10 Types Of Ingredients Ree Drummond Swears By

ree drummond with pioneer woman sign
ree drummond with pioneer woman sign - Monica Schipper/Getty Images

Ree Drummond, better known as The Pioneer Woman, is an award-winning blogger, writer, and Food Network television star who has been delivering delicious, down-home recipes for years. Her cookbook, "The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes from an Accidental Country Girl," which describes her experiences falling in love in Oklahoma, moving to a ranch, and readjusting her dietary plans, was a number one best seller. Using her honesty and humor about family and ranch life, it's clear she's become a huge influence in the cooking space.

She tends to focus on simple, budget-friendly, and comforting classic staples, like casseroles, soups, and meat-and-potatoes meals that are easy to enjoy for a family of seven (like hers). She doesn't shy away from loading up on calorie-rich ingredients in order to bring full flavor and taste to her meals, and she provides simple, easy-to-follow instructions that anyone can replicate in their own kitchen. Read on for ten ingredients Ree Drummond swears by when planning her recipes, so you can cook your own Pioneer Woman-inspired meals.

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whipped cream in a bowl
whipped cream in a bowl - Miniseries/Getty Images

If you're a frequent viewer of Ree Drummond's show, it won't surprise you to hear that, from pasta with tomato cream sauce to her creamy mashed potatoes, one ingredient that The Pioneer Woman definitely uses unapologetically is cream. While cream is often associated with sweet recipes, Drummond uses it in savory dishes too. Its rich, smooth texture folds in well in sauces, soups, and hearty meals. In her creamy corn casserole, Drummond uses two sticks of butter — but also, almost an entire pint of cream.

The Pioneer Woman doesn't skimp on cream in the sweet desserts, either. Her pumpkin cheesecake bars call for heavy whipping cream in both the filling and the topping. Additionally, of course, the crème brûlée she has perfected uses four whole cups of heavy cream, as does her chocolate mousse, which requires a full bowl of cream that she hand mixes.


potatoes in a pile
potatoes in a pile - Mahlebashieva/Shutterstock

Potatoes are an ingredient The Pioneer Woman returns to over and over. One of the "Top 10 Best Pioneer Woman Recipes of 2023," according to her own website, was the creamy mashed potatoes mentioned above.

These are a great holiday side dish, because they can be made ahead of time and then reheated on a busy cooking day. Drummond also mentions they can be repurposed into two of her other potato recipes, twice-baked potato casserole and shepherd's pie.

One food blogger calls them her "new favorite," and Nancy Mock from Taste of Home says the potatoes are "rich, super-creamy ... delicious."

Lest you think Drummond has only mastered the mashed potato, on The Pioneer Woman's website, there are 70 potato recipes listed just in one post. Some of the delicious dishes included are Crock-Pot scalloped potatoes, sheet pan gnocchi, Southern potato salad, and slow cooker potato soup, to name a handful. And over on the Food Network, there are even more potato recipes from Drummond, including funeral potatoes, Hasselback potatoes, and perfect french fries.

Green Chiles

a pile of green chiles
a pile of green chiles - Tim Graham/Getty Images

Ree Drummond isn't afraid of a little spice. She uses green chiles to include bite in some of her dishes, including green chile chicken, which she likens to an otherworldly experience. This recipe calls for roasting the peppers over a flame on the stove to char the skin, and once they're blackened, letting them sweat for 20 minutes before scraping off the scorched skin. Don't forget to remove the seeds.

She also uses a four-ounce can of green chiles in her speedy chili verde, and three different kinds of peppers in her green chili pork stew. In her easy green chile enchiladas, Drummond recommends a green chile enchilada sauce plus two cans of diced green chiles. She even uses green chiles in baking, as well, for her green chile and cheddar cornbread muffins.

When you search for "favorite ingredients" on The Pioneer Woman website, you'll see that Drummond calls green chiles "one of my favorite ingredients on Earth" — and now you know why.


cholula bottles
cholula bottles - Smith Collection/gado/Getty Images

Speaking of spice, when you're making a Pioneer Woman recipe, don't forget the Cholula. According to her website and social media, Ree Drummond is "a die-hard Cholula fan." When picking hot sauce brands, for Drummond, "My favorite is Cholula all the way!" She never hesitates to mention it when talking about adding some kick.

If you're not familiar with the condiment, Cholula comes from Mexico and is made with a blend of arbol & piquin peppers. The hot sauce is over 100 years old, sealed with a distinctive wooden cap, and can be used in everything from breakfast to salads to drinks such as Bloody Marys. The advantage of Cholula is it's acceptable for eaters who like a kick, but still want something on the milder side.

Drummond mentions the hot sauce when talking about breakfast burritos, for which she mentions the brand as being essential, as well as enchiladas, which she recommends adding Cholula to.


cheese board
cheese board - Jupiterimages/Getty Images

How can you make any gooey, tangy, comfort food-level goodness without some cheese in the mix? The Pioneer Woman says you can't.

You don't have to dig deep to find cheese in almost all of Ree Drummond's recipes, from pastas to casseroles, to sandwiches. There are 21 recipes highlighted in a Food Network collection of Drummond's cheese concoctions, including hot and cheesy baked meatballs, cheesy ham & egg hand pies, corn and cheese chowder, and hot corn chile dip.

