Here’s the One Thing That the Pioneer Woman Always Has in Her Freezer for Easy Dinners

updated Sep 26, 2019
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It’s easy to marvel at the amazing recipes and wow-worthy dishes that Ree Drummond posts on her blog, and they almost always turn out well when you cook them. But sometimes they have a lot of steps or require a little bit of prep time. Luckily, if you’ve been wondering how you could cook like the Pioneer Woman, even when you’re tired on a Tuesday night, the answer is even easier than you might have imagined — and it just involves reaching into the freezer.

“I love my freezer, it’s my life,” Ree told Kitchn. “I live in the country so it’s kind of the ticket to my sanity sometimes.” Which is true for so many people with busy lives and lots of mouths to feed. But that’s why she cooks the way she does, she explains. “A lot of my cookbooks and shows are centered around freezer cooking and making things ahead.”

So of course we had to ask her: what is the one thing you always have on hand for easy dinners? “I think one thing I try to always have in my freezer is homemade meatballs,” she answered. They’re quick to cook up, they’re versatile, and they are pretty much a guaranteed crowd-pleaser, no matter who your crowd is. “I’ll package them up in groups of 12 and 24 and you can throw them into a pot of marinara, you can make Swedish meatballs, you can do sliders.”

A search of her website turns up more than a dozen different posts on meatballs, so that’s not surprising: she’s got recipes for Salisbury steak meatballs, meatballs with peppers and pineapples, spaghetti and meatballs, and BBQ comfort meatballs. (And we’ve got even more ideas of meals that start with frozen meatballs, too.)  “Basically,” says Ree, in her opinion, “There’s nothing a meatball can’t do.”