As a long-time food blogger, recipe developer and cookbook author, I've been through my fair share of kitchenware. For me, it's not about what's trendy or what will look nice in my kitchen, although that can be an added bonus. It's more about what's practical, works well, gets the job done easily and most importantly, will last. I'm a pretty frugal person, but I've learnt from experience that spending a little more on a piece of equipment can often save you time and money in the long run.
Perhaps you're a new vegan with a newfound passion for cooking, suddenly realizing that to make a lot of the recipes you are finding online you need all sorts of equipment that you've never owned before, or maybe you're looking for vegan kitchen gift inspiration for the vegan cook in your life, or maybe you simply want to treat yourself.
Whatever your situation, I've compiled this comprehensive list of kitchenware for the vegan kitchen that I use all the time. You'll find everything a vegan needs for a well-equipped kitchen, including essential vegan cookware and vegan kitchen appliance essentials. All ones that I love and that have stood the test of time in my vegan kitchen.
Please note that the links in this post are affiliate links. Most link to Amazon because it's a store that almost everyone has access to no matter where you are, but if you are able I ask that you purchase these products from a business local to you. Now more than ever they need our support!
Shun 8" Chef's Knife - A good, sharp chef's knife is a real investment in speed, accuracy and safety and it gets your prep done quickly and easily. This is the knife I use 99% of the time. It slices through hard vegetables like swede and squash with ease and softer ones like onions absolutely effortlessly. It looks pretty beautiful too!
Cuisinart Food Processor - I have been through many food processors. They have never lasted longer than a year until this one. It's roomy, it's stylish and it's reliable. I use it all the time for chopping, grating (it saves loads of time when you make something like a carrot cake), for recipes like my vegan feta cheese and vegetable pate, making nut butter and even for cookies and pastry.
Blendtec Blender - I've had this model for years and it's the one you see pictured in any of my progress photos in recipes that are blended. For a very high powdered blender it's reasonably priced and is built to last.
I use mine daily to make smoothies, for recipes like my vegan butter, my vegan ricotta cheese, and for plant milks like cashew milk and oat milk. Blendtec customer service is fantastic too. Even after the 5-year warranty ended on mine last year they replaced my jar for me when it developed an issue.
Lemon/Lime Squeezer - Simple, cheap and so worth having! I used to do it by hand but with one of these you get so much more juice from each lemon/lime. Perfect for when you are making my vegan lemon curd or lemony red lentil soup.
Lodge Enameled Dutch Oven - A really reasonably priced and good quality Dutch oven that looks great in situ on the stovetop between uses. I use mine all the time for making soups, stews and stock and love that it can go from stovetop to oven and look good when serving at the dining table. Being cast iron it retains heat really well and cooks evenly. You might have spotted it in a lot of my recipe photos including my Vegan Italian Sausage Pasta Soup:
Tofu Press - A simple piece of kit that is essential for the tofu lover! Pressing tofu makes a huge difference to texture and flavour absorption. It's an essential tool when making my gluten-free seitan roast recipe and any other tofu recipe where you want a crispy end result. I really like this press because any size tofu block will fit in it.
Blendtec Twister Jar - If you have a Blendtec Blender and you don't have one of these you don't know what you're missing! It's a smaller jar that enables you to blend the thickest recipes with no stirring, plunging or scraping down. Usually, even in a high powered blender, if you make nut butter you end up having to add some oil to get it going. With this jar, there's no need. I use mine for making nut butter and for small batch recipes like hummus, breadcrumbs, sauce, or just for single-serve smoothies too. Get 20% off your purchase at Blendtec by using the code avirtualvegan.
Lodge Pre-Seasoned Double Dutch Oven - You might wonder why I need this when I have the lovely red Dutch oven of the same brand. Well, this one is for the bread bakers in the house. First up, to make great bread it's necessary to preheat the Dutch oven then drop the shaped dough into it when it's really hot so that you get a good oven spring. With a regular Dutch oven doing this can be a little awkward and it's easy to burn yourself or knock some of the air out of your loaf. The difference with this double Dutch oven is that you can use it upside down. This means you can preheat it and slide the shaped loaf onto the lid rather than having to drop it in into a deep vessel. It's so much easier!
Secondly, when you bake artisan bread or sourdough in a Dutch oven, the oven temperature has to be really hot. I bake mine at 500 °F. With this Dutch Oven you don't have to worry about it discolouring with the heat, or specks of flour creating burn marks because it's black and it isn't enamelled.
Thirdly, the lid doubles as a cast iron skillet which is super handy. I also use it to cook homemade pizza in. The heat from the cast-iron makes for an amazing crust! And it's also amazing for making my giant vegan blueberry pancake.
USA Pan Bakeware - The only bakeware I use. Nothing ever sticks and it cleans up so easily.
USA Pan Muffin Pan - Because it's not included in the set above. You don't need any muffin liners. You barely need any grease. They tip out cleanly and clean up is effortless. This is the only muffin pan I trust enough to make my very sticky vegan butter tarts in.
Digital Kitchen Scale - Essential if you want great and consistent results when baking. By default, cups are not an accurate way to measure. Every single time you fill one you get a different amount of ingredient in it. With flour sometimes it can be up to a third more than the recipe intended. This can really affect how recipes turn out. Always look for a digital scale with a tare function then you can use one bowl to weigh multiple ingredients and zero it between each. I use a scale multiple times a days and have worked my way through many. This is the only one that has stood the test of time.
Measuring spoons - Essential when measuring really small amounts like baking powder and herbs and spices. These are nice and slim so will easily fit into small jars.