She often adds cheese to vegetables to entice kids into eating them. For example, she makes a simple broccoli with cheese sauce that utilizes Velveeta, cheddar, and Monterey jack, and she has an apple, pecan, and blue cheese salad with dried cherries that uses cheese in a "healthier" format. Of course if you wanted to just dive into the cheese on its own, you could go for Drummond's cheese ball recipe! The Pioneer Woman is fond of using cheddar, mozzarella, parmesan, and pepper jack — although there doesn't seem to be a cheese she doesn't like or use with regularity.

Dry Pasta

pasta shapes
pasta shapes - Angiephotos/Getty Images

The Pioneer Woman is not afraid of carbs — she has many pasta recipes and has expressed her love of noodles many times. In a 2018 interview with PopSugar, Ree Drummond doubled down and talked about gravitating to pasta as an ingredient when she's in a rush: "For a quick meal, you can't beat pasta," she says.

There are plenty of meal ideas on her website incorporating all kinds of shapes and sizes of pasta. One example is her pasta with roasted red pepper sauce, which she claims "renders me speechless," and her bowtie chicken Alfredo that she describes as both "delicious and oh, so easy." Drummond's butternut mac and cheese also incorporates cheddar, another favorite discussed earlier.

But don't forget that pasta has more uses than just for a delicious dish. On her blog, Drummond shared a story about her daughter delving into arts and crafts for the holidays and creating a Christmas ornament out of dry pasta. Good thing The Pioneer Woman had those supplies on standby!

Artichoke Hearts

bowl of artichokes
bowl of artichokes - Carlosgaw/Getty Images

Although one of the more potentially overlooked ingredients, artichoke hearts feature prominently in many of the dips The Pioneer Woman features. For example, Ree Drummond's Mediterranean artichoke dip has 55,000 views on YouTube, where she demonstrates cutting up canned artichokes into her holiday dish.

She also has a spinach artichoke pasta that incorporates both her love of pasta and her fondness for a spinach artichoke dip. She says when she tried it, she "died from bliss. This pasta dish is...a little naughty and oh so delicious."

Of course, if you wanted The Pioneer Woman's standard spinach artichoke dip recipe, that's available too. It calls for two cans of artichoke hearts, rinsed and drained. Or, you could switch things up with the hot olive & artichoke dip, which uses one can of artichoke hearts and Drummond guarantees will bring happiness and contentment.

When asked why she's so enamored of artichoke hearts, she responded "I always like to have things like that on hand because they're versatile" (via PopSugar).

Pre-Cooked Ground Beef

ground beef in a pan
ground beef in a pan - Angelika Heine/Shutterstock

The Pioneer Woman has made no secret of being a mom to five hungry kids throughout her career and looks for shortcuts and easy meal prep options to get everyone fed quickly.

One hack she swears by in a Today interview is pre-cooking a big batch of beef at the beginning of the week so it's ready to go for recipes throughout the week. She suggests "You can make taco meat and add it to a pan with sauce to bring it back to life or add it to spaghetti sauce," but she has even more ideas with ground beef both on YouTube and her website, including her favorite burger, skillet spaghetti and meatballs, and cheeseburger sliders.

Drummond recommends refrigerating or freezing the meat to store it — the ground beef will last a few days in the refrigerator or up to six months in the freezer. She notes that if you plan to meal prep this way, you can even save money on a larger family pack of meat and then save some for later.

Frozen Fruit

frozen berries
frozen berries - Stefan Tomic/Getty Images

Another ingredient Ree Drummond has used consistently is frozen fruit. Frozen fruit can be used in desserts of all kinds, including cobblers and pies, especially when your favorite fruit is out of season. They can be a great ingredient in smoothies for the more health-conscious, or when you want something on the go, too.

She has a recipe for frozen fruit cups that calls for frozen fruit, including frozen peaches. A review from user scott_bacon said "I loved it...it's a family favorite." Drummond also has a Fast and Fruity ice cream, which uses frozen mango and strawberries. An anonymous user called this one "easy to make. Delicious!" Another sweet treat from Drummond is individual cherry almond crisps, which use four bags of frozen tart cherries.

For a more grown-up experience, don't forget frozen berries can be used in alcoholic cocktails, as well. The red berry frozen sangria from The Pioneer Woman uses both frozen strawberries and blueberries.

Store-Bought Sauce

woman at grocery store
woman at grocery store - Jackf/Getty Images

Another time saver in The Pioneer Woman's kitchen is store-bought sauce — Drummond is not ashamed or afraid of purchasing something that's ready to use.

She mentions jarred marinara sauce to The Today Show as being "highly underrated," and extolling the virtues of store-made pesto sauce, saying the only difference is "It's just made ahead of time."

Drummond believes that buying jars of sauces can save money (especially when there's a sale and you can purchase in bulk), in addition to cutting back time in the kitchen. Jarred sauces also last far longer. In her own pantry, she keeps marinara, a variety of pestos, and also salsas and chutneys, in order to elevate dishes with extra flavor when you just don't have time to do all of the prep yourself.

In her pantry shopping list, she recommends keeping jarred pesto as "an easy way to inject big flavor into soups, pasta, quiches, chicken salads, dips, and dressings when you don't have access to fresh basil." And as part of her spaghetti sauce recipe, she recommends one jar of store-bought marinara sauce, so you know she practices what she preaches.

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