Pantry

Here's What's Inside Ina Garten's Quarantine Pantry

The Barefoot Contessa's shelf-stable favorites: dried beans, pasta, and more.

March 19, 2020
Photo by @inagarten / Instagram

Now more than ever, home is where many of us are seeking refuge and solace in light of the novel coronavirus. This is a tough time, but we’re here for you—whether it’s a new pantry recipe or a useful tip for your kitchen, here are some ideas to make things run a little more smoothly for you and your loved ones.


With everything going on in the world right now, people are relying on their pantries like never before.

Ina Garten—the internet’s favorite cook, whose Barefoot Contessa episodes are a comfort blanket during these trying times—is no different. Yesterday, she posted a photo of her expertly stocked pantry on Instagram, and offered up ideas and advice to fans at home who are trying to get creative while cooking with what they’ve got on hand.

“I know so many of you are very anxious about what’s to come because I am, too. The one thing we CAN do, though, is cook for the people we love who are sheltered in place with us. Over the next days and weeks, I’ll post lots of ideas for delicious things to make from your pantry and fridge - along with substitutions if you only have granulated sugar and not brown sugar, or onions and not shallots! Please stay safe and we will take care of each other through this crisis. Tell me what’s in your pantry and I’ll think of recipes for you to make! ❤️❤️❤️” — @inagarten

Inside Ina’s pantry are a bunch of staples we already know and love, like dried cannellini beans and multiple kinds of pasta. There were also a few noteworthy ingredients we're adding to our to-cook list (and to-buy list, when possible) while spending more time at home.

Join The Conversation

Top Comment:
“I don’t need Ina telling me how to stock my pantry or how to cook but I have gotten many kitchen hacks which I’ve appreciated. I don’t know about you but her wealth & privilege kind of grates me..... most people can’t get the pristine,expensive, quality ingredients she presents . My cooking skills were derived from my dear French mother who learned to cook from chefs. She also learned how to make do with little having survived WWII in France. I have a stocked pantry & freezer of all the foods we love including Henaff pork pâté ! Can’t go without! I make our baguettes. I go to the grocery store once every 2 wk’s for greens/veggies. I must have Italian parsley! I like the saying of J. Pépin, «  Happy Cooking »!”
— Eve T.
Comment

Here’s a breakdown of what’s in the Barefoot Contessa’s pantry right now, plus a few delicious ideas for what to make tonight (or tomorrow, or next week) if you’ve got similar items sitting in your cabinets. Ina will also be sharing what she’s cooking on social media (her latest post is a riff on family-style broccoli and bow-ties), so if you’re in need of a little inspiration, keep checking in on her Instagram.

1. Angel Hair Pasta

I counted not one, not two, but seven boxes of angel hair pasta in Ina’s pantry. She doesn’t seem to be brand loyal, with a mix of Ronzoni, Barilla, and DeCecco in the mix. Her lemon capellini recipe (just lemon zest, lemon juice, and two sticks of butter) remains one of my favorite weeknight comfort recipes as a fellow angel hair enthusiast. You could also try this version from Sue Kreitzman and serve it with a quick chicken piccata. Another angel hair option: turn it into a cold sesame noodle salad.

2. Cipriani Tagliarelle (or Any Egg Pasta)

Angel hair is a staple dried pasta, but this tagliarelle from Cipriani is one of Ina’s all-time favorites. When I’m feeling down about missing my friends and not knowing what might happen next, eating a big bowl of silky egg pasta makes me feel just a little bit better. It looks like she has the classic tagliarelle (green boxes) and tagliolini (white box, extra thin), which both cook in three or four minutes (just like fresh pasta would, but with the convenience of dried).

You can interchange any type of strand pasta with these recipes, depending on what you have on hand: Ruth Rogers’ tagliarini with asparagus and herbs, Jamie Oliver’s easy sausage carbonara, or Diane Kochilas’ Genius pasta with Greek yogurt and caramelized onions.

There’s also an unknown type of Rustichella d'Abruzzo pasta hiding in the back, which looks like it may be a short pasta (maybe penne or rigatoni?) based only on the shape and size of the bag.

