No matter how much or how little you do, meal prep guarantees an easier week of eating. These tools make the meal-prep work as easy as can be.

Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
Advertisement
pan of chicken and containers of veggies, grains and sauces - all prepped

Meal prepping your meals or even part of your meals ahead of time has become increasingly popular as a strategy to save money and time and make it easier to stick to a healthy diet. As the Meal Plan Editor here at EatingWell, I've been working to spread this message for years! No matter how much or how little you do, meal prep guarantees an easier week of eating, especially when you use our easy-to-follow meal-prep plans, meal plans and meal-prep recipes to guide your prep session.

You probably have a lot of what you need to prep in your kitchen already but if you're new to the meal-prep scene or are looking to upgrade your gear for more seamless meal prep, these essential tools are what you need. From the basics, like a high-quality knife and slip-proof cutting board, to more specialized tools that do what no other tool can do, these are our absolute favorite items to stock your kitchen with to help streamline your meal prep.

Sign up for our meal-prep focused newsletter, ThePrep, and get a brand new weekly meal plan and shopping list delivered to your inbox every Saturday.

Quick Buy Option:

If you want to cut to the chase, here are all the links for the products below, sans the reasons why we love them:

Buy it! Wüsthof 4582/16 Classic Chef's Knife: 6" Black, amazon.com, $60 for 1

Buy it! KitchenIQ 50009 Edge Grip 2-Stage Knife Sharpener in Black, amazon.com, $6

Buy it! Baking Set (Aluminum Sheet Pan, SIL-MAT Silicone Baking Mat & Stainless Steel Cooling Rack), amazon.com, $25

Buy it! Microplane Soft-Handle Zester Grater (12"), surlatable.com, $15

Buy it! Prep Naturals 30-oz. Glass Meal Prep Containers, amazon.com, $30 for 5 pack

Buy it! Sistema To Go Collection Salad Dressing Containers, amazon.com, $4 for 4

Buy it! Prep Naturals 36-oz. Glass Meal Prep Containers, amazon.com, $31 for 5 pack

Buy it! Duralex 100010 Made In France Lys Stackable 10-Piece Bowl Set, amazon.com, $32

Buy it! OXO Good Grips Non-Stick Pro Muffin Pan, amazon.com, $25

Buy it! AmazonBasics Reusable Silicone Baking Cups, Pack of 12, amazon.com, $8

Buy it! Pyrex Prepware 2-Cup Measuring Cup, amazon.com, $12

Buy it! Hudson Essentials Stainless Steel Measuring Cups and Spoons Set (15 Piece Set), amazon.com, $40

Buy it! Cuisinart 77-7 Chef's Classic Stainless 7-Piece Cookware Set, amazon.com, $80

Buy it! OXO Good Grips Cutting and Carving Board, oxo.com, $28 for 1 large

Buy it: Utopia Kitchen Flour Sack Dish Towels, 12 Pack Cotton Kitchen Towels, amazon.com, $16

Buy it! Cuisinart Multicooker, surlatable.com, $160 (orig. $300)

Buy it! Kitchenaid 7-Cup Food Processor Plus, surlatable.com, $130

Buy it! Magic Bullet Blender, surlatable.com, $40

The Essentials for Meal Prep

These essential meal-prep items get my seal of approval.

Chef's knife

wustof knife
Photo: amazon.com

First thing's first—you need a sharp, trusty knife that makes it easy to do the prep work. This knife in particular is my favorite everyday knife. It's not as large as some chef's knives but I find it easier to handle. Yes, it's a little pricey at $60 but you only need one and it'll last forever!

Buy it! Wüsthof 4582/16 Classic Chef's Knife: 6" Black, amazon.com, $60 for 1

Keep it sharp with a simple knife sharpener: To buy: KitchenIQ 50009 Edge Grip 2-Stage Knife Sharpener in Black, amazon.com, $6

Sheet-Pan (and accessories)

Essential for roasting, making pizza, baking cookies and so much more. You need at least one in your kitchen and two means easier, faster meal prep. I always use two sheet-pans when I meal prep, especially in the colder months when roasted veggies and chicken are a regular.

Buy it! Baking Set (Aluminum Sheet Pan, SIL-MAT Silicone Baking Mat & Stainless Steel Cooling Rack), amazon.com, $25

Microplane

Need perfectly grated garlic or ginger for a salad dressing? What about some fresh lemon zest or Parmesan cheese to top you pasta? This microplane does it all and is one of my favorite kitchen tools.

