A nice nonstick saucepan or two is essential to any home chef's repertoire of cookware. Don't let the name fool you, as the versatile pan can be used to cook a lot more than just sauces and gravies, including soups, stews, steamed vegetables, risotto, fondue, custard, and more.
But without the right saucepan, you could be ingesting a whole host of harmful ingredients alongside your food. Conventional Teflon and nonstick cookware often contain PFAs and other toxic chemicals that leach into your food during cooking. Not only are they harmful to your health, but to the health of the planet.
To help you navigate the growing number of healthy cookware brands out there today, we've rounded up 11 of the best non-toxic saucepans on the market. But first, let's ensure you clearly understand what makes for a good saucepan.
What Is A Saucepan?
Think of a saucepan as a miniature version of a stock pot. It's deeper than a frying pan and narrower than a saute pan, making it the perfect choice for cooking liquids. Many feature a pouring spout to minimize drips and assist with portioning when it's time to serve. Your average saucepan has a 2- to 3-quart capacity, making it versatile enough to use for cooking:
Sauces— From pasta sauce and teriyaki glaze to caramel and custard, a nonstick saucepan can do it all.
Gravy— Come holiday season, pull your saucepan out to whip up some gravy. Save the leftovers for a biscuit and gravy feast the following day.
Soups and Stews— Small saucepans are the perfect cookware to heat up to four servings of soup or stew, whether it's homemade or straight out of the can.
Pasta— While most saucepans are too small to cook long spaghetti and lasagna noodles, they can be used to boil water and cook macaroni, penne, and other small shapes.
Rice & Grains— With a steam-locking lid, your saucepan can be used to cook rice, quinoa, lentils, and other healthy whole grains.
What Is The Least Toxic Cookware?
Cookware has gotten increasingly safer over the years, so ditch any nonstick pans and pots in your kitchen purchased over a decade ago. But these days, buzzwords like healthy, non-toxic, and eco-friendly are thrown around without a clear definition. Without clear legal standards for non-toxic cookware, distinguishing between greenwashing and genuinely good saucepans can be challenging. Here are a few key materials to keep an eye out for:
Ceramic Coatings— Most "healthy" cookware is crafted with a metal core covered in a nonstick ceramic coating. Look for products labeled PFOA-free, PFA-free, and non-toxic. Avoid cooking with metal utensils that can damage the slick surface.
Stainless Steel— Untreated metal pans made of stainless steel or carbon steel won't prevent food from sticking to the pan, but they will keep harmful PFAs out of your food. Use oil liberally during cooking and soak dirty pans immediately to minimize scraping and scrubbing. If cleaning is a big concern, there are nonstick-coating stainless steel pans and pots. This would make cleaning much easier but will need further investigation to ensure the coating is safe.
Cast Iron— Made from iron and a small amount of carbon, cast iron, and enameled cast iron cookware are naturally nonstick when properly seasoned. Though not the most common material for saucepans, it's always a reliable choice.
Glass— While glass isn't a suitable material for stovetop cooking, it's an excellent choice for lids and steamer baskets.
11 Best Non-Toxic Saucepans To Add In Your Kitchen
Now that you know what to look for in non-stick saucepans, it's time to start shopping. We can't wait to see what delicious recipes you cook up with these industry-leading ceramic, stainless steel, and cast iron pans!
Take your cooking skills to the next level with the five-star-rated Caraway Saucepan. Designed for the urban chef, its contemporary design comes in bright color options that bring a smile to your face and a pop of color to your stovetop. The 3-quart saucepan features a non-toxic mineral-based coating releases 60% less CO2 when produced (compared to traditional nonstick coatings). Plus, it won't leach toxic materials into your meals or require any heavy scrubbing when you're finished.
Most Budget Friendly
But unlike most stylish cookware, Carote's Small Saucepan with Lid doesn't fall short on quality or durability. Its granite body and wood-finish handles draw inspiration from contemporary European kitchens. The versatile saucepan features a rivetless interior and most healthy and safe cookware with a non-toxic coating that prevents food from sticking and shortens clean-up time. It is 100% free of APEO, GenX, PFBS, PFOS, and PFOA, passed SGS, MA, and CNAS food-grade safety inspections. With an array of skillets, saucepans, and casserole dishes to choose from, Carole's non-toxic cookware line makes adding style to your kitchen easier— and better for your health— than ever before.
