Mother's Day gifts for moms too busy to cook or moms who hate to cook
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Mother’s Day in the time of coronavirus is probably not going to be what you’re used to, but you can still treat the most important woman in your life to a gift she’ll love. Don’t forget to Skype her too, of course; a virtual hug is better than none at all. As for the other present, if your mom isn’t really into cooking—or just never has the time—these great gifts will keep her well fed with minimal effort.

While Mother’s Day might seem pretty far away, it’s never too early to think about buying your mom the perfect gift. While eating is almost always fun, certain moms do not enjoy cooking—or just don’t have time to cook. Growing up, it was my dad who did all the cooking. It’s not that my mom didn’t like to, it just so happened that my dad was passionate about it, and honestly, he was a better cook too (sorry, Mom!). That being said, we’ve rounded up some gifts that will hopefully help your mother out in the kitchen, whatever her situation.

But don’t be shy about giving her a helping hand. We all need a boost here and there. Whether it’s a gadget that will streamline meal preparation (aka make dinner in minutes), or a cookbook that recommends a drink for each recipe, we hope these ideas will mitigate any kitchen stress for that wonderful mom you have!

The Instant Pot

Instant Pot Duo Nova 6-Quart Pressure Cooker, $99.95 at Williams Sonoma

Instant Pot Duo Nova 6-Quart Pressure Cooker

Williams Sonoma

Literally prepare meals in minutes, so it’s a no-brainer. The Instant Pot may seem like magic to many converts. It dramatically reduces cooking time as much as 70 percent and even uses less energy. The Instant Pot promises to replace your “pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, yogurt maker, egg cooker, saute, steamer, warmer, sterilizer—and it makes cake too” (pretty impressive). Roast a chicken in 30 minutes or make a big pot of chili in under an hour. Basically, you’re giving your mom the gift of time.Buy Now

An Instant Pot Companion Cookbook

“Dinner in an Instant: 75 Modern Recipes for Your Pressure Cooker, Multicooker, and Instant Pot” by Melissa Clark, $13.99 on Amazon

Dinner in an Instant Instant Pot cookbook by Melissa Clark


Now that we got you hooked, your mom may need some inspiration. We’ve got you covered there too with the best Instant Pot cookbooks. Chief among them, The New York Times’ food section reporter Melissa Clark’s quick dinner recipe book, “Dinner in an Instant: 75 Modern Recipes for Your Pressure Cooker, Multicooker, and Instant Pot,” a practical, easy-to-use cookbook to help mom tackle the never-ending question of “What am I going to cook tonight?” So even if your mom isn’t fully on the Instant Pot train, but she’s used that Crock Pot for years, she can now be inspired by some new recipes for making meals in a flash.Buy Now

An Immersion Blender

Breville Control Control Grip Immersion Blender, $99.95 at Sur La Table

Breville Control Control Grip Immersion Blender

Sur La Table

These bad boys are a rather lightweight kitchen appliance that’s easy to use and won’t take up a ton of space. Rather than pour soups or soon-to-be-pureed foods into a blender, dirtying up another large and bulky appliance, an immersion blender simply purees the food in the pot with a touch of a button. And they’re super easy to clean. Whip up homemade mayonnaise or whipped cream, make smoothies, puree soups, and even make your own baby food with minimal mess (or effort). This one includes a whisk attachment for whipped cream (or dalgona coffee), a 3-cup chopper bowl, and a 42-ounce jug with lid. The 15 speeds mean mom can not just puree, but chop things like homemade salsa.Buy Now

An Air Fryer

Philips Premium Air Fryer, $19.95 at Williams Sonoma

Philips Premium Air Fryer

Williams Sonoma

Air fryers make it possible to turn out delicious comfort food favorites quickly with rapid hot air technology that requires little or no oil. French fries, chicken nuggets, and other crispy delights are made within minutes without the guilt of excess grease, and this model even features dishwasher-safe equipment to make clean up that much easier! This seems like a win win to us.Buy Now