Salad Spinner - I went the longest time without a salad spinner. I used to just rinse my salad leaves in a colander then give it a shake. When I purchased one of these last year it was a bit of a game-changer. You have no idea how much water is left on the leaves when you just give them a shake. This means they won't last as long if you are storing them and if you are eating them right away, it's diluting your salad dressing which means less flavour. I highly recommend anyone who eats salad invest in one. Tip: Use it for drying home-cut fries before cooking in the oven or air fryer too!
Instant Pot - I've had my Instant pot since they first were introduced and I wouldn't hesitate to replace it if something was to happen to it. I use it constantly for making vegan yogurt, cooking dried beans from scratch with no soaking in less than one hour, making my Vegan Christmas Pudding at Christmas, for cooking grains perfectly and for making many other vegan instant pot recipes.
Silpat - You will see these used a lot on my progress photos in recipes. They can be laid on your baking trays and will completely replace parchment paper. I've had the same ones for years. Nothing sticks to them so they are great for cookies, roasting vegetables etc. Anything that might usually stick really. I also use mine for rolling out pastry and cookie dough because it makes lifting it off really easy without having to use lots of flour. Once you're done, just pop them in the dishwasher and they are good as new. They come in many different shapes and sizes. I also have round ones for lining my 9-inch cake pans. I believe you can get muffin pan shaped ones too!
Staub Braiser - This is my all-time favourite pan. They are pricey (they vary in price depending on size) but they have a lifetime warranty and the quality speaks for itself. It's a really beautiful pan and cooks everything evenly and without drying it out thanks to the self-basting spikes on the underside of the lid that collect moisture and drip it back into the pan. You can use it with or without the lid and on the stovetop and in the oven. It's perfect for anything from bolognese and pot roast to lentil shepherd's pie, casseroles, skillet breads, pasta and curry.
Insulated French Press - You have no idea how many glass French presses we have broken over the years. I have no idea why I didn't buy a stainless steel one sooner. This one is pretty much unbreakable and it's insulated so it keeps your coffee warm for hours. It's really budget-friendly too! I use mine every day.
Breville Barista Express - Yes I'm a huge coffee lover! We treated ourselves to this machine about 3 years ago now after doing lots of research, and have been loving it ever since. It's pricey (look out for sales because you can often grab a really good deal) but if you have a coffee shop habit it might well save you some dollars. It makes amazing espresso and grinds the beans too. We barely ever buy coffee out because we can make it just as good, if not better at home. Treat yourself to this and my absolute fave coffee beans from Kicking Horse (I never drink anything else), and you'll be in coffee heaven!
Cutting board - This isn't the exact one I have but mine is similar. I've had it for so long I can't remember where it came from. A quality cutting board will last pretty much forever, makes chopping easier and safer, helps keep your knife in good condition and it also looks great on the counter and for serving too.
Air Fryer - Full disclosure, I got sent this machine free of charge last year, but I love it and wouldn't hesitate to buy another. It's roomy, it cleans up super easily in the dishwasher, and it cooks everything really well. If you get one be sure to try my Lemon Garlic Air Fryer Roasted Potatoes!
Mixing Bowls - A set of mixing bowls is pretty essential if you want to do any kind of baking. I have a set of 3 from Pyrex and you see them all the time in my photos. Simple, reasonably priced and the different sizes are really handy.
Microplane/Zester - These are so great for zesting citrus fruit, and for grating fresh ginger, chocolate or vegan cheese. Unlike a regular grater, you get a super fine and fluffy result.
Kitchen Aid - Not essential at all but it's a beauty of a mixer, looks amazing in the kitchen with its pop of colour, and makes light work of cake batter, bread dough, seitan and the fluffiest vegan mashed potatoes.
Tongs - So handy in the kitchen for turning and picking up hot foods easily. I use mine all the time.
Immersion blender- I make a lot of soup and an immersion blender is so handy for using right in the pan to roughly blend or thicken it. Much easier than pouring it out into a blender then back to the pan.
Spatula - Basic but really useful. I use mine all the time for stirring and mixing. They also scrape bowls clean of cake batter or cookie dough so you don't waste a drop.
Wooden Spoon- Essential for any kitchen. Won't scratch your pans and will last for years and years (as long as you don't put it in the dishwasher).
Reversible Cast Iron Griddle/Grill - This sits on top of the burners on your stove (gas or electric) or on the campfire or in the oven and is a grill on one side and a griddle on the other. I mainly use mine for making pancakes, because we are obsessed with vegan pancakes at the weekend. You can cook lots at once on these unlike when using a skillet. Also handy for searing vegetables like zucchini strips, mushrooms, vegan steak (I am working on a recipe right now!), cooking flatbreads, English muffins etc.
Glass Food Storage Containers - I love these for meal prep and for storing leftovers. I've had mine for a few years and they are still going strong with no problems. They stack up really nicely in the fridge and can be used in the oven and microwave (minus the plastic lid).
Stainless Steel Pan Set - Everyone needs a good pan set and they can be really expensive. This one is really great quality with a lifetime warranty, heats evenly thanks to the triple-ply construction and it's also pretty reasonably priced.
PerfecTemp Cordless Kettle - I really love my coffee but I also love tea and this kettle enables you to boil the water at the perfect temperature for the type of tea you are drinking. I buy my tea from Westholme Tea Company. They are local to me and the first and only commercial tea grower in Canada. They have an online store if you want to take a look.
Vegan Comfort Cooking - And now for a shameless plug ... Of course my cookbook is an essential part of any vegan kitchen!
And that's a wrap! I'll add to this vegan kitchenware guide as I discover new favourites.
As always, reach out if you have any questions and let me know your favourite kitchen essentials in the comments!