Green Pan is on a mission to make the world's best affordable non-toxic cookware. This versatile Rio Ceramic Nonstick 2-Quart Saucepan with lid features the brand's proprietary Thermolon ceramic material, a healthy nonstick coating manufactured without PFAs, PFOA, lead, or cadmium. Its heavy-duty aluminum core heats quickly and evenly for consistent results. Oven safe up to 350F and dishwasher safe, this pan is ideal for soups, sauces, and warm drinks. All for under $50!
Worth the Splurge
SCANPAN's HaptIQ Non-Stick Saucepan features a revolutionary STRATANIUM+ nonstick surface with superior performance, durability, and versatility. Artisan made using five-ply cast aluminum and stainless steel, and the high-end healthy saucepan offers excellent heat retention and distribution. It's even microtextured to improve its searing abilities and mirror polished for a modern Scandinavian feel. Though it's a bit of a splurge, it's certainly one that's worth your while.
Best Non Stick
Looking for stainless steel saucepans that are easy to clean? Add this Made In Non-Stick Sauce Pan to your cookware repertoire. It's crafted from premium stainless steel with a 5-ply construction nonstick interior that is perfect for cooking caramel, risotto, sauce, and much more. The stainless steel material is compatible with all stovetops, including induction, and oven safe up to 500 degrees. The nonstick saucepan coating is toxin-free, PFOA-free, and silicone free!
Best Quick Heating
For the serious home chef, there's Le Creuset's Toughened Non-Stick PRO Saucepan. The French bakeware brand's new, triple-reinforced PFOA-free nonstick surface is four times stronger than previous iterations. Plus, its textured interior helps with searing, browning, and toasting on all cooktops and in ovens up to 500 degrees F. A tempered glass lid included allows for simmering and slow cooking too. Made with hard-anodized aluminum construction and a stay-cool ergonomic handle, it'll heat quickly and evenly for countless meals to come.
Best Stainless Steel Saucepan
For those looking to avoid nonstick coatings altogether, there's the Cuisinart Chef's Classic Stainless Steel Saucepan. Crafted by one of the most trustworthy names in cookware and kitchen gadgets, it's a reliable addition to any kitchen. The small saucepan is made with an aluminum encapsulated base that heats quickly and distributes heat evenly for more consistent results. Its neutral stainless steel cooking surface won't discolor during spaghetti night, react with certain foods, or alter the flavors of delicate sauces. Measurement markings along the side make it the perfect saucepan to use when following recipes.
With GreenLife's non-toxic, nonstick ceramic cookware, shopping on a strict budget no longer requires sacrificing your health. At just $40, this four-piece Soft Grip Healthy Ceramic Saucepan Set helps you to cook safer, healthier meals without spending a lot of money. Each pan is made from recycled aluminum with a soft-grip Bakelite handle and a slippery nonstick coating that's free of PFAs, PFOA, lead, cadmium, and other harmful chemicals and heavy metals. Use the 2-quart saucepan for cooking pasta, rice, and other grains, while you heat a delicious sauce in the smaller 1-Quart pan. Glass lids for both pans are included with the set, helping minimize splatters and speed up heating time.
Best With Sizing Options
Worried about harmful toxins leaching into your food as it cooks? Switch to these Traditions Saucepans from Xtrema. Ceramic from surface to core, they're made without the harmful chemicals and heavy metals you'd find in traditional metal and nonstick cookware. Each non-toxic saucepan is handcrafted by a skilled Chinese ceramic artisan using traditional techniques and finished with a modern, glossy black finish. Available in four versatile size options, it's a practical choice for cooking rice, pasta, and grains.
Shopping for a kitchen with limited cabinet space? Cut down on unnecessary clutter with the best-selling Always Pan from Our Place. The versatile 2.6-quart pan replaces eight pieces of traditional cookware, including your fry pan, saute pan, steamer, skillet, saucier, and saucepan. While you're at it, treat yourself to the brand's Perfect Pot too. Together, the PFOA-free cookware can handle any culinary adventure. With a rainbow of color options to choose from, you won't mind displaying them on your stovetop between uses.
Best With Straining Lid
This ZWILLING ® J.A. Henckels Clad Xtreme 2-Qt. Ceramic Saucepan with Lid is a kitchen essential. Boil, braise, stew, and strain; this saucepan can do it all. Unlike the other pans, this saucepan comes with a straining lid for additional duty. Crafted from the aluminum core, Ceraforce Xtreme ceramic PFOA-free nonstick coating and a stay-cool handle offer safety and comfort. This oven-safe saucepan is oven safe to 400F and heats evenly with mirror-polished stainless steel. This saucepan can be used for all cooktops, including induction cooktops. Featuring a built-in spout that makes pouring easier and neatly.