48 Little Kitchen Upgrades That Will Seriously Improve Your Meals
This reviewer-beloved hybrid plate-bowl is about to change the game on your WFH lunches for good.
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1. A set of three dough presses in different sizes perfect for hand pies, dumplings, ravioli, calzones, empanadas, and truly any delicious thing you can think of that you want tucked into a pillow of warm carbs — this makes the process streamlined and easy so you don't have to sweat it.
Promising review: "This was a great purchase for the price. I was making empanadas and folding them by hand, which didn’t look too good. This set helps me cut them easily into circles and then easily presses them close. Consistent look each time! I like that there are three sizes in the set so I can make them according to my mood. Easy to wash and use. Would highly recommend for the price and functionality!" —Sox
Get a set of three from Amazon for $9.99.
2. A magnetic air fryer cheat sheet so you can finally experiment with juuuuust the right amount of reckless abandon, while knowing everything you stick in there will still come out safe to eat.
Promising review: "Bought an air fryer several months ago which I haven't used a whole lot because it came with only a few recipes but not enough info on other items to cook. The Lotteli cheat sheet gives you cooking times and temperatures for a lot of your common everyday foods in a magnetized easy-to-read, two-sheet combo that fills in where air fryer pamphlet that came with the unit leaves out. I also bought an air fryer cook book but this only comes with specific recipes, whereas the cheat sheet fills in the void for quick basic needs. Very happy with this purchase! 😁" —B. Frank Smith
Get it from Amazon for $11.29+ (available in two colors).
3. A *super* compact 8-in-1 spiralizer that also grates cheese, juices fruits, and cuts ribbons, and more. All you have to do is change out one of the interlocking caps for a new function. Fresh-squeezed OJ? Zoodles in the air fryer? Grated Parmesan on your pasta? Done, done, and done. (And you never have to say "when"!!)
I purchased this because it was my cheapest option for making zoodles, and also because my apartment was the size of a shoebox and there was no room for anything bigger. I LOVE how easy it is to swap out the caps to do other things, too — I've started grating my own cheeses and feel very fancy. But mostly I just love that it's very safe to use (it comes with a finger guard!), super easy to figure out, very compact, and even has measurements on the inside of the cup if you're ever portioning things out for a recipe.
Promising review: "LOVE THIS. I absolutely love this. So far I've used the thicker spiralizer, two of the grater things, and then the juicer. I love how easy this makes keeping everything together. And it's sharp so it actually cuts through things without you needing to work super hard to do it. The only thing I don't love is that the spiralizers are a bit hard to clean, but I guess that's with all of them? Not sure, this is the first I've owned. But, overall I'd recommend it :)" —Amazon Customer
Get it from Amazon for $14.99 (also available in 4-in-1 and 6-in-1 styles).
4. A tiny milk frother that makes rich, creamy froths in seconds, making you as powerful as the Starbucks mermaid herself. It also doesn't need to be plugged in, cleans with a quick stream of hot running water, and is teensy for storing.
5. A Yonanas fruit soft serve maker that magics any frozen fruit into an ice cream or sorbet texture so you can have a yummy frozen treat made to your *precise* favorite fruit combos. A lot of folks with dietary restrictions swear by this to get their ice cream kicks!
Promising review: "I saw one of these in action at a friend's house like five years ago and thought it was just a made up memory, because making ice cream out of solely frozen fruit seems wild. But when I saw a TikTok about it I immediately went to Amazon and bought it. Literally this was the BEST decision of my life. I cannot believe still how amazing this thing is! It makes the creamiest, best tasting fruit ice cream ever. It’s easy to take apart and clean, and super easy to use." —DMCKAY
Get it from Amazon for $40.81.
6. A "blue apple" freshness extender to keep your fruits and veggies fresh two to three times longer, so you're no longer in a perpetual race against the time-space-produce continuum.
Each of these works for up to three months, so they'll more than pay for themselves in produce you'll save!
Promising review: "Easily one of my favorite Amazon purchases this year. Has literally doubled the life of our produce and paid for itself in less than a month. This is one of those things you wish you'd learned about years ago! A real money saver." —Ryan A
Get a set of two from Amazon for $21.99.
7. A delicious ground habaneros powder for any dish that could use a kick of smoky spiciness to bring out the depth of other flavors — reviewers swear by this for everything from soup to shakshuka to ramen to scrambled eggs.
Iya Foods is a Black woman-owned small business that specializes in sustainably produced African spices, powders, and baking mixes, and uses a portion of profits to support an orphanage in Nigeria.
