Turn to none other than Ina Garten for in-a-pinch holiday cooking moments. When those stressful situations happen, as they so often do come December, don’t panic. Simply reach for one of these Barefoot Contessa dishes for a last-minute addition to any Christmas menu. They’re elegant and quick, and no one will know they came together so easily.
1. Last-minute Christmas dishes from Ina Garten: Chipotle & Rosemary Roasted Nuts
Although Garten wrote in her How Easy Is That? cookbook she usually whips up a batch of Chipotle & Rosemary Roasted Nuts when she has extra time before a party, they make for a great last-minute Christmas dish too.
Pour a variety of nuts on a sheet pan, Garten’s most-used kitchen tool, add some seasoning, and roast. With instructions like that, it’s easy to see how they ended up in her How Easy Is That? cookbook.
Plus, they’re versatile, which lends itself to last-minute cooking. Don’t have the nuts the Food Network star calls for? Use what’s in the kitchen. The same can be said for the seasonings.
2. Ina Garten’s last-minute Christmas dishes: Serve ‘as-is’ appetizers in silver bowls
OK, so this isn’t a stand-alone dish from Garten. But it’s simply too good not to include. Garten serves “delicious things you can serve as-is” in silver bowls. Examples include potato chips, nuts, and pretzels. No silver bowls? Opt for any serving bowls that have a festive or special feel.
3. Ina Garten’s last-minute Christmas dishes: Melt vanilla cream for a quick custard sauce
Once again, this isn’t technically a stand-alone dish, but it gets a spot on the list. Spruce up any dessert, storebought or not, with Garten’s crème anglaise. She makes it in seconds by melting vanilla ice cream (preferably Häagen-Dazs) in the microwave. Or add it to a cup of coffee as a post-Christmas dinner treat. The options are practically endless.
4. Last-minute Christmas dishes from Ina Garten: Panzanella
Garten’s Panzanella is a Barefoot Contessa summertime staple. Although it’s great for Christmastime too. Not only does it come together in minutes, but it also gets better as it sits, making it ideal for holiday entertaining.
Simply skip the homemade croutons and go for storebought to save time. All that’s left to do is toss the chopped vegetables together and drizzle with an easy vinaigrette.
5. Ina Garten’s last-minute Christmas dishes: Brownie Pudding
Admittedly, this Barefoot Contessa dessert takes a little time. Approximately just over an hour. But it’s still a great last-minute Christmas dish.
Why? Most, if not all, of the ingredients are probably somewhere in the kitchen cabinets already. So no trips to the store. Then there’s the actual making of the pudding. Mix all of the ingredients together, and it’s ready to go in the oven. Just don’t forget the water bath.
It also makes for a great travel-friendly dessert at Christmastime. Still not sure about Garten’s Brownie Pudding? It’s a go-to dessert with sparkling reviews.
6. Last-minute Christmas dishes from Ina Garten: Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
Garten has many versions of roasted vegetables, although it’s her Roasted Cherry Tomatoes in particular that make for a good last-minute Christmas dish. Roast them on a sheet pan with “good” olive oil, kosher salt, and pepper. In 15-20 minutes, they’re done and another dish is on the table.