3. Ramen Noodles

Yep, Ina’s got a few packs of the Top Ramen (chicken flavor) that got most of us through college. In the comments, Ina mentioned that she’s “working on a chicken soup with ramen” and to stay tuned. Until that recipe drops, add these spicy cold peanut noodles and San Bei (aka Taiwanese three cup tofu and ramen) to your list.

4. Cannellini Beans

One of the most versatile white beans, the humble cannellini is seen at least five times in this photo. They appear to be Citarella brand, a local N.Y.C. grocery store, but the takeaway here is that dried beans are an essential pantry staple. Use them as the backbone to a spring cassoulet (using canned artichokes instead of fresh ones if you can’t get them right now). Make a big pot and use the leftovers to make cannellini croquettes. Or cook up a meatless bean ragout to serve over spaghetti squash...or angel hair pasta (polenta or rice would also work, too).

5. Farro, Rice & Other Grains

Having an assortment of grains on hand means you can throw together easy bowls that you won't get bored of. Ina stocks RiceSelect’s couscous and Texmati rice. Citarella’s farro seems to be another one of her go-tos, but you could also use Bob’s Red Mill or any other brand you can find.

6. Rao’s Marinara Sauce

In the world of, “If you can’t make your own, store-bought is fine,” Rao’s marinara sauce reigns supreme. Their classic marinara can be used in almost any recipe that requires tomato sauce, from homemade pizza to lasagna to shakshuka. The same goes for any jarred marinara or homemade tomato sauce you’ve got hanging around.

7. Two Kinds of Vanilla

In Ina’s eyes, “good vanilla” is twofold: homemade, with whole vanilla beans steeped in vodka (hiding in the back of the pantry in a big glass jar); and Nielsen-Massey Madagascar bourbon pure vanilla extract.

But no matter what vanilla you have, it’ll make an A+ addition to French toast, three-ingredient, no-churn Scotch vanilla ice cream, and so many other things. In addition to vanilla, Ina has all her baking basics organized on one shelf, including gelatin, which could be used to make this “gifted” cheesecake.

8. Lindt Bittersweet Chocolate Bars

The iconic gold-and-blue-wrapped Lindt bittersweet chocolate bars are a mainstay in Ina’s pantry and many chocolatey baked goods. You might want to use it (or a similar chocolate bar) to make five-minute bittersweet chocolate pudding or ooey and gooey double-baked chocolate cake.

9. Baker’s Joy No-Stick Spray

And to make sure all those baked goods don’t stick, Ina uses Baker’s Joy no-stick spray with flour. (It’s a combination of oil and flour so you don’t have to flour your cake pans! Magic.) This one took a little digging to find the name brand of, but if Ina believes in it, I bet it’s good.

What's stocked in your pantry right now? Tell us in the comments below!

This post contains products selected by our editors, and Food52 may earn an affiliate commission on qualifying purchases.

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Alyse Whitney

Written by: Alyse Whitney

Korean-American freelance food writer and dumpling fanatic.

44 Comments

Lisa B. January 13, 2021
Have recently fallen in love with Ina and see how she has such a following. Thank you Ina for sharing all your practical cooking wisdom with
us that aren't up to snuff yet. I am looking everywhere to find pantry ideas, what you use to coo with and I will say you are such a gracious sharing individual. Thank you SO much for all you do!!!!




 
Constance October 5, 2020
Twice have used appetizer recipes from pantry, most recently Dijon Dip for veggies. Every ingredient a staple already there-no last minute run to the market!
 
JKangSomers April 6, 2020
Love-love all her recipes! I'm curious to know what brand of tahini she uses?
 
cosmiccook April 6, 2020
There are 3 Ina recipes that are in my permanent rotation. Baked Shrimp Scampi, Roasted Cesar fish, and her red pepper and roasted artichoke salad. I really enjoy her shows and LOVE her recent covid-19 "cocktail" video. Its hilarious. I'd be happy to be a guest at her table anytime.
 
Robin April 5, 2020
I love watching Ina, her cooking is simple, honest and entertaining to watch. I love picking up tips and seeing her practical, serious yet fun approach to food, cooking & eating. Her pantry looks like any average pantry if you ask me. A little bit of many things & a lot of pasta. Mine looks similar but not as neatly arranged. Thank you for sharing.
 
