You Don't Need To Make Pesto From Scratch, According To Ina Garten

Those who are avid Ina Garten fans know there is no shortage of methods, tips, and tricks we can learn from the lifestyle master. From why you should keep beautiful vintage spoons on your kitchen countertop to which skillets are the best, Garten has given her followers quite a few valuable tips. However, if there's one golden rule of the Barefoot Contessa that her fans never thought she would cross, it's that homemade is always better than store-bought.

Even if you're not a big fan of the Barefoot Contessa, you may have seen the infamous Halloween meme of Garten that reinforces this idea. It's a photo of Garten dressed as a witch with a black hat on, with text that reads "if you can't summon the flames directly from hell, store-bought is fine," (via Reddit). As it turns out, there are quite a few store-bought products Garten actually uses as shortcuts to make some dishes and recipes.

Pesto is one exception to Ina's rule

The Food Network compiled a list of 10 store-bought ingredients Ina Garten likes to swap into recipes to save herself some time and effort. By now, fans are well aware of her love of Haagen Dazs ice cream and Lindt chocolate. However, her list of store-bought shortcuts extends well beyond those few items.

Another one of her favorite items to keep on hand is store-bought pesto. Granted, it must be great quality pesto. "I use it in so many ways, like Winter Minestrone, and it's fabulous on open-faced mozzarella-and-tomato sandwiches," she told Food Network. It seems there's a common trend among the ways she uses store-bought items, though.

Just like she uses pesto as an element in her sandwiches or soup, the other store-bought ingredients she likes to use from time to time are all incorporated into a larger dish. That means the store-bought item is not the focus of the flavor, but rather enhances the overall dish she creates. So you still might want to stick to homemade when it comes to the larger picture, but it seems totally okay to compliment your food with time-saving ingredients when you need to.