The Best Pioneer Woman Episodes Ranked

In 2011, the world was introduced to "The Pioneer Woman," which is, in our opinion, one of the best Food Network shows of all time. In the show, The Pioneer Woman herself, Ree Drummond, cooks toothsome meals, serves food to her family, and entertains her friends. She truly is a pioneer woman, and she's proven it time and again on her show. 

Drummond began as a blogger. The Pioneer Woman is a nickname that Drummond garnered when she shared her plans to move to a ranch to be with her now-husband Ladd Drummond. Drummond uses the website and the show to document her life and share the recipes she, her husband, and her children love.

While Drummond once shared that she had never really considered moving to the country, the ranch life certainly does suit her. More than ten years after the advent of the show, Drummond is still on the air, and she's still quite popular. There are currently more than 350 episodes of "The Pioneer Woman," which may lead to some confusion regarding which ones are the best episodes of all time. 

Kidswap Sleepover (Season 2, Episode 9)

Ree Drummond is the ultimate Pinterest mom, and "Kidswap Sleepover" highlights just how well she can put together snacks or meals that all kids will love. In this episode, Drummond's daughters head to a sleepover at her friend Hyacinth's house while the boys are hosted by The Pioneer Woman herself. We're willing to bet that the food at Drummond's sleepover was incredible. 

In this episode, Drummond shows viewers how to make some classic recipes (that contain some modern twists). She makes sure that each recipe is kid-friendly, making this episode worthy of being considered one of the best ones yet. 

One of Drummond's featured recipes on the episode is her Sausage Pancakes-on-Sticks. Drummond gives us the helpful tip of using chopsticks instead of skewers for this recipe, which makes them safe for eaters of all ages. Fans of Drummond who've tried the recipe were pleased with the outcome, with one even commenting that their 12-year-old son absolutely loves having this dish for breakfast. 

Other recipes from the episode include tater tots, biscuits, and her signature Purple Monster Smoothies. We'd try all these recipes, regardless of whether we're cooking for our kids or not.

Building Pens (Season 5, Episode 13)

Everyone in Ree Drummond's family is a hard worker, and it's always fun when she mentions what they're doing on the ranch: "Building Pens" is a great example. In this episode, while everyone else is off tending to the property, Drummond is in the kitchen preparing a midday meal that'll give them plenty of energy to finish the task. And as she has shown on her blog, it's no picnic.

Drummond's lunch follows a Mexican theme: It features chile con queso and pollo asado, the latter of which she grills outside. One reviewer notes that people generally enjoy this recipe and that they will definitely serve it again.

Fans were particularly happy with the chili con queso. Though it's a classic recipe, people tend to like the twists she puts on these classic dishes. One reviewer commented that Drummond's chili con queso has been featured at every single family party and that they really enjoy the unique aspects of the dish. We have to agree: Drummond's recipe twists are always welcome, and that's one reason this is such a good episode.

Scrumptious 16-Minute Meals (Season 6, Episode 7)

People watch cooking shows for a variety of reasons. Some are looking to improve their skills in the kitchen. Others may find that watching other people chop, fry, and sauté is immensely soothing and satisfying. 

Others, though, want some recipe ideas. And while it's fun to watch someone cook a gourmet meal, it's really not practical for the majority of people on a regular basis, which is why we love "Scrumptious 16-Minute Meals."

In this episode, Ree Drummond shares three meals that can all be whipped up in (you guessed it) 16 minutes: Chicken taco salad, French bread pizzas, and quick and easy roasted red pepper pasta. The recipes are diverse, they rely on pantry staple ingredients. Additionally, they can be easily adapted to fit your personal preferences, making them far superior to a sandwich or leftovers or anything else we'd typically cook in 16 minutes.

This episode is great for another reason: It led Drummond to create more of these meals, and now there's an entire page on her website dedicated to the quick and easy recipe format. According to Food Fanatic, they'd be pretty happy if they could cook their pizzas in 30 minutes rather than 16.

Speedy Seafood 4 Ways (Season 24, Episode 9)

We'll always welcome an episode dedicated to showing us how to speed things along in the kitchen, especially when we're being offered recipes that differ from our standbys. In "Speedy Seafood 4 Ways," Ree Drummond does just that. These recipes are truly great.

Viewers were particularly taken with the mixed seafood pasta, and many of the reviewers mentioned that they love the recipe for the main reason we love all of The Pioneer Woman's recipes: They're easily adaptable. One home cook mentioned swapping zucchini noodles for regular noodles, and a couple of others noted that they played with the seafood ingredients to fit their personal preferences. One reviewer noted that the recipe leads to restaurant-quality food that makes for a tasty family meal. 

We also like this episode for one important reason: Drummond used seafood that can be purchased frozen anywhere in the United States. Many American citizens don't have access to fresh seafood, so we appreciate recipes that can utilize frozen options.