Mamoni April 5, 2020
Ms. Garten is a self made American superstar. Many, many years ago she has developed her own start up catering company, retail shop and written numerous cookbooks over the years for the masses. Her cooking shows have given the tv audiences a way to make their lives better. Along with Martha Stewart, they have revolutionized understanding of food prep and made it easy for anyone. At this time in one of our country’s most difficult moments, it’s terrific to see many folks stepping up to helping us try to keep things somewhat normal-ish. Shame on those who feel the need to express negativity. By the way, even professional cooks have ready made items such as jarred (Rao’s) on hand for emergencies. Sometimes circumstances arise that do not allow a full on, proper cooking event. I would like to Thank the staff at Food52 for their continued work and giving us well thought out articles.
 
Paula S. April 5, 2020
That comment was from someone else. I agree, that was not called for to make those comments about Ina Garten. She spreads such delight to people. That comment was from Eva T., whoever that is. I knew the mother of one of the Food52 ladies and they have done a remarkable job, brava!
 
Jane April 5, 2020
This is not a time to be mean spirited. If Ina is not your favorite, why did you read this post. Did you read if so you could respond in the negative? I’m sorry for your pain.
 
Potobella April 5, 2020
My heart is still smiling. You are an Angel for so many. Thank you for your kindness and may God Bless you & your family. You always have such great recipes. Thank you
 
Alvin April 5, 2020
Sounds Organized
 
Eve T. April 5, 2020
Glad to read the comments which tells me there are a lot of smart cooks out there! I don’t need Ina telling me how to stock my pantry or how to cook but I have gotten many kitchen hacks which I’ve appreciated.
I don’t know about you but her wealth & privilege kind of grates me..... most people can’t get the pristine,expensive, quality ingredients she presents .
My cooking skills were derived from my dear French mother who learned to cook from chefs. She also learned how to make do with little having survived WWII in France.
I have a stocked pantry & freezer of all the foods we love including Henaff pork pâté ! Can’t go without! I make our baguettes.
I go to the grocery store once every 2 wk’s for greens/veggies. I must have Italian parsley!
I like the saying of J. Pépin, «  Happy Cooking »!
 
Laurel M. April 5, 2020
Please consider your words more carefully next time. This may be a good time to put aside the vanity of being ‘humble’ and ‘simple’ and realize what wealth & privilege we may, each of us, have personally. Be that racial, economic, National, etc. And perhaps invest in a higher form of wealth... by adding kindness, instead of divisiveness and self righteousness. If there’s even one person with less than you on the earth, perhaps your energy, time, and consideration would be better spent on them, than here, where people have come to share a bit of the ‘wealth’ of happiness & reprieve that articles like this are intended to give.
 
Eve T. April 5, 2020
I did choose my words carefully & I obviously seemed to have offended you.
My intent was not to be divisive in my minds view.
I appreciate Ina for her expertise on cooking & sharing that with the world. I can like her as well as have her annoy me. I’m sharing my opinion & I don’t expect everyone to like my opinion in this hyper PC climate.
Again, it seems to me you have interpreted this to fit your perception of what should & shouldn’t be said ; it’s not mine. I prefer a more honest yet civil discourse.
Have a good day.
 
Michelle H. April 6, 2020
You must be a real joy to live with sheesh
 
Gary April 6, 2020
Interesting set of lenses you wear Eve. The wealth and privilege of Ina bothers you so then you throw out that your Mom was taught to cook by “chefs” and oh, let me go bake my baguettes for my pâté
Ina was not telling you how to stock your pantry, the author Alyse Whitney was sharing with a human interest story. Now I’ll go open my can of tomato soup which mother showed me how to do without the benefit of culinary expertise
 
Gary M. April 6, 2020
Eve is that short for evil?
 
zooper69 April 8, 2020
Geesh!! get a grip yes you are entitled to your opinion but last time I checked this website is "Food 52" your opinion on her wealth and privileges are out of content.You want to give your opinion stick to the subject!!!
 
Paula S. April 5, 2020
great items. hope the baking powder is aluminum-free!!! Love her recipes. Thank you. You all are doing a wonderful job. I knew Ronnie years ago when our girls were in school. Hope everyone is all right.
 
