41 Unusual Cooking Gifts

Looking for unusual cooking gifts for foodie friends or loved ones? This round-up of 41 out-of-the-box ideas won’t disappoint.

a woman in a sparkly dress holding a wrapped gift

I’m a sucker for kitchen products. I love receiving and giving them. And I know my way around the block when it comes to coming up with unusual cooking gifts ideas.

You may already own the basics like a set of cast iron pans, a Dutch oven for high heat cooking, kitchen shears, fancy ice cube trays, and a slotted spoon.

The next time you’re shopping for a foodie friend or relative, use this list to come up with unusual cooking gift ideas for them.

Meal prep gift ideas

When it comes to unusual cooking gifts, these meal prep ideas are certainly out of the box!

close up of a kitchen gadget

1. Garlic chopper

“Since I put garlic in just about every dish I make, a garlic chopper is a great time saver,” says Janet Brancato, MS, RDN, owner of Nutopia Nutrition. “I use it daily, and it chops the garlic fine and evenly.”

close up of salad spinner

2. Salad spinner

“We eat a large salad every night, so I use my salad spinner every day,” says Elena Paravantes, RDN, author of The Mediterranean Diet Cookbook for Beginners

“I use the bowl to soak the greens—and then after a few spins, they are dry and ready to eat. It is also useful for drying herbs,” she says.

Liv Lee, MS, RDN, a dietitian in Philadelphia, agrees. “It makes using fresh greens easy and fun, because wet lettuce and dressing don’t mix!” she says. “I eat salads more frequently after I bought this low-budget gadget.” 

mini spatulas with colorful ends

3. Mini spatulas

“It seems simple, but I have a collection of mini whisks and spatulas,” says Ginger Hultin, MS, RDN, author of Eat to Beat Disease Cookbook. “When I’m cooking, I use them all! They’re so great for transferring and blending.”

food processor

4. Food processor

“My food processor is a very useful tool in my kitchen,” says Tracee Yablon Brenner, RDN, CHHC, co-author of Simple Foods for Busy Families. “It’s also great to make hummus, pesto, curry sauces, muffins, and baked goods.”

“The interchangeable blades and discs makes it easy to grate and chop onions and other vegetables, as well as to chop nuts and make nut butter,” she adds.

Yablon Brenner says she also uses the gadget to make nice cream, ice cream, and different types of snack bites containing nuts and dried fruit.

Jennifer Hunt, RDN, healthy recipes blogger at Healthy-Inspiration.com, love her food processor, too, noting that she uses it to make mashed cauliflower.

spiralizer gadget

5. Spiralizer

Here’s an item to add to your kitchen utensils list, pronto. “I love to make low-carb alternatives of my favorite pasta dishes,” says Lara Clevenger, MSH, RD, CPT, author of Freezer-Friendly Family Dinner Recipes.

“It’s an easy and delicious way to get more veggies into your diet,” she adds.

steamer pot

6. Steamer pot

“My favorite gadget is my steamer pot,” says Kate Wilson McGowan, RD, a dietitian in New York City.

“As a new mom, this has steamed my son’s first foods!” she says. “Feeding your child food for the first time can seem very overwhelming, but steaming in this pot is so easy. And a bonus: You can boil pasta at the same time!”

immersion blender

7. Immersion blender

“My favorite tool is my immersion blender,” says Kelly Jones, MS, RD, CSSD, owner of Kelly Jones Nutrition, who suggests using the gadget to prep a Creamy Dairy-Free Tomato Sauce

“It’s so much easier and safer to use it over the stovetop to make soups and sauces creamy, versus transferring hot liquid to a blender. It’s also quick and fun to use—and clean up is super easy.”

Marie Dittmer, MA, RDN, a nutrition blogger at HealthyIdeasPlace.com, notes that you can also use an immersion blender to prep smoothies and vinaigrettes.

garlic press

8. Garlic press

“We are an Air Force family and recently rented a furnished house for a few months while doing some training in another state,” says Savannah Thaler, RDN, owner of Savvy Wellness and Health.

“The kitchen had the necessities but not all my usual gadgets and tools,” she says. “The thing I missed the very most was my garlic press! I love using fresh garlic and cook with it almost every night.”

“Quickly mincing garlic with a garlic is so much more efficient than hand chopping each tiny clove. I will never travel without it again!”

egg poacher

9. Egg poacher

If this item isn’t on your list of kitchen items, add it immediately. “I love using these egg poach pods,” says Tawnie Kroll, RDN, owner of Kroll’s Korner.

