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1. Naturally, an Instant Pot or Crockpot multi-cooker, because there's basically no other way to put from-scratch chicken tacos on the table in 15 minutes.
2. Or if you're not interested in trying a pressure cooker, a simple slow cooker that lets you dump a bunch of ingredients in at once, basically ignore it, then come back a few hours later to a hot, delicious meal.
3. A classic cookbook — it's packed with literally thousands of recipes that, besides being incredibly delicious and never too complicated, will teach you how to cook along the way.
4. A top-rated, restaurant kitchen favorite, super sharp—chef's knife so you can significantly speed up your prep no matter your knife skills.
5. And a Scrap Trap to catch all of the extra bits before you toss 'em in the garbage disposal...OR to hold everything you're about to dump into the pan.
6. A handheld knife sharpener because it will fiercely hone each and every blade you own until they're back to their peak, like-new sharpness that makes it a thousand times easier to slice and dice.
7. Plus a pair of cut-resistant gloves, so you can use your newly sharp knives (and other somewhat ~dangerous~ prep tools, like mandoline slicers) with complete confidence.
8. A veggie chopper to slice and dice onions, celery, and even tomatoes in a matter of seconds, *without* the risks of super sharp knives.
9. Or a food processor, which was literally invented to chop, shred, and slice all kinds of foods with the ~power of electricity~.
10. A microwave steamer that can cook a full meal of fish and veggies in five minutes or less — or just a perfectly al dente side of pre-chopped broccoli — so you can spend your valuable time accomplishing everything else you want to get done.
11. A compact airfryer to turn veggies, frozen fries, chicken wings, and more into a fast-food-worthy meal in no time — and with less oil.
12. A cookbook that's already done all the meal-prep planning for you, so you can enjoy incredible dinners with (somewhat) minimal work.
13. A pair of scissors — they make prepping fresh herbs incredibly fast, so you'll actually use all of the ones you buy.
14. A set of eight prep bowls with lids so you can actually start practicing ~mise en place~, or simply organize your regular prep.
15. A subscription to Cajun Crate, a monthly delivery of full-sized products exclusively from Louisiana guaranteed to bolster the flavor of whatever it is you're cooking.
16. Or a subscription to a full-fledged meal delivery kit, like Sunbasket, which serves healthy, mostly organic meals.
17. A three-sectioned nonstick skillet so you can make a full meal for just yourself while only dirtying one pan.
18. A sushi roll making kit that includes several fool-proof tools to make it quick and easy to not-cook your favorite raw (or vegetarian!) rolls right at home.
19. A full-size cookie sheet, so you can embrace the gospel of ~sheet pan dinners~: where you toss some meat and veggies together with oil and seasonings or sauce, and simply bake for a bit.
20. The "Fasta Pasta", aka a microwave cooker that makes preparing a batch of your favorite noodles MUCH easier and faster — you don't even have to wait for the water to boil.
21. An indoor grill that lets you make flavorful chicken breasts, burgers, steaks, veggies, and more all without leaving your kitchen *or* heating up your oven.
22. A rotating oven that transforms your favorite frozen foods into crispy fries, perfect chicken nuggets, and (of course) delivery-worthy pizzas.
The reviews in this post have been edited for length and clarity.