5 Famous Chefs' Grocery Store Must-Have Items

Giada De Laurentiis, Valerie Bertinelli, and other top chefs share everyday essentials and just-in-case goodies they always buy when grocery shopping.

For some, planning and executing a big grocery store trip can be challenging. Prepping for three meals a day can be overwhelming for even the most experienced home cooks. While there are delivery services and some stores offer online shopping for in-store pick-up, not everyone has access to these grocery store alternatives, so a trip to the local supermarket remains necessary. The good news is that once it's over with, a smart grocery run always makes the week feel more manageable—and (dare I say it?) more enjoyable.

Ever wondered what A-list chefs like Giada De Laurentiis or Anne Burrell pick up for everyday snacking, meal prep, and feeding last-minute guests? We chatted with a few famous chefs at the 2020 South Beach Wine and Food Festival in Miami, Florida. They shared which items they always reach for along the aisles of their local supermarkets. Some of them are tiny, others are indulgent, and some are just plain necessary.

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Valerie Bertinelli

"I happen to love grocery shopping, but sometimes you just don't have time to do it," said Valerie Bertinelli, chef, cookbook author, and host of the Food Network's two-time Emmy Award-winning show Valerie's Home Cooking. "For busy [people] trying to eat healthy, grocery shopping can take so much time."

To lessen the blow, Bertinelli suggests getting the entire week's meal prep out of the way in one fell swoop, if possible. "Cut all your veggies, so they're ready to go," she told Real Simple. "I have glass containers in my fridge, so when I'm hungry or when I need to make dinner, everything is already there."

In addition to being prepared for weeknight dinners, it's important to Bertinelli to be prepared for drop-in guests and sudden hunger cravings. "I always have cheese and crackers on hand in case anybody just stops by," the Valerie's Home Cooking author said. "Milton's brand has these gluten-free crackers that I absolutely love."

Her final shopping cart must-have is small but mighty. "Philly cream cheese, the chive and onion," Bertinelli added. "It goes with everything—including those crackers!"

RELATED: 10 Healthy Pantry Essentials You Should Always Have on Hand, According to RDs

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Anne Burrell

Chef Anne Burrell, the host of Food Network's Secrets of a Restaurant Chef, co-host of Worst Cooks in America, Iron Chef America sous chef, and cookbook author, is always prepared to satisfy snack cravings or to feed potential impromptu guests with healthy, crowd-pleasing combos like cheese and crackers or veggies and dip.

"I always have hummus, cherry tomatoes, and little Persian cucumbers because I like to snack on those," Burrell said. "I always have a few varieties of cheese—I love Boursin cheese. My number one cracker is Triscuits; I do the reduced-fat [kind], but the original flavor."

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Giada De Laurentiis

De Laurentiis is a best-selling cookbook author and veteran Food Network chef and host, including her shows Giada at Home and Winner Cake All. The items she always grabs on a grocery store run? Chocolate chips, cotton swabs, and lemons. Enough said.

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Molly Yeh

Molly Yeh has made quite an impact on the food scene with her stunning cakes, cookbook, and Food Network show Girl Meets Farm. Despite her penchant for decadent desserts, she's in the habit of stocking up on fresh produce, and kale in particular.

"I get the big bags of kale that are pre-washed. I force myself to go through them before the expiration date by putting them into smoothies and making kale chips," Yeh told Real Simple, adding that she's much more likely to incorporate these dark, leafy greens into her diet if she can see it in her refrigerator. "It's how I feel less bad about eating so much cake all the time."

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Chloe Coscarelli

Chloe Coscarelli knows a thing or two about vegan cooking and dining. In addition to creating a fast-casual vegan restaurant, she's also written four vegan cookbooks with delicious plant-based recipes even the biggest carnivore will love. She shared with Real Simple some of her favorite vegan items to pick up at nearly every local grocery store.

The first and most versatile is cashews. "I blend them to make everything, like cheese, cream sauce, dessert creams—it's my go-to for everything," Coscarelli said. "Sometimes I'll buy [cashews] in bulk."

RELATED: Plant-Based Pantry Staples to Create Endless Vegan Meals

Speaking of items for making vegan cheese, Coscarelli also makes sure to pick up nutritional yeast. If you haven't tried this, it looks like a seasoning salt and it's delicious. Plus, it has several health benefits.

"I put nutritional yeast on everything," she said. She sprinkles it on popcorn, transforms it into vegan cheese, uses it to add umami to sauces, and so much more. Vegan or not, it's an amazing flavor booster to pick up at the grocery store next time you're shopping. "You can put it on popcorn, you can make cheese with it, you can make sauces."

RELATED: 22 Easy Vegan Recipes That Taste Delicious

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