Everything Miranda Lambert Actually Cooks in a Day [Exclusive]

published Jul 27, 2023
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Collage of Miranda Lambert with recipes from her cookbook including a Bluebird cocktail and meatloaf
Credit: From Y'ALL EAT YET? by Miranda Lambert with Holly Gleason. Copyright © 2023 by Miranda Lambert. Reprinted by permission of Dey Street Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

For Miranda Lambert, “food” is synonymous with occasion. Dinner isn’t just a meal you swing by and pick up — it’s a full-on event destined for making memories. The country singer’s family gatherings aren’t complete without a crowded house, a drink in hand, and fun snacks to hold you over before the big meal. In her debut cookbook, Y’all Eat Yet? Welcome to the Pretty B*tchin’ Kitchen, Lambert dedicates over 200 pages to the recipes, family history, and traditions that she’s picked up from multiple generations of strong, creative, and resourceful women in her life, including her grandmother, Nonny; her mother, Bev; and all those close to her, whom she affectionately calls the “Ya-Yas.” 

Quick Overview

Miranda Lambert’s Life in the Kitchen

To fans, Miranda Lambert is most known for performing fun, upbeat, country music hits in front of thousands, but to friends and family, she also likes taking center stage in the kitchen. The singer recently released her first cookbook, Y’all Eat Yet?: Welcome to the Pretty B*tchin’ Kitchen, earlier this year, and it’s full of all sorts of delicious Tex-Mex–inspired recipes, family stories, and fun anecdotes. Here, Lambert answers some of our burning questions about her book and life in the kitchen.

Much of Lambert’s everyday food and cooking habits are influenced by her family (including the “Ya-Yas”), her roots as an East Texan, and, of course, her career as a record-breaking country music artist. And don’t forget her husband, Brendan McLoughlin: “He’s the one who does all the cooking in our family and I’m the one with a cookbook,” Lambert joked. She shared with The Kitchn the ingredients she always keeps on her shelves, the cooking lesson her Nonny taught her, why her mom’s meatloaf is simply the best, and so much more.

15 Burning Food Questions with Miranda Lambert

It’s a typical Tuesday. What are you cooking?

“My go-to breakfast is usually just coffee or some version of eggs, and then a quick salad with some protein on it for lunch if I’m working — something that’s quick to eat between meetings or songwriting sessions but can give me a boost of energy to get through the day. Then hopefully Brendan has some delicious recipe up his sleeve for dinner!”

What’s a dinner you make that shows you’re from East Texas?

“Oh gosh, it’s hard not to see Texas in anything I make, to be honest. The Stacked Enchilada Bake in the book is probably as Tex-Mex as it comes; it tastes like home to me. When I was coming up in the music scene, traveling all over in my mom’s Suburban — and even now when I’m on tour or in Vegas for a while at my residency — a Tex-Mex dinner brings me right back to my roots.

What’s the one recipe from your cookbook that you’d take on a deserted island?

“The Bluebird! If we’re stuck out there on an island, cocktails will be very necessary … ”

What’s a cooking rule you follow?

“You should never spend more time in the kitchen than you do around the table. As you see in the book, all of our family recipes are very approachable and that’s because we always want to spend more time together enjoying the food and enjoying each other’s company than stuck in the kitchen trying to make a perfect meal. These recipes are permission to be imperfect and a reminder that it’s all about making time for the important people in your life.”

What are you most likely to cook for a party?

“My go-to is to put myself in charge of the drinks and appetizers. If we’re having friends over, I love to pull together some good dips or spreads, like the sun-dried cheese ball in the book — and you can never go wrong with a quick charcuterie.”

What are you throwing together for dinner on a night when you’re so exhausted the last thing you want to think about is cooking?

“I’m looking at my husband! He really does love cooking so much — he’s even gone down to Casa Rosa, my restaurant on Broadway in Nashville, a couple times to try things out in that big commercial kitchen with our chef. We eat on the road so much that it’s a treat to relax and enjoy his Italian food when I’m back home.”

What’s the single most important cooking lesson your Nonny passed down to you?

“She taught me not to save the fancy plates for a special occasion and not to worry about anything being what somebody else tells you it should be. Nonny served her deviled eggs on a fancy crystal platter because it made her happy and her guests feel special, but she gave everyone paper plates so there wouldn’t be as many dishes to do. She is where I got my love for mixing and matching high and low. Her love for entertaining her friends showed me how important it is to always have a strong sisterhood around you.”

Credit: Photos: From Y'ALL EAT YET? by Miranda Lambert with Holly Gleason. Copyright © 2023 by Miranda Lambert. Reprinted by permission of Dey Street Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers; Joe Lingeman

Did Nonny teach you any cooking secrets?

“She liked to act like her recipes didn’t have any secrets — that her famous cookies were the same Toll House recipe everyone else used — but there’s a reason that to this day no one can replicate them. There’s no way to include heart in a recipe. Even if you have all of the measurements and the exact brands of ingredients she used, you can’t add her special touch. By acting like she didn’t have any secrets she taught me something I think is always important to remember: The love you put into making a recipe can have just as big of an impact as the other ingredients.”

Got a secret ingredient you always cook with?

“People think this sounds crazy, but I like to use instant potato flakes when a recipe isn’t coming together quite right. With any sauce that’s too runny, potato flakes will thicken everything up without changing the flavor.”

It’s 5 o’clock. Are you cooking with a drink in your hand?

“Of course! Especially when I’m cooking with the ladies in this book — my job is to keep their cups full and stay out of the way. I’m usually enjoying a little Tito’s.”

What are three foods someone will always find in your house?

“Ranch packets, salsa, and creole seasoning. All of those tell you I’m from Texas! Ranch is perfect for adding flavor to so many things (marinades, dips, Heidi’s spicy crackers), and so is creole seasoning; it’s perfect to keep on hand for when food just needs a little extra punch. And we like to say that salsa is the fifth condiment in Texas: salt, pepper, ketchup, mustard, salsa.”

Do you have a specialty you make every year?

“I make a Bunny Cake every Easter, which is really special to me because it’s something I grew up making when we would celebrate with my Nonny and I still make it to this day, even with my band and crew.”

What food are you willing to splurge on?

“I always say I work too hard to drink cheap wine! But I think I just mean good wine, because sometimes you can find a great bottle at a lower price point, too. And you of course can’t go wrong with splurging on a great steak at a fancy dinner.”

Do you think there’s a type of food that gets a lot of unwarranted hate?

“Well, the star of this book is my mom’s meatloaf, and I think meatloaf is something that can make people turn up their nose a bit when they hear it … but this really is our go-to request for special occasions (birthdays, bringing someone home to meet the family, you name it). I think anyone who says they hate meatloaf would change their mind once they try Bev’s!”

What’s your go-to midnight snack?

“I heard once that the grease in potato chips is good for singers’ voices, so I’m choosing to believe that is accurate science!”

Buy: Y’all Eat Yet?: Welcome to the Pretty B*tchin’ Kitchen, $22.81