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Ina Garten has been cooking for fans — and her husband, Jeffrey — on Food Network for nearly two decades. She tends to stick to simple recipes that any home cook can try for themselves, and with that, she hates to rely on making everything by hand. Garten swears by various store-bought items to give her dishes all the flavor they need.

Ina Garten
Ina Garten | Noam Galai/WireImage

Ina Garten keeps her grocery shopping simple

Garten spends most of her time out in the Hamptons, and while she does support local businesses in the area, she doesn’t like to create a grocery list that requires her to go to too many specialty stores. Garten has said in the past that she enjoys using store-bought ingredients that can be purchased at a standard grocer, since it makes the preparation process that much easier.

“I generally don’t use unusual ingredients that you’ll only use once,” Garten told Bon Appétit back in 2018. “There’s no point in having a recipe you can make in 30 minutes if you takes you two hours to shop for it.”

Garten swears by these store-bought items to create the best dishes

Garten might be one of Food Network’s best-known chefs, but she’s not meticulously creating everything by hand for each dish. She relies on store-bought items to keep her recipes easy enough for any novice cook to handle. When whipping up a dessert, Garten always goes for store-bought pound cake, which she tops with sorbet or ice cream. “You can make your own pound cake, but why would you?” she told Food Network.

Ina Garten
Ina Garten | Brad Barket/Getty Images for The New Yorker

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Garten also doesn’t always make her own sauce. She loves high-quality, store-bought marinara sauce, which saves her plenty of time on certain dishes. She doesn’t make her own mayonnaise or lemon curd, either; and you can find her drizzling store-bought caramel and chocolate sauce over her ice cream, too. “Store-bought chocolate sauce is a key ingredient in my Chocolate Ganache Cake and New York Egg Cream,” she said.

Garten is also a fan of frozen vegetables, which she raves about whenever she incorporates them into dishes or even uses them as a simple side. She doesn’t make her own puff pastry, either. “I always buy ready-made puff pastry and phyllo dough for sweet and savory tarts and appetizers,” she said. “I mean, why would you make it?”

Garten loves to recreate simple dishes

Those who have watched Garten’s show know that she doesn’t specialize in complex, over-the-top dishes. Her spinach and cheddar soufflé is the perfect example of taking something complex and breaking it down for those at home to understand. Plus, Food Network has shared her garlic and herb roasted shrimp, and her skillet-roasted lemon chicken, which are only 10 ingredients each.