The Ultimate Checklist for a Minimalist Kitchen


the ultimate minimal kitchen checklist


Kitchens are notorious for collecting clutter. Messy counters, too-full drawers, and overstuffed grocery bins are enough to make any home chef want to stay far away from the kitchen.

But what if we took a minimalist approach to cooking? I recently started my Capsule Kitchen journey (LINK), and I’m committed to filling my kitchen with only what I need and nothing that I don’t.

Here are the essential cookware, utensils, tools, and serving pieces that made the cut!


MINIMALIST TIP: Buy the absolute best that you can afford for your cookware. Take the time to find the right pieces, rather than buying everything all at once.

  • Set of high-quality stainless steel pots and pans (1 small frying pan, 1 large frying pan, 1 small saucepan, 1 saucepan, 1 stockpot, 1 large high-sided saute pan)
  • 1 large non-stick frying pan
  • Cast iron skillet
  • 1 dutch oven
    • Have you seen the Milo? Gets amazing reviews at a great price point!

  • 1-2 large double-thick, rolled-edge sheet pans
  • 1 square and 1 large rectangle Pyrex baking dishes with lids
  • 1 set of glass pyrex storage containers with lids (doubles as small baking containers)


MINIMALIST TIP: For anything you will be holding in your hand you want it to be functional, ergonomic, and just feel good.

  • High-quality 8” chef’s knife
  • High-quality paring knife
  • Serrated Bread knife
  • Kitchen shears
  • 1-2 Wood spatulas (1 regular 1 angled)

Before I started looking into traditional spatula designs, I had never heard of an angled spatula, but now that I cook every day with a spatula that is curved to my dominant hand, it feels awkward to cook with anything else.


MINIMALIST TIP:You might be surprised about how few tools you really need for 80% of your cooking tasks. Choose wisely!

  • Butcher block cutting board
  • Glass mixing bowl set
  • 1 large & 1 small metal mixing bowl
  • 1 large & 1 small metal strainer

sori yanagi strainers

When my husband bought me two Sori Yanagi strainers and metal bowls for my birthday, I thought he was crazy to invest in such basic pieces. But I love using them. The beautiful design and feel of the brushed stainless steel makes me feel like I’m doing something special even if I’m just washing berries. I’ll have them forever.

  • Glass Liquid Measuring Cup
  • Set of metal measuring cups & spoons
  • Salt Mill
  • Pepper Mill
  • Box Grater
  • Manual Can Opener
  • Silicon Baking Brush
  • Kitchen scale


MINIMALIST TIP: Accent your kitchen with beautful, yet functional pieces. This is where you can get a few of those pieces that you just love, even if you’ll only use them 20% of the time. The other 80% of the time you still get to love to look at them.  

  • Wood Salad Serving Set

oak mosaic salad set

Juniper & Salt’s Mosaic Handle Oak Serving Set goes from weeknight family dinner to weekend dinner party effortlessly.

  • Wood Serving Spoon
  • Wood Serving Spatula

cook and serve spatula

Another double-duty piece, Juniper & Salt’s Mosaic Handle Cook & Serve Spatula goes from the cooktop to the tabletop beautifully.

  • Wood Serving Ladle
  • Small Wood Sauce Serving Spoon
  • Wood Salad Bowl
  • Large Serving Platter
  • Medium Serving Platter

ash serving board

A few small and medium cutting boards can serve double, even triple duty, as an accent piece, a quick cutting board for a midday snack, or a serving board for charcuterie.

  • A Few Clay Serving Bowl
  • Tasting Spoon

juniper tasting spoon

Juniper & Salt’s Juniper Tasting Spoon is purchased possibly more for its looks than function. But don’t misjudge it. It also dips right into a soup, stew or sauce for tasting (and stirring) along the way.

  • Small/Medium Cutting & Serving Boards
  • Mortar & Pestle
  • Utensil Holder

Want even more minimalist kitchen tips?

Download our 21-page guide to creating your own capsule kitchen. Inside you'll find essential recipes and checklist to help you get started with your simplified kitchen.

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