Promising review: "You see 'habaneros' and expect a punch in the mouth. This is not that. It's a fragrant, almost fruity pepper that elevates shakshuka to a whole new level. I add a pinch of it into all sorts of different dishes instead of black pepper. You wouldn't know the difference if I didn't tell you what it was, except that the food just tastes better. A little goes a long way, so the pouch has lasted us for several months already. I am going to buy more soon, and will try some of this lady's other spices when I do." —Shayla Williams
Get it from Amazon for $7.12.
8. A hand-powered chopper that'll make you low key feel like you're playing with a kid's wind up toy, but also save you a TON of time and effort. Also now that veggies are fun to chop, maybe in 2022 you'll actually? Wanna?? Eat some????? (Let's not get too carried away.)
Promising review: "This chopper is amazing!! I love cooking, but used to absolutely HATE chopping onions... until someone gave me this chopper! Now I simply have to quarter the onion, throw it in the chopper, pull the handle about 10–15 times, and they're ready to be used! No more teary eyes or spending a long time chopping onions. The cup is big enough to fit a whole onion... I think the capacity is 3 cups. There's tons of other uses to this as well... you can chop pretty much anything from herbs, veggies and fruits, to making salsa and guacamole." —Valjulia
Get it from Amazon for $17.43+ (available in three colors).
We've got you covered with plenty of other recommendations for useful kitchen gadgets, BTW.
9. A set of restaurantworthy shallow pasta bowls to make you feel like you're genuinely ~plating~ all your meals like a professional — this is like a bowl and a plate had a very stylish, SUPER convenient baby for all your pasta and salad needs.
10. Or a deep, bizarrely chic salad bowl that'll make your work-from-home lunch feel like it's getting served to you at a fancy café.
A fun fact about me is that I am a slob, and when I eat salad, I go to CLOWN TOWN on it. I recently purchased one of these bowls for my lunch salads and I could not love it more. The depth is very satisfying for tossing all my odds and ends into, I've *seriously* minimized the spills, and this is super duper easy to clean. Now if I could just stop myself from insufferably Instagramming all my lunches, I'd be set!!
Promising review: "Love them. Use them for salads and they work really well without spilling any salad off the plate. Also use for large fruit salads. I'm sure that spaghetti would also work. Definitely worth the price." —Enjoy Coffee
Get it from Amazon for $6.34+ (available in four sizes).
11. A silicone baking mat for your sheet pan, so on days when you've run out of time to do anything orderly for dinner you can just slap a bunch of veggies and frozen goods down, drizzle them in olive oil and spices, and shove them in the oven. Bonus: these are super easy to clean, so you won't have to deal with a mess!
12. The "Guac-Lock," aka the Fort Knox of guac — this airtight, specially designed container stops your guacamole from oxidizing, so when you make a big, delicious batch of it while your avocados are in their prime, you can steadily enjoy it over several meals. Reviewers mention it staying fresh for up to 10 days!
Promising review: "Rarely do I buy something that delivers 100% of what they claim it will. I'm happy to report that this completely lived up to my expectations. Truth be told, it works even better than I expected it to. I made a batch of guac a week ago. Two or three times during the week, I unlocked it, dipped a chip or two and then re-locked it. After a week, the guacamole is as fresh as if I made it this morning. I typically make a batch of guac each week and use it as a snack or as a spread on sandwiches. I also typically throw out one-third of the batch because it spoils before we can eat it. Not any more. I estimate the food I'm not wasting will actually pay for the Guac-Lock in about a month." —mhogan
Get it on Amazon for $18.83.
13. A kitchen blowtorch you might have a hankering to own if you have also been watching cooking tutorials on TikTok — this little bb is perfect for crisping up everything from fruit to the tops of meat and cheese dishes to creme brulees to at-home s'mores.
Psst — you do need butane fuel to operate it!
Promising review: "This little gadget is really great for the price. It is pretty to look at and has a nice weight and hand feel without being too heavy or bulky. Easy to fill, just remember to buy your butane! Has a gauge to turn flame up or down. Lock on top is a safety lock, as well as, a continuous flame lock. Even if you have it going for a while the top doesn't seem to get overly hot; a plus with kids and pets. The best thing is the ignite button. I have one of those long Bic lighters, and it takes two hands to get the thing to light! The Kollea torch is super easy! Great for someone who doesn't have a lot of finger strength. It crystallized the sugar on my grapefruit nicely and made it super juicy, yum! Looking forward to using it with my painting projects and other culinary adventures!" —SeeksTruth101
Get it from Amazon for $13.99 (available in two color).
14. A jar of za'atar, a Middle Eastern spice blend of thyme, toasted sesame seeds, and sumac that you'll find yourself sprinkling on just about every meal your whip up to add a little extra savory, spicy depth to it.
