Are Ina Garten and Martha Stewart the Secret Sauce to Jennifer Garner’s ‘Pretend Cooking Show’?

Over the past two years, Jennifer Garner‘s Pretend Cooking Show has rapidly been picking up followers. Her array of English muffins, bagels, soft pretzels, and various types of bread are enough to make your mouth water. The best part is that the videos are short, — under four minutes — easy, and include great tips along with the recipe.

Garner’s hilarious commentary helps, too. So, where did the actress get the inspiration for all of her recipes? Are Ina Garten and Martha Stewart the secret sauce behind the Pretend Cooking Show?

Jennifer Garner cooking show
Jennifer Garner at the Frigidaire Kids’ Cooking Academy | Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Frigidaire

Ina Garten was the original inspiration for Garner’s ‘Pretend Cooking Show’

The inspiration for Garner’s Pretend Cooking Show looks like it came straight from Ina Garten and The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook series. In her very first video, the actress tagged the author and gave her a loving hashtag, #barefootforever. That first two-and-a-half-minute clip detailed the Peppermint star making Garten’s honey white bread.

Garner loves the chicken chili from Garten’s cookbook, Barefoot Parties, as a great super bowl snack. One of her absolute favorites by Garten is her Beef Bourguignon, which the actress has been making for years. 

“I love her videos so much,” Garten told People Magazine when she was asked about the actresses cooking show. “She is adorable and smart and not at all performing—that’s just who she is. I just think she’s really special.”

Garten also said that she is not helping Garner with her cooking shows at all. The actress can take all of the credit, even if the inspiration was originally from the cooking show host.

Garner often channels Martha Stewart recipes for her ‘Pretend Cooking Show’

Garten is not the only person who influenced the actress’s cooking skills. Garner also loves to share a tried and true recipe from Martha Stewart during her Pretend Cooking Show.

“I’ve been making this @marthastewart recipe for years—the roast lemon chicken alone is enough to make you sing,” Garner wrote in an Instagram post. “You can dress it up (homemade stock) or make it in a hurry (broth from a box—don’t tell @inagarten!), whatever you do, this recipe is a sure thing.”

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Swipe to see! I’ve been making this @marthastewart recipe for years—the roast lemon chicken alone is enough to make you sing! You can dress it up (homemade stock) or make it in a hurry (broth from a box—don’t tell @inagarten!), whatever you do, this recipe is a sure thing. . . . Martha Stewart’s Roast Lemon Chicken Soup Ingredients: 2 lemons, thinly sliced 6 small shallots, peeled and quartered lengthwise 1 whole 4 pound chicken (backbone and giblets removed) 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil, divided Salt Pepper 6 cups chicken stock . . . 1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. 2. Rub chicken with 1 tablespoon oil and season with 1 tablespoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. 3. Brush 1 tablespoon oil in the center of a rimmed baking sheet slightly larger than the size of the chicken. Slice lemons thinly and lay half of them out in a single layer on the oil. 4. Place chicken, skin side up, on the lemons. Beginning at the neck end of the breast, carefully loosen skin from flesh of breast and thighs with your fingers. Slide the remaining lemon slices under skin in a single layer. (This isn’t as scary as it sounds, go for it!) 5. Roast chicken for 20 minutes. Toss shallots with remaining teaspoon oil and scatter around chicken. Continue to roast chicken until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast reaches 165 degrees — appx. 25 to 30 minutes more. 6. Transfer chicken to a carving board and let chicken cool completely. Remove and discard skin, lemon under skin and bones. 7. Shred meat into bite-size pieces. Mix shredded meat with the pan juices, roasted lemons and shallots from the baking sheet into a bowl. (feel free to stop here, you can’t do better than this concoction) 8. Bring chicken stock to a simmer in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in chicken, lemons, shallots and pan juices, and simmer 1 minute. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper. 9. Divide soup among 4 to 6 bowls. Add rice (brown is perfect) if you so desire! ‍♀️ 10. YUM.

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Garner loves to point out the fact that she is not cheating on her original influencer. However, everyone needs a classic Martha Stewart recipe sometimes. 

Garner’s recipes aren’t always from Martha Stewart and Ina Garten

The actress sometimes comes up with recipes on her own. Early on in her Pretend Cooking Show, Garner tried to replicate a bagel recipe she made for her family for the holidays. It was an epic fail, so she continued until she got it right. Garner told viewers she would share the recipe when she figured out what it was. 

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Pretend Cooking Show, Episode 2: @huckcafe English Muffins by @zoenathanloeb. You can see the full episode, in all its floury glory, on my Facebook. #icrackmyselfup #pretendcookingshow #notaprettybaker —– Huckleberry English Muffins recipe: 3 cups buttermilk 2 tbsp active dry yeast 3 tbsp unsalted butter (room temp) 3 tbsp honey 6 cups bread flour 1/4 cup sugar 4 1/2 tsp kosher salt 1 cup cornmeal —– 1. Warm 1 1/2 cups (355ml) of the buttermilk in a small saucepan, but do not boil. Place the remaining 1 1/2 cups (355ml) cold buttermilk in the bowl of a stand mixer with the yeast and whisk by hand to combine. Add the warm buttermilk to the cold buttermilk mixture and whisk to blend. Add the butter, honey, bread flour, sugar, and salt and mix on low speed with the dough hook attachment for about 1 minute, until the dough comes together. Increase the speed to medium-high and work the dough for about 2 minutes until smooth. • 2. Transfer the dough to a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour. • 3. Sprinkle 1/2 cup (80g) of the cornmeal on a clean work surface and dump the dough out onto it. Sprinkle another 1/4 cup (40g) of the cornmeal on top of the dough and flatten it into a disk with 1 inch (2.5cm) thickness. • 4. Sprinkle the last 1/4 cup (40g) of the cornmeal onto a sheet pan. With a 3 inch (7.5cm) round cutter, cut the English muffins from the dough. Cut them as closely as possible, minimizing the amount of scraps, as you cannot combine and reroll this dough. • 5. Arrange the English muffins, 1 inch (2.5cm) apart, on the sheet pan. Allow the dough to rise for 1 hour at room temperature. Or refrigerate overnight and allow to rise for 1 hour in the morning. • 6. As the English muffins near readiness, preheat your oven to 350F (180C) degrees. When the oven is hot, heat an ungreased griddle or large cast-iron pan over medium-high heat. Jen tip: 275F (135C) for the temperature of your griddle! • 7. Drop the English muffins onto the griddle and cook for about 1 minute on each side, until golden brown. • 8. Return the English muffins to the sheet pan and immediately bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until they feel light.

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She likes to share recipes from Zoe Nathan, the author of Huckleberry. Garner supports The Huckleberry Cafe in Santa Monica, California, which is family owned and operated. She always tags the cafe owner and author, Nathan, in her videos sharing the Huckleberry recipes.

The actress supports many other businesses with her cooking show videos, including a pizzeria owner, a local farm, and other online recipe websites. While Garten and Stewart might have given Garner the original inspiration for her show, it looks like the actress is her own secret sauce. She finds recipes that work from a massive array of sources and makes them look quick and easy. Keep on cooking Jennifer Garner — we love your secret sauce.