very minimalist kitchen. 

What do you need in a minimalist kitchen? 

In a minimalist kitchen, only the bare minimums are typically used. Many forgo items that aren’t deemed a necessity. It varies from home to home on what is necessary.

Kitchens often end up with duplicate items or multiple pieces that could serve the same function. Think about how you can multitask with certain items. Then free up some space in letting go of the excess in order to create your own minimalist kitchen.

What do you need for a basic kitchen? 

A basic kitchen has only the necessities to cook with and nothing more. There are no fancy or cool gadgets, just the bare minimum. 

If you want to live really simplify your home and clear up a lot of counter space, try cooking with only these minimalist kitchen essentials! If any item seems too hard to give up, take it one step at a time.

Try storing some of the things you aren’t sure of and see if you miss them. If you don’t, you know they can go. Simplifying is a process that takes time, even in the kitchen! 

What are your favorite minimalist kitchen essentials? Share them in the comments section!

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  1. There are many things on the minimalist kitchen ditch list that I would be lost without. Blender? I make soups. Blender is essential as is the large dutch oven in which I prepare the soup. Dishes? I frequently host guests and they require plates, bowls, soup spoons (yes), glasses, and napkins. I prefer cloth. Coffee maker? French press used religiously twice daily. Bread knife much easier to use on a boule of French bread than a chef’s knife. I prefer my user friendly kitchen to that of a monk. I love to plan and execute enticing meals for several people several times a month. The kitchen is my playground. If the traits of minimalism are what you describe here, no thank you.

    1. And I add that I don’t use paper towels, making kitchen towels necessary for wiping spills, drying dishes, wiping hands. In preparation of any given meal I use at least three and launder often.

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