Make poached eggs for an eggs Benedict recipe or to serve with fruit and whole-grain toast. “I love it for the ease and because they actually work really well!”

high speed blender

10. High-speed blender

Kathy LaBella, RDN, CSSD, owner of Peak Performance, says that she couldn’t live without her high-speed blender. “I use it daily for smoothies, soups, and other recipes!” she says.


11. Countertop microwave

“Along with our salad spinner, the microwave is a completely useful and practical tool in my kitchen,” says Zach Cordell, RDN, owner of Cordell Nutrition.

“Being a box, it’s not as sexy as other gadgets but can do the job of reducing time serving up meals for the family,” he says.

a woman in a kitchen cooking

Flavor enhancer gifts

When it comes to unusual cooking gifts, low-calorie ways to add flavor win the prize.

mortar and pestle

12. Mortar and pestle

“I like my good old mortar and pestle,” says Lisa Bruno, RD, a dietitian in Union City, NJ. “I use it to crush together olive oil, garlic, and herbs. It makes everything so much more fragrant.”

coffee grinder

13. Coffee grinder

Nothing tastes as good as freshly ground coffee beans. And this stainless steel beauty makes your coffee routine even more picture perfect. Add it to your list of kitchen items today.

“I always buy whole coffee beans because they stay fresher longer,” says Natalie Rizzo, MS, RDN, author of Planted Performance. “I grind about one cup at a time. That way, I can adjust the coarseness of the bean based on the type of coffee maker I’m using.”

zester with red handle

14. Zester

“My favorite gadget is my Microplane,” says Wendy Jo Peterson, MS, RDN, co-author of Born to Eat. “Even when I do cooking shows on the road, my zester goes with me. I love a pop of lemon, lime, or orange.” 

Joan Salge Blake, EdD, RD, author of Nutrition & You and clinical associate professor of nutrition at Boston University, uses her zester in a different way. “I use it to put a fine dusting of Parmigiano Reggiano on everything.

Chicken, fish, veggies, rice, and of course pasta all get a light coating of this flavorful cheese.” Rachel Begun, MS, RDN, a culinary nutritionist at RachelBegun.com, uses hers to grate ginger, turmeric, chocolate, and mushrooms.

air fryer

15. Air Fryer

“I love my Actifry for roasting veggies and making all sorts of ‘fries’ like sweet potato, parsnip, and butternut squash ones with only one Tablespoon of oil for two pounds of produce,” says Lauren Harris-Pincus, MS, RDN, author of The Protein-Packed Breakfast Club. 

“The moving arm inside this air fryer allows you to set it and forget it without having to stir or turn your veggies during cooking,” she says.

citrus juicer

16. Citrus juicer

If you don’t already own a juicer, add this one to your list of must have kitchen items. “In addition to sauces and salad dressings, I use fresh-squeezed citrus juices in a variety of dishes,” says Jessica Levinson, MS, RDN, co-author of We Can Cook.

“Citrus adds so much flavor without bumping up the sodium and fat content of recipes. And unlike an electric juicer, the hand juicer is quick and easy to clean!” she says.

stainless steel capresso gadget

17. Milk steamer

Here’s a kitchen gadget that I’m rather obsessed with at the moment. I’ve stopped making so many runs to the coffee shop for steamed and foamed milk, since this appliance allows me to easily do the job myself.

The best part? Steamed milk feels like a treat, yet it contains no added sugar.

milk frother

18. Milk frother

If an electric milk steamer isn’t in your current budget, add a handheld milk foamer to your must have kitchen items list. You’ll have to steam the milk first (you can do this over the stovetop), but the gadget is a lot more economical.

sous vide cooker

19. Sous vide cooker

“I’m obsessed with the sous vide,” says Bruno. “It is an amazing way to cook fish and meat, and it has so many other uses. You just need the time.”

indoor grill on a marble countertop

20. Indoor grill

Yup, you can grill indoors anytime of year! When you grill, you get that amazing BBQ taste without loads of calories from butter or oil. Plus, the City Grill pairs with the Cook with Kenyon app for lots and lots of grilled-food recipes!

Portion control gifts

A girl is preparing food in a kitchen with mom

When it comes to unusual cooking gifts, you can buy presents that help your loved ones eat healthier.