Read More: 15 Things You Have to Try in Your Air Fryer

A Popcorn Maker

Cuisinart EasyPop Hot Air Popcorn Maker, $44.95 at Sur La Table (originally $75)

hot air popcorn maker

Sur La Table

Doesn’t everyone love popcorn? In our household it’s a favorite snack that’s healthy, full of fiber, low in calories, and just delicious. An air popper machine keeps calories down by using hot air pressure to cook the kernel, rather that microwaving it in weird fake-butter chemicals. Top popcorn with your favorite olive oil, melted butter, or coconut oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper, and maybe a touch of parmesan cheese, and you’ve got a snack (or meal) in minutes. Personally, a big bowl of popcorn and a glass of red wine is a weekly ritual.Buy Now

A Handy Divided Pan

MasterPan Non-Stick Divided Skillet, $38.93 on Wayfair

MasterPan Non-Stick Divided Skillet


Tackle sauteing or pan-grilling multiple foods at once with a divided skillet. This non-stick pan features five cooking stations or compartments, making it easy to stay focused while cooking using only one burner. The MasterPan can also safely heat foods in the oven up to 350 degrees. Ease the hassle of cleaning multiple pans too; this one is dishwasher-safe.Buy Now

A Fondue Pot

Cuisinart 3-Quart Electric Fondue Pot, $69.95 at Williams Sonoma

Cuisinart electric fondue pot


Who wouldn’t love dipping a warm baguette or seared piece of steak into gooey cheese? Make dinner or entertaining super easy for your mom with an electric fondue pot. Or perhaps mom favors more sweet meals? Use the fondue pot to melt chocolate and dip pretzels and strawberries for mouth-watering desserts. The Cuisinart version allows the user to easily adjust the heat and all parts are dishwasher-safe. This is great for a quick and easy dinner party for a small group of friends.Buy Now

A Pizza Stone

Sur La Table Baking Steel, $99.95 at Sur La Table

Sur La Table baking steel

Sur La Table

Pizza for dinner sounds great every night. With a pizza stone or baking steel, homemade pizzas can be made quickly and efficiently to feed a crowd (or a whole pizza for one). Pizza stones can withhold high temperatures and can be used in the oven or on a grill. Crown with your favorite vegetable or meat toppings, and you have a complete meal in minutes.Buy Now

A Loose and Easy-Breezy Cookbook

“My Drunk Kitchen: A Guide to Eating, Drinking, and Going with Your Gut,” $6.97 at Amazon

Amazon My Drunk Kitchen cookbook by Hannah Hart


When in doubt, give your mom the gift of some inspiration, fun, and booze with Hannah Hart’s “My Drunk Kitchen: A Guide to Eating, Drinking, and Going with Your Gut.” Based off her popular YouTube channel, Hart brings humor (and booze) into the kitchen, breaking down intimidating food barriers while making cooking just a bit more fun and tipsy. Booze pairings included!Buy Now

A Meal Kit Subscription

See CNET’s Picks for Best Meal Kits

best healthy meal kit delivery services (vegan meal kits, paleo meal kits, gluten-free meal kits)


Or do one better and buy your mom a meal kit gift certificate; choices abound. Companies like Sun Basket, Blue Apron, and Purple Carrot can help mitigate the hassle of figuring out what to cook every night. Each week, customers can select a few meals from a curated list. Many of the meal kits adhere to specific allergies or food restrictions such as dairy- and gluten-free meals. Others are created with vegetarians or vegans in mind. Prep and cooking time is at a minimum and most of the boxes are recyclable. Check out CNET’s round-up of the best meal kits for 2020 to help you decide.

Get more great Mother’s Day gift ideas.

And check out our sister sites’ picks too:

Header image courtesy of Lumina Images/Getty Images

Marisa Olsen is a Boston-based writer and founder of Girl Loves Food. Follow her on Instagram at @marisaolsen17.
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