‘The Pioneer Woman’: The 1 Ingredient Ree Drummond Always Keeps In Her Pantry

The Pioneer Woman star Ree Drummond lives an extremely busy life. Drummond is married to cattle rancher Ladd Drummond, whose family owns an estimated 433,000 acres of land in Oklahoma. Besides living on a farm and caring for thousands of animals, Drummond is a home-cook-turned-celebrity chef. And of all the ingredients she cooks with, there is one she always keeps in her pantry.

Ree Drummond
Ree Drummond | Monica Schipper/Getty Images for The Pioneer Woman Magazine

Food Network’s ‘The Pioneer Woman’ premiered back in 2011

When Drummond started her Pioneer Woman blog back in 2006, she never could have expected what it would become. Drummond was originally planning a career as a lawyer, but when she came back to Oklahoma from California to spend time with family, she met Ladd at a bar, and it changed her life. Soon, Drummond was marrying a cattle rancher and raising four kids in her home state of Oklahoma — a place from which she had once imagined moving far away.

Eventually, her readership grew, and people loved her recipes. A show was picked up by Food Network in 2011, and from there, Drummond was a household name. She has since continued filming the show all while opening up The Mercantile (her restaurant, bakery, and store) as well as a boutique hotel. Drummond now has a cookware line and a magazine, too.

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Drummond always keeps one versatile ingredient in her pantry

Anyone who has watched Drummond’s show knows that her recipes are relatively easy. With such a busy life, they have to be. The mother of four often uses pantry staples in her dishes to create plenty of flavor without breaking the bank or adding elements that are too complex.

In Drummond’s 2017 cookbook “The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Come and Get It!” Drummond reveals that she has 20 favorite items she always keeps in her pantry. The first one on the list? Canned tomato products. “Whole, diced, stewed, tomato sauce, tomato paste, tomatoes with green chiles,” she wrote. “I can’t survive without them. Other pantry staples of Drummond’s include canned beans, pickled jalapeños, and roasted red peppers.

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Drummond’s ability to relate to fans is what helped make her so famous

When Drummond launched her blog, she didn’t set out to become a household name. In a short time, though, she was headed that way, and it was largely due to her ability to relate to her fan base. Drummond had a sense of humor in her posts, mostly stemming from the trials and triumphs of being a mother to four kids.

Most of Drummond’s recipes have a simplicity to them that viewers like to see; they’re often no-frills ingredients that don’t require a trip to a specialty store. She keeps her image lighthearted, which has helped her build a reputation as a friend rather than just a celebrity.  

Drummond has been hard at work despite the pandemic

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has hit the television industry hard, and many celebrity chefs have taken it upon themselves to film upcoming shows. Drummond has recruited her kids to help film episodes of The Pioneer Woman while on lockdown. She has continued to bring recipes to her viewers, and, despite slightly lower camera quality, she’s the same amusing home cook in the new episodes as she is when the official production crew is filming.