Other establishments have noted their affinity for Drummond's seafood recipes, as well: Citypier Seafood has an entire page dedicated to Drummond's recipes that make good use of its merchandise.

Home Sweet Home: Easy Eats (Season 27, Episode 8)

A major part of The Pioneer Woman's charm is how much she loves her surroundings. It's clear Ree Drummond was meant to live and cook on a ranch, and we appreciate that despite her massive fame, she has never lost sight of that. After over 30 seasons of her show, she's still highlighting how much she loves being at home and cooking for her family, which is exactly what she does on "Home Sweet Home: Easy Eats."

This episode is one in a series that was inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic, although it aired over a year after its onset. Drummond shared on her blog that because her film crew is from the United Kingdom, she and her family had to shoot footage for her show amid the pandemic. Her "Home Sweet Home" meals were clearly a hit.

During the episode, Drummond questions whether there's anything better than lemon chicken in the world. No, Ree, there isn't, and this recipe proves it. According to one reviewer, this recipe makes for the perfect weeknight meal.

Christmas is Coming (Season 4, Episode 2)

As noted, Ree Drummond is a total Pinterest mom (we mean that in the best way possible), and that extends past kids' sleepovers and into her holiday hostess duties, which are on full display in "Christmas is Coming."

There are plenty of cooking show episodes in which the host shows us the best recipes to make during the holidays, but in this episode, Drummond also gives us recipes that we can use to feed our families throughout the whole season. We'd never considered rigatoni and meatballs as holiday food before, but there's no reason we shouldn't have something tasty and comforting to eat while we're decorating.

Other recipes Drummond gifted us with in this episode include her mother's holiday bacon appetizers and mint brownie bites, the latter of which she touts as an alternative snack to leave for Santa.

The best part about these recipes, though, is that they don't have to be exclusively reserved for the holidays. According to one reviewer, they have made the meatballs featured in this recipe several different times, and the results have been delicious. 

Fourth of July (Season 3, Episode 14)

In keeping with her holiday-themed episodes, Ree Drummond appears in "Fourth of July," which is one of several episodes she has dedicated to Independence Day. This episode is from the early days of "The Pioneer Woman," and aside from the main course, she delivers a stellar menu for the holiday, showcasing her recipes for Caprese salad, baked beans, and peach crisp. 

Drummond is particularly adept at striking a balance between traditional and modern, always serving something dishes that make us nostalgic while reminding us that good updates to our holiday customs should be welcome, too.

This episode also highlights Drummond's hosting abilities, which is definitely worth noting. As Food Fanatic points out, the episode is a celebration filled with food and good times, which is ideal for the Fourth of July. 

This episode was the first time in the series that we saw how Drummond celebrates the holiday. Her website has an entire page filled with recipes that are suitable for incorporating into parties. Drummond can host any holiday, and this episode, as well as her page on her website, prove just that.

Ladd's Birthday (Season 2, Episode 8)

Ree Drummond continually proves that she's just one of the masses. In "Ladd's Birthday," we got a glimpse into what adult birthdays are like on the Drummond ranch, and it's not all that different from most of our birthdays. Ladd goes to work while The Pioneer Woman makes her spouse's day special which features a pasta dish and a special dessert.

First up is her chicken parmigiana, which is Ladd's favorite. It's a quick dish that's easy enough for a weeknight, and yet it's tasty enough for a special occasion, such as a birthday. One happy fan who made this recipe for their Italian husband really liked this recipe.  

For dessert, Ree makes a layered chocolate cake that fans love. One reviewer pointed out that this recipe can be adapted into a gluten-free recipe. Another said that they made it for their son's birthday, and the results were outstanding. 

The Pioneer Woman also shows us how to make chocolate curls to put atop the cake. As she says, while the curls may seem complicated, they're actually quite straightforward to create. A simple yet decadent menu for a weeknight birthday celebration is exactly what makes this episode so great.

Perfecting the Pantry (Season 10, Episode 10)

Ree Drummond is a self-taught home cook. As any home cook knows that having a well-stocked pantry is vital, but so is knowing how to use your pantry ingredients in a pinch. And that's why we love the episode "Perfecting the Pantry." 

In this episode, Drummond shows us how she utilizes her pantry ingredients, and, spoiler alert, the recipes are far more exciting than our typical pantry meals that probably consist mostly of buttered noodles or chicken and rice.

The best of her recipes in the episode are chickpea curry and no-bake peanut butter bars. One reviewer says that the meat-free recipe is so great that they make it quite frequently. Another reviewer commented on the bars, which are addictively good. 

In the episode, Drummond notes that she had to learn to keep her pantry well-stocked, and she clearly knows that other people feel the same way. This episode is several years old, but The Pioneer Woman now has a blog post on her website that shows fans how to stock their own pantries just as she does, making this episode all the more useful.