Buy it! Microplane Soft-Handle Zester Grater (12"), surlatable.com, $15

Meal-Prep Containers

prep naturals meal prep container
Photo: amazon.com

The perfect size for stashing away one of our easy meal-prep lunch recipes, these glass meal-prep containers are key. For dressings, sauces or toppings like sliced nuts or seeds, smaller leak-proof containers are handy. For dinner leftovers or batch-cooked ingredients, the larger 36-oz. meal-prep containers mean you can fit it all in one and keep your fridge organized with symmetrical-sized containers. See more of our favorite meal prep containers.

Buy it! Prep Naturals 30-oz. Glass Meal Prep Containers, amazon.com, $30 for 5 pack

Buy it! Sistema To Go Collection Salad Dressing Containers, amazon.com, $4 for 4

Buy it! Prep Naturals 36-oz. Glass Meal Prep Containers, amazon.com, $31 for 5 pack

Meal-Prep Bowls

Be it for mixing or mise en place, having a bunch of bowls is helpful with meal prepping and cooking in general. I love this stackable set for efficient storage.

Buy it! Duralex 100010 Made In France Lys Stackable 10-Piece Bowl Set, amazon.com, $32

Muffin Pan

A good muffin pan is essential for meal prepping a big batch of muffins or egg cups for the week ahead. This is my preferred way of meal prepping snacks and breakfasts as it's so quick. All you do is make the batter, pour it in and in 20 or so minutes you're done!

Buy it! OXO Good Grips Non-Stick Pro Muffin Pan, amazon.com, $25

Reusable Baking Cups

Photo: amazon.com
Photo: amazon.com

They're eco-friendly, rainbow-colored and make clean up a breeze. These reusable silicone baking cups are key even if you have a non-stick muffin pan.

Buy it! AmazonBasics Reusable Silicone Baking Cups, Pack of 12, amazon.com, $8

Measuring Cup and Spoons

For perfect recipes every time, especially when it comes to baking, measuring cups and spoons are a must. The large glass measuring cups that usually come in 1- or 2-cup sizes are meant for liquid measurements (like water, oil and milk), while the individual measuring cups (1/4 cup, 1/3 cup, 1 cup, etc.) are meant for dry measures (flour, oats and sugar). And then there are measuring spoons.

Buy it! Pyrex Prepware 2-Cup Measuring Cup, amazon.com, $12

Buy it! Hudson Essentials Stainless Steel Measuring Cups and Spoons Set (15 Piece Set), amazon.com, $40

Basic Cookware Set

Any pan can be nonstick if you use enough oil. Nonstick pans are often made perfluorocarbons (PFCs), chemicals that are linked to liver damage and developmental problems. There are tips for reducing the risk of nonstick pans, but the easier option is to go with stainless steel and be sure to use a little oil each time you cook.

Buy it! Cuisinart 77-7 Chef's Classic Stainless 7-Piece Cookware Set, amazon.com, $80

Cutting Board

oxo cutting board
Photo: oxo.com

Go for a large cutting board that can handle all the veggies you'll be prepping! This way, you won't run out of room. This one has non-slip grips to help keep your cutting board in place when using, and a juice groove to prevent liquids from spilling over the sides onto your countertop.

Buy it! OXO Good Grips Cutting and Carving Board, oxo.com, $28 for 1 large

Dish Towels

Save wasteful paper towels for the really gross clean-up jobs and instead invest in some dishtowels for cleaning up after your prep session.

Buy it: Utopia Kitchen Flour Sack Dish Towels, 12 Pack Cotton Kitchen Towels, amazon.com, $16

Slow Cooker

You gotta love the tools that do the work for you and a slow-cooker is at the top of that list. All you need to do is dump in the ingredients and the slow-cooker does the rest of the work. I in particular love the newer models that not only slow-cook but also have a sauté feature, which means you don't need to dirty another pan browning your meat.

Buy it! Cuisinart Multicooker, surlatable.com, $160 (orig. $300)

Food Processor or small blender

food processor
Photo: surlatable.com

Whether you're mixing up a batch of energy balls or meal-prepping a bunch of pesto, a food processor or small blender can make the job easy. It wouldn't hurt to have both in your kitchen at some point, but if you're just starting out, pick one to start with.

Buy it! Kitchenaid 7-Cup Food Processor Plus, surlatable.com, $130

Buy it! Magic Bullet Blender, surlatable.com, $40