Marion B. April 5, 2020
My mom was a great cook and a military wife who shopped once a month at the commissary. Her pantry and freezers were always well stocked, and I’ve followed her example. My pantry has dried beans and legumes (lentils, cranberry beans, black eyed peas, Lima beans); canned Cannellini and black beans; several types of dried pasta; cornmeal for crusting fish and making polenta; flour and panko; cans of different types of tomatoes; canned tuna, salmon, sardines, and anchovies; rice noodles, red curry paste, good fish sauce, and makrut lime leaves for making Americanized Thai food; faro, quinoa and various rices; a few varieties of oils and vinegars; and a wide range of dried herbs and spices. My old frig is in the basement so I have two freezers filled with different kinds of chicken, baby back ribs, steak, shrimp, d’Artangnan chicken confit (so easy and delicious—you can order it online); single-serving sockeye salmon, good Italian sausage from our local Italian deli; Beyond burgers; frozen peas; and a few prepared meals such as Trader Joe’s mandarin chicken and chicken tikka masala from Costco. I’ve been using my instant pot a lot to minimize cleanup and have made some delicious soups, stews, and braises. Happy cooking everyone. Let’s stick together by staying apart!
 
Robin April 5, 2020
I grow the kaffir lime trees in containers in my yard so I have an endless supply of makrut leaves for my Southeast Asian recipes, especially Tom yum soup & Thai curries.
 
Marion B. April 6, 2020
Do you live in a warm climate? I’d love to be able to grow them.
 
Debby April 5, 2020
Not very helpful if you’re observing Passover
 
carrie M. April 5, 2020
I am lucky enough to have every one of her cookbooks. And they are indeed a treasure trove. I look forward to the recipes she will highlight. Thanks, Food52.
 
Inga V. April 5, 2020
What are cranberry beans? In stocking up my quarantine pantry, the store had absolutely no dried beans except for one 1# bag of cranberry beans. They looked kinda like pinto beans so I bought them, but would like to know how best to cook them and serve them. Many thanks and BTW, I am Kate Romain's mother and she adores you and Jeff!
 
Jennifer A. April 5, 2020
You can find them (and get them shipped!) from a Gourmet pantry store in Seattle, https://chefshop.com/mobile/Search.aspx?k=Cranberry+beans
 
Jennifer A. April 5, 2020
ChefShop.com! :) Theu have cranberry beans as well as SO many other amazing pantry items!!
 
JoAnne L. April 5, 2020
Cranberry beans were traditionally used to make Boston Baked Beans, they are a Heirloom Bean with a bit of a sweet flavor. They can be used in cassoulets and in any bean dish but do stand out in the Traditional Boston Baked Bean Recipes.
 
ellen April 5, 2020
THANK YOU! My father made the absolute best BBBeans but wouldn't let us in the kitchen to watch how he made them. We have so missed his beans since his passing--without sharing the recipe! I'll look for these beans to see if that makes our difference. PS Who cares about great beans? We didn't either til Dad made them :D Stay safe at home everyone.
 
Brenda M. April 6, 2020
Are cranberry beans the same as pea beans?
 
cosmiccook April 5, 2020
Why did it take some digging to find the name brand of Bakers Joy? Its been around for over 40 years. I stopped using it due to the contents--what's the point of avoiding chemicals in your cake batter and using organic ingredients if I'm going to spray the pans w a chemical?
 
Annelle April 5, 2020
Rao's pasta is a really good choice, too. It does have a special 'mouth feel'. I love their sauces as well, so paired together you have a big winner!
 
marla April 5, 2020
Truthfully, Rao's EVERYTHING is better ;) Have you tried their soups? Ridiculously expensive but delicious and they make a nice sub for traditional pasta sauces also
 
john G. April 5, 2020
Though I wonder if using bakers joy takes away from the butter flavor if you use butter to grease the pan?
 
marla April 5, 2020
Are you flouring your pan as well? I find that Bakers Joy has a far less floury taste on the finished product. That for me is worth the loss of a small amount of butter.
 
marla April 5, 2020
this makes me laugh! As a hardcore home cook, I am always well stocked. Somewhat surprised to note that I have EVERY SINGLE item our beloved Ina has in her pantry right down to the brand, with exception of the cannellini beans ( 5 lbs plus cans) and Nielsen Massey vanilla. I choose Mexican vanilla :) Baker's Joy is a gift from the baking gods! A few greens ( spinach, kale, turnip, chard) cannellini beans and goat cheese with any kind of pasta is a quick fave at my house!