We interviewed Busy Philipps because we think you'll like her picks. Busy is a paid spokesperson for Rao's Homemade. E! has affiliate relationships, so we may get a commission if you purchase something through our links. Items are sold by the retailer, not E!. Prices are accurate as of publish time.
When you have a good marinara sauce on hand, you can make so many delicious things, from pasta to Bloody Mary's. Just ask Busy Philipps who partnered with her longtime favorite sauce brand Rao's Homemade. The Girls5eva star told E!, "Anyone will tell you that the kitchen is the heart of your home. You can make every other area of your home as nice and beautiful as you want, but at the end of the day, everyone is congregating in the kitchen."
Busy explained, "Part of the reason is because I think we commune over food and family dinners. Even though my kids sometimes eat separately, many different things still take place in the kitchen. Especially when you're cooking, everyone gravitates and shows up there!"
Busy talked about her partnership with Rao's Homemade, shared her favorite kitchen items, and shared her tips on feeding the picky eaters in your family.
E!: Do you have any tips for cooking with kids?
BP: Definitely let them participate, don't just do everything for them…including cutting! I know that seems scary, but I promise you if you're supervising it will be fine. Don't sue me if your two year old cuts a finger off! I'm just saying, you have to give your children the opportunity to participate in cooking, and tasting, because they'll grow to love it. Give them some responsibility, I think that's really important. Kids love to measure. When things inevitably end up on the floor, you have to be chill about it!
E!: Do you have any picky eaters in the family, and how do you handle that?
BP: Oh, Cricket is very very picky. I'm constantly trying to introduce things…I've read all the books, talked to all the people, done all of the things…we have some success. They say you have to keep asking 30 times before your kids try it, but I just think she's a supertaster and flavors are super overwhelming to her. She didn't even like chocolate until last year! It wasn't that she wouldn't try it, she would taste it and say it was gross. With Cricket I just have to keep introducing things to her and hope for the best.
I will say that I have learned that seasonal fruits and vegetables with a picky eater kid is important, because you want the fruits and vegetables to taste their best, so I try to keep that in mind when feeding my picky eater! Birdie will eat anything.
E!: Tell us about your partnership with Rao's Homemade.
BP: Oh my God, I'm obsessed with Rao's Homemade. Anyone who knows me knows that is a true story. I've been purchasing the marinara sauce for years. I love the arrabbiata sauce, and even the vodka sauce! I'll do a vodka sauce, guys. I'm not afraid!
Rao's Homemade has this amazing pop-up here in New York, the Saucery, where you can shop all kinds of Rao's Homemade products including their Rao's Homemade Limited Edition Reserve line! Everything at the pop-up is 15% off and 100% of the proceeds are going to Jersey Cares, which is an amazing organization. Rao's Homemade has been incredibly generous giving back over the past years, especially through their COVID-19 relief efforts, which is something very important to me.
E!: What's your favorite recipe to make with Rao's?
BP: I got to develop my own stuffed pasta shells recipe with Rao's Homemade, which is something I have been making since I was a kid with my mom. There's been a few evolutions to the recipe, like today we're using the Arrabbiata sauce. I'll be honest, a lot of times we have to break it into two pans…I use the Marinara Sauce for the younger people in our family, and the Arabiatta for the older people in our family. I'm obsessed with this recipe, but I'll make anything with my Rao's.. I'm not kidding! I love easy, quick, go-to's. Another one for me is ground turkey with Rao's Homemade Marinara Sauce. It's really easy, and I use Rao's Homemade Pasta. Cricket likes the penne. It's a very quick, easy, meal.
Busy Philipps' Kitchen Essentials
Rao's Homemade Marinara Sauce and Rao's Homemade Rao's Arrabbiata Sauce
"Obviously number one, my Rao's Homemade Marinara Sauce but also the Arrabbiata Sauce. I buy both at the grocery store so that they're always in my pantry for everything from matzah-based pizza to my stuffed shells and even Bloody Mary's!"
Hario V60 Coffee Pour-Over Coffee Maker Kit
"I cannot live without my ceramic, pour-over single cup coffee maker and V60 filters. It's just real basic…you put it on top of your coffee cup, and you make one cup of coffee, because I don't need to make a whole pot! I'm the only one that drinks it. Gina my dog isn't drinking it…the kids aren't drinking it..so just one cup of coffee for me is great! And if I want a second one, guess what? I can make it."
KitchenAid Artisan 5 qt. Tilt-Head Stand Mixer in Majestic Yellow
"I also have a KitchenAid Stand Mixer that I love. It's a cute color, and I actually have two! The little yellow one is always out, and the giant purple one is reserved for special baking moments like the holidays when I have to make multiple batches of things. They're both adorable!"
Vitamix E310 Explorian Blender, Professional-Grade
"I love my Vitamix Blender that I got at Williams & Sonoma. I got an attachment that goes on it and makes a single smoothie. My kids love smoothies, I love smoothies..who doesn't love a smoothie? I can also blend up ingredients to make popsicles, too!"
This blender has 4,700+ 5-star Amazon reviews.
BergHOFF Bamboo Dish Rack in Natural
"I have a bamboo drying rack for my dishes that I got at Bed Bath and Beyond. I have a dishwasher, but sometimes it's easier to hand wash some dishes. Also - don't put knives in the dishwasher…you know that, right?"
Wüsthof 17-Slot Knife Block
"This is my Wusthof Knife Block that I love, which I also got at Williams & Sonoma. When I moved to New York, the majority of my stuff was in storage for a long period of time. We were in a rental, and I needed those knives! I couldn't even cut an apple with the bad knives in the rental! Sharp, solid knives are a very important thing for me in the kitchen!"
This knife block comes in several color combinations.
PowerXL Vortex Air Fryer
"I love my air fryer which I got from Target, and love making EVERYTHING with it. My children are obsessed with anything cooked in the air fryer. I'll also pop things in it if I want them to be crunchy or a little crispy, but mostly I'm making the kids' frozen nuggets or tater tots. I like using it to make brussel sprouts - sometimes I can even get the kids to eat them. Sometimes I make my own not-fried fried chicken in there for myself. I just love it."
Our Place Always Pan
"I got that Our Place Always Pan when I moved, which comes in really cute colors too. I love it because it's an all-in-one pan. You can drain, steam, satutee..you can do everything, and it has a little handle that holds a ladle."
GE Profile Opal 2.0 Nugget Ice Maker with Side Tank and Wifi
"My pebble ice maker is tiny, but a major appliance! It's a dream of mine to have pebble ice in my home."
Sonos One SL Wireless WI-FI-Enabled Speaker
"One more thing..it's an absolute must have. My Sonos speaker! I HAVE to listen to music in the kitchen. I listen to music in the morning, at night, when I'm doing dishes…that is where I listen to music. Occasionally I'll listen to a podcast."
If you want to know more about your favorite celebs' go-to products, Sophia Bush shared what's in her kitchen.
(This interview has been edited and condensed for length and clarity.)
—Originally published May 1, 2022 at 7 AM PT.