5 Pantry Staples Molly Yeh Always Has (and How She Uses Them)

On the Food Network Kitchen app, the “Girl Meets Farm” star gives us a fascinating tour of her pantry.

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Molly Yeh pantry, as seen on Food Network Kitchen Live.

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Fact: a well-stocked pantry is the secret to fast, flavorful meals. Although reading about what you should stock in the pantry is all well and good, seeing what one of your favorite stars actually has on hand totally changes the game. Case in point, the Tour of Molly’s Pantry class on the Food Network Kitchen app.

The star of Girl Meets Farm welcomes us into her kitchen in East Grand Forks, Minnesota, highlighting the pantry items she could never live without. Her enthusiasm and ideas are remarkable. Consider the humble can of tomatoes. On its own, it might be kind of meh and uninspiring (tomato sauce, again?). But when Molly describes how it's the centerpiece of her favorite recipes, suddenly it has fairy dust sprinkled all over it.

Although you’ll have to watch the full class for all the gold (including how she organizes her adorable pantry, which her husband's grandparents BUILT by hand), we’ve pulled out a few of her favorite items below.

Shakshuka with feta

Canned Tomatoes

Surprise, her husband Nick’s favorite pantry dinner is shakshuka — which starts with good old canned tomatoes. “I can just say the word ‘shakshuka’ and he gets excited,” Molly says. Below is her full shakshuka recipe, but if she doesn’t have all the ingredients, she simply uses these building blocks: sautéed onions + some spices + harissa + canned tomatoes + eggs + any sort of cheese.

Molly Yeh's Carrot Cake with Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting, as seen on Girl Meets Farm, Season 3.

Photo by: Chantell Quernemoen

Chantell Quernemoen

Hawij

Hey, have you ever heard of hawij? Molly professes that the Yemeni spice blend, which is heavy on the cardamom, turmeric and ginger, is one of her favorite all-purpose soup ingredients. Add it the pot when you’re sautéing your veggies for instant layers of flavor. She also throws it into chicken pot pies, casseroles and even the batter and frosting of her carrot cake recipe, below, for that extra something something.

Grilled cheese sandwhich with a bagel twist

Everything Bagel Seasoning

“I kind of think of it as savory sprinkles, and it makes everything taste like a bagel,” Molly says. She puts it on salads, sandwiches, avocado toast, macaroni and cheese and pigs in a blanket. Although you can buy pre-made everything seasoning blends, you can also DIY by combining sesame seeds, poppy seeds, dried minced garlic, dried minced onion and kosher salt. Below, an easy bagel-inspired grilled cheese recipe. Smear the bread with scallion cream cheese, top it with everything bagel seasoning, mozzarella, tomato, capers and red onion (the works), and toast until melty.

Canned Beans and Chickpeas

Beans and chickpeas are some of Molly’s favorite ingredients for a quick weeknight meal — they’re easy to have on hand all the time, and they're hearty and filling (a necessity in that bone-chilling Minnesota weather). One of her go-to simple dinners is pasta tossed with any beans and greens she has on hand. Additionally, you can’t go wrong simmering them in stock and turning them into a warming stew. Below, an easy recipe that uses up canned chickpeas and an assortment of other pantry staples.

Photo by: Chantell Quernemoen

Chantell Quernemoen

Rice

It’s easy to get into a rut with rice, cooking it as a simple side dish every single time. But Molly likes to transform the inexpensive ingredient by turning it into risotto, tossing it with nuts and herbs, or making it into a quick fried rice. The key to her fried rice recipe below is to allow the rice to cook, uninterrupted, until the bottom gets nice and crispy.

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