A close up of a bottle

21. Oil mister

“I use an olive-oil sprayer in place of non-stick spray on popcorn and when toasting bread or croutons,” says Laura Rutledge, MA, RDN, CSO, nutrition blogger at NourishingPlate.com. “It helps disperse the oil evenly without dousing the item with oil!” 

olive oil pourer

22. Olive oil pourer

“I can’t live without my olive oil pourer, which I transfer to a new bottle each time I start one,” says Sharon Palmer, RD, author of Plant-Powered for Life and a plant-based blogger at SharonPalmer.com

“It helps control the amount of olive oil you pour over foods,” she says

measuring cups

23. Measuring cups

“My favorite kitchen gadget is the measuring cup—and not only for measuring food,” says Jessica Spiro, RD, owner of Jessica Spiro Nutrition.

“I use a measuring cup as a scoop when I make cookies or veggie burgers for consistently manageable sizes,” she says. Also, measuring cups are great tools for toddlers!”

“I love to have my 1-year-old daughter help in the kitchen, and I’ve found that the handles on measuring cups make it easy for her to put ingredients into the blender, pot, pan, or mixing bowl.” Don’t forget to buy matching measuring spoons!

a woman wearing an apron cooking in a kitchen

Creative food prep gifts

Having fun with food is part of the joy of eating it. Add these unusual food gifts to your shopping list.

yoga pose cookie cutters

24. Yoga pose cookie cutters

“My family loves to have fun with our food,” says Lacy Ngo, MS, RDN, author of The Nourishing Meal Builder. “One way we do this is to collect cookie cutters.”

“We use them to cut out shapes in our whole-wheat bread when we make fun sandwiches or whole-wheat tortillas when we make quesadillas,” she says.

Ngo says her kids love yoga-inspired cookie cutters, nicknaming them “exercise sandwich cutters.”

cookie press

25. Cookie press

I’m a little obsessed with this product, which allows you to imprint designs like flowers, owls, and the word “love” onto cookies. It’s on my kitchen supplies list for baking!

apple corer

26. Apple corer

“I’ve been loving my apple corer,” says Stephanie Langdon, RD, creator of WhatRDsDo.com.

“It makes prep work quicker and less messy but also makes snack time fun for my toddler. We core apples, slice them into rounds, and decorate them with peanut butter, yogurt, granola, and dried fruit.”

a bunch of colorfully wrapped gifts with bows

Functional cooking gifts

When it comes to unusual cooking fits, functional presents are very out of the box.

close up of a sharp knife

27. High-quality knives

“I use a chef’s knife and a paring knife for everything,” says Rebecca Livingstone, RD, nutrition blogger at FoodsandThoughts.com.

Use a chef’s knife to slice vegetables and mince herbs—and a paring knife to peel produce or remove seeds from jalapenos. She says she loves multi-tasking items because she has limited space.

Judy Barbe, RD, author of Your 6-Week Guide to LiveBest, notes that she  takes her knives with her even when she camps!

veggie peeler

28. Vegetable peeler

“I love my veggie peeler,” says Therese Bonanni, MS, RDN, a dietitian at Navesink Wellness Center in Rumson, NJ.

“I often use it to make zoodles, without having to store a large spiralizer. I also use it to grate hard cheeses like Parmesan to add a little bit of extra flavor on top of soups and salads without breaking the calorie bank!”


29. Chopsticks

“I love using chopsticks for all kinds of things in the kitchen,” says Ann Dunaway Teh, MS, RDN, CSSD co-owner of My Menu Pal. “They’re my go-to before tongs or even wooden spoons.

“They’re great for flipping foods in a pan, either on the stovetop or when roasting vegetables in the oven,” she says.

instant pot

30. Multi-use cooker

“I finally caved and bought a multi-use cooker, aka Instant Pot,” says Jessica Cording, RD, author of The Little Book of Game Changers and owner of Jessica Cording Nutrition. “It can slow cook, pressure cook, sauté, and steam.”

The Instant Pot can also make rice, risotto, and yogurt (get many more Instant Pot recipes)!

“I’ve been having a great time playing around with my new kitchen toy, and already it’s become a valuable tool that doesn’t take up a ton of space—key for New York City apartment living,” says Cording.

Kelli Shallal, RD, author of Make Ahead High Protein Breakfast Recipes and healthy living blogger at HungryHobby.net adds, “I’m pretty obsessed with my Instant Pot for food prep.”

rice cooker

31. Rice cooker

“I love my three-cup rice cooker,” says Darla Balthaser, RDN, nutrition blogger at ecoRDN.com. “It is great for tiny kitchens. I make all kinds of rice, grains, and lentils in it—but it is actually used most to make cake!”

cooling racks

32. Stackable cooling racks

When Diana Dugan Richards, RD, owner of Namaste Nutrition, saw stackable cooking racks at a friend’s house, she knew she had to own her own set and that they’d top her list of must-have kitchen tools.

