‘Barefoot Contessa’ Ina Garten’s Top 15 Go-To Weeknight Dinners

Barefoot Contessa Ina Garten just released a new cookbook titled Modern Comfort Food. It’s the Food Network star’s 12th book, and she rushed its release because of the pandemic. According to CTPost, Garten wrote in the revamped forward that she knows people are isolated and stressed. In times like these, people often turn to foods that are “familiar, delicious, and soul-satisfying.” The culinary hero has shared hundreds of recipes with her fans over the years, from easy one-pan dishes to pasta and salads with fresh ingredients. Here are Garten’s top 15 go-to weeknight dinners.

Barefoot Contessa Ina Garten
The Barefoot Contessa Ina Garten | Nathan Congleton/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

15. Roasted Italian Meatballs

Fans can’t go wrong with Garten’s classic Italian recipes. Her recipe calls for ground sirloin, pork, and veal. Fans can easily scale it to make a big batch of meatballs that they can pair with a variety of dishes throughout the week. The perfect match for these Italian meatballs are Garten’s spaghetti and tomato sauce. They are also delicious served on a ciabatta roll as a sandwich.

14. Turkey Meatloaf

The Barefoot Contessa’s lighter turkey version of meatloaf features delicious sauteed veggies. This recipe is easy to put together, and it makes enough for delicious leftovers. This Turkey Meatloaf is best served with a side of classic mashed potatoes and a salad.

13. Bangers and Mash

Americans can easily make this classic British dish with Garten’s recipe. You can choose any sausage you like and pair it with Garten’s creamy mashed potatoes. Ingredients include peeled and diced Yukon gold potatoes, creme fraiche, and coarse mustard for flavor.

12. Cider-Roasted Pork Tenderloin

This dish calls for a marinade made with cider, maple syrup, fresh herbs, ginger, and rosemary leaves. Once you marinate your pork overnight, it becomes a quick and easy dish for the next day.

11. Parmesan Chicken

This is a lighter version of traditional chicken Parmesan recipes, but it still has that crispy Parmesan coating. Garten’s parmesan chicken features juicy chicken breasts without the tomato sauce, plus a side of greens tossed in a lemon vinaigrette.

10. Pasta with Pesto and Peas

The pesto sauce in this recipe is so good, you will want to put in on everything. But the perfect place for it is with bowtie pasta and peas.

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9. Lemon Capellini

One of the quickest recipes on this list, it can be done in just 15 minutes. All you need is some pasta, butter, lemon, olive oil, and freshly ground pepper.

8. Crunchy Noodle Salad

You will need plenty of Asian ingredients for this recipe. It calls for sesame oil, soy sauce, fresh ginger, sesame seeds, and rice vinegar. This dish also features crunchy sugar snap peas, red bell peppers, and scallions.

7. Mac & Cheese Casserole

Garten once revealed that she’s never bought a box of macaroni and cheese. She explained that she doesn’t need to because a homemade recipe is just as easy and delicious. Garten’s Mac & Cheese Casserole features both sharp cheddar and grated Gruyère. Her recipe also includes bread crumbs, ground nutmeg, and fresh tomatoes.

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6. Chinese Chicken Salad

There is no reason to order take out when you can make this chinese chicken salad. The recipe includes chicken, asparagus, scallions, and bell pepper. You top it off with a peanut sauce-style vinaigrette.

5. Chicken with Forty Cloves of Garlic

In just a little more than half-hour, you can make this delicious dish that is bursting with flavor. The mouth-watering sauce features heavy cream, garlic, and Cognac.

4. Fettuccine with White Truffle Butter and Mushrooms

Another quick and easy dish, Garten’s sauce in this recipe is beyond delicious. The creamy sauce includes truffle butter, Parmesan, and sauteed mushrooms.

3. Lemon Chicken Breasts

All you need for this chicken recipe is ten ingredients and one hour. The side dish options with this meal are endless, as you can add anything from a fresh salad to creamy homemade mashed potatoes.

2. Baked Shrimp Scampi

The Barefoot Contessa’s recipe for baked shrimp scampi features butter, garlic, lemon juice, and panko bread crumbs. However, you will need to know how to peel, devein, and butterfly the shrimp for this flavorful dish to be successful.

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1. Crusty Baked Shells and Cauliflower

Another pasta dish from Garten, this is a creamy cheesy pasta bake with delicious flavor. This recipe includes three types of cheese plus some garlic and capers for extra flavor.