Film Crew Takeout (Season 28, Episode 1)

Mario Batali accidentally cut himself on air on his first day at Food Network, but since then, bloopers shown on the network have been few and far between. Ree Drummond, however, has never been shy about showing all parts of her life, including the not-so-glamorous ones, which is why we're fans of "Film Crew Takeout."

While filming the episode, Drummond and her family, who were acting as the film crew, received an unexpected guest. A rat ran across the floor in the middle of a take, and as seen in the behind-the-scenes look that Drummond posted on Instagram, the furry friend created quite a bit of chaos. 

Drummond joked that she considers herself a trailblazer since she is probably the only food show host who has shown a large rat running through the kitchen. It's Drummond's levity and self-awareness that make us fans of hers.

In addition to the hilarious moment, we like this episode's recipes. Drummond makes food for her children that they can take on the go, like veggie burritos that fit both vegan and vegetarian diets. One fan shared that this is a great recipe since they have been looking for ways to get more vegetables into their diet. 

Dear Pioneer Woman (Season 5, Episode 12)

Fans of Ree Drummond's blog prior to the start of "The Pioneer Woman" on Food Network might remember her Dear Pioneer Woman segment in which Drummond offers her advice to fans in search of it. Drummond took this idea on air by answering her fan's questions pertaining to food for a memorable "Dear Pioneer Woman" episode.

During the episode, Drummond noted that a fan who had cooked all of her 16-minute meals asked about a 10-minute meal, which is why she shares her shrimp stir fry recipe. And while it's easy to be skeptical of someone who says a meal can be made in 10 minutes, we trust The Pioneer Woman, and so do those who've made the meal. According to one reviewer, they have made this dish multiple times, and there is absolutely no need to change any aspect of this recipe to make it in 10 minutes. 

We're fans of the recipes featured in this episode, but the best part of this show and Drummond's approach is that they are full of heart. She wants to provide her fans with recipes that'll serve them, and for that, we are grateful.

Ask Me Anything! (Season 18, Episode 6)

"Dear Pioneer Woman" was a success, but the episode format didn't last long. Fortunately for fans, Ree Drummond came back with a similar episode format a few seasons later: "Ask Me Anything!" 

This show is a take on the popular Reddit trend. Drummond used this episode to cook delicious food, as per usual, but also to answer fans' questions about, well, anything. Any episode in which we get to learn more about Drummond is welcome.

This episode was clearly a fan-favorite since it started a series of "Ask Me Anything" episodes, including "Ask Me Anything: Cookout" and "Ask Me Anything: All About Kids."

The best recipe of the episode was her linguine with clam sauce. The reviews of this recipe are overwhelmingly positive: One fan said that the dish was totally ideal. We're hopeful we'll get more "Ask Me Anything" episodes, especially if it brings us more simple and tasty pasta dishes.

Turkey Day Leftovers (Season 6, Episode 8)

Since we've detailed our admiration for Ree Drummond's holiday stylings, we would be remiss to omit food's biggest day of the year in our ranking: Thanksgiving. But in true Pioneer Woman style, Drummond doesn't just give us a typical holiday menu. Instead, she shows us how to repurpose our Thanksgiving scraps in "Turkey Day Leftovers."

The recipes go beyond heated-up leftovers, and they're perfect for whatever you've got going on Black Friday. As Food Fanatic said, there are so many people out there who love Thanksgiving leftovers, and Drummond provides a great selection of ideas that range from unique to classic. 

Drummond's leftover recipes include a leftover turkey dinner panini, turkey spring rolls, turkey tetrazzini, and Ree's pumpkin pie smoothie. Each recipe perfectly encapsulates one of the reasons Drummond remains so popular: She provides delicious ways to eliminate waste and use what you already have at home. After you watch this episode, you'll never look at leftovers in the same way ever again. 

Home on the Ranch (Season 1, Episode 1)

Of all "The Pioneer Woman" episodes, the pilot, "Home on the Ranch," is the best. That's not to say that the rest aren't good: Ree Drummond knows what she's doing in a kitchen. However, this episode introduces us to The Pioneer Woman and everything we love about her: Her gorgeous home on a sprawling Oklahoma ranch, her love for her family, and her sublime recipes that are easy to cook and make anyone feel like a gourmet chef.

Watching the episode in review makes us love it even more. We see that Drummond has been herself since the beginning: Calm and comfortable in front of the camera and practical yet creative behind her kitchen island. It's no surprise this episode has nearly a 10-star rating on IMDb.

Drummond whips up quite a few recipes in this episode, including her rancher's chicken-fried steak. During the episode, she says that chicken-fried steak is highly cowboy friendly, perfectly familiarizing us with what's to come. It's what makes Drummond The Pioneer Woman, and it's no surprise she became a bona fide superstar once this episode hit the Food Network.