‘Barefoot Contessa’: 3 of Ina Garten’s Best Dinner Recipes for a Crowd

Ina Garten has decades of experience hosting dinner parties. She makes it look downright easy filming Barefoot Contessa inside her “barn.” Whether it’s a holiday meal or a Saturday night dinner with friends, Garten’s not stressed. She makes simple, flavorful dishes that don’t require hours in the kitchen. Take inspiration from the bestselling cookbook author and try some of her dinner recipes perfect for feeding a crowd. 

1. Sunday Rib Roast

Barefoot Contessa Ina Garten smiles at a book signing with fans behind her
Ina Garten | Vince Talotta/Toronto Star via Getty Images

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Originally published in Garten’s Barefoot Contessa Family Style: Easy Ideas and Recipes That Make Everyone Feel Like Family: A Cookbook, her Sunday Rib Roast recipe is an elegant dish for any dinner. 

According to Garten’s recipe on Food Network, all she does before putting the roast in the oven is sprinkle it with salt and pepper. While it cooks, she prepares a mustard horseradish sauce.

For an added touch, the celebrity chef cuts only a few slices in the kitchen so the rest of the carving can be done at the table. Served hot or cold, Garten’s Sunday Rib Roast is a how-easy-is-that type of meal. 

Ingredients for Ina Garten’s Sunday Rib Roast recipe: 

  • One 3-rib standing rib roast (7 – 8 pounds)
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

Mustard Horseradish Sauce:

  • 1 1/2 cups good mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
  • 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

2. Pasta, Pesto, and Peas

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Garten has many pasta recipes. One of them is her Pasta, Pesto, and Peas, which comes together in about 30 minutes. First, the Barefoot Contessa cooks the pasta. Then she makes pesto using a mix of walnuts, pine nuts, basil, olive oil, garlic, and cheese. Tossing everything together in one big bowl, Garten adds peas and more cheese. 

Also a great make-ahead option, the addition of lemon juice and spinach in the pesto keeps it from turning brown. Plus, this recipe can easily be scaled up or down depending on the number of people. 

Ingredients for Ina Garten’s Pasta, Pesto, and Peas recipe:

  • 3/4 pound fusilli pasta
  • 3/4 pound bow tie pasta
  • 1/4 cup good olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups pesto (packaged or see recipe below)
  • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 1/4 cups good mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen peas, defrosted
  • 1/3 cup pignoli (pine nuts)
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup pignoli (pine nuts)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped garlic (9 cloves)
  • 5 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups good olive oil
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan

3. Turkey Lasagna

Another recipe from Barefoot Contessa Family StyleGarten’s five-star Turkey Lasagna recipe is great for feeding a crowd. Dinner in one dish, the cooking show host uses four different types of cheese in this Italian classic. Just like the pasta and roast, Garten’s Turkey Lasagna can easily be made ahead and reheated for serving. 

Ingredients for Ina Garten’s Turkey Lasagna recipe: 

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion (1 onion)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 pounds sweet Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
  • One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes in tomato puree
  • One 6-ounce can tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, divided
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 pound lasagna noodles
  • 15 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 3 to 4 ounces creamy goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan, plus 1/4 cup for sprinkling
  • 1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 pound fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced