Healthy(ish) cooking on a Budget(ish)

My 16 Favorite Kitchen Gadgets

My 16 Favorite Kitchen Gadgets

Tasty food doesn’t need to come from fancy gadgets, but there are a few gadgets that make cooking more fun! As a broke college student that evolved into a budget conscious adult, my collection of favorite kitchen gadgets has grown slowly and each item has been used plenty. The list below are my 16 favorite items, in no particular order, with links to the item on Amazon. I’ve linked some recipes as well, so you can see what items are used with each recipe!

Disclaimer: each of the Amazon links are brought to you by the Amazon Affiliate program. Basically, if you purchase one of the kitchen gadgets on this list, I get a small cut of the proceeds. No pressure, but feel free to support Sweet Basil Thyme by purchasing through these links!


The Inspiralizer: 

I love making vegetable noodles with my spiralizer, it’s easy, healthy, and makes every dish a little prettier! You can see a few spiralizer recipes such as Pad Thai Salad or Creamy Zoodles around my site and plenty more to come!

Ninja Express Chopper: 

Eventually I’d love to get a full size food processor, but this chopper does an amazing job and doesn’t take up a lot of space! I use it almost every day, used it just this weekend to make vegan ricotta cheese.

George Foreman Indoor Grill: 

Just because the summer ends doesn’t mean BBQing has to! These small indoor grills are perfect for juicy burgers or small steaks year round

Lodge Cast Iron Skillet:

There are lots of things I love amount my cast iron skillet. One, I can stick them straight in the oven (less dishes!). Two, they make crispy little edges that are so perfect. Three, I just feel like a professional when I cook with one.  Check out my Ginger Garlic Asian Chicken if you want a nice beginner skillet recipe.

Anolon Wok:

This is a newer purchase after living with a roommate last year that had one. So great for cooking veggies and stir fries! The veggies in my Farmer’s Market Balsamic Pasta Salad were cooked in this wok.

Rubber Spatulas: 

These are cheap and come in so many different sizes. I have a bunch! Perfect for just about anything really.

Mini Egg Pan:

I’m not a huge egg person, but they are such an easy breakfast to make for Matt. This mini egg pan makes omelets easy peasy and takes up little to no space! Worth the $14 if you are looking for a fun item.

Oven Safe Glass Containers:

While heavier than regular tupperware, they are worth having a few around. Brand doesn’t matter much, mine are from Ikea! As long as they seal shut, they are good to go. I love baking a mini lasagna in them for lunch or showing off my lunch bowls!

Mini Condiment Jars:

So many great dishes have a topping or sauce or side that makes the the dish great, but you don’t always want those toppings added the night before! Enter: mini condiment jars. I have two different kinds below, both are great! Pro tip for meal prepping guacfill the condiment jar with desired amount, then put a small piece of cling wrap on top and push down. Then seal! It keeps as much are as possible out until ready to eat.

Ninja Coffee Bar:

If you don’t function without coffee, this coffee bar is great! It doesn’t take much more room than a Keurig, but it allows so many more options! While pricey ($100), it will save you in the long run if it replaces your Starbucks run a few times a week.

Mason Jars:

Another great multi purpose item in my kitchen! Great for margaritas, storing sauces, transporting soups like my South of the Border Chowder, or even occasionally a flower vase!

Kamata Hakensha Knife:

This is a specialty item with some sentimental value, so therefore an irreplaceable item in my kitchen. A gift from Japan, it is the best knife I’ve ever had. If you are interested, you can purchase on here. I can’t give any suggestions on other great knives, as all my other knives before this were crappy cheap ones. I do suggest investing in a good one if you are a serious (or wanna be serious) cook!

Plastic Cutting Boards:

Another item where brand doesn’t matter, mine are from Ikea again. I have other cutting boards, but these are just so easy to clean and when they get old it’s no sweat to toss them! They make recipes that involve a lot of cutting (like Everything on the Kitchen Sink) an easy clean up!


Recipes like my Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup are perfect for the crock-pot! Throw all the ingredients in before heading to work or before heading to soccer practices, come home to a cooked meal and an amazing smelling kitchen.

Pack-It Freezable Lunch Sacks:

As an athletic trainer, I work a lot of events outside with no access to a refrigerator for 12+ hours. These freezable lunch sacks make breakfasts and lunches (or dinner) on the go easy and tasty! This last Saturday I had to be at an outdoor event at 7am, but didn’t have time for breakfast ahead of time. I stuck my Orange Raspberry Chia Pudding in the frozen sack, and it was still perfectly cold at 11am!


Same situation as above, but reverse temperatures! I’ve been at plenty of events outside in the rain for hours on end, but when I prep my Roasted Tomato Soup at 8am and pour it into my Hydroflask soup canister, it’s still hot at 12pm and the perfect way to warm up. I also have a 20oz Hydroflask bottle that is perfect for hot coffee three hours after you make it.

Bonus item:

A variety of plates! Something about pretty plates makes food look even better. I’ve started to build up my collection by visiting thrift stores, you can usually get awesome plates for less than a dollar!

I hope you all enjoyed this summary of my favorite kitchen gadgets! If you have any questions, feel free to drop a comment below!

What are your favorite kitchen gadgets?


8 thoughts on “My 16 Favorite Kitchen Gadgets”

  • The Ninja Coffee Bar and the crock pot are definitely on my wish list. I am always looking for crock pot recipes and the coffee maker, well… I can’t live without coffee.

  • I do have quite a few kitchen items from your list. I like my Foreman grill, my Inspiralizer and crockpot. I have a cast iron pan that I utilize once and awhile but it’s not one of my favorites. I wouldnt mind that coffee ninja bar.

  • I love my spiralizer, too. Zucchini and sweet potato “noodles” are my fave. I’d also like to get myself a proper food processor rather than having to use my blender where I can. There are some great pieces of equipment here, girl. Some I’ve never heard of before – I’m always looking to add new gadgets to make cooking easier. 🙂

    Christie’s Take on Life. xx

  • Am not yet a good homemaker, but having a fabulous and very reliable coffee maker is love! Even my amore loves it too 🙂

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