“They’re sturdy, stackable, and great for small kitchens,” she says. “They’re also easy to clean and very long lasting—think decades!” Bonus: Richards say her cookies cool evenly with the racks. 

colorful color-coded cutting boards

Food safety presents

When it comes to unusual cooking gifts, food safety ones are no-brainers!

33. Color-coded cutting boards

Cutting boards in multiple colors and styles are a staple in the kitchen of Amy Reed, RD, owner of Amy Reed Nutrition. “I line them up when making a big meal or when my kids are prepping their lunches. I can never have too many.”

Using separate cutting boards for meat and produce prep is essential for food safety.

knife sharpener

34. Knife sharpener

“Dull knives have no place in the kitchen,” says Pat Baird, MA, RDN, author of Be Good to Your Gut and founder of Confident Health. “Sharp ones make the dullest chores a breeze!”

food thermometer

35. Food thermometer

“An oven-safe meat thermometer ensures perfectly cooked food and preserves food safety,” says Jenna Braddock, RD, co-author of 200 Surefire Ways to Eat Well and Feel Better a sports dietitian at MakeHealthyEasy.com.

“I have one with two thermometers so you can always know the temp of two individual items in the oven,” she says.

“Buying a high-quality one that can withstand temps up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit is crucial. I use this tool all the time. It helps anyone be an expert cook.” 

green steamer

Minimizing-the-mess gifts

Presents that help keep your kitchen tidy. Your recipients will love these unusual cooking gifts.

36. Prevent spills

Talk about genius kitchen gadgets! Evelyn Gezo, MS, RDN, professor emerita at Fordham University in Bronx, New York says she swears by her Kuhn Rikon Kochblume Spill Stopper when boiling pasta or cooking beans.

“The water never spills over,” she notes.

tablet stand

37. Tablet stand

Gone are the days when you need to wipe off your smartphone or tablet after you cook. Prevent spills and splatters with a tablet holder. 

“Keeping my tablet in the kitchen helps me explore new flavors, techniques, foods, and trends,” says Ellie Wilson, MS, RDN, senior nutritionist at Price Chopper Supermarkets in Schenectady, NY.

dish soap wand with blue handle

38. Dish soap wand

“One of my favorite kitchen gadgets is a soap-dispensing dish wand,” says Shaylyn Lynch, MS, RDN, a cystic fibrosis dietitian at Drexel College of Medicine in Philadelphia.

“Having a sponge with a handle makes clean up easy and quick—without getting your hands dirty,” she says.

food hugger containers for avocado

Food storage gifts

Here are additional items to add to your list of unusual cooking gifts!

39. Food huggers

“I just got a set of these food huggers for Christmas and love them so much!” says Rebecca Clyde, MS, RDN, a healthy food blogger a NourishNutritionBlog.com.

“You slip them on half-used round foods like onions, citrus, apples, and even canned goods if you’re too lazy to transfer leftovers into sealed containers,” she says.

” I’ve been trying to reduce food waste and spoilage, and this has been a great way to do so.” Grab a set of this dishwasher-safe storage!

clear food display canisters

40. Display canisters

I have several sets of these in my kitchen, and they display everything from pasta to nuts and seeds. The air-tight container helps items stay good for the long haul, definitely ranking it high on my list for must-have kitchen tools!

glass cups with lids

41. Glass cups with lids

I love a multi-use product, and these custard cups allow me to serve up anything from yogurt parfaits to chia pudding. They come with a lid, making it a cinch to store leftovers.

a little girl baking with her mom as she puts freeze-dried berries on top of an iced cake

Final thoughts

When it comes to shopping for unusual cooking gifts, you have so many ideas at your disposal. You can choose from gifts for meal prep, gifts that add flavor, food safety gifts, and more.


Looking for unusual cooking gifts for foodie friends or loved ones? This round-up of 41 out-of-the-box ideas won't disappoint.

I’d love to hear from you! What will you add to this list of unusual cooking gifts?

Plant-Based Eating |

Find this post helpful? At no additional cost to you, you can support the maintenance of running this site by using my Amazon affiliate links to shop. Thank you so much.

And don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter to get updates delivered straight to your inbox! Also, download my free 3-day vegan meal plan.

Want to go shopping with a dietitian? Here’s your chance! I just opened up my very own storefront,  full of plant-based meal plans, grocery lists, recipe books, and more!

Join The Conversation

You Might Also Like

Comments Background Texture

Share Your Thoughts

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *