Fans of all things Kardashian-Jenner might be surprised to learn that busy matriarch Kris Jenner loves to cook. So much so that she has written her very first volume of recipes, In the Kitchen with Kris: A Kollection of Kardashian-Jenner Family Favorites. The book is dedicated to her six famous children and three equally well-known grandchildren, Kourtney, Kimberly, Khloe, Robert, Kendall, Kylie, Mason, Penelope, and North: “I wrote this cookbook so you may pass our family’s favorite recipes on for generations to come.”
In the Kitchen with Kris was a passion project for Jenner, who dreamed of having a cookbook one day. “I got to take something off of my bucket list,” she told Yahoo Food. Reading through the 60-plus recipes and many anecdotes, it’s clear that Jenner has spent the past few decades whipping up meals for her family. In the Kitchen with Kris is breezy and conversational and the dishes are mostly “yummy comfort food,” as Jenner described them. You’ll find Shepherd’s Pie-Stuffed Potatoes, Baked Brie with Apricot Preserves, and Boozy Butterscotch Pudding with Salted Caramel. As for the family heirloom recipes, there is Nana’s Wedding Rice Pilaf from Jenner’s first mother-in-law; Aunt Dorothy’s Armenian String Beans; and M.J’s Black-Eyed Peas Soup from her mother Mary Jo, who was born in Arkansas.
There are plenty of Kardashian guest appearances to keep fans of her reality TV clan happy: daughter Kim shared her favorite mac and cheese (surprise ingredient: Velveeta!), Khloe contributed a fried chicken recipe, and adorable photos of her children—as children—are sprinkled throughout the book. There are some surprising inclusions, too, most notably Nicole Brown Simpson’s nacho recipe. (She and Jenner were best friends.) Her estranged husband Bruce Jenner is represented via a recipe for Bruce’s Meatloaf and Mashies.
Jenner jumped on the phone earlier this week to talk to us about her book, her famous offspring, and what she has planned for Thanksgiving. Normally, she would be the one to cook on the holiday, but this year she’s passing the turkey baton to Khloe, who she says is the best cook in the family. “I’m encouraging her to write a cookbook,” said the proud mom.
Cooking is how she connects. "Cooking is one of my biggest passions and it’s how I really relax. It’s such a big part of my life that I don’t really share too often. I started cooking things for my family when I was 22 years old. When my kids went off to college and were away from home, they would constantly call me and say, ‘Can you tell me this recipe one more time?’ So my life has been very much about sharing recipes. I thought that once and for all, I would love to create a compilation of everybody’s favorite recipes."
Yumminess is her goal. "I cook all the time. Well, now my granddaughter North lives with me, and Kanye and Kim, so I cook almost every night. North loves my pilaf. She wants to eat it every night. I’ll throw together grilled chicken or salmon, pilaf, veggies. Simple stuff. When I started cooking back in the day, it was all about flavor and taste and style and presentation. Now it’s about what’s healthy. You can put different spins on my recipes, which are for yummy comfort food, and make them a little bit healthier. For the most part, I like making things really yummy."
Yes, she deals with dietary restrictions. "We have a lot of family members. My kids are grown. They now have husbands and baby daddies and boyfriends. I’ve gotten used to everybody’s situation. Mason [Kourtney’s son] is allergic to peanut butter, so we’re pretty much a peanut-free house. Scott [Kourtney’s boyfriend] is lactose intolerant, so he’s not a cheese guy. You just kind of adapt to everyone’s situation and what people like. Some people don’t eat certain foods, or they don’t like certain things. Believe me, I’ve had my share of picky eaters around here."
When in doubt, she goes with pasta. "My favorite recipe in the book, just based on how it tastes and how pretty it is, is the pasta primavera. You can make it for a huge group of people. I always make extra so we have leftovers. I love making the grilled swordfish and the grilled eggplant, too."
She’s a homebody: "I’m just a nester. I like being at home more than anything else. I would rather cook an amazing dinner and open a great bottle of wine and have people I love over than anything else."
Her fridge is her obsession: "My refrigerator is sort of right in the middle of the kitchen, so I want it to look amazing at all times. I’m just obsessed with it. Khloe is the queen of the perfect refrigerator. If you saw hers, you would die. Kim, Kourtney, we’re all the same. We’re a little crazy, I guess."
Kim’s mac and cheese is the best. "She cooks a lot at my house. She does the best fried chicken and she does mac and cheese and she does great veggies and she does an amazing banana pie. She has great recipes."
Nicole Brown Simpson lives in her heart. "There were so many wonderful memories we shared entertaining together, which was a big part of our relationship. Nothing made her happier than doing things in the kitchen. Her nachos were the one thing we made no matter what—for football games or anything we were doing, celebrating, or watching. She does live in my heart. [Including her in the book] comes from a place of love and appreciation."
She keeps a stocked pantry. "Be prepared. You shouldn’t have to go to the store every time you need to make a meal. If I went downstairs right now, I’d have the ingredients for sausage and peppers, I always have ingredients for my tomato-basil pasta, and I always have some grilled chicken."
Thanksgiving is one of Jenner’s favorite holidays. If you’re looking for inspiration, check out these four recipes from In the Kitchen with Kris:
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
Sweet Potato Soufflé
Truffled Cauliflower Mash
Leftover Turkey and Cheese Enchiladas