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Ree Drummond, the Oklahoma native better known as the Pioneer Woman, sure knows how to prepare an incredible meal—and teach fans her favorite recipes and tips through her blog, cookbooks and TV show.
In our most recent sit-down with Ree, she shared a few of her kitchen secrets, including which six pantry items she always has in stock for easy cooking. Here are some of her meal prep tips to make cooking even easier and more fun.
“I always make sure that I have all the canned tomato products,” says Ree. Tomato paste has a concentrated, rich taste that instantly amplifies the flavor of meats, soups, stews, salads, pasta and pizza sauces. You’ll want to sample these recipes that call for just a little bit of tomato paste.
Tomatoes are one of the most versatile cooking fruits. Canned tomatoes are peeled, sealed and fully ready to be added into whatever dish your heart desires. Whether you buy them whole, crushed or diced, canned tomatoes are a lifesaver when it comes to making homemade ketchup, pasta sauce, casseroles and more. If you want to can your own tomatoes at home, we’ve gathered some delicious canned tomato recipes for you to try.
Ree loves making dishes that involve plenty of beans, including chili and veggie burgers. Having a range of your favorite legumes in your pantry ensures you’ll have enough for a healthy meal.
Short on time and want to start prepping tomorrow’s meal today? With these tips, soaking dry beans can be quick and easy.
The Pioneer Woman appreciates a good pasta dish, whether it’s as simple as penne alla vodka or as decadent as pasta primavera. Having a variety of pastas at the ready allows for a feast that can be served in no time. Some of her favorite shapes include fork-twirling long pastas, like spaghetti, linguine and fettuccine, and short ones, like shells, penne, elbows and farfalle.
Psst: We put together a handy pasta shape guide to help you pick the best ones!
This bright, tasty, green Roman sauce that, according to Ree, “elevates everything!” Traditionally made from pine nuts, basil, Italian cheese, garlic and olive oil, pesto can be used as a pasta sauce, spooned onto meats and fish or incorporated with any of these amazing recipes that call for pesto.
If you’d like to try making your own at home, we happen to have the perfect pesto recipe.
She may loathe bananas (it’s true), but the Pioneer Woman is quite the olive enthusiast. Tapenade—a paste or dip made from finely chopped olives, capers and anchovies invented in the south of France—is Ree’s go-to spread for feeding hungry guests. As she put it, besides pesto, it’s one of “the things that you can use to entertain.” Whether from a jar or homemade, tapenade can be served as an hors d’oeuvre when generously spread on sliced crusty bread or crunchy crudités. It also works well as a condiment or salad dressing and tastes amazing on top of meats and fish.