Promising review: "This za'atar is the best quality I have found. I've also found that the balance of sumac and thyme to be just right. This instantly spices up my boring meal prep food and I put it on my chicken, meats, salads, yogurt, or just in olive oil — basically it makes everything taste so much better. I highly recommend it!" —TC
Get it from Amazon for $10.99+ (available in three sizes).
15. A mushroom growing kit that grows right there in the packaging, so you can add some sweet, sweet umami flavors to new dishes by sautéing, roasting, or air frying them up.
Back To The Roots is a California-based small business founded by two college friends that specializes in indoor gardening kits with a mission to reconnect families to food.
Psst — if you have not put mushrooms in your air fryer, my friend, you have not yet lived the full human experience. Also this growing kit comes with some recipes to get you started!
Promising review: "This product has been so much fun to watch! I followed the directions, exactly as written, and the mushrooms began growing within 3–4 days. I will say that I did soak them for close to 10 hours before putting them back in the box to grow and I believe this helped a ton. I also kept the box inside by a window with the blinds closed in order for them to get indirect sunlight. The mushrooms grew tremendously for almost a week before they started to shrink so I clipped them to cook with and they were DELICIOUS! This was such a fun product and process to watch. I am now in the process of trying to get a second batch of shrooms from the same box. Fingers crossed!" —Steph A
Get it from Amazon for $16.31.
16. A microwave pasta maker to bring you the glory of your favorite carbohydrate by literally just pressing a button on the microwave and walking away, so you don't have to hover over a boiling pot listening to a podcast just to get your noodles on.
Promising review: "This is a fantastic product. I’ve been cooking for more than 50 years. Pasta has always been a simple go-to dinner for me. Tending to the boiling pot of pasta was just part of the process. I’ve been getting tired of cooking as I’ve aged. This simple little microwave pasta cooker has simplified cooking so much more than I could have imagined. Seems silly, but it’s kinda like a little miracle. No more toting a heavy pot to the stove. No more pouring pasta and boiling water into a colander. It’s simple, lightweight, and foolproof. You’ll never regret buying this. I suggest buying the larger size to have more portion options." —Winky
Get it from Amazon for $16.99.
And here are some other microwave-safe products to make your life easier.
17. Plus a rapid veggie steamer so you can be like, "BOOM. SIDE DISH!" without actually putting in any work beyond pressing a few buttons and waiting five minutes.
18. A trio lasagna pan designed so people with different lasagna preferences can customize their own versions without cross-contamination (sometimes you just gotta drown the whole thing in cheese, you dig me?). Also, with this gizmo, every piece is an edge piece 😋.
FYI, you can 6,000% use these for brownies, blondies, and bread too.
Promising review: "As someone who has a child (now a teenager) who will not eat any form of cheese, I find that this pan is amazing! I typically avoid making any food that has cheese mixed into it but now I can make him a section without cheese and the rest of us our regular cheesy goodness. Another benefit to this pan is how well the portions slice. One cut with the spatula gives you a perfectly formed square. Each section makes four regular sized portions for our family." —TLC
Get it from Amazon for $16.99.
19. A bag of powdered cheddar because if you can dream it, you! can! cheese it!! The blend is designed to meld with butter, sour cream, or other sauces for ultimate cheese blends, but reviewers are also obsessed with sprinkling it on popcorn, veggies, eggs, potatoes, and chips. It'a also gluten-free and keto-friendly!
Promising review: "My 6-year-old son is super picky with his mac 'n' cheese (as in, would only eat Kraft) so when he had to go gluten-free it was one of the things he missed the most. We tried all of the prepackaged gluten-free ones and he hated them. We found that he liked Barilla brand gluten-free elbow pasta so I needed to find a gluten-free cheese to go with with it. This was a hit! I mixed it with a little milk and butter, and he ate two bowls. This is real cheese, all natural ingredients and they suggest keeping it refrigerated. I'm glad we finally found a replacement for his mac 'n' cheese!" —Naomi A. Dejesus Howard
Get it from Amazon for $14.99.
20. A weekly meal planner you can use to map out all your meals and grocery needs in advance — particularly handy if you're so busy that prioritizing yummy things falls to the wayside. This is also great for cutting costs, save time ordering groceries, and minimizing your number of trips to the store.
The list magnetizes to the fridge, and has the meal plan on one side, and a perforated "shopping list" you can tear off and take with you on the other side.
Promising review: "I’ve been starting to get into meal prepping and this planner really helps! I like being able to look up recipes on my phone, then write down whatever ingredients I still need on the grocery list section of this planner. Its being magnetic is cool because you can hang it on the fridge. I love how the grocery list section can be ripped off so you can take it to the store, but the daily meal plans remain on the fridge so you can stay organized. This is a very simple idea, but it’s cute and helps keep me get organized and motivated to plan out my meals." —Samantha M.
Get it from Amazon for $10.95 (available in five styles).