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Newlywed Kitchen Essentials | How to Keep A Well Stocked Kitchen

It is often said that the kitchen is the heart of the home. And that is certainly true in my house. Growing up, the kitchen was always the center of every family party. It was where we danced, laughed, cooked and welcomed each other as family. I have such fond memories of being in the kitchen with my mom and grandma, learning how to cook traditional Panamanian food and, as I got older, enjoying baking and serving my own delectable treats to my loved ones.

Setting up your first kitchen with a partner or spouse is one of the first ways that your home will start to feel complete. As you set the stage for all of the late night talks over glasses of wine, dinners with friends, and cherished memories with family. It can seem to be a daunting task to know exactly what you need for your kitchen when there are so many products available today. So in today's post, I want to help you break down some of the essentials that you'll need to become a natural in the heart of your family's home.

Here's my comprehensive guide to stocking your newlywed kitchen with everything you need.


1. Cookware Basics

Quality cookware has become much more important in recent years as many of us are now realizing some of the harmful effects of certain types of materials making their way into our food. It's important to do your research on the best quality pans to use for your cooking.

Essential Cookware:

  • Non-Stick Skillet: These are perfect for delicate foods like eggs, pancakes and vegetables. I love using the Cuisinart stainless steel cookware and while it's a little difficult to get the hang of, once you do, you'll never fry your egg on a cast iron skillet again.

  • Cast Iron Skillet: While I won't be frying my eggs on it, I still absolutely adore cast iron skillets. They are able to obtain a level of heat that is unmatched. They're great for cooking meats, casseroles, pies and biscuits.

  • Dutch Oven: If you're a baker or you have dreams of baking your own delicious loaf of bread one day, a dutch oven will quickly become your best friend. These pots are so versatile, I truly think they will come in handy if you spend a lot of time in the kitchen! From making stews and soups, to short ribs and that rustic loaf of bread, they are one of my favorite kitchen staples.

  • Saucepan: It's in the name! Saucepans are great for making delicious pasta sauces, boiling pasta and reheating leftovers.

  • Baking Sheets: Baking sheets are not a want, they're a need! How else will you bake all of those delicious cookies at Christmastime? These are great for not only baking, but roasting vegetables, potatoes, and making easy sheet-pan dinners.

2. Cutlery and Knives

Good knives are crucial for efficient and safe food prep. A sharp knife can truly make all the difference in your cooking experience. Take it from someone who accidentally sliced off the tip of her thumb while chopping parsley. (Don't chop and watch Bridgerton, folks.) But good knives can be pricey, and that's why they make a great registry gift!

Essential Knives:

  • Chef's Knife: A versatile knife for majority of your chopping and slicing.

  • Paring Knife: For peeling and more precise cutting.

  • Serrated Knife: For slicing bread!!


  • Knife Sharpener: To keep your knives in tip top shape! (I need to get one of these myself, actually.)

  • Wooden Cutting Boards: Make sure to have at least two - one for meats and one for vegetables. I specify wood as we now know that cutting on plastic cutting boards can release microplastics into your food and we don't want that!

3. Utensils and Gadgets

While the standard forks, knives and spoons are a good start - there are some kitchen utensils you might have forgotten about that will help you make the best meals possible.

Must-Have Utensils:

  • Spatula: For flipping pancakes and stirring cake batter, of course.

  • Wooden Spoon: Best for stirring hot dishes and sauces. I always use my wooden spoon for soup and polenta!

  • Tongs: For turning meats and veggies over without piercing them.

  • Whisk: For mixing batters, and making the fluffiest morning eggs.

  • Measuring Cups and Spoons: Very necessary for precise baking and cooking.

  • Cookie/Ice Cream Scoop: Not entirely necessary, but helpful when you want to take your baking to the next level and create even scoops of dough!

Nice-to-Have Gadgets:

  • Potato Peeler: For potatoes, fruits and certain vegetables. Yes you could use a knife as well, but these do come in handy if you don't have the best fine motor skills.

  • Cheese Grater: For grating cheeses, fresh nutmeg, and citrus zest.

  • Can Opener: A kitchen basic you'll use more often than you think you'll need to.

  • Colander: For draining pasta and washing your produce.

  • Mixing Bowls: Helpful for not only mixing, but for serving a large salad as well.

4. Appliances

Appliances are notoriously expensive, but investing in a few key appliances will make your cooking experience that much more seamless.

Essential Appliances:

  • Oven or Toaster Oven: For cooking almost everything.

  • Blender: For smoothies, and soups.

  • Toaster: For quick breakfasts like toast & waffles.

  • Slow Cooker or Instant Pot: Essential for hands off cooking for meats, beans, and oatmeal over a long time frame.

5. Bakeware

As an avid baker, I can tell you that having quality bakeware has become so important to me. I love to send cookies in the mail to my friends, and share morning muffins with my neighbors. Baking fosters community and love. And the right bakeware will help you create beautiful and tasty treats to share!

Essential Bakeware:

  • Baking Dish: For casseroles, lasagnas, and other baked dishes.

  • Muffin Tin: For cupcakes, muffins, and mini quiches!

  • Loaf Pan: For all of the delicious banana bread you're going to make.

  • Cake Pan: For cakes.

  • Pie Dish: Apple pie, cherry pie, pecan pie, chicken pot pie!

6. Pantry Staples

Having a well-stocked pantry with basic ingredients will help to make your meal preparation quick and easy. Have a standard routine of items that you keep stocked, so you don't end up needing to run to the grocery store at the last minute in the middle of making dinner!

Essential Pantry Items:

  • Oils: Olive oil and avocado oil are your best option for cooking as they have a high smoke point. They're great for cooking as well as using in salad dressings and for frying.

  • Vinegars: Balsamic, apple cider and white vinegar are essential to have on hand for dressings and marinades.

  • Spices and Herbs: Salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, basil, oregano, cinnamon, nutmeg, etc. Spices help to flavor your food in addition to using fresh ingredients. To make things more fun, grow an herb garden on your kitchen windowsill or in the yard, and you can pluck whatever herbs you need when you want them!

  • Dried Goods: Rice, pasta, flour, sugar and baking powder.

  • Canned Goods: Tomatoes, beans, broth, tuna coconut milk, some fruits. Canned goods are perfect for making quick meals without a lot of prep time.

7. Storage Storage Storage

Proper storage of your food will help keep it fresh longer and limit the amount of food that goes to waste. It will also help keep your kitchen organized and help maintain a clean, functional cooking space.

Essential Food Storage Items:

  • Glass Food Storage Containers: For leftovers and meal planning.

  • Plastic Wrap and Aluminum Foil: For both storing and cooking.

  • Zip-Lock Bags: Helpful for freezing small items and storing snacks for day to day.

  • Spice Rack: To keep your spices organized and accessible.

With this guide, you're sure to have a great start to your new life as a wife and home cook! Remember, your kitchen is a space for creativity, bonding, nourishment and making memories. With the right tools, you'll be able to create delicious meals that your family will talk about for generations to come.

1 Comment

Hi Felicia., I love this topic ! All of your meals looks great!👍 Thanks for all the kitchen items you suggested to have in your kitchen. I remember when I was younger and a teenager the kitchen was great for talking and learning how to make great Sunday meals my mom would make for her husband and children. 💯♥️

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